By: Adam Basciano
“Welcome the new creative team of Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort as they take us back to the days when Jor-El learned the truth about Krypton’s imminent destruction! Plus: More on the introduction of the Eradicators!” (DC Comics)
Superman’s origin has been told time and time again, but with a story that damn good I never tire of it. With the exception of the 3 part episode of “Superman: The Animated Series”, we’ve pretty much gotten Krypton on the verge of destruction, baby Kal-El rocketed away, and BOOM….Krypton is gone! Any more extrapolation on Krypton typically came from mini series and one-shots. What I like about this issue is, much like the animated series, you get to see Jor-El being a scientist. He’s at the centre of Krypton, confirms it’s being destroyed, and immediately starts trying to find ways to save it. The real treat though is the job Scott Lobdell does with Lara. At this point in Krypton’s story, Lara is unaware that the planet is doomed, so Lobdell presents a Lara who takes the fight to those who want to ensure Krypton’s demise. During the narration sequences, it is reinforced that she is every bit Jor-El’s equal, if not his better half in certain areas. A rather refreshing viewpoint, given her portrayal in most origin stories. I also like the nod to The Eradicator, in having the terrorists hell-bent on guaranteeing Krypton’s end called the Eradicators!
I really liked Kenneth Rocafort’s first issue of drawing this title. His art offers a completely fresh look at Superman’s world and these characters. His art doesn’t have to measure up to Dan Jurgens and George Perez’s previous Superman work, because unlike those artists, this is the first time I’ve experienced him working on Superman. Rocafort draws Jor-El much like he was depicted in the early comics, in his prime and in his original suit. Yet, he stays in keeping with the armored look of the New 52, and the mix of old and new looks great. There’s a wonderfully drawn panel where Jor-El learns Lara is pregnant. The expressions on Jor-El’s face take us through the range of emotions he experiences in this issue. The final splash page of Superman standing on what appears to be a Kryptonian skyscraper, decked out in a black armored silver S shield costume is cryptic and intriguing! The cover image is a great concept, but fails to impress on execution, mostly do to the plain white background.
This issue succeeds because instead of retelling the entire origin, from point A to C, it focuses solely on Krypton. More to the point, it focuses on Jor-El and Lara prior to baby Kal-El’s birth. This gives us a more intimate story about these two characters, giving us more insight into the people who gave life to the world’s greatest superhero. A fantastic start for the new creative team, and a perfect jumping on point for new readers.
Overall Grade: 9/10