Its not often I feel like this about most modern comic plots, but I really felt this could’ve been a bit longer. I’d have liked to have seen more buildup to relations between the humans and Kryptonians breaking down. As it was, the fact that Alura was a bit of a nutter just accelerated everything without the need for a gradual breakdown.
However I think this has been a really successful storyline, and I’m intrigued to see how things develop over the next year. Obviously General Lane is as barmy as Alura, although I wonder if his resurrection will help explain this. And the prescence of a planet of Kryptonians that Earth’s virtually on a war footing with opens up a lot of questions.
For me though, the interesting thing will be seeing how this all affects the character of Superman. Ignoring how he’s really lost any special standing as the last son of Krypton over the last few years (and in fairness, its been done before: Lois and Clark back in the 90s had a planet of Kryptonian survivors as well), to me, a big facet of Clark’s personality has been his drive to keep alive Kryptonian culture, and his reverance (if that’s the right word) for it, with the fortress and the big statues of his parents. That kind of thing.
However, in the post-IC DCU, Kryptonians are really not that great a bunch of people. We know from Kurt Busiek’s Third Kryptonian arc that on discovering their powers under yellow suns, Kryptonians had formed a galaxy-spanning empire, which left them pretty unpopular. Eventually they realised that having an entire galaxy hating you wasn’t a brilliant long-term plan, and came to the conclusion that the yellow-sun powers had perverted their race, resulting in them retreating to Krypton and becoming insular, focused instead on science and arts, becoming the Kryptonian society we’re more familiar with.
However, memories run deep, and it was established that a lot of space-faring species still remember the Kryptonian empire and would be happy to see any survivors wiped out. It strikes me that a planet full of them is going to eventually attract some unwanted attention.
We’re also seeing that history repeating itself. With the powers of the yellow sun, Alura was pretty quick to declare Kryptonian’s superior to humanity, and that humanity ultimately didn’t matter by comparison. And you can bet she’s not alone in that viewpoint. The planet of New Krypton is a a powder-keg waiting to errupt, and I’m very interested to see how Superman intends to try to calm things down. Especially with the reveal that Zod’s been freed from the Phantom Zone by Alura.
My point is, what is the impact of all this going to be on Superman? To be blunt, from what we’ve seen in this arc, and learnt from the Third Kryptonian arc, you can imagine that he’d be a guy who’d be pretty ashamed to be a Kryptonian. Granted, this is stereotyping (we know Jor-El, Zor-El, Lara and Kara Zor-El are fairly decent Kryptonians at least), but would Superman really be that proud of being the last son of a race known for intergalactic conquest, and who caused all those problems on Earth within 5 minutes of arriving there?
It was one thing when we discovered Krypton’s history as an empire builder before realising the error of their ways, and I thought that added an interesting new element into their history. But when we’ve got that history repeating itself in the current DCU, then I think that’s got further-reaching implications.
For myself, I’d like to see the upcoming World of New Krypton series allow Clark to explore the positive aspects of Kryptonian society. We’ve seen so many negative aspects recently, let’s see Clark meet up with groups of Kryptonians that want to seek peace with Earth and share technology and the like. Let’s hope it gives us a balanced view of their society, rather than just Alura and Zod foaming at the mouth, and let’s Clark experience some joy in being a Kryptonian amongst his own people for a change.
It’ll be interesting to see how long this lasts as well, and the ultimate fate of New Krypton. Something obviously has to happen eventually that will see the number of Kryptonians in the DCU reduced once again. Or at least, that New Krypton will be moved off to its own corner of the DCU where it can be effectively ignored until a writer has an idea for it.
As for the events on Earth, well I have to admit, I’m not really interested in the Mon-El stuff, or the Legion turning up in Adventure Comics (despite DC’s current love-in for the Legion, I’ve never really gotten them). The Nightwing and Flamebird stuff does look interesting though, although with Zod and co free, and Ursa turning up in Action Comics, you do have to wonder if the Connor stuff was a misdirection, and instead Nightwing’s going to be a magically-aged Chris Kent, which for me would be a bit disappointing. Although I like the character of Chris and would like to see him back, the tactile-TK reference was just too big a clue to it being a resurrected Connor to back off from. However I’m still interested to see who these two characters are revealed as.
So for me, I think I’ll probably be limiting myself to the World of New Krypton book and Action Comics (at least for a couple of issues until I see where they’re going). Supergirl I’m still undecided on. There’s no doubt the book’s definitely a lot better for its recent creative reboot, but I’m still trying to keep a handle on the number of monthlies I’m picking up, especially with recent price increases, so Supergirl may be a casualty of that.