Wednesday, September 8, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #2 (Review)

Written by Cary Bates
Art by Renato Arlem
Cover by Felipe Massafera

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $4.99

It was a small week for books to catch my eye but with the next issue of Avengers: The Children's Crusade being one of those books it would take a comic of high quality to challenge for the right to be at the top of my stack and Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #2 did just that. Writer Cary Bates is a longtime comic book scribe who just recently returned to the medium after over a decade-long absence. He is no stranger to the Superman mythos having written Superman stories in the sixties, seventies and eighties, and was a great choice to write this Elseworlds mini-series.

This issue jumps ahead in time for the House of El and shows Clark as a teen and an adult, the mischievous El Twins as older kids playing with fire and getting burned and the developing tension between Clark and Jor-El as the latter continues to see Lex as his successor. The classic red and blue suit makes its debut and Clark and Lois find themselves drawn to each other in this universe as well.

Felipe Massafera's cover draws attention immediately to the book and his style is reminiscent of Alex Ross. The interiors by Renato Arlem are a different style but give the comic a classic feel to it. Teen Clark has a resemblance to Smallville's Tom Welling, as well as Teen Lex could be seen as Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum with hair. There were nods to the history of the DCU in this new universe with Lara having dinner with the Waynes, and the creation of an anti-El cult by the name of Doomsday.

There is one last issue in this mini-series and that gives me hope that there will not be enough time for doom to hit this universe. If there is one thing I have learned is that when there is a character like Superman with years upon years of history and different versions of it told, that trends develop and most half to do with him being the last of his kind. Now that the regular DC universe has seemed to head in the direction of having a family around him maybe that will make this universe of Els safe as well. One thing readers can all rely on is that the final issue will probably bring Lex to the forefront as a villain, and I predict he will betray Jor-El and Superman will have to save the day finally gaining his father's praise. If there is a happy ending in store for this mini-series.

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