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Comic Book / New Krypton

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Superman: New Krypton is a DC Comics Bat Family Crossover for the Superman-related titles, running from 2008 to 2010. It was written by, at various points and on various books, Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Sterling Gates, and Greg Rucka.

The storyline comes directly on the heels of the Superman: Brainiac arc, but has roots in the Last Son story by Geoff Johns and Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner.

Continuing from the end of Brainiac the story revolves around the Bottle City of Kandor becoming just the City of Kandor, having been finally unshrunk, and its 100,000 inhabitants freed from captivity. The resulting chaos and mistrust stemming from thousands of beings as strong as Superman now existing on Earth culminates in the murder of Supergirl's father, Zor-El. His wife, Alura, believing that there is no place for her people on Earth, encases the city in a protective dome and launches it into space, using Kryptonian technology to form the planet "New Krypton" on the other side of the solar system. All Kryptonians except Superman are banned from Earth and Alura releases General Zod to head up the defense of their people. On Earth, Sam Lane, the father of Lois Lane, reappears, having previously faked his death to go underground and prepare for a day when humanity might need to oppose Superman.

From there, each title in the series goes in its own direction within the overall arc:

  • World of New Krypton: Features Superman moving to New Krypton as a commander in their defense force, navigating the politics of both an interstellar cold war, as well as the rigid Kryptonian caste system.
  • Superman (1939) was taken over by Mon-El of Legion of Super-Heroes fame, freed from the Phantom Zone and cured of his fatal lead poisoning, and serving as Superman's replacement, both on the Justice League and as the protector of Metropolis.
  • Action Comics was headlined by newcomers Nightwing and Flamebird, two Kryptonians hiding on Earth to track down and imprison escaped criminals from the Phantom Zone.
  • Adventure Comics got involved in mid-arc and showed how the other members of the Legion of Super-Heroes plus the Conner Kent Superboy handled the conflict.
  • Supergirl (2005) dealt with the continuing fallout of Zor-El's assassination, with Supergirl trying to apprehend his killer, Reactron, while being both a literal illegal alien, and a Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • Codename: Patriot: A crossover within the crossover, revolving around the attempted assassination of General Zod.
  • Last Stand of New Krypton: Brainiac makes one last attempt to reclaim Kandor, with Zod, Lex Luthor, and the Legion of Superheroes all pursuing their own agendas in the chaos.
  • War of the Supermen: The end of the road for New Krypton, with Lane and Luthor initiating their endgame, and Zod's forces vowing to wipe out the Earth. Ends with the Reset Button thoroughly pressed, and the status quo almost entirely restored.

The story arcs Superman: Grounded and Bizarrogirl depict Superman and Supergirl dealing with the fallout.

New Krypton contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Zod and Ursa to Christopher, oh so much. Zod refers to him as a disappointment he's willing to replace in the future and Ursa refers to him as disgusting weak mewling mutation. Alura's not much better in her treatment of Kara in terms of emotional abuse after her husband's death to the point that Kara actually wished Alura had died first instead of her father.
  • Actually a Doombot: Lex Luthor gets killed in the end?!?! Oh, wait, no... just a decoy robot he planted on Brainiac's ship from the start to have some maneouvring space without being bothered by the other multiple fighting parties.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: General Lane and General Zod.
  • Archenemy: This arc firmly established Reactron as Supergirl's. It's also the first story to see Superman's three most deadly enemies—Luthor, Brainiac, and Zod—active at the same time, and in direct competition with one another.
  • Ate His Gun: General Lane. Because, as we all know, it's always…
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Lane and Luthor achieve their goal of wiping out the Kryptonians, and Luthor regains control of his company in the process and manages to vilify Kryptonians on Earth just like he hoped.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Zod and Lane are Evil Versus Evil, while Luthor, Brainiac and Jax-Ur have their own agendas.
  • Book Ends: In the first issue, Lois Lane is placing flowers at her father's grave as her sister Lucy reminds her angrily that Sam Lane never liked flowers. At the final issue, Lois visits her father's grave again. When asked why she didn't bring flowers she replies her father didn't like them and doesn't deserve them.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Captain Atom just can't catch a break.
  • Bullet Catch: In the World of New Krypton mini, Supergirl catches a sniper's bullet before the projectile hits its intended victim.
  • Cain and Abel: Lois the Abel and Lucy/Superwoman is the Cain.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • After an entire story arc's worth of emotional abuse, Kara finally calls her mother on her bullshit in the beginning of War of the Supermen. Unfortunately, Reactron uses the opportunity to detonate himself in an explosion that blows New Krypton sky-high and Alura uses her final moments to save her daughter.
    • Chris Kent's actions against Zod and Ursa can qualify this as well.
    • Lois opposes both her father and her sister in their plans of genocide. By the end of New Krypton, she hardly acknowledges them as family.
  • Captured on Purpose: Reactron was captured by Supergirl in her solo series and then tortured by her mother Alura. It's then revealed Reactron wanted to be captured since he was turned into a bomb powerful enough to destroy New Krypton, but it would only have the desired effect from inside.
  • Category Traitor: During the grand finale, Superman and Supergirl are called "race traitors" for protecting Earth from Zod's army after New Krypton gets destroyed.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The False Rao.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Supergirl captures her father's murderer Reactron and takes him to her planet so he stands trial. However Alura gets him tortured for information, making her daughter, who wanted justice rather revenge, furious when she finds out.
  • Conflict Killer: Brainiac. When he enters the scene, everyone has to put aside their agendas and team up to stop him, including Superman, Zod, Luthor, Lane, Supergirl, the Legion, and all the Kryptonians. Once he's finally beaten, things go downhill fast for the ad hoc alliance.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played straight or averted depending on the issue. When Doomsday shows up, Superman, Supergirl and a dozen of Kryptonians beat him into the ground. Later, Reactron and Metallo sneak into Kandor and kill dozens of Kryptonians by themselves, while Brainiac kills over 11,000 of them with his ship and robots within minutes of beginning his attack. And in the War of Supermen arc 80,000 Kryptonians are cannon fodder. Perhaps justified because the powers are very new to the population and only a small amount such as Zod are accustomed to using them to a degree they would be considered on the same level as Superman. Not to mention many of their enemies have experience fighting Superman and have an ample supply of Krytonite to slaughter Kryptonians.
    • Surprise also plays a huge factor: Reactron and Metallo catch the Kryptonians unprepared, unleashing Kryptonite on them when they have their guard down because they consider the two prisoners, but when they later face the JLA ready for a fight the Kryptonians fare much better, despite the JLA also having their number of tricks against Superman, and the deaths against Brainiac are caused by them mindlessly charging on against unknown technology.
    • The story also establishes that Superman isn't just more used to his powers, he is a more dangerous foe in general, not only being all-around more knowledgeable and used to face superpowered enemies, but more used to fight overall. This is best shown when another Kryptonian in the military guild challenges him to a duel. The Kryptonian uses the full array of his powers, while Superman just relies on Batman's lessons on hand-to-hand fighting, and easily floors him.
  • Cry into Chest: When New Krypton gets destroyed during the "War of the Supermen", making Superman and Supergirl the last of their kind once again, Supergirl cries into her cousin's chest at least twice.
  • Death Equals Redemption: When Reactron detonates himself, Alura uses what little time she has to put her daughter into safe zone. It's clear she loved her daughter, even if she picked the worst possible moment to prove it.
  • Demonic Possession: Vohc the Breaker has possessed the Kryptonian criminal Jax-Ur.
  • Destroyer Deity: This is the Flamebird's entire purpose, supposedly to inspire her counterpart, Vohc the builder, to greater and greater heights. Vohc fell in love with the Flamebird and dedicated his most beautiful creation to her. Unfortunately, even when she acknowledged Vohc's love for her, she destroyed his creation simply because it was her purpose to do so. Vohc was not happy.
  • Downer Ending: Spectacularly so. Millions of people are dead, the Kryptonians are nearly extinct again, and Luthor is not only a greater Karma Houdini than ever, but General Lane is regarded as a hero.
  • The Dragon: Ursa to Zod, Superwoman to General Lane, and Captain Atom to Mirabai.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Luthor is ostensibly working for Lane, but not only has an agenda, but is completely indispensable to Lane's operation. Remove Luthor, and the whole edifice comes crashing down.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: On New Krypton, courtesy of Lex Luthor and Reactron.
  • Everyone Is a Super: New Krypton is a planet on the other side of Earth's sun, sharing its orbit and populated with 100,000 fully powered Kryptonians. Unfortunately this causes a revolt by the mistreated Labor Guild whose new powers mean they are forced to work tirelessly by the Science Guild for weeks without end due to no longer needing to eat or sleep.
  • Evil Genius: Luthor, Brainiac, and Dr. Calomar.
  • Evil Versus Evil: General Zod, a ruthless, xenophobic General Ripper, has as his opposite number on Earth… General Sam Lane, a ruthless, xenophobic General Ripper.
  • Eviler than Thou: Zod, Lane, Luthor, and Brainiac are all in competition for the title of biggest son-of-a-bitch in this story.
  • Final Solution: Generals Zod and Lane are both hellbent on annihilating one another's races. Lane, with a lot of help from Luthor, ends up achieving his goal; while he doesn't kill every Kryptonian, there aren't enough left to reestablish a breeding population.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Kryptonian lovers Az-Rel and Nadira Va-Dim at one point slaughter a bunch of Science Police officers in the nude for interrupting them during intercourse.
  • Gambit Pileup: Alura orders her daughter to capture Reactron and bring him back to New Krypton. When Kara drags him along to the planet, a mob tries to lynch him and Alura takes advantage of the ensuing chaos to fake his death, throw him in a cell and make him talk... which was a bad idea because Luthor and Lane's gambit involved transforming Reactron into a living bomb and setting him off inside of New Krypton.
  • General Ripper: Zod and Lane both.
  • Genesis Effect: Kryptonian scientists use Brainiac's technology to lift a newly enlarged Kandor into space and grow a planet underneath it. The Who Is Superwoman? story arc reveals, though, they don't appear to be able to terraform it.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Mirabai the Forlorn, the ruler of Sorcerer's World. Alura becomes this trope as the de-facto ruling civil authority on New Krypton, especially when she becomes vicious and cruel in response to the death of her Morality Chain husband.
  • Good Running Evil: Superman's main motive for joining New Krypton is to improve its culture (and keep an eye on Zod) from within. When he refuses to pick a Guild, he's placed in the Military Guild under Zod's leadership, but doesn't let that stop him from thinking outside the box, such as defusing hostage situations without bloodshed. When Zod's incapacitated by an assassin, Kal briefly becomes General Kal-El.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Happens several times. At the beginning, Clark Kent and his mother visit Jonathan Kent's grave and Lois visits her father's (and has an argument with her sister Lucy). At the end of the story, Supergirl builds a grave for all Kryptonians who perished during the War and Lois visits her father's grave for the last time.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Phantom Zone escapees in Action.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Lois convinces Supergirl not to kill her father with this argument.
  • Hate Sink: Commander Fer-Gor of the Kryptonian army. At least Zod has the excuse of wanting to protect his people from the human hostilities, but Gor is a smug, sadistic bully who enjoys hurting people weaker than him, be they human or Kryptonian, and embodies everything awful about Kryptonian culture. Readers can only cheer when Luthor kills him.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Supergirl, right from the start, thanks to Cat Grant. Superman joins her not long after due to fallout from the Kryptonians' actions. Nightwing and Flamebird become this when Project 7734 frames them and Supergirl for murdering Mon-El and destroying the Metropolis water supply.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: After Doomsday's attack, the Kryptonians decide to start rounding up Superman's old enemies, reasoning that they are likely to be a threat for them in the future, and sending them off into the Phantom Zone. Seeing the pattern, Metallo and Reactron are sent off to let themselves being captured and escorted directly into Kandor instead of breaking in, when they are free to unleash their hidden Kryptonite and start slaughtering Kryptonians. This results in the death of the husband of Alura, the woman behind the very plan of securing Superman's enemies. Weirdly enough, it's never brought up, not even when she tries to use said grief to justify an even harsher stance toward Earth.
    • Happens again later in the story and yet again with Alura and Reactron, which she has kidnapped to torture him, offering the excuse of wanting to gather information on potential future threats to Krypton. However, Reactron wanted to be captured, since he was turned into a bomb powerful enough to destroy New Krypton. This time he gloats about it as he is about to detonate.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual:
    • In Supergirl (Volume 5) 5 #41, Supergirl rips the "S"-shield off Superwoman's clothes screaming she is a murderer who doesn't deserve to wear her family's crest.
      Supergirl: You're asking for mercy? Like Agent Liberty got?! Like poor Mister Henderson!? Like my father!? You don't deserve mercy, you deserve a beating! And this? You don't deserve to wear this.
    • In World of New Krypton #12, General Zod is so angry when he finds out that Commander Gor disobeyed his direct orders and gunned a fugitive down than rips his commander insignia off his chest and demotes him right away.
  • "Just So" Story: In the Superman: Secret Files (2009) one-shot, Thara Ak-Var tells Kara that, according to the myth, Krypton's Fire Falls were created when the god Rao cried tears of flame for a hundred nights after being tricked into imprisoning the goddess Cythonna.
  • Karma Houdini: Luthor. Zod's back in the Phantom Zone. Reactron and Lane are dead. Metallo's in jail. Brainiac loses his ship and much of his accumulated knowledge. But Luthor? Luthor is rewarded for his role in the genocide, by having his company returned to him.
  • Killed Off for Real: Mr. Kent, Zor-El, Alura, and Reactron are all major players who die and were never brought back before the reboot. All Kryptonians not sent into the Phantom Zone or allied with Superman are also shown as dead.
  • May–December Romance: Thara and Chris. Thara's nearing fifty but looks young due to her time trapped by Brainiac. Chris is around six years old but has the body and mind of a young adult due to the Phantom Zone tampering with his genetics to make him age years more than he should and Zod's machines that accelerating and developing his mind. It becomes a Squick situation when it's revealed Thara actually fell in love with a six year old boy Chris in the midst of a mind meld they experienced.
  • The Mole: Natasha Irons, inside 7734.
  • Muggle Power: Comes in the form of Luthor and Lane and their Human Defence Corps.
  • Neck Lift: Supergirl does this to Sam Lane after he has successfully engineered the death of New Krypton and the Kryptonian genocide.
  • Newhart Phonecall: In Supergirl #34, Lana Lang receives a call from Perry White. Although Perry's side of the conversation is not given, it is clear he is trying -and failing- to talk Lana into returning to work in the Daily Planet.
  • Nuclear Mutant: Reactron. Exaggerated when General Lane turns him into a living nuclear bomb powerful enough to blow New Krypton sky-high.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the final arc "War of the Supermen", Supergirl defeats her old enemy Superwoman for good. It's a brutal, one-sided beatdown... which happens completely off panel.
  • Older Than They Look: All of the Kandorians and Phantom Zone escapees. Thara Ak-Var, for instance, looks maybe twenty, and hasn't actually aged more than a couple of years, despite spending three decades active and awake in the bottle city. This is Handwaved as being a result of Brainiac's technology.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: When Mon-El, the only hero in the story that's actually liked by the masses, is "killed" by Lane's agents.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Luthor and Lane's gambit involves transforming Nuclear Mutant Reactron into a living bomb and setting him off inside of New Krypton.
  • President Evil: Alura after she takes leadership of New Krypton.
  • Psycho for Hire: Pretty much the entirety of Project 7734, but Codename: Assassin and Reactron are the standout examples.
  • Red Herring: When Nightwing and Flamebird first appeared, much was made of Nightwing's tactile telekenesis and Flamebird's fire powers, in order to lead readers to believe they were the currently-dead Conner Kent and the somewhere-in-limbo Linda Danvers. They weren't, although Conner did join the storyline, having been resurrected in Legion of Three Worlds. Word of God from Sterling Gates revealed they actually were going to be Linda and Conner before they were forced to substitute with Thara and Chris.
  • Secret Identity: Mon-El, who tries to blend in by posing as Science Police officer Jonathan Kent.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Billie Harper reveals to the Guardian that she's pregnant with Mon-El's child.
  • Status Quo Is God: Let's face it, Superman no longer being nearly the Last of His Kind was never going to last.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: It happens to Supergirl when she moves to New Krypton and finds she's been living in Earth for so long that Kryptonians are "alien" to her now.
    Lana Lang: So what's it like over there?
    Supergirl: On New Krypton? It's... different. Our people are happy there. The planet itself is beautiful, too, but... It's weird, but being around other Kryptonians like my mother, I'm really starting to feel... well...
    Lana: Alien?
    Supergirl: Some of them are so different from humans, Lana. They think differently, they speak differently, they... react differently. I've been on Earth so long, it's been hard for me to fall back into being "just another Kryptonian".
  • Tempting Fate: Zor-El tempted fate several times:
    • In "Superman: New Krypton Special", Zor says now they have powers "We'll never be in harm's way again". he got murdered shortly after. And New Krypton got blown up.
    • In Supergirl vol.5 #34 Kara questions the wisdom of having a Brainiac's robot keeping Argo's shields up, and asks what would happen if it woke up. Her father reiterates over and again it can't and won't turn itself back on. Despite everything, the robot woke up and nearly killed them.
  • Taking the Bullet: Krypto intercepting a kryptonite knife intended for Superboy.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Different members of the Legion Espionage Squad, at various points. Chameleon Boy was actually undercover as a cop.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Reactron brought golden kryptonite (which nullifies the powers of a Kryptonian) to the fight, thinking he'd kill Supergirl easily. It turns out that Supergirl has been trained by both Batman and Wonder Woman and knows Klurkor (a Kryptonian martial art).
    • General Sam Lane has the habit of declaring that his daughter Lucy Lane -a. k. a. Superwoman- is a soldier who will not be bested by a "teenage hussy" two minutes before Supergirl mops the floor with Superwoman.
  • Untrusting Community: Due to Sam Lane's smearing campaign, the Earth's people starts distrusting Kryptonian heroes, and eventually all Kryptonians are banned from Earth.
  • Villain Has a Point: Lex Luthor certainly wasn't wrong about what would happen if a whole army of Kryptonians landed on Earth. Even without Lane and Luthor's interference, the Kandorians (or at least their leadership) quickly showed themselves to be arrogant supremacists who flouted human laws and felt themselves to be immune to any form of corrective behaviour. Luthor finds the affair extremely gratifying.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Lane has the blood of millions of Kryptonians on his hands, but is regarded by many as a hero… even after he commits suicide.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Depressingly addressed by Guardian when Jimmy Olsen asks him where the kids in the Newsboy Legion are, "They could be alive and well and somewhere not here. They could be pieces in test tubes the military study every Christmas. I don't know." For a ray of hope Harper had already lied to Olsen about another Cadmus created child whom he was protecting in the same conversation so it's possible he's also lying about this group too.
  • Willing Channeler: Nightwing and Flamebird, two minor Kryptonian deities, choose Chris Kent and Thara Ak-Var as their respective hosts.
  • Woman Scorned: Rare Male Example, Vohc was in love with Flamebird, but since her entire purpose in life was to wreck his stuff, it didn't turn out well.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Between General Zod and General Lane, the latter receives a lot of assistance from Lex Luthor. Brainiac and Brainiac 5 get in on the game as well, partway through.
  • You Killed My Father: The Guardian says this verbatim to Codename: Assassin.
  • Younger Than They Look: Chris Kent goes from looking his age (about six) to looking around 12, to his mid teens, early twenties, and eventually old age, due to being a mutant.