New Krypton Times 5: A Hole in His Heart


Supergirl #36, New Krypton part 8

Another issue of the “New Krypton” storyline has hit, and so, it’s time for another installment of New Krypton Times, where we sift through what we’ve seen, read, mash it together with what we know, have heard, and think might be coming.

So – this week, it was “New Krypton” part 8 in Supergirl #36 (preview here), picking up immediately after Action Comics #872. But first – to make sure everyone is up to speed here are those previous installments:

A Field Guide to New Krypton

New Krypton Times, 1

New Krypton Times, 2

New Krypton Times, 3

New Krypton Times, 4

As we said, the issue picks up immediately after Action #872 - immediately as in the hole Reactron just blew in Zor-el’s chest is still smoking, and he’s got that look of someone who’s kind of confused about what just happened on his face. The Brainac ‘bots are still fighting, and we see just what a full-on angry Supergirl can do as she plows through wave after wave – melting the last three with a wide-dispersal of her heat vision – to reach her father’s side. There’s nothing she can do, it’s all very sad, and Zor-el dies.

Although, before he passes on, he does warn Supergirl to “Watch out for your mother.” Apparently Zor knew a little of what Alura had planned and was like – and probably what she would do without his influence and advice – something Alura hints she regarded highly at Zor’s funeral later in the issue.

Metallo and Reactron have ditched Kandor in the meantime, with the implication being that someone was digging up from the Arctic Sea below Kandor, through the ice, to provide an escape route.

The Superman team’s mission (and Supergirl writer Sterling Gates’ mission in particular) to turn Cat Grant into the bitch of Metropolis is still working, as a few days later, Cat wants her column, “Supergirl: Science Police Murderer?” to make it into that day’s edition of The Daily Planet. Yeah, and she knows that Supergirl’s father just died. See? Bitch.

Although, as an aside, we’re still scratching our head over the notion that, let’s face it, the DC Universe’s New York Times allows an entertainment opinion columnist to go on a rampage against a public figure with editorial after editorial on the front page. Come on – even in the recent election the editorials that railed against one candidate or another were on the Op/Ed page. It’s a bit of a stretch, and frankly, one that’s stretching the credibility of the idea of The Daily Planet being anything more than Cat’s bully pulpit, which it never has been. We get that it’s good for the story in drawing the lines between Cat and Supergirl, but again, to cite the election – the editorials in the major newspapers that had pundits going apoplexic day after day? Those were in the Op/Ed sections of the newspapers.

What next, what next?

Oh – Zor-el’s funeral. Visually, artist Jamal Igle channeled this directly from the Krypton of Superman: The Movie. Given all the costumes we’re seeing of Kryptonians, and the appearance of this particular “look,” we’re going to go with the idea that when it’s important – say, sentencing villains to the Phantom Zone (as we saw Jor-el doing in “Last Son”) or burying the husband of the city’s de facto leader, you pull out the white robes, and your family crest.

Yeah – family crest. The big “S” above the stage? Not an “S” – it’s the sign of the House of El. Look around at the crests on Kandorians near Superman and Supergirl in the audience – weird designs, huh? Yeah – family crests. It just so happens that the sign of the House of El looks like an English-language “S” which Lois Lane, back after he just debuted, took to be and “S,” and was spurred on to call the guy in the cape “Superman.”

Speaking of Lois, and if we may go on a tangent here? Where is she? As we’ve mentioned before, Superman is feeling a little disconnected here – left only as someone who’s reacting to all the action going on in his world. While we get it – things are moving too fast for him to keep up with them, and he’s still shell-shocked, a scene or two with Lois where he’s expressing how he’s confused and frustrated, and maybe even scared at where this is all heading, and how he feels powerless to stop it…would’ve gone miles into bringing Superman back into the story. And please note – we did not say “a scene showing Superman crying,” because that’s the last thing we need any more of.

So – back to that funeral, and Alura’s speech. What does it mean? She says that earth shouldn’t be surprised if Kryptonians respond in kind to the violence that was brought to them. That kind of suggests, of course, that Alura is a little nutty (and we’ll throw in grief-stricken as well)…clearly those who attacked Kandor – Metallo and Reactron – were not representative of all of humanity, right? If anything, Reactron and Metallo represent a small subset of humanity, that is, those with beefs against Kryptonians. But, as recent history teaches us, time and again, the actions of a few have been taken as justification to attack the larger group.

Something else that’s interesting in all of this – did Metallo and Reactron specifically target Zor-el? Readers know there are many reasons to to do that (revenge against Supergirl, push Alura to the tipping point) but who in the story would know who he was and results of his death?

Alura later proves Zor-el’s cautionary words true, claiming that if Superman had been doing his job, then Supergirl’s father would still be alive. The words have their intended meaning and Supergirl flies away from Kandor in a rage, which Superman kind of looks…well, helpless.

Other stuff shaking out in this issue:

- Superwoman makes herself known to Kara. Who is she? She speaks Kryptonian, so she’s probably not anyone from earth, or Kristin Wells, of “The Third Kryptonian” arc, as English is clearly her unfamiliar second language, and Superwoman refers to Kandor as “home.” As closed as Kandor is about its borders, sneaking in and taking up residence and pretending to have been there all along is probably pretty difficult, if not impossible.

- Nightwing and Flamebird – they have a mission: whoever they are, they took on their identities to stop General Zod’s followers, who, they discover, have plans for the White House.

- Alura calls on said followers of Zod to help her “defend the gates form the oncoming storm.” That’s ominous.

- Oh, and Superwoman wears a lead-lined mask to protect her identity.

So where do things head from here? Next week is a skip week for “New Krypton,” and it picks up again on January 2nd (shipping scheduled delayed due to the holidays) with Superman #683. We tend not to gamble, but if we had to – it’s about time for the rest of the heroes of the DC Universe to check in on this storyline. It’s been going on long enough, and, to our eyes, and we figure to the eyes of others in the DCU, Superman just ain’t cutting it.

Also, what we expect to be covered in Superman and Supergirl - both characters have recently lost their fathers. Both will respond to their greif in their own ways.

That’ll be part 9 of the storyline – so odds are it’s going to be hitting high gear.

That’s what we’ve got – what are your thoughts so far?

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