World of Krypton #4 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Michael Avon Oeming, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: As Krypton’s end draws closer, year by year, the tension rises in Venditti and Oeming’s reinvention of the lead-up to the Superman mythos. Over the first half, we’ve seen both Jor-El and Zod struggle to come up with the right plan to save Krypton. Jor-El, now the leader of the Science Council, suggested harsh but necessary energy-saving measures, only to be largely dismissed. As the issue opens, Zod comes to him as a former friend with a plan—use Zod’s military to take control from the council and impose the austerity measures on Krypton by force. Zod views democracy as a worthwhile sacrifice, while Jor-el is horrified. It leads a brawl that feels just as personal as it does political, as the two old friends spar over their relative roles in society and how best to save it—as well as old grudges that have been simmering since long before this series began.
But this issue’s emotional heart is in characters we haven’t seen much of. As time moves on, Zod begins to impose his will on Krypton, beginning the process of deporting convicts into the Phantom Zone. At the same time, Zor-El and Alura, Kara’s parents, despair at the end closing in and Zor-El becomes increasingly obsessed with saving his daughter’s life by any means necessary—even opening up a file he long ago closed off. There’s one speech by the character that delivers a gut punch unlike anything we’ve seen here before, and really drives home the stakes. But as the issue ends, the two brothers might have more in common than previously, as the pieces are set in motion for the most important moment in DC history. This series has been a surprising gem from the first issue, bringing new life to characters usually portrayed as one-dimensional historical artifacts.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.