Sunday, April 11, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman Last Stand of New Krypton #2 (of 3)

Book Information
Written by James Robinson & Sterling Gates
Art by Pete Woods & Travis Moore

The Legion has successfully made it aboard Brainiac’s ship, Zod battles the hundreds of robot soldiers Brainiac has sent down to New Krypton, and Superman tries to reclaim the twice bottled city of Kandor.  What else can go wrong you ask?  (evil cackle) Silly humans…

My Thoughts
For a comic that ties to a story that has had very little success this past year, it sure does maintain a forward momentum.  Sterling Gates might very well be the best thing that has ever happened to James Robinson as he does everything in his literary power to keep the story flowing smoothly and pumping through lackluster that was World of New Krypton.

I’m not entirely sure who’s at the helm of the script and who is navigating as far as the writing quality is concerned, but I do know that ever since Gates teamed up with Robinson towards the end of the World of New Krypton series, the writing quality had a most notable increase all the way to the end.  This issue brings us a hard hitting, in your face, action packed battle from page one to the end.  There’s very little drag and corny dialogue and my interest in the story is staying constant, which means I’m intrigued for the conclusion.  However, with everything that is going on here, I am beginning to wonder how #3 will conclude LSONK.  With #3 coming later this month, shouldn’t the story be further along?

Of course I am used to the stretching out of storylines in comics, what should only be a three to four issues spread in a miniseries typically gets dragged out into a twelve issue installment, hence World of New Krypton.  It’s very possible that my worries are due to miniseries never ending within two months in DC Comics.  However, my K-9 senses are picking up the trail of James Robinson’s typically poor writing style which makes me worry about the final issue.

With that being said, the literary approach in this issue in its entirety is a great piece of work.  The shinning moments James Robinson has had in the past are due to his action based storylines; the touchy-feely, thought provoking storylines really aren’t his forte.  This is all that really maters to me!  I do prefer the more meaningful stories that cause the analytical part of one’s mind to wake up, but if an author can push forward with a story by making it a fun, hard hitting action comic, then by all means, do that!

Rating: 9

There is only one predominant theme in this book…to fight the good fight!  To press on even when all hope is lost.  To protect those you love and cherish.  Everything really does go to hell in a hand basket as Brainiac ceases to yield the attack on Kandor; the perseverance and reclaiming of Kandor as his own is at the forefront of his mind.  And Zod’s consistent belief that the Legion of Superheroes is a terrorist group here to help Brainiac’s diabolical plot also ties well into this arc.  Every side has their own agenda and all hold true to it, which makes for a wonderfully angst driven story.

Now there is mention of Brainiac using fear to achieve his goal, but for me it wasn’t the main aspect of the book.  I’m sure Robinson wanted that to be a prime factor, but it didn’t come off as successfully as it could have.  Fear is always going to be used in a story of good vs. evil, but if it’s going to be a main theme in a story, a writer can’t give us a book where EVERYONE is fighting the good fight and showing an immense amount of courage and hardly any fear.

Rating: 6

Pete Woods and Travis Moore really put it out there as far as the artwork is concerned.  The cover is nothing less than stunning with its chaotic and colorful tone.  One major criticism I’ve had with Pete Wood’s art is how great he is with close up shot, but the further away he gets from the characters in the story, the more the quality goes down.  But this issue shows Moore stepping it up a few notches, especially when Brainiac lands a good one on Superman’s iron jaw…

Amongst the raging robots, the explosive sequences of destruction and the great use of lights and darks, Pete Woods and Travis Moore have shown they can produce better work than what they have presented in the past.  However, with that being said, my artistic preference is far from what they produced here in #2.  The characters still seemed way over inked and feel too wooden for my taste.   Oh sure, when Superman’s getting punched, or someone’s flying up to take out a robot the art suddenly becomes fantastic, but the majority of the book shows characters too dark in the face and body to make out what they’re feeling and have very little emotion coming through facially.

Rating: 6

A fun read.  I never know what to expect with Robinson, but this issue was definitely better than what was coming out of World of New Krypton.

Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming April 28, 2010
LAST STAND OF NEW KRYPTON ships twice in April as the biggest Superman story in years rockets towards its mind-blowing conclusion!
In this epic conclusion, Superman and Zod must work together if they're to have a chance of stopping Brainiac! But a victory for New Krypton means a devastating loss for the Legion! 
Over a year's worth of New Krypton stories has been building up to the final page of this series, and once you see it, you'll know there's only one outcome: the WAR OF THE SUPERMEN! 

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