Reign of the Supermen #235: Commander El

Source: Superman: World of New Krypton #1-12 (2009-2010)
Type: The real dealI know it was controversial to put Superman off Earth and out of both his costume and his traditional books (including, strangely, "Superman"), and it seems especially so because it was followed by a story line that once again kept him out of Action Comics and sent him on the road, out of Metropolis (and out of character) in "Grounded". But darn it, I still LIKED the year he spent on New Krypton!

Here he was, connecting to the Kryptonian culture he'd never really known, simultaneously serving under General Zod in the military and making sure New Krypton stayed out of Earth's affairs. As usual, he was saving us. But even better, he brought the best of human values to Krypton and instigating social change there, our ambassador born of their blood, a man of two worlds, trying to make bring peace to both. It's a really great Superman story, made even more interesting by its exploration of Kryptonian society and ecology, rooted in every vision of the planet (Silver Age, Byrnification, movies...). Kal and Zod, working as uneasy allies, made for very readable drama as well.

Granted, it had its problems. The Superman books were filled with replacements instead of following Superman's new story. It predictably ended with the destruction of New Krypton, something that seems futile now that a reboot looms. And it had to wrap up in a couple of event-type mini-series. As a result, the Superman family of books just seemed bloated with characters you didn't want or need to follow, and extra series that were doing the continuing series' job. And yet, I was a fan. Anyone else?


snell said...

Anyone else?

Nope, although I'll confess I didn't read it out of general distaste for what was happening to the whole S frnachise at the moment.

But upon your recommendation, I'll have to try the trade.

Carl Walker said...

I also liked this series, followed by in descending order, Supergirl (it was the first time I read Vol. 5), Mon-El in Superman, and then Nightbird or whoever in Action (might be my least favorite Rucka comic).

However I learned of the ending you mention after finishing World, and it's made me reluctant to continue at all with the whole saga! Can't help but feel the many haters were vindicated in the end, even if they were wrong about individual components. Alas.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I did enjoy how everything started out and then it went bad towards the end. Supergirl was constantly good, but I felt Nightwing & Flamebird, who started by looking for the rogue Kryptonians on Earth, ended with the wacky Flamebird legacy. I read through to the end, and found the Superman on NK part the most consistent. It was a nice change seeing him act the way he did, taking stances, that type of thing.

Siskoid said...

Carl: It's not that War of the Supermen etc was bad coming, just that it was ordinary fare. Especially after NWK showed such promise.

Wayne: The Superman book in which Superman actually appears was the better one. As it should be.

Matthew Turnage said...

I think my reaction was pretty close to yours, Siskoid. I liked the premise, but the execution was a bit weak, particularly in Action Comics. Had the storyline been more focused it might have worked better. Still, it was worth a try, and as Wayne said, Supergirl was very good during this run.


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