Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Krypton Special - Field Guide and Preview Pages

Boy, the Supergirl news has come fast and furious this week with the release of the New Krypton Special tomorrow, sales quotes for September, January solicitations, and Smallville news. Looks like I will have a lot to talk about for the next week!

Since New Krypton is starting tomorrow I figured I better touch on that first. Newsarama has done a great job promoting the book with several articles about it. Here was the first, an interview with Geoff Johns about the book, which includes pages from all the super-title creative teams.
As usual, here is the link although I have cut out the important Kara stuff. Quotes in blue with my commentary in black. http://www.newsarama.com/comics/100820-Field-Guide-New-Krypton.html

Johns was asked about all the major players in the storyline and the first that was discussed was Zor-El and Alura.

1) Supergirl's parents are there. As they revealed to him in Action Comics #869, Zor-El and Alura were "saved" from Argo City, a remnant of Krypton that was preserved due to Zor-El and Alura re-creating Brainiac's force field over the city, by Brainiac. After the destruction of Krypton, he sensed his technology being used, tracked it down, and integrated it into Kandor, slaughtering anyone whose Kryptonian knowledge was redundant. Zor-El and Alura were the lucky ones. It was while Brainiac was attacking that Zor-El and Alura put Kara (Supergirl) into a rocket headed for earth. Johns said, "I wanted to tie Brainiac closer to both Superman and Supergirl and I felt Argo City's dome based on Brainiac's technology was an organic and logical step. I also wanted to create something, a boogieman of sorts, for Supergirl that she could struggle to overcome. James and I knew right away when we teamed-up on these books that Supergirl was going to be a major character in Action Comics and Superman. And with Sterling on Supergirl, I mean the reaction to his first issue was almost universally positive and I think for good reason. I love what he has planned for that book."

It is worth mentioning again that Johns was able to update the 'bubble city' of Argo to more modern sensibilities to bring a bit more Silver Age magic to current continuity.

And, of course, to hear Johns continue to talk up Supergirl is a good sign.

And points for those of you remembering the name "Zor-el" – he's the younger brother of Jor-el, Superman's father. Yes, one of "New Krypton"'s characters will be Superman's uncle. Note – yes, what comes here most likely supersedes anything that came before relating to Supergirl, Zor-el and Alura, even (especially) their villainous past and sending Kara to earth to kill Superman.

So ... finally .... mercifully ... the 'kill Kal-El' mad Zor-El seems to gone from Kara's history. In other venues, Jamal Igle has said that the prior origins and histories of Supergirl will be explained and not simply ignored. But I for one am glad to see that Zor-El go away.

And now the some of the other characters in New Krypton.

Of course, since this is a Superman storyline, Superman and Supergirl (and we hope Krypto) will play major roles in "New Krypton," but who else will we see?


Yeah, we mentioned her right there, but something that's worth considering is that she grew up on Krypton...well, in Argo City. Her views of culture and society are inherently Kryptonian. She's had massive problems fitting in with the heroes and people of earth. He parents are alive and living in Kandor. If hostilities start up and people are called upon to stand on one side of a line or another...where will she stand? "That's going to be an issue with Supergirl, obviously," said Johns, "And Sterling has his work cut out for him. Just as she's taken on the 'Linda Lang' identity and decided to give this human world a go, she no longer has to...but does she still want to?"

I think this is going to be the trickiest part for Gates/Igle. Why would Kara *not* want to go to New Krypton? She has struggled on Earth. She remembers and misses Krypton. Her family and friends are suddenly back alive. Why would she want to remain Linda Lang?

This is a tall order and I don't envy the new team for taking it on so soon in their run. I am intrigued to see how they pull it off.

Nightwing and Flamebird

Johns and company will be reviving two costumed heroes from the Silver Age in "New Krypton," too. Originally costumed identities the Silver Age Superman and Jimmy Olsen took on a visit to Kandor. The roles were later taken over by Van-Zee and Ak-Var, Kandorian citizens. Since then Superman and Lois have taken the names, as have Supergirl and Power Girl, along with any number of other characters. But you know what? Forget that. Just forget it – too much thinking about it (especially the circularity of how it all relates to Dick Grayson taking the name "Nightwing") will make your head explode. For "New Krypton" just know this – a new Nightwing and Flamebird were shown on the Alex Ross tryptch that serves as the covers to Superman #681, Action Comics #871 and Supergirl #35 - encompassing parts 2-4 of "New Krypton." Who they are in this newfound Kandor (a male Nightwing and female Flamebird) remains to be seen. "Nightwing and Flamebird were, again, characters James and I discussed at great length. Nightwing in particular. And Flamebird will actually have a direct tie to Supergirl," said Johns, "so you can look for her to appear in Sterling's Supergirl in the coming year as well."

I used to love those Nightwing and Flamebird stories in Superman Family. I especially remember some beautifully drawn issues by Marshall Rogers.

Anyways, a female Flamebird with direct ties to Supergirl. I would bet my mortgage it's Thara Ak-Var who Johns has already said in Action Comics #867 was in Kandor when it was shrunk. Thara was a character in Kandor in the Silver Age and was a friend of Kara then. It just makes too much sense. I will be shocked if it is not her.

Metallo and Reactron

Two Superman villains Johns has been hinting that will see some action in Action during "New Krypton." "Metallo is going to be reintroduced in the coming months," Johns said, "Along with the Parasite, he'll be one of the main characters Gary Frank and I will be working on beyond the 'New Krypton' story in 2009. I'm going to be delving into Metallo and Parasite much like I've tackled the Rogues in The Flash in Gary's next huge arc (details on that will be revealed soon, but one of the elements in it is going to be a dream come true). I'll be reintroducing Reactron after Luthor's gotten his hands on him in Action Comics #872. He was a minor Supergirl villain and since he was going to be used, I wanted to see him tied closer to Superman mythology. I came up with an idea I'm really psyched about – and Gary's done an absolutely incredible job on redesigning him." Added Johns, "He's going to be a great rogue for Supergirl."

I have been begging for a supporting cast and a rogues' gallery since this title started. I even went on record a while back asking for Reactron to become Supergirl's first rogue. I liked his appearances in Puckett's issues. And now it looks like he will become a recurring villain in her life. Hurray!

I will be interested in seeing the Gary Frank re-design. I did like the Drew Johnson version.


What? Again? DC has, over the years and for various reasons, sought to bring a Superwoman character into the fold, and it looks as if "New Krypton" will bring us another. Johns has said virtually nothing about her in appearances, and all we're going on is that she's in Ross' triptych, in a costume reminiscent of the "original" Superwoman from DC Comics Presents Annual #4. "I'll say something about Superwoman, Matt. When the idea of 'New Krypton' was floating around James and I knew we wanted to introduce a mysterious Superwoman. We came up with the idea of who that would be and why, and some specific beats in New Krypton and beyond, and then Sterling's is going to take that and run with it. I just read a scene in an upcoming issue of Supergirl that he wrote that was...unsettling," Johns teased. "I like Superwoman quite a bit and I think came up with some great plans for her. You need to read Supergirl if you're not if I haven't made that clear."

I had to highlight the last sentence. Johns is basically shouting it from the hillsides for people to read Supergirl. I am hoping that New Krypton brings in new and consistent readers.

As for Superwoman, we have covered this before. If it is Linda Danvers (and I don't think it is) I hope she is treated nicely. It worries me that the Superwoman cover is a villain cover. I don't want Linda as a villain. I love and respect her character too much.

I still say Lesla Lar if it is a reboot.You have to love how much publicity Supergirl has been getting.

Newsarama did also put up sneak peek pages at this link. http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?gid=669

The opening scene is of Pa Kent's funeral.

The floating leaf/Autumn theme ran through the Brainiac story arc so it is nice to see it continue here . It is artistic touches like these that bring these stories to the next level.

And there is Linda Lang in the front row of mourners, sitting next to Lana.

I am very excited about this storyline and it's impact on Kara. If the first issue is any indication, we are all in for a fun ride.

Lots more coming this week!


TalOs said...

Great job overall come all of that there, anj! :D

Man, TOO MANY great points you made to point out, I think i'll just limit it to saying that I too hope that the Kryptonian Flamebird in question here (who apparently has ties to Supergirl herself) will be Thara Ak-Var! What a nice surprise it would be as well as knowing that Supergirl's biological parents are alive and well as is Kara's best friend since childhood here too! :D

Lastly, yeah, i too also now more then before believe that our mysterious Superwoman will actually some how end up being PAD's Linda Danvers! As to HOW exactly DC will go abouts explaining this could possibly be when she's supposed to be in Reign in Hell instead time line wise here is anybodies guess at this stage. But in Johns and Gates I trust. Heh. :P

P.S.: the following is an ALL NEW interview conducted with Mr. Gates by Project Fanboy where he talks about not only his plans for Supergirl but Superman, as well as our here mysterious Superwoman at that too amongst others!

Here's the specific url link to it (NOTE: unfortunately be prepared to scroll side ways amidst it all):


Heath Edwards said...

its a new beginning for the super family, and i am very excited...