Superman freed the bottled city of Kandor from the clutches of Brainiac in a brutal battle, that ended with his adoptive father Jonathan Kent being killed by the mad alien. 100,000 Kryptonians were freed, and due to the different views between them and people of Earth they fled the planet. Several figure-heads behind the scenes of Earth are not satisfied with the Kryptonians existence, since they all possess Superman's powers. As a result, they embarked on a genocidal campaign led by Lois Lane's father General Lane. The two sides are approaching a full scale war.
Supergirl returns to New Krypton having to face her mother Alura in failure to capture her father's killer, the golden Kryptonite-heart warrior Reactron. Due to this, Supergirl also has a falling out with her best friend Thara aka Flamebird. Supergirl later finds herself back on Earth stuck in a tight situation. -summary
The New Krypton saga has finally caught some real stride, and by this time in the story plenty has taken place. Written by Sterling Gates and Greg Rucka; Supergirl: Friends and Fugitives collects Supergirl issues 43, 45 - 47, Action Comics 881, 882, and Superman Secret Files 2009 #1. This story isn't the least bit newbie friendly as it follows Supergirls story taking place after the events of Superman - Codename: Patriot. In the previous story, General Lane finally put some of his masterplan to work, by using the two Kryponite-hearted warriors Metallo and Reactron, along with a powerful sorceress by the name of Mirabai to viciously ambush Supergirl, Flamebird, Nightwing, and Mon-El. His plan is to plunge the country into an Anti-Kryptonian hysteria. The plan is working since Mon-El is presumed dead, and the other three are considered fugitives being blamed for several crimes. They must contend with an elite unit designed specifically to deal with Kryptonians. This means men in high-tech suits, weapons powered by red-sunlight, missiles tipped with green Kryptonite, everything.
The story is very well paced and when the fist aren't flying (which isn't for very long) some of the character interactions can be pretty good. Lane was developed well as a master strategist in Patriot, but watching his plan come together plus predicting their next moves, you just know the man is a military genius. His character has been written very well by this point. The Kryptonians feel hopelessly outmatched mainly because they're constantly holding back. They have to refrain from killing these people, to include the harder they fight the more guilty they appear. They must find another avenue to fight back, and the only way to do is by proving their innocence.
The story moves into full-throttle, as they battle against Reactron who's powers have went through an upgrade since his defeat to Supergirl. This is among the better battles, as Reactron takes on their combined might in a brutal fight. The story isn't completely all action. The writers make an attempt towards the thought-provoking, by examining media manipulation and describing how ignorance can breed hate for an entire race. The entire planet is after them and nowhere is safe, as they get into a battle in another country. To a certain degree, I'm just kind of not feeling this story element though. This isn't about a race hating someone because of their skin color or religion. This is the people of Earth being afraid of beings with the powers of Superman, who clearly don't like them as far as they can tell. They know first-hand how dangerous they are, because they saw them beat the killing machine Doomsday half to death on national TV in mere seconds at the start of this saga. So why wouldn't they be worried? I'm not saying that the theme is poorly used, but I feel a sense of somewhat misguided writing here.
Once again, the artwork by Jamal Igle and Pere Perez delivers. The action panels have some very cool moments, with loads of action as the Kryptonians take on the special unit Squad K and military forces. The battle with Reactron is an energy blasting spectacle with plenty of fisticuffs and brutal killings. There are some nice backgrounds on New Krypton such as the violet, evening time, star-filled skies and rose-laden ground. The Earth cities have some nice moments also of high rises and even the Eiffel Tower.
Outside of some stale bickering moments between Supergirl and Thara, this is a pretty solid book. Supergirl's run at this point on the New Krypton saga has delivered some fun-filled stories. The action was very good, plus the relationship with her mother becomes more developed. The cliffhanger at the end was kind of unexpected, and all it does is make you want to continue the story immediately. This is a very essential crossover that must be read.
Pros: -Story and artwork
Cons: -Small amount of weaker moments, does not stand alone well at all
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About the reviewer
May 22, 2011
Jun 15, 2013 08:21 PM UTC
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