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Review Group: Superman: World of New Krypton #1

Written by John Martin on Tuesday, March 10 2009 and posted in Reviews
This week, the Review Group follows Superman to New Krypton and debates the most serious of subjects along the way: Ruckbinson vs. Rocka.

The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together each week to discuss comics and post our reviews for a comic that we each take turns selecting.  Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s Newstand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

Mr. Batman had the pick for new comics shipping March 4th and he selected Superman: World of New Krypton #1 by James Robinson, Greg Rucka, Pete Woods and Brad Anderson.  What does the group think of Supes' new status quo?  Let's take a look...

Review by Mr. Black

I thought that Superman: World of New Krypton (aka, Superman Gets a Job) was a decent read for a first issue. Robinson and Rucka have a firm grasp of who Superman is and what makes him tick. It has been interesting to see Superman finally come face to face with his Kryptonian heritage and realize that it is not the idealized world he imagined it to be.

In this issue, Superman takes up Alura's offer to turn his back on Earth and live permanently on New Krypton. Superman's first job on New Krypton is to find a job, or, rather, choose a guild. Guilds are generally determined based on one's parents, but because Superman's parents belonged to different guilds, and because Superman was not raised on Krypton, Alura gives him the option of choosing his own guild. Robinson and Rucka take some time to flesh out this aspect of Kryptonian society as part of the story, and we finally get an explanation for the different clothing that the people wear, all of which harkens back to the different interpretations of Kryptonian garb by several artists over the decades: the different clothes are guild uniforms. We are also treated to a cool scene where Superman establishes that while his powers may not be unique among his fellow Kryptonians, he is still more than a match for any individual resident of New Krypton given his vastly greater experience using his abilities.

The conclusion of the issue is no big shock given what we've seen from future solicits, but it puts Superman in a very interesting situation. One of the things I have enjoyed about the New Krypton story arc is that I really have no idea where the authors are taking this story, or how they plan to resolve the problems facing Superman, his fellow Kryptonians, and the Earth. I see a lot of promise in this issue, and given the caliber of the writers involved, I plan to stick with it._______________
Review by guitarsmashley

So I haven't read a Superman comic since around Infinite Crisis, I think? I don't know what’s happened in the time Johns and Donner wrote or any of the Busiek stuff so I really have no idea what’s happened leading up to this issue. I'm really confused because I don't know if I want to try to hunt down issues or even keep reading. What I will say is how surprised I was by the book.

First the easy, The Art-I can't remember if I've read very much Pete Woods and I'll say it's quite good. He seems to be a pretty adept artist at conveying a story and really does a good job moving from panel to panel.

The Story- Not what I expected at all, a page of action which isn't always a good first issue or even the set up of coming action, well with the eventual conflict with Zod will happen. What’s interesting about this issue is it's written almost like a Batman book. Superman is very much playing the detective seeing the way the Kryptonians struggle with their powers and how maybe he can eventually exploit them. At least that’s what I believe the set up is. I don't know if I'll be adding Superman any time soon but I might pick up a trade to test the waters. All in all this was a pretty decent issue so I give it a 7.

Review by starlord

I was going to actually put this in my column this week, but I'll do it here instead.

In one simple word: "and..." I've been looking forward to this part of the New Krypton Arc for a while now. Robinson and Rucka are two of my favorites. It's also very hard to judge a first issue in most cases since it is mostly set up. But this issue left me thinking, "... and..."

Nothing that we probably didn't see coming. Still, I find the concept of this story to be fascinating, and I'm still sold on it. The art is very nice as well.

Having stuck through Superman for a while now, I have a lot invested in this story, so I'm here for the duration. However, if I was a brand new reader jumping on, I'd probably be less them impressed.

Story: 6
Art: 8

My Score: 7

Review by Punchy

Story - Much to my surprise, I liked this a lot. The set-up of this book is playing with elements of the Superman mythos which I dislike, it's looking at his alien, Kryptonian nature, and the things I find interesting about Superman are the Earth-based elements, how he was adopted by Humans, and the Daily Planet stuff, in my eyes, he is Clark Kent, not Kal-El, so a whole series where he becomes Kryptonian and embraces his Kal-ness is not appealing to me. But Rucka and Robinson do a good job in setting up this world, Superman is not comfortable here, and he shouldn't be, this is an alien culture to him, and I loved his questioning of things that all other Kryptonians take as read, and how his basic humanity shines though, as shown by his interactions with Tyr-Van, but still, he insists he is called Kal, his name is Clark dammit! One thing I found interesting about this issue is who Greg Rucka and James Robinson's individual voices merged to create what we have here, there is none of their usual tics, like unconventional, flowery narration, or hard-bitten lesbians (at least not yet), and what we had here was rather straight-forward stuff really, closer to what we get from Geoff Johns. But they were a late appointment to this series, and I wonder if we'll see more of their voices appear in later issues. Overall, this was a strong set up to the series, planting the seeds for a lot of interesting stories Ruckbinson can explore, I particularly like the Labor Guild plotline, Superman going back to his roots and fighting for the oppressed! And also, this new Zod, although a shameless rip from the movies, is the best version of Zod we've seen, and I want to see if he really has changed and is no longer interested in ruling Earth. So yeah, it was nothing flashy, but it made me able to stomach some aspects of Superman I couldn't before, and is an adequate replacement for Superman not being in his actual books.

Art - I'm a big fan of Pete Woods, I think he's got a unique and interesting style, which is perfect for Superman, as he illustrated one of the best Superman stories in a long while in 'Up, Up, And Away!' (The OYL arc by Johns and Busiek) His line-work is strong, and the faces are expressive. Importantly, his Superman is tough and imposing, yet still human, he's the next best thing if we can't have Gary Frank (who's cover is awesome), is Brad Anderson a new colorist for Woods? It seemed better than usual here, a little darker, a sometimes (Amazons Attack) Woods' art is colored too brightly, but here, it's better.

Best Line - 'You're all new to your powers. But me? -- I've had a lifetime to master them'


Review by Kid Impulse

A lot better than I expected. I was really annoyed that Johns and Robinson made me understand and love Kal-El, only to take him out of his own books, but this is what I'm after, a strong, confident Superman. I like the idea of putting him on NK for a while as it's a really interesting conflict between his two sides and the whole 'Who's disguising as who?' argument. The story here was cool, and I didn't feel like I needed to read any of the other triangle books to understand it, I'd like to see it stay that way, but I doubt I'm going to keep buying, mainly for monetary reasons. It's going to be really interesting not only seeing Kal in the military, but under Zod's command. Pete Woods' art is good, but I've seen him do better, there seems to be a DC style coming around with artists like Woods, Igle, Williams, Batista etc who all draw kinda doughy faces. I like it though, it's just nothing wowing

Story - 7
Art - 6
Overall - 7

Review by Sire v 2.0

Hmmm well let me start with the easy stuff, the art is great I love me some Rucka.

Story wise I am torn, judging this by its own merits its a great story and I am interested to see where it leads, but I can't fully put out of my mind that there are way to many Kryptonians. The only way I can semi enjoy it is by telling myself one day they will either depower them, or send them to another universe or something. I dunno I will just have to be patient and see.

But for now I am very much interested in a world of Superman, and I hope we get to see Chris again.

But by god they better depower or lose these people somehow!

Overall - 8

Review by thefourthman

To say the least, while I like the idea of this book, I am unhappy with its execution.

Story 4
Art 6
Overall 5

Review by SuperginraiX

It turns out that New Krypton is full of jerks. I mean, to the brim. For those that have been following the whole New Krypton storyline, that's not news. There are few Kryptonians that anyone would actually like and those seem to be the ones that are getting killed or have been left on Earth.

That makes this a very unsure world for Clark Kent to interact with. He's no longer the defacto strongest guy on the planet. He's the most experienced, but that gap will be closing quickly. So what makes Superman cool when everyone has the same powers as he does?

Well, that's the question, isn't it? What's wrong with a world full of Supermen and women? They might be more interesting than Kal-El.

So, it's a good thing they're all jerks.

What this book does very well is isolate Clark and make us learn why he's actually cool. Well, as cool as you can make Superman. New Krypton is a great idea and it's one that I actually hope DOESN'T go away. Clark doesn't need to be the last son of Krypton because he's already completely unique from his fellow Kryptonians. It'll be interesting seeing how this all plays out and I'm happy to see that Superman didn't shed a single tear all issue. It's almost like DC is learning!

I dig the art and colors. I'm a fan of the costumes and the architecture. I expect Superman to shine in future issues. Maybe I'm being naive. Still, I've been enjoying the New Krypton storyline this far in and I'm still hoping for that money moment where Clark is able to show his people just how much better than them he is. C'mon DC. Give me that moment.

For now, we're seeing alliances form and tension like you wouldn't believe. Our little Kal-El is going to either bring change (and possibly hope!) to his people or watch them be destroyed.

Either way, it's interesting enough to stayed tuned in for now.

And if you haven't guessed: yes. I like Superman better than Batman. <_<

Superman: World of New Krypton, you get a shiny 8 out of 10. I'll see you next month.

Review by amlah6

Considering how long I've been reading comics, I've read relatively few Superman comics. Mostly the big blue Boy Scout just doesn't do much for me. However, I had up until recently been reading quite a few Superman books starting with Geoff Johns' run on Action and Superman itself once James Robinson took over. Robinson's stuff was good, but Johns' stuff was fantastic and as a result I was all in for the New Krypton crossover. It started out strong, but midway through I was starting to burn out and the upcoming solicits didn't seem to hold much that interested me beyond James Robinson's name being attached so I dropped all of the Superman books at the end of New Krypton. Leave it to the Review Group to give me one last chance at buying in to the post-New Krypton status quo. Laughing

Maybe having just dropped the Superman books is clouding my judgment, but I didn't enjoy this much at all. For whatever reason the concept of Superman living on a world with nothing but other Supermen doesn't interest me in the least. It completely separates him from what I find most interesting about the character... his supporting cast. I'm sure there was probably something to justify his motivations for leaving Earth in the 'triangle' books I missed, but not having any background on why Clark would leave Earth is something of a mystery here and I'm not sure it's supposed to be. The 'triangle' may say 16, but this was still World of New Krypton #1. A simple recap page would have been helpful. About the only thing in the issue I did like was the reference to Chris. I'm sure Clark will find him at some point in the series, but I'm not willing to stick around and wait to see when that is.

Pete Woods is a really good fill in artist. As the primary artist however, I find him somewhat underwhelming. Technically, his layouts are solid and he can tell a story. Aesthetically though, I don't care much for figures and his lines feel chunky and unrefined. While I can't find much fault to Brad Anderson's colors, they don't add much to the story either.

Story: 4
Art: 6
Overall: 5

Review by Chubbles

Ok so now I remember why I dropped all Superman books. I followed the New Krypton arc from the beginning all the way thru the part where the Kryptonians up and left with no explanation. I vowed to not let any Superman stories suck me in only to be let down by the ending. This issue is another perfect example of why I dropped the titles. Since when does Superman give up on Earth? Why is he abandoning earth? Last issue I read he was fighting his aunt to bring some bad guys to justice for committing a crime and now all of a sudden he shows up and his aunt welcomes him home and says basically "now lets get you a job". Out of nowhere it seems he's abandoned his home and his friends to come out and hang with these people who outright broke Earths laws and are under the military command of damn ZOD of all people?!?! Totally unbelievable. Art wasn't anything spectacular either. Story was even worse. I really dislike this whole New Krypton thing now and am glad I am no longer being sucked in. Also, why the hell are they still using the triangle numbering? I thought this was like a 12 or 13 issue thing, but now we're up 16????

Story 3
Art 4.5
Overall 3.75

As of press time, that gives Superman: World of New Krypton #1 an average score of 6.53.  Ruckbinson and Woods garnered some positive vibes this week, but still left a few members feeling cold.guardians11.jpg

For further discussion about this issue and our reviews, feel free to join us in this week's thread ( found in the Newstand forum where you are also invited to join the group by posting your own review.

SuperginraiX has the pick for March 11th and he has selected Guardians of the Galaxy #11 from Marvel Comics.  Look for the new thread that will be available Wednesday morning to join in on the fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Pencils: Wesley Craig
Colors: Wil Quintana

THE STORY: If Captain Marvel is no more, how is he here? With War of Kings about to explode across the galaxy, two of the Guardians face death itself! Drax and Quasar journey beyond the veil of life in a desperate quest to find Moondragon. But what is waiting for them on the other side, and will it ever let them return? It’s a double shot of cosmic horror – that plants the seeds for where GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is heading next!



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