Last time I reviewed this series, I praised the artwork of Pete Woods, basically saying that he’s too good for this series. The writing and the story don’t live up to its look.
Well, now we don’t even have much Pete Woods anymore, as Ron Randall has come in to provide either breakdowns for Wood to finish or finished art that’s his best attempt at aping Wood’s style. I can’t quite tell, but what is obvious is how drastically weaker the art gets after the first few pages. Instead of Wood’s statuesque characters boldly inhabiting an intricate environment, we get stiff poses and cluttered backgrounds, faces that look askew and compositions that lack energy. Ron Randall is a fine artist normally, but placed next to Pete Woods’ work, his stuff just doesn’t have enough spark to it. It’s journeyman work here. Forgettable.
So without the charm of the artistry, what are we left with in issue #11 of this 12-issue series? The first half of a “Law and Order” episode, on New Krypton. That’s about it. Not even a good “Law and Order” episode.
Even the promise of Adam Strange’s involvement — indicated on the cover image, and based on his increasing presence in previous issues — doesn’t actually lead to much. He’s just another character walking around asking questions. Another Anthony Anderson to tag along with Superman’s Jeremy Sisto.
The plot? Kryptonian Tam-Or is the prime suspect in a murder. General Zod doesn’t think he’s guilty. There’s a lot of talk about “analyzing the trajectory” and “the labor guild,” and there’s a plague to worry about. Of course, it’s all just a distraction from the main plot, which is about the political machinations involving Zod and the Council and trying to make Superman look like a traitor.
It’s excessively tedious, and after 11 issues of this kind of stuff, I can’t say I’m much looking forward to the finale. It would have to be pretty spectacular to make up for the drudgery of the bulk of this series.