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for Monday, August 17, 2009

Action Comics 872

DC's "New Krypton" storyline is running in Superman, Action Comics, and Supergirl. I'm reviewing this storyline in its entirety, but, because it'll be necessary for me to discuss plot details in doing so, most of my "New Krypton" reviews will be prefaced with big honking spoiler warnings. Like this...


Under the direct orders of Alura, Supergirl's mother, super-powered citizens of New Krypton invaded America and seized various enemies of Superman. In one such assault, they killed several policemen.

If you read my last batch of reviews, you know this concerned me. For one thing, though she was not involved in the actual killing, Supergirl was a willing participant in the felony acts of which the killings were a foreseeable consequence. Supergirl is guilty of murder...and Superman seemed to lack any understanding of the big picture, demanding only that the Kryptonians who committed the murders be taken into custody. Nice going, Man of Steel. You just provided just cause for General Sam Lane and Lex Luthor to declare war on all Kryptonians.

In Action Comics #872 [$2.99], Alura basically tells Superman to go pound salt. While they argue, Lane and Luthor launch a two-pronged attack. They use Brainiac to open pods in his ship that contain an army of nasty killer robots - the ship is in the possession of the Kryptonians - and trick the aliens into bringing Metallo and Reacton into their city. Reacton is powered by gold kryptonite, which removes the powers of Kryptonians for 15 seconds. Long enough to kill them.

Writer Geoff Johns delivered a solid script. It's exciting. It made me feel more sympathetic towards Superman's confusing lack of resolve. It featured the returns of Ultra the Multi-Alien and the Creature Commandoes; now that's vintage Silver and Bronze Age gold. It even packs one heck of a cliffhanger punch as Zor-El, Supergirl's father, falls victim to Reacton. With terrific art by Pete Woods, it made me eager to continuing reading a storyline I'd considered dropping.

Action Comics #872 picks up an impressive four out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony

Supergirl 36

Supergirl #36's "Death in the House of El" is notable for several emotionally powerful scenes and the outstanding art for Jamal Igle (pencils) and Keith Champagne (inks). Writer Sterling Gates shows great promise, but he writes Alura and Cat Grant as over-the-top soap opera witches. Every time they get their bitch on, I feel my eyes rolling involuntarily. On the plus side, the introduction of Superwoman and a brief guest appearance by the new Nightwing and Flamebird are intriguing.

Supergirl #36 continues the title's steady improvement and so picks up three out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony

Superman 683

Month three of "New Krypton" concludes with Superman #683 [$2.99] by James Robinson with art by Renato Guedes and Jorge Correa Jr. The Guardian, a dozen super-heroes, and a contingent of Science Police come to Kandor to demand the city surrender those responsible for the murders of police officers and prison guards. That's heroism, facing down impossible odds - 100,000 Kryptonians, all with super-powers. Meanwhile, Superman continues to be a whiny boy about how he can work this out peacefully...even as Alura talks about how inferior mankind is. Wake up and smell the coffins, Clark. Your people declared war; you need to man up and oppose them. God I hope he's being mind-controlled.

Great writing, great art, a spiffy scene for Black Lightning, and a cool last page. That earns Superman #683 four Tonys. Let's hope Superman comes to his senses next month. Doing what's right is supposed to be his thing.

Tony Tony Tony Tony

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

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Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.

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