The New Krypton Times 1: What's Going On?
Exclusive DC Preview: Superman #681
In an attempt to keep a handle on DC’s New Krypton storyline, we’ve started an occasional feature, “The New Krypton Times” to recap, update, and interview the creators of the storyline as the 10 part story unwinds in the DC Universe’s Superman titles. First off, where are we? Part 5 of the storyline hits this week in Action Comics #871, and clearly (from the preview at least) brings Luthor fully into the storyline – as Brainiac’s newest pal. But how did he get there? Let’s take an overview of parts one through three: Part One: Superman: New Krypton Special: It all begins with Pa Kent’s funeral…and Superman having a fantasy of killing Brainiac for being responsible for his father’s death. Speaking of Brainiac, he’s currently being held by the US government, overseen by a mystery General and Codename: Assassin. “Who?” you say? Writer James Robinson brought Codename: Assassin back in Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen, which served to set up the cub reporter on a parallel storyline that involved Project Cadmus, the Guardian, Dubbilex and other remnants of Jack Kirby’s work with the character in the 1970s. More on that to come. As for Brainiac, while it may have looked like he died in Action Comics #870 (his head chimneys did go out, after all), he’s still alive, and being kept in a semi-conscious state, but even in that, he’s still dangerous. Visiting Kandor, now returned to full size in the Arctic (no, they’re not bothered by the cold, and since they are in the Arctic and the sun is shining, it must be Northern Hemisphere summer…although technically, during that period, the high Arctic still receives a fraction of the sunlight that the rest of the earth does…which could be important in regards to fueling up individuals powered by a yellow sun), Superman meets with the leaders of the city, Zor and Alura, who also happen to be Supergirl’s parents (explained over here). The two pull out the foreshadowing card in regards to troops that were loyal to Zod that are still in the city (roughly 600) as well as "fitting in" on earth. The awkward conversation drifts off as Supergirl arrives for a touching mother/father and daughter reunion. Power-wise, the Kandorians are seeing the same powers develop as Superman, including flight and strength. But they don’t “get” earth, and bad things are sure to happen - something that is brought home when a citizen brings a blue whale (either misidentified in the text, or the art, as it looks distinctly like a humpback) to Superman, saying it tried to eat him (er…), so he killed it (yes, we’re betting the Kandorian lied, and killed it either for sport, or accidentally by lifting it up to see what it was). Kandorians have a lot to learn. Along with that, the Special showed that the Krytonians are headed out, eager to experience all that earth has to offer. Be afraid, be very afraid. Why? As we like to point out, all that "Superman was raised by Ma and Pa Kent" stuff aside. we don't really know what Kryptonian culture was like. Readers have only seen snapshots of points in time, mostly selected by Superman's father, Jor-el. Who knows? Maybe their favorite show was some analogue to Running Man, and they had a Logan's Run type view of old folks. Other developments in the Special - the mystery General Codename: Assassin was talking to? General Sam Lane, Lois’ father (thought to be dead). He recruits Luthor (currently in jail) to help stop the “Kryptonian Invasion.” Also, Jimmy tells Lois about Warpath, a city on the Mexican border (as seen in the Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen), and Lucy Lane, Lois’ sister, has joined the military and is, we’re assuming, on track to meet up with her now-alive dad, and join forces with him From there, things went to:
After having re-introduced him to the Superman books, Robinson brings back Krypto again in this issue, showing the dog paying a visit to the still in-mourning Ma Kent with his big puppy dog eyes.Oh – re-introduction time part two – Agent Liberty makes his return in this issue as well. Who is he? Allow us to repeat ourselves: Agent Liberty was a product of the early ‘90s Superman line. A former CIA operative, Ben Lockwood agreed to become the costumed Agent Liberty and work with the Sons of Liberty group. Sons went bad, Lockwood left, did some heroing for a while, and gave it up. Johns has a soft spot for him, and brought him back to active duty in the pages of Infinite Crisis. “Actually, this was James’ idea so I have to give credit to him,” said Johns, “James has really given him a wonderful voice.” In a nice nod to bringing some of the strings of DC continuity a little closer together, Agent Liberty, in talking with Lois Lane, refers to Amazons Attack, when the massed Amazonian army attacked Washington, D.C. Liberty’s mention clearly underscores the government’s mistrust of a lot of powerful people gathered together - and also places him in the minority, that is, people even wanting to remember Amazons Attack. Speaking of that, this issue closes with the Kryptonian delegation meeting with the President in Metropolis. And of course, it’s not a party until someone brings him, Doomsday (yes, the big guy who killed Superman – and is also from Krypton in a roundabout way) crashes down in the midst of it all. In all the reaction shots, we see Thara and Agent Liberty not reacting. Something is up there. From there, things go to Action Comics #871 for a continuation of the action (Part 5), but technically, there’s a side road for Part Four…