Review: The World of Krypton #1

The World of Krypton #1 cover
Cover by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano

The World of Krypton #1
Published and © by DC, July 1979

Title: “The Jor-El Story”
Synopsis: A tape found on the moon allows Superman to learn the story of his father, Jor-El.

Writer: Paul Kupperberg
Artists: Howard Chaykin and Murphy Anderson

Review: Still recovering from its infamous “Implosion,” DC got a little creative with its formats. The World of Krypton – the first comic-book miniseries – reportedly uses material originally scheduled for Showcase, a long-running title canceled during the dark days in 1978. That’s too bad, because this project didn’t need to see the light of day. Paul Kupperberg mines the Superman mythos’ long history for this story, resulting in a sci-fi mishmash that’s incredibly dated. Worse still is the art: The credits say Howard Chaykin was involved, but his work is completely incompatible with that of fellow artist Murphy Anderson. Overall, quite dreadful.

Grade: D+

Second opinion: “Kupperberg’s script is competent and interesting, while Chaykin’s pencils are completely dominated by Anderson’s strong inks.” – Nige P. Edwards, BEM #24, July 1979 …“The art is very pleasant. I wasn’t sure if Chaykin and Anderson would mix, but they do!” – K. Williams, BEM #24, July 1979 … “Paul Kupperberg’s script is appropriately tight, and it is to be admired … . Unfortunately, Howard Chaykin, whether ‘finished’ by Murphy Anderson or Frank Chiaramonte (in issue #3), fares not as well.” – Mike Tiefenbacher, The Comics Reader #171, August 1979 … “A well-produced reference for Superman fans.” – Hassan Yusuf, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983 … “The penciling by Howard Chaykin is uninspired.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: The miniseries concept is cool. (The execution here? Not so much.)

Notable: This series introduced the miniseries format to comics.

Character quotable:Rings of Vlador! Who is she!?” – Young Jor-El, seeing future wife Lara for the first time

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 26, 2009.

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