The "Codename: Patriot" storyline begins to gain some momentum as the story becomes a true crossover, bringing characters and happenings from "World of New Krypton," "Superman," and "Supergirl" into the pages of "Action Comics." In this issue, Superman and Supergirl chase the would-be assassin Ral-Dar to Earth. The media instantly construes this pursuit as an act of aggression from New Krypton, lathering the general public into a frenzy.
This issue pulls the curtain back a little as we learn who is pulling Ral-Dar's strings. Speaking of assassins, Metallo and Reactron also show up in this issue, as do Nightwing and Flamebird. The many divergent pieces of the various Superman titles all seem to be finding their way back together. Of course, none of it seems like an easy time for the Man of Steel and his allies.
Robinson and Rucka give us a story with reveals and intrigue, crisis and calamity. There is no shortage of goings-on here. The book has so much going on that adding the "Captain Atom" second feature makes this issue feel like an issue of an anthology title. This "Codename: Patriot" story, however, has me thinking this may have been better presented as a standalone title, rather than a snaking crossover event.
López's art is akin to a rough-hewn Carlos Pacheco. He shares the economy of line and his figures pose like those of Pacheco, but Lopez's art has a bit more of a cartoony feel to it. That blends nicely for this story. I look forward to seeing López settle into these characters a bit more.
The "Captain Atom" story is little more than a tease, but fans of conspiracy theories may already have this one figured out. Given the fact that Rucka and Robinson are writing this tale, however, it is entirely possible that the logical conclusion is a red herring. Still, Cafu's art on this story is seemingly simplistic, but deceptively detailed. Atom's recollection of the experiment that created him is electrifying, as is the visual interpretation of Atom's powers. I know the second features are intended to offer tales of characters who might not be strong enough to support their own series, but I firmly believe Robinson, Rucka and Cafu would make a "Captain Atom" series one for all fans to truly enjoy.
"Codename: Patriot" is half over with this installment, but there seems to be a lot going on in this story –- almost too much. I look forward to seeing how Robinson and Rucka draw all of these divergent paths closer together towards resolution in the next two installments of this storyline.