Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Busiek, Leonardi & Green
The second installment of the “Third Kryptonian” introduces our mysterious Kryptonian.
Superman, with the help of Batman last issue, catches up with Kristen Wells, who is an older woman – perhaps 25 years older than Superman – living alone in Northern California. Kristen, is also known as Karsta Wor-Ul. She’s a Kryptonian, but not a survivor of the doomed planet per se. No, Karsta was in the navy in deep space and deserted when the government sentiment shifted back home from military to science. She didn’t even learn about the explosion of Krypton until years later.
Let’s face it, there are thousands upon thousands of Superman stories already told over the last 60+ years. There aren’t too many new areas to explore. Sure, we could get a new bad guy or perhaps introduce a child, but one area that has huge gaps to explore is the history of Krypton. This issue looks at just one small subset of it and it is fantastic.
We get a totally different view of Kryptonian history. Karsta was in the military and wasn’t pleased that her home planet was moving towards science with plans to disband her space navy unit. Her and many of her brothers in arms deserted and spent their lives on the run. They were hunted for a variety of reasons. First of all, Kryptons were seen as oppressive so planets weren’t always thrilled to see them. Secondly, the military was hunted by any leftover Krypton guard. Lastly, these deserters went into a life that was not straight and narrow. They did what they needed to in order to survive.
The issue goes through, in great detail, Karsta’s origin and with it, the origin of this renegade military group. It’s a great new angle on the history of Kryptonians. It further shows that there is no way Clark is the “last” one to exist. There could be pockets of them all over the place. It’s a military story that doesn’t need to bring up General Zod. It really shows there are many more stories untold.
Oh sure, you could complain that this woman lived on Earth all this time right under Clark’s nose, but it’s very believable. It would also drive Luthor a little nuts to know there is another alien living amongst them. The possibilities that come out of this are endless.
It is also important to note that Karsta is not a hero. There is the potential for her to find conflict with Clark. There is the potential for her to team with Clark and later betray him. This story is really a great wrinkle into the lives of Clark and company.
All this and we haven’t even dealt with the real problem which is the guy named Amalak, who is trying to kill ALL Kryptonians. This will be handled in the third part of this arc.
The art work is great. The story is mostly a space story without Superman and I enjoyed the art very much. However, my favorite is Amalak. He has a Kalibak-Lobo look to him and it suits this story perfectly.
In all, I liked this story a lot. I would have liked some more battles, but the background information is just fantastically written. I really can’t wait for the finale. Any newcomer could pick this up and not skip a beat. They might even be hooked on this arc in the process.
The Superman titles are in a very good place right now. They are in the hands of people who are bringing quality stories and setting up more quality stores for the future.
4 out of 5 geek goggles.