I have to hand it to Geoff Johns (and, to a lesser extent, “New Krypton” contributors James Robinson and Sterling Gates) for both giving fans exactly what they saw coming, but still giving a bit of a punch to the conclusion of “New Krypton” in this week’s “Action Comics.” While not spoiling the ending, the obvious solution on how Earth (and the DC Universe in general) would handle 100,000 fully-powered Kryptonians is hard to not see coming, after all. Johns, to his credit, at least feints back and forth towards that conclusion, showing some alternate ideas even as they get shot down through logic. It’s a nice recognition of how the story had written itself into a corner, and how the characters involved would react.
So what’s left when you remove the obvious? As it turns out, still quite a bit of material. The attack of the magic-wielding heroes against the Kryptonians is fun. The conclusion shows us once more how even with Pa Kent gone, how he’s still an influence on Superman, and it’s a small touch like that which I think really shows how well Johns understands the character. And the two epilogues? I almost hate to say that they’re the most interesting thing about the book, but they’re both sharp springboards that definitely are looking ahead to all sorts of interesting storylines in our future.
Pete Woods’ and Renato Guedes’ pencils complement each other pretty well here; they both draw those rich faces that shine so well on the page. There’s a scene towards the end where Clark begins to change to Superman that is so perfectly drawn that it feels almost like it should be a model sheet for future artists on the best way to make Superman look powerful. I’m still not crazy about how Superman seems to become a bit skinnier than we’re used to, but on the whole it’s an attractive book.
In the end, “New Krypton” succeeds as a good story, but it definitely lost a little bit of its punch towards the end; one or two less installments and I think it would have been fantastic from start to finish. As it is, it’s still very good and I’m glad I read it, but that wow factor from the first few issues just couldn’t make it to the conclusion. Then again, with all sorts of new wow events just around the corner as shown here, well, the good times are clearly going to keep on coming. With Johns taking some time off of “Action Comics” for the upcoming “Superman: Secret Origin” series, hopefully it won’t be long before we see the follow through.