Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Exile From Krypton!

Sit back and buckle up kids, as it's time to check in with the Fabulous World of Krypton!

That's not unnecessary hyperbole on my part concerning Kal-El's birth planet. What we have here is another eight page back up story that lets us peek behind the curtain into the society that gave birth to the world's greatest superhero.

Click here if you missed the review for the first part of issue #356, featuring everyone's favorite intergalactic Lothario, Vartox!

Click here if you want to check in with our previous look at the Fabulous World of Krypton.

Now that everyone is up to speed, let's start reading...

The Exile From Krypton!
  • Writer: Paul S. Newman
  • Penciller: Jose Delbo
  • Inker: Kim DeMulder
  • Letterer: Shelly Leferman
  • Colorist: Jerry Serpe
  • Editor: Julius Schwartz
For this story, we get to go way back in Krypton history to the ancient city of Erkol. It's main claim to fame are two naturally occurring, stone monoliths famed not only for their rugged beauty, but for the strange legend that surrounds them as well.

What's the strange legend, you ask? I'm glad you're curious, otherwise this would be a really short review.

In ancient times the city was ruled by five-man council, headed by Sen-Tel, who was the wisest among them.

Sen-Tal, obviously a devotee of Theodore Roosevelt, governs silently with a big stick.

As with any ruling body, someone always thinks that they can do it better, and that someone for this particular tale is Lok-Nor. He addresses the council and demands that he be made leader, for Sen-Tal has ruled long enough. Surprisingly enough, the others are not swayed by his cogent argument and the motion is denied.

Lok-Nor is left to tend to his wounded pride, so off he goes into the desert to collect exploding rocks for the city's arsenal. Yeah, that's not raising any red flags at all, Lok ol' buddy.

In the desert, Lok is amazed to see a flying saucer land in front of him and a group of aliens step out to talk to him.

It would appear that this is a peaceful race of aliens who just wish to use Krypton as a supply base for the their further space-explorations. They offer to put Lok-Nor in charge of the city in exchange for letting them use the planet. All they ask for in return is that on the rare occasion when they give Lok-Nor an order, he must follow it with no exception.

Seems an entirely innocent request of a peaceful, space-faring culture...don't you think? In a sign that Lok-Nor truly lacked the wisdom to rule in the first place, he agrees.

Lok-Nor and the aliens fly back to the city, whereupon Lok-Nor tricks the other council members into boarding the spacecraft so that they can be kidnapped enlightened by the aliens.

True to their word, the aliens make Lok-Nor the leader by flying away with the other members of the council still aboard. Lok-Nor now bears a forged document that spells out that he is in charge until they return. The document is not all that Lok-Nor has, as the aliens have also given him a helmet that symbolizes his new position as leader.

This is probably going to come as a big surprise, but Lok-Nor turns out to not be a very benevolent leader. With the aliens to back him up, he makes his fellow citizens slaves to the whims of the aliens demands.

It's not until Lok-Nor's young son wishes to try on his helmet that he realizes it is not coming off. With great effort he manages to break free of it's hold and comes to see that it was making him act like a dictator.

Now rallying his people to rise up against the aliens, they use all of their weapons to try to free their city from the aliens control. Under the cover of battle, Lok-Nor steals aboard their spaceship and uses their own atmospheric controls against them. He increases the cabin pressure in the ship, to the point that the aliens on board are about to explode.

Realizing that they are all but beat, the aliens agree to be escorted back to their own galaxy by Lok-Nor. He then willingly exiles himself to space for his betrayal, vowing only to return when he can atone for his earlier actions.

Hey look kids! There's Big Ben, and Parliament, and there's Erkol's Twin Peaks!

For generations Lok-Nor remained in space, in orbit around Krypton, unable to return until he atoned for his sins. It wasn't until years later that a massive cloud threated to smother Krypton from space. Using the advanced weaponry on the alien ship, Lok-Nor flies into the heart of the cloud and manages to neutralize it just in time.

Hey look kids! There's Big Ben, and Parliament, and there's Erkol's Twin Peaks!

Having saved Krypton a second time, Lok-Nor allows himself to return home, flying through the same massive stone peaks that he flew through when he started his exile. Krypton's greatest betrayer was able to now return as one of it's greatest heroes!


Not even the highly advanced world of Krypton was immune to crazy politicians. It makes me feel better about our dysfunctional system.

Then again, reading about all of the crazy Tea Party nonsense going on with Captain America, maybe not. It's good to know that with socialism threatening our very democracy, they are focusing on the important things like background images on comic book panels.

Please, nobody show them where we keep the exploding rocks.

All characters and artwork reproduced are (c) DC Comics.

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