Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Action Comics #873
Johns, Woods, Guedes & Magalhaes
New Krypton wraps up in this issue with a real nice battle and an interesting solution to the problem of Kandor being on Earth. However, the issue misses slightly in the excitement factor. It’s possible that the issue’s thunder was stolen because of what happens in the two epilogues. That’s usually not a good sign when the prospect of future stories makes the one that just ended seem small and unimportant.
The issue contains a good fight between Earth’s heroes and the Kandorians. The action is heavy and spreads around the face-time well. There are some problems here though. For one thing, where are the people on Kandor who don’t side with the killing of human cops? They also have super powers, why wouldn’t they step in? Secondly, why doesn’t any of the Earth super heroes bring some Kryptonite? Sure some magic is used but I’d be surprised if someone doesn’t have access to some Kryptonite somewhere.
Eventually Superman’s Aunt unveils her escape plan and the city of Kandor finds some peace. Supergirl goes with her mother. The issue wraps up with a look around at those that remain. Superman still mourns the death of Pa Kent. Brainiac seems to be functioning. Mon-El is seen holding back some villains in the Phantom Zone and there are some others that we see.
The issue has two epilogues; both involve the reveal that Superman has more enemies out there ready to strike. Some he knows of already but others he doesn’t. The glimpse at these villains makes the fight involving Kandor seem very small and uninteresting.
One oddity here is that one of the most noticeable things about this issue is that the cover features Luthor with the heading, “Faces of Evil”. The ad states inside, “The DCU from the villains’ point of view!” However, Luthor is barely in the issue and he plays second fiddle to General Lane when he does appear. This issue hardly is told from his point of view as he doesn’t even witness the battle or the escape which is really the core of the comic. For the finale of a huge arc I would think they would have played that up more and the F.O.E less.
The arc and this issue could have been so much more. The confrontation between Superman and Supergirl really never manifested as she did her best to play Hamlet throughout this story. The brewing battle between Superman and his Aunt never happens. They just continue to bicker. Luthor and Lane only stay in the background and Doomsday and Brainiac never get off their science slabs. I guess the first couple of chapters promised a bigger involvement for the Superman universe and it never really got to that point.
The art had its high points. For example, the spread of Kandor and its transformation is really well directed and depicted. The battle scenes in the beginning are good and filled with drama. However, the coloring or the direction to color this comic (and almost every in the arc) in such dull and drab tones is baffling. The art was held back because of the coloring in so many scenes. The book had a dreamlike effect which just seemed odd and detracted from the drama at times.
All told the issue had some great wrap up segments and some excellent battles and escapes. However, the issue falls short because of the possibilities that seemed to be passed over. I found myself forgetting this issue and wanting the last couple of pages to be now rather than what I had just read. Still, the issue has some very good things in it and creates a wider villain base for Superman.
3 out of 5 geek goggles