The Superman event of 2008 begins here. Following the Brainiac storyline and continuing forward, this special sets the stage for the Superman family of titles through the end of this year and into the early part of 2009.
This story is the start of many things for Superman as well as the sad closing of another chapter. Jonathan Kent is laid to rest in the initial pages of this issue and from there, Clark finds himself at the crossroads we all face when we encounter mortality. This theme raises its head repeatedly throughout the issue and undoubtedly will continue to do so in issues to come.
Of equal importance are the new developments cropping up in Smallville, Metropolis, and the Arctic. The city of Kandor has been released from its bottle and expanded, freeing 100,000 Kryptonians to discover the glory of powers granted by a yellow sun. The mysterious shadow commander who has sent Agent Assassin to trail Superman is revealed. Lex Luthor enters back into the picture and Brainiac continues to be a threat. Any one of these stories would certainly fuel a Superman title for a year or more. The fact that Johns, Robinson and Gates have three titles wherein to play these stories out promises a few great reads in the months to come.
The art on this issue is by the regular artist for both “Action Comics” and “Superman” -— Gary Frank (with Jon Sibal) and Renato Guedes (with Wilson Magalhaes) respectively, plus the bonus addition of Pete Woods. Without belaboring the point, the book is a visual spectacle. Editor Matt Idelson did a brilliant job in assigning each artist the most fitting pages as well. The only thing missing on the art side of this story is Jamal Igle.
Geoff Johns had promised a major story in the life of everyone’s favorite Kryptonian, much in the vein of last year’s “Sinestro Corps War”. So far, I’d say Johns is spot on. This story has been on the radar of Superfans for a while now, and the three writers have discussed (as in Baltimore with Jamal Igle) to an adoring public as often as they can. One thing will definitely set this apart from “Sinestro Corps” though, and once more, Superfans are going to appreciate this. With this issue, the stories in the Superman family of titles will once more carry the Shield Numbering —- an outline of the famous “S”-shield with a chapter number identifying each issue right on the cover.
“Superman: New Krypton” brings the two worlds together in a way that promises boundless potential and I would like to think the characters on the page and the creators responsible for those characters are ready to deliver. I strongly urge any borderline Superman reader to put back one of those summer event books and grab a copy of this book. Even though it may not seem action-packed, this title accomplishes a lot and it offers a great starting point for the next year of Super reading.