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.
New Krypton is being invaded in full force. Brainiac has made it to the planet with his formidable ship, and he has dispatched his killer robots on the populace. This begins a bloody conflict of man versus machine. Little does anyone know, the fate of New Krypton isn't all that is at stake in this war. -summary
Last Stand of New Krypton is the culmination of the entire World of New Krypton story along with various crossovers involving the Kryptonians of the Superman Universe. This is the beginning result of two years worth of planning and plotting, that first began with Superman meeting Brainiac in his true form, and the battle ended with Superman liberating the bottled city of Kandor, which represents the final remnants of his destroyed planet Krypton. The freed Kryptonians couldn't get along with the people of Earth, therefore they fled the planet combining Brainiac's technology with theirs, and made New Krypton their home. An inevitable conflict had been brewing between the two planets, and this second chapter of the story arc begins with the bloodshed we all knew was coming. Written by James Robinson and Sterling Gates, this first volume is all about the war, and a couple of plot threads were dropped all for the sake of action. This really isn't a bad thing in a way, which I'll get to later. This TPB collects Adventure Comics 8,9, Last Stand of New Krypton 1,2, Supergirl 51, and Superman 698.
The Legion of Superheroes make a very important appearance in this story. It appears that Brainiac's actions on New Krypton carries deadly consequences. He not only threatens New Krypton, but the entire universe leading to the future in the 31st Century. The Legion send their Espionage Squad to link up with Mon-El and Superboy, to convince General Zod that the rescue of the other bottled civilizations on Brainiac's ship should be top priority. While in the future, Brainiac-5, a descendant of the original, seeks to put a stop to his ancestors reign of terror, which begins with the death of Superman. Robinson does a very good job balancing the pacing with good story and action. And good grief the action; there's a heavy resemblance to the Terminator movies here, with a near hopeless battle between man and machine, which sees about 11,000 Kryptonians dead in less than the first hour. Those who love action in their comics will see their crave satisfied.
For the most part, the characters are well used and the alliance of Brainiac and Lex Luthor is worth noting. Superman resigns from Krypton's military and attempts to take Brainiac out on his own. Zod's development can probably divide readers due to his actions in this story, which seem so different from how he was developed earlier. I won't give details of the things he does, but he seems to have shifted towards that maniacal turn he was already known for, or perhaps he's just more mission focused and only cares about the end results. There's clearly different ways to look at this. As for the abandoned plot thread I mentioned. I was hoping to see the Kryptonian Guilds make some sort of transition towards being unified. But it appears that even in the middle of battle, their conditioning towards segregation is far too strong. This only stands out to me because of the attention it received earlier in the series, plus I just wasn't feeling a certain plot device. I won't say it's exactly bad, I'm just pretty disappointed on how it turned out.
The inks and colors stand out the most in the artwork with a glossy look. The character designs are appealing and there's a good amount of detail even with so many characters on single pages. The action can be very brutal, with Brainiac robots snapping necks in disturbing detail. There are also some cool moments with Supergirl fighting alongside her mother. Some of the drawings can be a little bland and even featureless across the various issues, but these moments aren't too in your face.
Last Stand of New Krypton begins well enough and ends on a real cliffhanger. This story was pretty much driven by its action, which felt like a good enough payoff since most of the World of New Krypton story arc wasn't that action driven. I recommend this story only to those who have been following the main story closely. This is in no way a good place to begin your Superman reading.
Pros: -Action packed and nice artwork
Cons: -Minor story element issues
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