Monday, March 11, 2024

Review: Kneel Before Zod #3

Kneel Before Zod #3 came out last week and was a bit of a slowdown of the pace of this book. The first issue laid out about 5 plotlines. The second issue showed us that Zod was going through some sort of emotional turmoil, exhausted with where his life has taken him and perhaps not as bloodthirsty. Suddenly it was Ursa who was the more dominant, more proactive, more violent Kryptonian on the New Kandor. 

This issue is mostly a display of how violent Zod and Ursa are. The Khunds decide to invade and that doesn't go too well. But, no spoilers needed since Bleeding Cool already did a while ago, Ursa dies at the end of the issue. Writer Joe Casey really kind of slow rolls the whole issue. One thing happens this issue - Ursa dying. The rest is just bloodshed.

Dan McDaid does a great job with the gore. Things are played out cinematically, with panels and angles swirling through the carnage. It is a slightly rough style but it meshes well with the story.

Still, it feels like this was 20 pages of gore to just get to the cliffhanger. The story doesn't really move forward outside of that shocking ending. 

On to the story.

As I said, a Khund invasion force has come to New Kandor. 

They bring infantry and spaceships.

They are facing Zod's trained indigenous army and two Kryptonians.

It obviously isn't going to go well.

I do love the Ursa seems to have a penchant for beheading. I love that second panel. It has a dynamic feel. I love the pose. And of course, Ursa is holding a Khund head which she then uses as a projectile weapon. Great work by McDaid.

Zod meanwhile is pretty upset at the insult of this futile attack. 

He flies through 4 ships like an Indiana Jones bullet.

So ... okay ... we get it. 

And then, a plot twist that makes very little sense.

The Khunds, after losing troops and ships, decide to then deploy a weapon that will temporarily turn the sun red and depower Zod and Ursa.


If you are a military culture like the Khunds, wouldn't you deploy that weapon first? Wouldn't you depower the Kryptonians BEFORE you attacked? Why would you let your fleet be decimated before firing this?

Anyways, I do love the defiant Ursa here. Even without powers, she tells the Khund foot soldiers to bring it.

Maybe she is 'beginning to believe' that she is the one.

Zod is also powerless.

But the Khunds surrounding him don't swarm. They gloat.

And they gloat long enough for the weapon to dissipate, the sun to turn yellow again, and Zod to power back up and kill them.

Now, if you are a military culture like the Khunds and you know the threat Zod represents, wouldn't you kill him immediately?

Of course, you can't get to the plot point you want unless the Khunds don't fire the weapon immediately AND they don't kill Zod immediately after they do fire it.

But we get to the end. 

Zod find Ursa dead. Nice grimy art by McDaid here.

Why is Ursa dead?

Because *those* militaristic Khunds decided it *was* smart to attack Ursa quickly after deploying the weapon that depowered her. It looks like she took a few out before falling.

Now this will be a game changer for the book. Zod is truly alone on this world now. He kicked his son off world. His wife is dead. He is already reeling psychologically.

This entire issue could have been told in a couple of pages. Casey needed to get us here. The story takes a couple of odd turns to get us here. But here we are.

Overall grade: C


Martin Gray said...

Thanks Anj, it’s interesting to hear how things are going. I doubt I’d like this issue any more than do you.

Wonder how sales are going, I can’t think who this book is for. Does Zod have a fanbase crying out to see him outside of a ‘vs Superman’ context?

Allen Francis said...

This comic book is weird, I don't know who it is for - making Zod an antihero takes away his mojo as a villain, especially if you pair him with worse villains that make him look better - dude seems henpecked, series should be called KNEEL BEFORE URSA - and not much happens, Zod has no motivation, no agency, I don't know why I'm reading this - waiting for something to happen..hasn't justified its existence...