"Superman: World of New Krypton" continues to build up the Superman universe with unexpected and even previously extinct building blocks. Rucka and Robinson provide a metaphor in this issue that has even the characters of this issue deeply pondering it. A stampede of heretofore extinct thought-beasts threatens to compromise the generators on New Krypton and provides a test for Kal-El in his new role in the military guild.
Amazingly enough, for a character that has been around for seventy years, Robinson and Rucka are able to utilize Superman -– er rather Kal-El -- as our gateway into this strange new world. We learn of the guilds and their societal roles with Kal. We get to question it right alongside him. We learn about the beasts Kal-El had only ever heard of in holocrystals or what have you. While New Krypton grows and changes, offering new experiences for Kal, they also become new experiences for us.
At this point, two issues in, Woods and Anderson are inseparable to me. Sure, Woods' style is classic and clean, organic and fluid, but there are panels where an extra level of grit appears. When Zod is sizing up Kal through the scope of the new archer-class infantry assault long arm, the cleanliness of Woods' work is artfully muddled with a shading technique that falls somewhere between a wash and a Photoshop filter. Whether it is Woods or Anderson who is responsible for this, I am uncertain, but I am certain that it offers an interesting feel to the scene and makes the scene significantly more edgy.
This series is just getting started, but I am enthused by how much of New Krypton we've learned about. The burgeoning class war between the guilds and the variety of flora and fauna are pieces I did not expect to encounter but am glad that Rucka and Robinson have added in. While the subject matter may seem offline and even negligible –- after all New Krypton is the headliner -– this book is worthy of carrying the Superman flag. This is a rare instance where the world of Superman has opened a portal wide enough for any reader to walk through with few questions that are easily addressed in the first few issues.
One interesting side note, as I am typing this review, re-examining the cover, I notice this issue is now tagged as "2 of 15." Apparently DC has found faith in Robinson and Rucka's vision or maybe the duo are just having so much fun they needed a little extra room. With over a year left of New Krypton tales to tell, this is a book worth looking into.