Friday, August 26, 2011

Caped Dog Flies

Superman #712, by Kurt Busiek, Rick Leonardi, & Jonathan Sibal

Individual issues of comics are sometimes described by their publishers as "Great jumping on points for new readers". This is not one of those issues, as I discovered to my cost. Lured in by the cover's fetching image of a cape-wearing dog flying in front of a giant moon, I paid over my money expecting a charming story focussed on Krypto the Superdog. What I got was a largely incomprehensible trip through recent Superman/Superboy back-story and DC Universe crossover nonsense. The narrative is focussed on Krytpo, but it is largely meaningless to people who have not been following recent DC super-titles.

What this seems to be is a flashback to shortly after Superboy died in Infinite Crisis* and sees Krypto flying around trying to work out what has happened to his master. When his enhanced sense of smell brings him to the site of Superboy's fatal last encounter with some kind of evil version of himself, the dog of wonder howls a bit and flies off into space.

I cannot really judge whether the story here is any good or not. The transitions between the present and what Krypto remembers or smells about the past are well done and convincingly doggy. However, it all seems too much like part of a bigger picture and too heavily based on background information that a casual reader like me does not have. The sense of dislocation is further enhanced by a comic-strip advertising a fast food chain, in which the Justice League battle an army of gorillas. It took me a while to register that this was not just another of Krypto's memories.

I'm not sure about the art. Some of it seems a bit unformed, but that works with how much of this is flashback. The stuff set in the present still seems a bit unclear. Krypto himself seems slightly less than the endearing canine someone like me would want from a comic like this.

All in all, I will have to give this a thumb's down. But I wonder what close readers of recent Super-titles make of it?

*I was not aware that Superboy had died in Infinite Crisis. I'm not really clear on what Infinite Crisis is either. I am so not the target market for this title.

This is another left-over posting for Martin Skidmore's FA website.

image source

An inuit panda production

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