Friday, May 13, 2022

Review: World Of Krypton #6

Work and life in general has been hectic here so I am just catching up on comic reviews. 

Today I'll look at World of Krypton #6 by Robert Venditti and Michael Avon Oeming, an issue which came out 2 weeks ago.

This is the last issue of this mini-series. And let's admit it, as readers we all knew where this was going. There ends with the destruction of Krypton. That's the origin.

And yet, the creators do something interesting, at least for me. I assumed we would be ending this mini-series with a classic shot of Jor-El and Lara looking up as a rocket streaks away from the exploding planet. After all, I just said that is where this story ends. Instead, Venditti ends this mini-series a bit more open-ended. Yes, the planet will explode. But there is still some time left, some stories unsaid. As I have enjoyed this mini-series, it left me clamoring a bit for more. Always a good sign.

I also think that Venditti has done a good job mining the past, picking up pieces of the established history that work, and then crafting this fresh take on things. The mirrors into our own current world are there, no doubt, but not presented in a preachy way. This is more a parable of frankly where we are in the world today. 

Oeming's art is an acquired taste but it has grown on me throughout the series. The use of electronic panel borders still works for me, giving this a feel for some discovered found footage file by Kal on Earth. His sassy young Kara continues to amaze me. And the action sequences, and there are many in this violent filled finale, flow well with palpable strikes.

I am sad to see this series end and wouldn't mind seeing these creators hook up again. Maybe for an old-fashioned 'Tales from Krypton' back-up in one of the Superman books?

I'd be remiss if I didn't include a shot of the variant cover by Cat Staggs showing Kara holding baby Kal. I assumed we would see this sort of thing in the series as well but we just never get there.

I will point out that the outfit Kara is wearing is Staggs' design for the Smallville book. Just a great variant.

On to the story specifics.

We start with Zor-El, Alura, and Kara leaving a concert. Alura is talking about the moving renditions of songs. But Zor-El is distracted. He shouldn't be wasting time on frivolities. He should be looking for a Safety Zone. 

Unfortunately, the family is caught in the middle of an all out riot as protestors storm the nearby military/police compound. Zod's fascism has mobilized the people.

There is a lot I love about this scene, especially as a Supergirl fan.

Showing us how Kara was exposed to culture like this and Alura's discussions really enhance my perception of her as the true receptacle of Krypton's history now on Earth. That is just great. And there is no eye-rolling here. I think this also leans into the precocious feel the book has given Supergirl.

Zor-El being so obsessed with the Safety Zone also reminds me of the darker takes on Zor-El we have seen in the recent past, another nice wrinkle Venditti brings here. I can imagine him as the morally gray Zor from the New 52.

There was something almost 'Wayne Family' about this scene as the family is leaving an art show only to be thrust into a violent situation they have no connection to. 

And lastly, the 'peaceful protestors' attacking a police station with violent outcomes on both ends certainly feels like todays USA.

Love Oeming's take on Kara.

Last issue ended with Jor-El confronting his old friend General Zod about the horrific rule that Zod had imposed on the planet. 

Both of them are trying to save the planet but in very different ways. And Jor-El knows the end is now inevitable. It shouldn't be lived under martial law.

As I said last issue, Jor fighting in a version of Superman's costume reminds me of the old 'Thomas Wayne wore a Batman costume' story.

But this is an allegory. This is what happens when two sides decide to entrench rather than work together. Nothing good can happen. 

During the protest, Kara gets separated from her family. 

When she is found, she is injured.

I love this scene. Throughout this book, Zor's love and devotion to Kara has been ever-present. 

He almost apologizes for how terrible the planet has been to her. I just love it. 

You might remember that earlier in the series, Jor-El and Zod fought and Zod basically humiliated Jor-El. Then, I thought that made perfect sense. The scientist shouldn't beat up the soldier. I even mentioned the beginning of Man of Steel as feeling wrong. 

The story is different this time. Now Jor-El seems to have the upper hand, taking down Zod.

Is the armor somehow enhancing? Has Jor been training? Has Zod been getting flabby as he has ruled? Some combination?

But I like how Jor-El is still extending his hand in friendship. The world is ending either because of what the people have done or nature. These two should be friends. The world should end in peace.

I love the nobility of Jor here. Between Jor and Pa Kent, you can see how Superman became Superman. I might also say this flies in the face of the more recent bitter, evil Mr. Oz.

Zod still not backing down. 

In a further skirmish, Jor-El ends up sending Zod to the Phantom Zone. Disgusted with himself and how he got there, Jor smashes the projector and knees defeated.

How did a peaceful scientist end up in a brawl and condemning his friend to the painful existence of the Zone?

It again shows how all of these horrible political and societal conditions have led to the erosion of civility. This isn't who Jor-El wants to be. But this is who he has become.

Just a great panel by Oeming. 

Crestfallen, he slinks home to Lara.

There is no hope. The planet is going to explode. In months or a year, there is no stopping it. 

But Lara has been working in secret. She has found Earth, a place for their son to represent their people. To represent hope. 

This is the scene I was expecting to see, albeit with a rocket in the distance.

So now my mind has to do some work. Lara is still pregnant. Kara looks like she is around 12. So are we years away? Is Kal an infant or a toddler when he is sent away? And really ... does it matter? 

Overall I liked this issue and this series. It certainly kept some of the major elements of this well-trod intact while giving a sort of fresh angle of political unrest.  As I said above, give me some more Krypton history from this team. I'd be on board.

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

Jor does tell Lara the world has a year at best, so let’s hope Kal is born pretty soon.

So in trying to punish Zod, Kal actually saved him. How ironic >choke<.

I agree, this was a great mini-series, my initial apathy vanished as I was drawn into the creators’ vision. And yes to more.

Anonymous said...

Hello from a french fan of supergirl,

I appreciate the choice of ending because it says krypton still exists. When we see the planet exploded, we know it's the end while there, there is a more important message of hope.

Anonymous said...

It was pretty much anticlimax to me, Kara’s poor head resumed its normal proportions but the figure work was second rate overall...ending the mini with a fistfight that somehow foreshadows Krypton’s End just struck me as a bit of a misfire as far as storytelling. on the other hand I could really get behind a mini that delved into Kara’s preadolescent life on Krypton, I think there is a lot of material there if the right creatives Are involved.