Another week, another installment of Adventures of Superman. Check out this week’s DCN review!
Chapter Two of J.T. Krul and Marcus To’s three-part Superman story hits [digital] shelves. This week, Kal-El is caught in the middle of an ideological argument between a Phantom Zone projection of General Zod and post-mortem hologram of Jor-El. Also, Mongul brings action to this issue by trying to conquer Earth.
J.T. Krul pulls off the impossible in this issue by making General Zod a good guy. There have been previous incarnations of Zod that has painted him as sympathetic, but the reader still knew that he was rotten at his core. With the flexibility offered to writers by Adventures of Superman, Krul has turned the reader’s expectations on their head by portraying Zod as a victim of corruption in the Kryptonian Council and Jor-El as a selfish member of government bureaucracy. Will this dynamic hold in Chapter 3? It’s unclear. But for this singular issue, it’s a bold choice that makes for a fascinating read.
Marcus To really brings it in this issue. Mongul and Superman’s battle looks to be a knock-down, drag-out affair. And his portrayal of the Phantom Zone is simple, yet haunting. It’s a barren dimensional plane where prisoners live a purposeless existence–the exact type of prison one would expect Kryptonian leadership to cook up for its criminals.
I loved To’s portrayal of the Phantom Zone, but we unfortunately only get it for one panel. Also, the lack of background detail was much more noticeable this time. It works for the Phantom Zone, but everywhere else I found it distracting. Where is the fight with Mongul taking place? It’s hard to tell without visual cues that background detail can provide.
The pacing in this issue was not particularly smooth, particularly as the conversation in the Fortress of Solitude is cut short so Superman can battle Mongul. On my initial read, I thought I had skipped over a page.
Krul and To deliver another solid issue of Adventures of Superman. The portrayal of General Zod in this issue is one the best non-canonical takes on the classic villain. It will be interesting to see how the two seemingly unrelated plot threads featuring Zod and Mongul come together in next week’s concluding chapter.