Review: World of Krypton Back-Up Feature In Superman Annual #2
After being in the back pages of Action Comics for a few months, The World of Krypton back-up feature suddenly appeared in the back of Superman Annual #2. I wasn't expecting to see it here. It isn't even mentioned on the cover. I hope that people following this story know enough to look here if they want. This didn't seem to make sense to me, unless DC wants this story to be done prior to Greg Pak taking over Action. Maybe they needed to sneak in a chapter somewhere.
The sad thing here is that I had high hopes for this story when it first started. The wide eyed young Jor-El and the stern military cadet Lara was a sort of new take on the characters and seemed to capture some of the re-invigoration that the New 52 was supposed to do. In those early chapters, writer Frank Hannah seemed to capture the exuberance that these two young people brought to their very different lives.
Unfortunately, the story has taken something of a left hand turn and veered more towards the 'over the top' theatrics I have come to expect in the New 52. Instead of letting the characters carry the story, this has become a story driven by action. Worse, the young Jor-El has become a scientist engaging in mind control. And the young Lara has become an angry woman with a cavalier attitude towards killing. Suddenly we went to far afield with these character. Re-imagination is one thing. Re-writing characters completely is something else.
It also doesn't help that Philip Tan's slick art isn't on this story either.
Having escaped the Eradicator's troops, Lara and Jor-El head back to the science council to see if they can help.
I find it interesting that the head of the council says the Eradicator doesn't have many followers. This guy took over the capitol building. He has held it without much interference. He sent a troop ship to find Jor-El. This sounds like someone with a lot of followers.
I can feel that Hannah wants to bring some sort of 'opposites attract' feeling to Jor-El and Lara. But it doesn't work when I have to hear Jor-El defending the machine he built to 'persuade' people to thing creatively. I don't care what he thinks. That's mind control.
Now the Colonel wants to up the ante from persuasion to total control. Only Jor-El knows the machine that well.
Hmmm ... maybe coming here wasn't a bright idea.
I will say, the most sympathetic character here is Jax-Ur. He seems like a follower who got caught up with the wrong people. I don't get the sense he necessarily has bought into the Eradicator's ideas as much as got carried along with what he thought would be the winning side.
But he definitely has feelings for Lara and is willing to lie to save her. I do like that Lara won't give up her principles even if it means her death.
Captured, Jor-El is strapped to the 'harmonic resonator' and told to activate the Colonel's protocols.
I would like to think that Jor-El would rather die than enslave the planet. I suppose he could always use the machine to control the minds of the Colonel's men.
Anyways. It just feels like this story started out rather wondrous but the bloom is off the rose. Let's hope Hannah is able to pull off a miracle and have the ending recapture some of that earlier spirit.