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Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
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for Thursday, August 27, 2009

Superman: World of New Krypton

I'm throwing you a change up on my "New Krypton" reviews since the four titles are pretty much doing their own thing as of "Month Six" of the extended storyline. Today, I'm looking at Superman: World of New Krypton #1-5 (DC; $2.99 each).

Co-written by James Robinson and Greg Rucka with art by Pete Woods, World of New Krypton is the strongest of the titles. I have had misgivings about Superman's less-than-forceful behavior in the earlier chapters of the storyline, but, in this series, he sets the standard for being *the* honorable hero. DC readers and management should not accept less from the company's first - and when handled correctly - greatest hero.

Superman comes to New Krypton to openly embrace his Kryptonian heritage while secretly working to bring the murderers of several Metropolis police officers to justice. Despite the secret part of his mission, he has still managed to inspire his people to follow a better path than the one being charted by the human-hating Alura and the warlike General Zod. Indeed, Alura is more layered in this series than in Supergirl, where she basically chews scenery like the villainess in a bad soap opera. Even Zod, while certainly following his own agenda, is forced to recognized that Superman is a noble agent of peaceful change.

It never set right with me that John Byrne, when revamping the Man of Steel in the 1980s, chose to recast Krypton as a dismal and largely loveless planet. Like too many comics creators, he was taking his cues from Hollywood...almost always a mistake as I see it. Robinson and Rucka have taken that misstep and used it as the basis for a more complicated Kryptonian society, a society that has its good points and its bad points. The latter outweigh the former at present, but Superman's presence is already beginning to change that as well.

The key to good Superman comics - and good Batman comics and good Wonder Woman comics and so on - is to create them around a hero we can admire and for whom we can cheer and whose goodness we can aspire to emulate. That's what Robinson and Rucka are giving us in World of New Krypton.

Supporting that welcome heroic concept, Superman: World of New Krypton #1-5 also offer readers plentiful and surprising plot developments and truly remarkable Pete Woods art. It's a great series and earns the full five out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony Tony

Reviews of Action Comics, Supergirl, and Superman will be coming your way in future TOTs.



Ice Cream City

I have been slowly going through my old TOT files with an eye towards finding amusing or informative or thoughtful bits to share with you. Here's an item from August of 2004, lifted from Chuck Shepard's "News of the Weird":
Among the ice cream flavors offered recently at Ice Cream City in Namco Nanja Town in Tokyo's Toshimaku (posted on the website of the English-language Mainichi Daily News) are these:

spinach, garlic, tomato, seaweed, oyster, red wine, goat, chicken, lettuce and potato, wheat, shark fin, and something called "raw horse flesh."

Japanese Ice Cream Flavors

No wonder Godzilla visits so often. My mouth is watering just thinking about these taste sensations.

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

Tony Isabella

<< 08/26/2009 | 08/27/2009 | 08/28/2009 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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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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