“Krypton Returns” continues this week as Superman, Superboy, and Supergirl travel back in time to execute the Oracle’s mission. But with enemies like The Eradicator, Kryptonian clones, and Lara Zor-El, it won’t be easy.
It’s often difficult to review a crossover issue because there are a number of ways to examine the title. For example, one could review the overall crossover thus far and how this issue fits into the overarching story. Or one could just review the
issue as a standalone tale and how it performs as such. If you haven’t been following the crossover up to this point, being dropped right into part two feels a bit overwhelming. When we left Kon in Superboy #24, he was facing off against the Psycho Pirate and ended up being knocked out in the process. One issue later, and he’s suddenly in the past on Krypton with Supergirl and Superman. Writers Scott Lobdell and Justin Jordan do their best to swiftly fill you in, however, and the issue is able to progress accordingly.
The issue feels very brief but this is most likely because it chooses to focus on all three characters individually, dedicating only a few pages each to them. However, executing the issue in this way allows readers to fill themselves in on what is going on, making it work in a way.
Having Ed Benes on art brought a very refreshing look to the book, and his work was spot-on as always. Here’s hoping they start to focus on quality art across the New 52, instead of just on the top sellers.
This issue seems to come out of nowhere. We have absolutely zero idea of how Superboy went from the Psycho Pirate to Krypton, and it feels like we’re reading the series out of order. This is a problem DC has been having lately with their crossover frenzy: unless you read two or three other titles along with your main title, you won’t have a single clue what’s going on. It’s a blatant sales tactic that is getting really old, and it’s causing once decent titles like Superboy to suffer in the process. As it had before the reboot, business is taking priority over story and quality.
This issue also does not do a very good job of making “Krypton Returns” seem interesting. Once again Superman, Supergirl, and Superboy team up to try and stop the psychopathic H’el, because apparently no one remembers Superman has any villains aside from Braniac and H’el. Coming fresh off the heels of “H’el on Earth” earlier in 2013, using him as the villain feels like a dull retread. Having just read an entire crossover featuring this guy, it’s really hard to care about what’s going on.
Justin Jordan has had a fairly nice run on Superboy up until this issue, and it’s because of its place as a crossover issue that Superboy #25 suffered. It feels almost unfair to punish the issue because it has the unlucky fate of being part of a crossover, but even crossover issues have been better executed. Once all this nonsense is over with, Jordan can get back to actually writing a book about Kon.