Monday, March 12, 2012

Argo City - DCnU

I have been reviewing the history of Argo City in its various incarnations. Today is the final chapter, as I review what little we know of Argo City in the DCnU.

So how much of Argo's history have Michael Green and Mike Johnson chosen to keep intact? And how much do we simply not know yet. Both the Silver Age and the Modern Age history of Argo City was covered in a page or so of story.  But this Supergirl's origin is still a mystery. So there is much about Argo's fate that has yet to be revealed.

All this has been revealed over the last couple of month's in Supergirl.

In Supergirl #5, Supergirl flies into deep space to the coordinates of Argo City and finds the city in orbit around a blue sun.

It definitely looks to be the silent floating graveyard that we have seen in the Silver Age version of the city.
There is no dome here. I do like the wisps of atmosphere over the city, showing some remnants of atmosphere.

There are a lot of questions to be answered here. How did the city get here? What happened to it? And who put up the stargate that leads from Argo to Earth and vice-versa.

But it is clear the ground isn't Kryptonite. Supergirl is able to explore the city and finds it abandoned.

So if we assume that Krypton exploded more than 2 decades ago, then the city has been in space for that long. But how long has it been abandoned? When did everyone die? With the planet's destruction? Shortly thereafter? Years later? And, the question that I keep coming back to, where are all the bodies?

Thanks to the sun crystal, we get some more history.

In the DCnU, Zor-El creates a forcefield and an atmosphere machine he hopes will save the city. But this isn't a weather dome. And it isn't outright said to be Brainiac tech. It might just be Zor-El's smarts that made it.

But there's more.

 The force dome is still too risky for Zor-El. So to protect her, he puts Kara into a protective pod. It isn't a rocket! It's a pod. So we don't know who sent the pod towards Earth. The last survivor of Argo?

I just like to throw this in ... what does Zor-El hope Kara will learn the truth about?

Is there more to his successful saving of city than he is revealing? Is it how he created the dome that he hopes she discovers? Something about his saving the city? Or something else entirely about his research?

Zor-El gets assassinated in the next panel ... so it is therefore implied that he died on Krypton. Not on Argo!  Zor-El not being in the city to help lead the survivors is a big change from the prior Argo City's (assuming he didn't live to see the city get ripped away).

So some some more info about the city is then revealed by an unlikely source. Reign tracked the city and found it beneath a broken force field, its atmosphere gone, and the population dying.

But there are more questions raised here.

What broke the field? Meteors like in the Silver Age? Brainiac like in the Modern Age? Or something new?

More importantly, when did Reign find the city? Recently? Years ago? How long has Argo been a dead city?

And if Reing came down and saw the dying population, where are they?  Maybe just aren't not shown in the comic? Or are they buried? Or somewhere else?

I still wonder if some of them are somewhere else, in a 'Survival Zone'-like Dimension. Part of that feeling is this vision of Zor-El and Alura, which seems like so much more than a vision. But if Zor died on Krypton from that shot to the chest, this seems impossible.

But then Argo City falls into sun. So there won't be a sort of permanent gravestone for Krypton any more.

So, in review, the DCnU Argo City maintained some of the key elements of the prior incarnations.

The El family saved the city by creating a force field and an atmosphere machine. The city is flung from Krypton's destruction city and the people survived. And the destruction of force field (however it happened) was key to its disaster.

But there are some differences or unanswered questions as well.
Was Zor-El in the city?
What destroyed the dome?
How long ago did Reign see the dying population?
Where are the bodies?
Who shot the Kara's pod to Earth and  who set up the star gates?

So there is definitely a sort of new shine on the old origin. But we need to learn more.

I tried to get some advance information. On Twitter I asked Mike Johnson if he could tease something about this new Argo. He said "Hmmm. How about 1) it's gone 2) we haven't seen the last of it"

My guess is we will learn more about the city via flashbacks.

So Argo City has had a relatively stable story in all its incarnations with some key changes to reflect the times. I have enjoyed this little research project a lot.


Gustavo Delamarques said...


Argocub said...

What is disappointing is that they got rid of the city fast,it would have been cool if they just left it circling the blue sun and use it for future stories.

I have yet to pick up this issue but i am glad they re-introduce the city as sort of a homage to the '59 version.

I have a theory,Could it be that someone in the city transported the people into a survive zone,i mean since Kara didn't get affected when she landed and there wer no signs of meteors around the city.

As for Zor-El's death i am betting its one of the Scientists or Alura who pulled the trigger.