Superman can never just get a break. After the events of Super Sons of Tomorrow, the Man of Steel decided to teach Superboy about Krypton. As the lesson goes on, the pair receives a distress signal from a far-off planet. This planet is suffering from destabilization and could explode like Krypton at any moment. Superman, refusing to let anyone suffer Krypton’s fate, goes off to save the planet with his son. When they arrive, they learn a terrible truth: the people of the planet WANT to die. The inhabitants see the destruction of their planet and their deaths as the ultimate sacrifice for their god, Dhermet. Superman tries to convince them otherwise, but the religious race turns violent and attacks him. Before Superboy and he are hurt too bad, a scientist picks them up and takes them to his lab. Will Superman save these people?
**Some Spoilers Below**
After getting rescued from the zealots, Superman and Superboy are led to a lab. The scientist named Klain explains that most of the scientists of the planet had been killed by the zealots, including his wife. Knowing that there is no hope for his planet, he hopes to send off his and his wife’s eggs to a suitable world with a small spaceship. Before the launch, however, the zealots find them. Superman and Superboy now have to defend the eggs to keep the race alive.
When I first read this, I was ready to write off as a run-of-the-mill, anti-religion storyline. The Zealots kill the voice of reason and praise their god as their world crumbles. Open and close, right? That’s when I took a step back and looked at the story as a whole.
At the beginning of this two-part story, Superman was teaching Jon about the destruction of Krypton. If you have never read/watched any Superman origin, Krypton exploded in a near identical manner. The key difference between the two is their beliefs. Where the race of this story believed that they should die for their god, the Kryptonians would focus more on the statistical probability. While it was a low probability, Krypton did explode and everyone died. It was science that failed Superman’s race.
So, if religion was wrong and science was wrong, what was the story trying to answer? It was trying to say that belief is important, but it’s more important to be willing to accept. It’s okay to believe in God, but be open to the scientific answers. Science can give people results, but that doesn’t mean bash those who seek comfort in a god. The ideal example of this issue’s message is Klain, who despite seeing the science and wants to save the world, believes in his people’s god. Be open to everything and get along with everyone.
Ed Benes has taken over this half of the two-part story and it’s a massive improvement. Superman and Superboy have never looked better and the alien world looks amazing. While it does lack the frightening edge Doug Mahnke’s pencils brought in the last issue, Benes’ pencil work is great. Dinei Ribeiro’s colors help the world drawn by Benes feel more alive. Together the team has created a beautiful yet tragic end for this planet and its people.
This was a surprisingly good ending for this two-parter. The story is deep and leaves you with a thought-provoking message that’ll stick with you for days. The art was fantastic, fitting the tragic end for this tale. The story isn’t for everyone, but for this reviewer, it has left a strong impact.