Monday, March 7, 2022

Review: World Of Krypton #4

World of Krypton #4 came out this week, the beginning of the back half of the mini-series. And things are getting heated. I am really liking how this tale is unfolding, mixing in classic Superman history with some new elements. For me, the thing that feels very new for me is the overall timeline. Unlike prior stories where it felt like the discovery that Krypton was going to explode happened shortly before the cataclysm. Here it seems like years. And that gives us more time to let the storylines breathe a little.

Writer Robert Venditti definitely is mining current events here on our Earth and using Krypton as an allegory. Krypton is over populated. The people are using dangerous amounts of energy. As a result the environment and the very planet itself is about to reach the brink. The Els carry hope in their hearts, that when the people are notified of the changes that need to happen, that they will comply. The Zods are warriors, used to fighting to survive, and decide that the people must be forced to comply to new rules. Both men want Krypton to survive. It's the means that differ. And we see that emphasized here.

Michael Avon Oeming continues to bring an interesting take on the proceedings. As I have said, the panels look like computer screens making this feel like I am watching a history tape of the events. He has a definite style but I like the fisticuffs he brings us here, good movement. He also brings us a great young Kara.

This is a Supergirl blog. As a side plot, Zor-El working to save his daughter apart from Jor-El leans into Supergirl history and that makes me happy. This isn't the New 52 Zor-El, drugging his daughter and sending her away. This isn't the Loeb Supergirl sent to Earth to kill Kal-El. This is a loving father trying to save his child. Wonderful.

Really enjoying this so far. On to the particulars.

Both Dru_Zod and Jor-El know the planet is dying. 

Zod asks for a team-up. With their combined influence, Zod's plan to save the planet through force will work. He will impose cutbacks to bring down the consumption and destruction of the planet. And Zod hopes there will be some rebellion. This way he can squash it and stop others from doing it.

Jor recognizes it as tyranny. He'll change people's minds with words not clubs.

I don't know how these two could be friends. Maybe colleagues.

When Jor refuses, the veneer of civility disappears from Zod.

Moral appeals won't work for Zod.

He shoves Jor, perhaps accidentally.

But you can see, just in these panels how unhinged Zod is. 

Incensed, Jor decides to fight back.

This might be my favorite scene. Jor-El swinging wildly while Zod dodges and slides away from the blows. Love the verbal sound effects.

It reminded me of how much I hated in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel that 'action scientist' Jor-El beat the snot out of Zod in a fistfight. There is no way that should happen.

In fact, in this book, after Jor gets his swings, Zod decides to fight back. Only he uses things like open handed slaps, a sort of way to show just how outmatched Jor is. Juat perfect.

Finally, Lara intervenes. She won't have this happen in her house. 

And she won't let Zod get away with it.

She slaps him.

Great art here. You can feel the surprise and the sting of this.

Okay, this is probably my favorite scene.

With the schism between the Els and the Zods, Jor hits the airwaves asking everyone to tighten their belt a little to save the world. He believes in the people of the world.

Look at precocious Kara wondering why her uncle is on the news. She is told it is an adult thing and sulks off. She isn't a baby. 

A precocious, sort of sassy Kara who probably understands what is happening is a great take on the character. And I love Oeming giving her the side eyes to her parents.

In response to Jor-El's pleas from the world's population, Zod decides to enact his own plans.

It is time for military austerity to be imposed. 

His first step? To put all the prisoners on Krypton into the Phantom Zone, regardless of crime, for good. Knowing what we know of the torturous existence in the Zone in this story, that is about as evil as you can get. But to Zod, less population means a lesser drain on resources. And to him, the prisoners by breaking the law have forfeited their rights.

That last panel, Zod cloaked in shadows and scowling is brilliant. But even his flying discs evoke the visual of whips, like someone lashing a people into submission. 

In the classic DC Silver Age, Zor-El and Alura ultimately survive by casting themselves into the Survival Zone, a more hospitable dimension similar to the Phantom Zone. 

Here, we see that despite Jor-El's plans to save the world, Zor-El continues to work on this side project. Zor is a father. He won't let Kara die. 

I am intrigued by Alura's concern. Should Zor's work be discovered it could undermine Jor's efforts. Will this come to pass in this book? Will this diminish the hope people have in Jor's work if his own brother is looking for a life raft of sorts?

But Zor's love of Kara and his need to save her and beautifully written and rendered here. I am glad we are getting this story here as well. Kara is a big part of the super-family. We should see her history too! And Venditti including the continuity of the Survival Zone in this current timeline thrills me.

But Zor's thoughts that Jor-El won't understand his concerns because Jor isn't a father is going to be wrong soon. Lara has been to the doctor.

Great plot points. Great character points. Love the contrast of Jor-El and Dru-Zod. Great Zor-El, Alura, and Kara history. 

And the art is quirky and wonderful. It has energy and emotion. 

Two more issues and I'm already sad to see this one end.

Overall grade: A


Anonymous said...

I am sorry I can’t get behind the artwork, the backgrounds are great but the head studies are ill sized or else blocky, Kara in particular looks like a Charles Schulz character...the script is interesting, I am here til the last ish...but the art...*shrugs.

Martin Gray said...

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the last two issues, after the opening skyscape the art was definitely a step down. And does Lara have to look so freaky?

Anj said...

Charles Schultz is a good analogy.

And yes, Lara looks pretty freaky.

Maybe I am just fascinated by the style.

Steve said...

It's Oeming. Yu can either get past the head thing and enjoy the rest or not.

Anonymous said...

Ya agreed, just have to take it for what its worth...its a fun characterization of Kara being precocious in a Kryptonian sort of way that part I am loving plus all the cross cutting conflicts.