Sunday, August 8, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman: Last Family of Krypton

Book Information

Written by Cary Bates
Penciled by Renato Arlem
Colors by Allen Passalaqua
Letters by Pat Brosseau
Cover by Felipe Massafera

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Somewhere in the Multiverse is a universe where Kal-El flies off in a rocket ship made by his parents to escape the inevitable destruction of Krypton. But within this universe, Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van travel with their son to Earth, making it their home. Earth has now been exposed to the “Superhero” far sooner than the Superman origin story would have us believe. Now the last family of Krypton deals with a culture unprepared for the arrival an alien family whose sole purpose is live a normal, HUMAN life. But this attempt to live as humans may prove much more difficult than they originally thought.

This issue was surprisingly entertaining; how many times can they redo the Superman Origin story until it becomes dull and overplayed? I thought they had finished with Birthright, but now with Johns on the cusp of finishing Superman: Secret Origin, the Man of Steel is going through more reincarnations of himself than any other superhero to date.

Stories based within fantastic and imaginary worlds often run into an unrelatable snag; where the character’s lives are so different and outlandish that their problems and struggles have no meaning to us mere mortals. Cary Bates presents an interesting tale of a Kryptonian family and the struggles they go through. This story deals with powerful heroes who can stop trains with their bare hands, melt iron by staring at it, and bring helicopters down to safety simply by blowing on it. However, this married couple still deals with problems of the average Earth couple, giving the readers something tangible to hold onto, but allows Bates to keep Jor and Laura up in the air fighting crime. I think every husband and wife who has had to make a life changing transition can relate to the issues both Jor-El and Laura Lor-Van are dealing with. I was pleasantly surprised by Jor and Laura’s selfless act of giving Kal away to two parents who can actually give him the attention needed that was severely lacking.

But now the question remains, what will become of little Kal-El? He’s going through a similar experience, growing up with Ma and Pa Kent, but will he adopt the red and blue spandex and become the #1 all-American superhero? His parents have already taken up that superhero mantle, what will Kal-El decide to do? Follow in his parent’s footsteps, become a villain out of some misplaced sense of winning his father’s approval, or decide to lead a life that much resembles the recent decision of Kara Zor-El and lead a normal HUMAN life?

The art is great, nothing more can really be said to describe just how great it is. There is a similarity to the classic, rugged sketched look of the Silver age. This style usually doesn’t appeal to me, but Renato Arlem really makes it work. And that cover by Massafera is absolutely stunning. But my favorite part of this whole issue is how much Arlem loves his boss, Mr. Dan Didio and Ms. Angelina Jolie…

My Awesomely Climactic Conclusion
It’s great to have Cary Bates back in the comic’s literary chair again. With his absence, having his name on the cover of a comic gave it an exciting and nostalgic fervor, while maintaining a fresh new feel at the same time. I’m very excited for next month.

Writing: 10
Themes: 10
Art: 10
Overall: 10 out of 10


  1. Nice review Jimmy - I have waited ages for this book to get around - and wasn't disappointed!

  2. Sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out when it's finished, or collected or something.

    One thing:
    "It’s great to have Cary Bates back in the comic’s literary chair again. With her absence, having her name on the cover..."

    Bates is a "he".

  3. Oh, I guess I never knew that. I'll change that right away!