The House of El continues their time travel adventure to battle against the insane H’El in Supergirl #25!
“Krypton Returns” reads differently than the past few crossovers that DC has done in the New 52. As a result, you will need to read Superboy #25 before reading Supergirl #25. If you have not read Superboy yet, check out our review for it here. Everything from here on is SPOILER territory.
At the end of Superboy #25, the House of El was attempting to stop H’El from reviving Krypton and altering history itself. This forces each member of the Super family to reach a different moment in time and painfully, allow their planet to die once more. Scott Lobdell is credited for the plot and part of the dialogue, sharing the issue with Michael Alan Nelson and Justin Jordan, the writers for Supergirl and Superboy. Lobdell has been working towards “Krypton Returns” for quite some time.
Seeing pieces of the story unfold by focusing on each House of El member in the same issue reads well if you have been reading the other books aside from Supergirl. The story brings back old cliffhangers in this arc and it makes the reader understand that Lobdell has been working towards this arc a year in advance. In Superman #0 a figure sits atop a skyscraper of Krypton wearing a black Superman costume and claiming to help Krypton die. Seeing these parts finally connect all the way back to before the introduction of H’El makes the series feel well-researched and whole … at least for Superman.
Most of the parts where older questions were explained fit better in the Superman series than Supergirl. Although she has her place in this arc and in the universe as a whole, it feels more like Lobdell is trying to tie loose ends in Superman solely.
The artwork is stunning, although it isn’t Kenneth Rocafort stunning; Paulo Siqueira draws each character in a strong way. Kara appears ruthless, Superboy demonstrates incredible power, and Superman faces inner struggle. All of these areas need to be drawn a specific way and Siqueira does so gracefully.
Although Siqueira’s artwork stands out in a very good way, there was a particular focus on a certain titular character’s rear end. Kara’s derriere is displayed front and center, three times in two pages. The action scene required her to be near submitted, but she breaks out of it. Showing that similar angle a few times in such a short amount of time is strange and distracting. Siqueira’s attention to detail is so strong that it would’ve served the issue better if he experimented with different angles.
If you haven’t read “Krypton Returns” in order, this issue will not make any sense. The idea of focusing on each character simultaneously in each release is an interesting experiment, but it forces the readers to pick up books they may not be reading. If the crossover is strong enough, it will cause the readers to go and check out the other pieces of the puzzle, but they shouldn’t have to pick up these other pieces in order to understand what is going on with their singular series. Jumping from planet I’Noxia to Krypton so abruptly will feel like a speed bump hideously placed without warning in the Supergirl series.
“Krypton Returns” is nearing its end, but unfortunately it’s not hitting the high concept that Scott Lobdell is trying to convey. Though seeing the House of El come together again is interesting and entertaining, the hurried application of the source material makes the arc feel more sloppy than memorable. There is one issue left in the arc to win readers over and, hopefully, it will deliver.