Tuesday, August 19, 2008

 

That's *My* Krypton

Longtime readers of the Ramble may recall that Geoff Johns was responsible a while back for the return of my Fortress of Solitude. Not "my" Fortress, that is, but the Fortress of my Superman. (Who is pals with my Batman, in case you didn't know.) And now Johns is about to bring back an even bigger set-piece to Superman continuity.

I've fallen in and out and in love again with Johns's work over the years, but I have to agree with Dean Trippe when he says that Johns appears to have "leveled up" the last couple of years. Between his work on Green Lantern and his run on Action Comics, Johns is all aces in my book these days.

And while he's been gradually rebuilding the Green Lantern franchise from the ground up (using as a framework the contributions of Alan Moore to the canon), he's been refurbishing Superman as well, gradually reworking the character and his continuity with an "include and transcend" approach that is more than a little reminiscent of the Superman 2000 pitch worked up years ago by Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Mark Millar, and Tom Peyer (more about which here). In the current arc he's busy reinventing Brainiac, but as soon as that arc is through he'll be moving onto a storyline called "New Krypton."

Here are Alex Ross's covers to Superman #681, Action Comics #871 and Supergirl #35 (parts 2-4 of the nine part "New Krypton" storyline):



Talk about "include and transcend"! There are characters there from damn-near every interpretation of Krypton I can think of, in comics, television, and film. Right there in the center? That's Nightwing and Flamebird, the "Batman and Robin of Kandor" (though they don't appear to be exactly any version we've seen before). And on the right there, in the red, white and blue? That looks an awful lot like the Kristen Wells Superwoman, who was teased early in Johns's run on Action.

My favorite Superman of the moment remains Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman, but Geoff Johns's run on Action Comics is running a very close second.

Comments:
Yeah, I've been starting to get into Superman a little bit, since Robinson's been on board, but then I realized I really should be reading Johns' work to. I guess it'd be wrong to rob a bank to pay for Superman comics. At least it would be in poor taste....
Oh, I'm not sure if you've looked this up but here's the website for Mid-Ohio Con, the show I mentioned a couple of posts back.

http://www.midohiocon.com/

Take care,
Greg
 
I don't know that there's a court in the land that would convict a man for robbing to pay for comics. (Bread, now, that's another matter...)

My favorite part of Robinson's new run on Superman is the re-imagined Science Police. They should have their own book (and I should write it!).
 
I've been a big fan of a lot of Geoff Johns's work (esp. The Flash), but he is really knocking out of the park with his Braniac story. My only minor qualm is that in one issue of the storyline, Superman recognizes Braniac, but in the latest installment (I think the third) Braniac acts as if he hasn't met Big Blue before. I'm sure Geoff will have some nifty explanation for it, though.

Either way, this Braniac story (or something like it) is what we should be seeing in the next Superman film.
 
I think the conceit of Johns's story is that while Superman (and the readers) have met *a* Brainiac before, we are only now meeting *the* Brainiac. Like his Toyman story before it, this arc recasts all of the Brainiacs we've met to date as "probes" and such of the original, who is only now being brought onstage, and who evidently wasn't kept up to speed on the doings of his subordinates.
 
I actually skimmed over the issue last night before bagging it and came away with a similar perception. If nothing else, Braniac's previous incarnations were never really quite so...Buff.
 
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