Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials
Superman: Last Stand on KryptonScheduled to arrive in stores: March 19, 2003
Cover date: May 2003
Writer: Steve Gerber
Penciller: Doug Wheatley
Inker: Chris Chuckry
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Earth has been hit with an asteroid, but Kal-El, using Kryptonian technology, hopes to bring Earth back to its poetential. In front of a large group of people, they pledge to rebuild the world as it once was.
The city is a paradise, but the people inside of it are corrupt. In a council hearing, Superman is harangued by Morgan Edge, a senator, because he refuses to share more of his Kryptonian technology. He tells the people of Earth that Krypton suffered a horrible fate, and he is not about to let Earth suffer the same fate as that of his adopted homeworld, Krypton giving them secrets to genetics and cloning that would lead to conflict.
The council is strictly divided, but Kal-El leaves in frustration.
At the Daily Planet, Kal seeks the advice of Perry White, who tells him to check on Lois, now a Captain in the military doing work in South America. Jimmy asks Kal what he thinks now that Morgan Edge is calling him a traitor to humanity.
Kal visits his mother near the Jonathan Kent Memorial Observatory. She tells him that he is right to leave, but wonders if he will miss her.
At the Arkham Island detention facility, Lex Luthor bargains with Morgan Edge for freedom. He says he vows to take Kal down, seeing as Kal is the only person ever to get him into a prison. When Edge gets, well, edgy, (sorry folks, I had to do that one), Lex gets furious and takes him to the wall. He tells Edge that he's the only one who could find where Superman is and destroy him. Edge says that Kal has disappeared.
In South America, Lois receives a call that Kal needs to be found. She thinks she has an idea.
In Kansas, nearing a farm, Lex asks his guards if they have his inventory. They haggle with him, but eventually tell him that everything is in order. He takes the inventory and fries the guards.
Later, Lois finds the dead guards and heads for the farmhouse. Luthor intercepts her with robots taken from Kal's arsenal he foolishly left behind.
Kal-El comes out of warp near Krypton, and his robot, Krypto, tells him that things have advanced far further than they had when he left. Kal checks the logs, but they've been moved.
Im-Zod is furious at Kryptonian heritage being squandered on plants, dirt, and contact. He takes up the mantle of General again to defend the true Kryptonian heritage.
Kal finds Jor-El and Lara, and has a happy reunion. Kal is informed of how Zod would have the land reduced to a barren waste rather than use the cloning tech to restore Krypton to its former glory. Zod comes over a hologram and gives Jor a final warning to cease his activity. Jor declines.
A spaceship crashes and Lois tumbles out. Lex mocks her in his exo-suit, telling her that because of the density of Krypton, she will suffer. Robots descend and attack Lex. They are both carried off.
Zod questions him and finds out Kal is on the planet. Lex agrees to help Zod, asking him where Kal would most likely turn up.
Robots descend upon the New Kryptonian sanctuary.
The Zod riders infect the colonists with Kryptonium, the green death. Animals and people die horribly.
Kal comes to a consensus with his family and the colonists. They must fight or die.
Kal goes to Zod and pleads with him to avoid war. Zod declines, and hands Kal over to Luthor. Luthor infects him with forms of the green death until he is overexposed, growing hulkish and grabbing Lois away.
Zod finds no more use for Lex and is about to attack him. Lex turns a red energy ray on himself.
Superman takes Lois far away. He is brutish and unintelligible, but his motives are still pure. He tells her he will take her to his father who will get her an exo-suit.
Luthor then reveals to Zod that he now has brainpower sufficient to mentally control Zod's armies. He has Zod's own men move in on him, and calls the rest of Zod's forces to him.
Meanwhile, Lois is equipped with an exo-suit, and tells Jor that she will run his war for him. Kal, meanwhile, has expanded powers thanks to Luthor's machinations.
Kal shows Lois Thought-Beasts, giant triceratops with an image of though in their forehead shield.
Kal accidentally uses a phantom zone lamp on Lois, thinking it a light. Lois disappears, but Jor quickly tells him to bring her back. She sees the strategic advantage of such a device.
Luthor has gathered Zod's army to him, and he brings Kal's grandfather, Seyg-El, before him. He removes Seyg-El's bodysuit and Seyg begins to age his 450 years. He calls Jor and warns him of the impending danger. Kal surmises that Luthor turned the red ray on his own body and gained powers like unto his own.
Luthor marches upon the colony, but it appears deserted. Thought-Beasts take out the rear guard. Out of range, Lois initiates phase two. Gryphon riders swoop in and attack, taking out heavy artillery.
Lois initiates phase three, going in and using the phantom zone on troops.
Luthor brings the spire Kal is hiding in down, and in doing so angers Kal.
Luthor tries to bring Kal under his influence, but Kal was once a Green Lantern, and Luthor cannot best him in wills. Smug, he drops beasts on Kal, distracting him. They are enveloped in an energy field of their mental projection, and an explosion ensues.
Both fighters, burned beyond recognition and dying, argue the futility of their actions. Luthor tells Kal that a madman's work is never done, and unhinges Krypton. Kal tries to warn them to leave, but earthquakes start to rock the planet. Both die.
Lois, Lara and Jor run to Jor's lab, and there they find a mostly finished spaceship with a hyperdrive. There is only enough room for Lara and Lois, and Jor-El sends them on as Krypton explodes, secure in their knowledge that they have violated Krypton's greatest taboo in the baby Lara caries in her belly, Jor-El's heir.
Story - 4: I liked certain aspects of this story. Others I didn't. But largely, this is an interesting re-creation of the origin myth. I didn't read the first book in this series. As I recall, I bought it, thinking I'd have to review it, then returned it to afford another book I was reviewing. But, if you go and read the original review, at http://www.supermanhomepage.com/comics/2000-post-crisis-reviews/sup-lastsono fearth1.html, this whole issue makes a heck of a lot more sense in a lot of ways. This is something that doesn't affect the plot too much, but it is a factor.
I like Luthor. Luthor is dead-on. He's not the cool, calculating non-madman I like and expect him to be, just evil because of life's circumstances and not a mental bent, but as the mental-bent Luthor went, this issue portrayed him superbly. Excellent dialogue, wonderful character. He always had a backup plan, and he was malicious to the core, not just malicious to what the kiddies would like to see, and I respect that.
What I don't like is spending twenty pages on Earth just to drop it as a plot point. Why go there if it isn't necessary? I know we need Luthor and Lois on Krypton, but was all the backstory really necessary? It's cute to see everything twisted around, but it should focus on the plot at hand. What happened with Edge? Is Earth going to be the same? I guess that's up to the son of Jor-El, now, but are we going to have to wait for another series for that? The last one was three years ago. I am not that patient, frankly.
But all in all, well executed, well put together, and not at all forced. I mean, there are the elements that these Elseworlds have of filling up space (see last paragraph), but they're not too bad. Like I said, they're cute, they fill space in an interesting way, and they're not just thrown in, as they usually are with these things.
Superman and Luthor died. That was nice. They never do that, and they did here. I respect that.
An interesting read. Worth six buck? I would say five. Pretty darn good. I' ll bet with the original read, this might have been a five. I'll be honest.
Art - 5: In the original review, Gareth pointed out that the art was very detailed, some of the best he'd seen since Kingdom Come. I don't know if I'd go that far, but I will say that the work was very good, very distinctive, and very well inked and colored. It has a very real-life quality that I respect. It's also bright and idealistic, shying away from the typical grim and gritty, we 're-gonna-win-hardcore-readers style we see a lot for Superman.
I liked especially the lack of huge, annoying, worthless splashes, but still the ability through pictures to tell an epic scope story. Well done.
Cover Art - 5: One heck of an improvement over the last one. I like this cover. It's nicely painted, depicts the main characters of the issue without showing them in deceptive, fan-luring poses, and it has an air that reflects the tone of the piece. I don't typically like Elseworlds covers, but to be honest, even if I hadn't had to review this, I might have bought it based on the cover alone. For six bucks, that says something.
Mild Mannered Reviews
2003Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
- Superman #188
- Adventures of Superman #610
- Superman: The Man of Steel #132
- Action Comics #797
- JLA #75
- Justice League Adventures #13
- Superman: Day of Doom #1
- Superman: Day of Doom #2
- Superman: Day of Doom #3
- JLA/JSA: Secret Files & Origins #1
- Superman #189
- Adventures of Superman #611
- Superman: The Man of Steel #133
- Action Comics #798
- JLA #76
- JLA/JSA: Virtue & Vice
- Justice League Adventures #14
- Superman: Day of Doom #4
- Superman/Aliens II: GodWar #4
- Superman: The Man of Steel #134
- Superman: The 10 Cent Adventure
- Action Comics #799
- Adventures of Superman #612
- Superman vs. Darkseid: Apokolips Now
- JLA #77
- Justice League Adventures #15
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #1
- JLA/Spectre: Soul War #1
- Action Comics #800
- Adventures of Superman #613
- Superman #190
- JLA #78
- Justice League Adventures #16
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #2
- Superman: Metropolis #1
- JLA/Spectre: Soul War #2
- Action Comics #801
- Adventures of Superman #614
- Superman #191
- JLA #79
- Justice League Adventures #17
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #3
- JLA: Scary Monsters #1
- Superman: Last Stand on Krypton
- Smallville #1
- Superman: Metropolis #2
- Action Comics #802
- Adventures of Superman #615
- Superman #192
- JLA #80
- Justice League Adventures #18
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #4
- Superman: Metropolis #3
- Superman: Red Son #1
- JLA: Age of Wonder #1
- JLA: Scary Monsters #2
- Action Comics #803
- Adventures of Superman #616
- Superman #193
- JLA #81
- Justice League Adventures #19
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #5
- Superman: Metropolis #4
- Smallville #2
- JLA: Age of Wonder #2
- JLA: Scary Monsters #3
- Action Comics #804
- Adventures of Superman #617
- Superman #194
- JLA #82
- Justice League Adventures #20
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #6
- Superman: Red Son #2
- Superman: Metropolis #5
- JLA: Scary Monsters #4
- JLA: Welcome to the Working Week
- Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity #1
- Action Comics #805
- Adventures of Superman #618
- Superman #195
- Superman: Birthright #1
- JLA #83
- Justice League Adventures #21
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #7
- Superman: Metropolis #6
- JLA: Scary Monsters #5
- Smallville #3
- Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity #2
- Action Comics #806
- Adventures of Superman #619
- Superman #196
- Superman/Batman #1
- Superman: Birthright #2
- JLA #84
- JLA #85
- Justice League Adventures #22
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #8
- Superman: Metropolis #7
- JLA: Scary Monsters #6
- Superman: Red Son #3
- Action Comics #807
- Adventures of Superman #620
- Superman #197
- Superman/Batman #2
- Superman: Birthright #3
- JLA #86
- JLA #87
- JLA/Avengers #1
- JLA-Z #1
- Superman: Blood of My Ancestors
- Justice League Adventures #23
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #9
- Superman: Metropolis #8
- Smallville #4
- Action Comics #808
- Adventures of Superman #621
- Superman #198
- Superman/Batman: Secret Files and Origins 2003
- Superman/Batman #3
- Superman: Birthright #4
- JLA #88
- JLA #89
- Avengers/JLA #2
- JLA-Z #2
- Justice League Adventures #24
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #10
- Superman: Metropolis #9
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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2003.