World of Krypton might sound like a new idea, but it’s a series done a few different times by the likes of John Byrne and Mike Mignola. Returning as a six-issue miniseries, Michael Avon Oeming and Robert Venditti aim to reveal new truths about Krypton before its demise. World of Krypton #1 is out this week in a book that builds on the world we know visually and culturally.
The first thing you’ll notice when you open this book is the incredible art by Oeming and Nick Filardi. Oeming’s cartoony style meshes well with Filardi’s bright colors, which add details in hologram tech and even in the borders of panels. Krypton may be a doomed planet, as evidenced by the first scene in this issue, but they are highly advanced and futuristic in a way we could only dream of. The art helps convey that well.
As the story goes, familiar faces like Superman’s parents and Zod pop up with less familiar faces being introduced as well. We’re basically privy to environmental destruction while the higher-class Krypton people party and live it up. They are unaware of the detrimental effects going on with the flora of Krypton and are instead preoccupied with politics and infighting, although it’s classier and more hidden away as we see in the issue. Venditti is doing a good job establishing the politics of these people and how their focus is way off, especially when we know the planet is doomed.
For that reason, Krypton is like a warning to us Earthlings. This issue establishes those elements while fleshing out key players. As we see in the opening, there are warnings that are apparent, but similar to climate change today, will anyone care or listen to those who see the writing on the wall?
Visually, Oeming’s art helps make this world, its technology, and the environments feel very alien. The clothing is of course different, but effects like a “PKAF!”, or the use of Ben-day dots adds texture that looks alien. There’s little about the way this book looks that’s familiar, which in some respects enhances the similarities between the pettiness and jealousy of the people.
Plot-wise, this story is light on progression. There’s a good opening showing thought-beasts dying, but then most of the rest of the issue is a few minutes at a party. The politics and side conversations fill out the book, but an attack comes near the end of the book that leads to the cliffhanger. The first issue could use more scene changes, or developments to get its hooks into readers.
World of Krypton #1 is a good start to a series that is already wildly different from previous takes on Krypton. That said, the message is still loud and clear that a planet far more advanced than ours made the same mistakes as the world was dying around them.
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