World of Krypton #2 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Michael Avon Oeming, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: It didn’t take much to realize that the first issue of this series was a climate change metaphor—and one very suited for a tale of the last days of Krypton. But now, two years have passed and Krypton is no closer to listening to its scientists. While the young scientist who discovered the dying thought-beasts last issue is mostly off-page and struggling to get attention for her findings, the focus this issue shifts to the El clan and their allies. The mad Kru-El is on trial for his attempted assassination of his own family, while Zod contemplates retirement and Jor-El begins one of his most important projects yet—research into the survival zone, a pocket dimension that turns out to be a horror instead of a haven. The minimalist pages where we see Jor-El exploring the zone for the first time are harrowing and some of the best work Oeming has drawn in this series—doing a lot with very little.
The focus on Zor-El and Zod in this series is interesting, with both commonly villainized in the comics. Zor-El mostly seems like a stand-up optimistic guy, but it’s clear something dark is lurking under the surface with Zod. A lifelong warrior and friend of the Els, he finds himself rudderless—and soon finds a new position that makes him more powerful than ever. We see the first frayings of their friendship in this issue, as Zod betrays Jor-El in a way that’s deeply personal but invisible to everyone else but the two men. I was a little skeptical as this series started if there was really anything new to say about Krypton, but this issue’s origin of the Phantom Zone makes clear that not only is there something new to say, but we’ve barely scratched the surface so far. It’s an odd creative pairing on an unlikely series, but sometimes those reap the biggest rewards for daring publishers.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.