New Krypton Times 3: Things Get Bad. Really, Really Bad
by Matt Brady
Date: 30 November 2008 Time: 11:35 AM ET
Exclusive: Superman #682
A Field Guide to New Krypton
So what went down?Well, as we showed in the preview, Bizarro showed up to mourn the death of Clark’s father at Pa’s gravesite. This, of course, ties back to Action Comics #855-#857, “Escape from Bizarro World” by Geoff Johns, Richard Donner and Eric Powell. That arc saw Bizarro kidnap Pa Kent and imprison him in his own Fortress of Solitude, where he would talk to him, in the same manner Superman talks to Jor-el in his own Fortress. For his own twisted reasons, Bizarro sees Pa as his own ‘father,’ a role that Pa played into a little in order to help Bizarro and eventually escape Bizarro World with Superman. What else, what else? • Agent Liberty resigned from the President’s security detail, saying that he feels something isn’t right, and needed the time and latitude to investigate. • Jim Harper, last seen heading into Metropolis in Adventure Comics Special – Featuring the Guardian, gets a job with the Science Police. Yes, the Science Police, and yes, their headquarters looks like the “upside down rocketship” that was…er, will be the first headquarters of the Legion of Super-Heroes. • Atlas – the big guy who fought Superman and Supergirl to a standstill in the issues of Superman just prior to “New Krypton” is still in town, and thinking of getting back in the game – maybe with a secret identity this time. • Oh, and a group of Kandorians decided to go out and capture Superman’s enemies, with the intent of putting them in the Phantom Zone. And that is where things got sticky. Led by Zor-el, Alura and Supergirl, the groups went after the Parasite, Silver Banshee, Prankster, Toyman and Bizarro. On the first pick-up – the Parasite, they killed the villain’s Science Police escort – beat them down and killed, that is. Nightwing and Robin are shown unconscious in Arkham (post Batman #681, we’re betting), a result of trying to stop a team from grabbing the Toyman, Black Lightning was injured trying to stop them from taking Prankster, and so it went. After getting word of the deaths caused by the actions of the Kryptonians, Superman rushes to Kandor and confronts Zor-el, Alura and Supergirl. Zor and Supergirl are appropriately shocked at the news (they weren’t on the teams where people were killed), but Alura – not so much. The final page of the issue – a nice splash, showing the villains in a circle around Mon-el who’s asking them who they are, and why they’re here. Okay, okay – Mon-who? Mon-el has a long and storied past in the DC Universe, primarily related to Superman, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes. This incarnation of Mon-el’s story was told in Action Comics Annual #10, an update of and nod to the original 1953 and 1961 stories in which Lar Gand, a Daxamite (with powers similar to those of Kryptonians) came to earth with amnesia, and for a time, thought he was Kal-el’s older brother. When his memory was returned, he revealed that he was in fact, a Daxamite scientist who had discovered the explosion of Krypton, and the path that an escaping rocketship had taken to earth. He followed the path and sunspots and ruptured fuel cels later, crashed on earth, and was found by a young Clark Kent. The problem was – Daxamites are allergic (in that toxic way) to lead, and earth’s atmosphere (well, lithosphere, if we’re going to be all sciency about it) was killing him. At Mon-el’s request, Clark sent his friend into the Phantom Zone, where time ceases, and the poisoning that had nearly killed him was arrested. He remains in the Phantom Zone for years, minutes away from death if he were to return to earth. In the “Last Son,” (Action Comics #844-#846, #851, Annual 11) storyline, Superman meets up with Mon-el when he is sent into the Phantom Zone by General Zod, and he helps Superman fight against Dev-em and return to earth. So – present-day, he’s still in the Phantom Zone when the villains show up (and yes, he does get out of the Phantom Zone – the Legion’s Brainiac 5 can make a serum to cure him in no time, but that’s a story for another day). So – the upside of Mon-el meeting Superman’s enemies in the Phantom Zone? They can’t touch him, and he can’t touch them. The downside? There are a few – 1) These folks weren’t mentally stable to begin with, and the Phantom Zone isn’t the best place for one’s mental health. In other words, they may go into the Zone a criminal, they may come out a psychopath; 2) General Zod and Ursa are in the Zone. They know that Clark Kent is Superman. Now, whether or not they feel the need to share that information with any of the new arrivals remains to be seen – they were spanked back into the Zone recently, so they may not be looking to chat with anyone from earth. 3) Superman is going to feel that he’s responsible for them being in there, and will try to bring them out. Zod’s always looking for an opening. So – where do things point to from here? No new issue this week, but the week after sees Action Comics #872 hit. We haven’t seen the Luthor/Brainiac/General Lane team in a while, so we’d bet they’re show up, probably with Reactron and maybe more in tow. Also – we were promised the return of the Creature Commandos and Ultraa, the Multi-Alien. Please “New Krypton” storyline, don’t make us beg. That’s where things stand now for Superman and his extended family. What do you think so far? Is “New Krypton” hitting all the right notes? Playing in an off key? Oh – and thanks to those who pointed out that Kryptonians do in fact have a familiarity with Doomsday, at least in concept, as was seen in “Up, Up and Away” the storyline which took place in the Superman books during the “One Year Later” following Infinite Crisis. “Doomsday” while being the name of the ugly guy who nearly killed Superman, was also the name of a Kryptonian battle cruiser that was buried in the earth, and had, at one point, been used to scrub all the life off of planets by Admiral Dru-Zod, which played a role in the escape of Zod, Ursa and Non in “Last Son.” So yes, it’s pretty clear that Geoff Johns has been working toward this storyline for a while.