Superman: War Of The Supermen #4 (of 4) was published on the last Wednesday of May, and was a great ending to a great story. While the army of New Krypton ran through the rest of the heroes, the Superman family of superheroes were able to make a last stand against General Zod and his army, and save Earth.
Superman had good reasons to go to New Krypton. With Zod free and leading the military guild,
Kal-El needed to keep an eye on Zod, and his Aunt Allura as well. The Man of Steel wanted to be an example to new Krypton as he had been on Earth. He wanted to show them that, just because they were more powerful than humans, they shouldn't think of themselves as superior. And Kal wanted to train Kryptonians in the proper use of their superpowers.
The widescale destruction, including the destruction of the planet of New Krypton itself, was caused by the paranoia and megalomania of two men, Zod and General Lane. Both men tipped the scales against Earth and New Krypton figuring out how to peacefully coexist.
Zod and Lane had similar leadership philosophies, for the most part. Both were willing to risk their troops on dangerous missions with high risk of casualties, although Zod seemed more casual about sending troops to their doom.
Superman contrasted both men. He led his troops both physicaly and by example. And, whenever possible, he found a non-violent, or non-lethal solution to a conflict.
The Man of Steel's decisions on picking which heroes to protect Metropolis had far reaching effects. Ultimately, he picked the heroes who would eventually help him defeat both Zod and Lane. Now that's leadership. Conner Kent Superboy wielded the Phantom Zone Projector to send the last of Zod's troops back to the Zone, before Superman himself used it to send Zod back, and himself, after setting the projector to self-destruct afterward. The Guardian, Steel and Supergirl defeated Lane's forces, including Nemesis and Atlas. That scene had the only bad dialogue of the issue, between Guardian and Nemesis. No need to quote it here. And Steel got his revenge on Atlas.
There were things that Superman was powerless against. Zod's influence over New Krypton was such that they rejected Kal-El's example. Zod also manipulated Kal into helping train the very army that attacked his adopted planet. Chris Kent is now once again in the Phantom Zone. he sacrificed himself to send Superman back to Earth, while the Nightwing entity would guard Zod. Chris's exile is hopefully made easier by the presence of Mon-El, who played a key role in ensuring the Legion's future would exist.
Noone was untouched by the tragedy of the war between Earth and New Krypton. Superman was orphaned for the second time, after finding a group of Kryptonians so that he was no longer alone. Having gained a world that he had heard about but never experienced, only to lose it, had to be worse that knowing he was the last Kryptonian but never having experiencing his world. I wouldn't wish that for anyone.
Supergirl lost her world for the second time as well. Unlike Superman, she watched both of her parents die. so her grief is, in some respects, more personal even than Superman's.
What few survivors of New Krypton are now in the Phantom Zone, unless there are any remaining Kryptonian sleeper agents on Earth.
Lois lost her father, for a second time. She, and everyone else, thought he died defending the White House during the Our Worlds At War storyline. Not only did he commit suicide in front of her, but his animosity against anything Kryptonian put him at odds like never before with his oldest daughter. What does the future hold for her relationship with her sister Lucy, who was revealed as Superwoman. She was empowered by her father through experiments conducted at Project 7734. Will Lois get the truth about her father out, or will the world continue to consider General Lane a hero?
There are several questions remaining after the conclusion of War Of The Supermen. Have we seen the last of Zod? I would be interested in the ultimate fate of Chris Kent. I would like to see Chris freed from the Phantom Zone and adopted by Clark and Lois. I'm also curious about the future of Lucy Lane / Superwoman. The Guardian, his daughter and niece Billi have left Metropolis, and Billi, Mon El's old girlfriend, is pregnant with his baby. That should make an interesting storyline.
Next Week: Happy Birthday, Dan Jurgens!
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