Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Action Comics #871
Johns & Woods
New Krypton rolls on with another issue that doesn’t live up to the opening Special from a few weeks ago. The comic tries to establish the various mindsets of the Kryptonians but the characters themselves have no personalities and, as a result, have little reason for the reader to feel the pain or hate them for their twisted motivations. Perhaps the best part of the comic is what happens at the very beginning. I have high hopes for this arc, but I am wondering now if I can stick this thing out.
The triangle on the front cover says “4”, but the credits on the inside state that this comic is Part Two. According to my stack I have this as the third issue of the arc. So, let’s comprise and just call this “Part Three-ish”.
The issue opens with Kryptonians indifferent to the humans and their needs when a car accident occurs in front of them. Luthor was right: the humans are way too reliant on the Superman to take care of every little problem. I was happy with this scene as it illustrates how lazy people are knowing that Superman can pull every cat out of a tree for them.
Next up is the discussion between General Lane and Luthor. Luthor pontificates about how much he hates Superman and how Luthor will be the one to save the world from the invasion. He thinks he has a partner in Lane until Luthor crosses the line bringing up Lois. This is an excellent scene and really brings tension and a sense of a joining of forces, but only because of the common enemy.
Then, the comic goes downhill quickly as the Kryptonians fight Doomsday. For eleven pages they battle him and utterly crush him. But these scenes manage to downgrade Doomsday into a joke rather than establish any of the new characters. None of the Kryptonians do anything distinct or even noticeable. All I could see was what a waste Doomsday had become. Superman has such a poor rogue gallery to begin with, why destroy one of the best from the last fifteen years with nothing gained? I don’t get it and it cheapened this comic and that already established villain.
The comic ends with two Kryptonians attempting to “free” Zod, but are met with two characters I have no knowledge of in this continuity and, therefore, their significance is lost on me. The last time I saw these characters one of them was Jimmy Olsen in a costume, but whatever.
One of the downers for the issue is the inconsistency for the art or its overall direction. The last page is so incredibly detailed its cover material. Yet, some of the battle scenes are blurry and seem to have no or limited line work. Typically I would assume this was a rush job, but somehow I feel the direction was dictating it to be this way for some reason. It almost feels like the fight is taking place in the phantom zone. However, some of the close ups are magnificent and I love the interaction and reactions that Lane and Luthor exchange.
What we have is a good issue, but not a great one. The arc started off with such a bang I guess I expected each issue to “wow” me, but this one just feels like we have a lot of undeveloped Supermen flying around with no real purpose. Some are snakes and some are not, but none have the charisma of Zod or Luthor and none seem to have the personality of a Bizzaro or even a Perry White. I’m looking for more here. I hope this thing picks up.
3 out of 5 geek goggles