The last several issues have basically been prologue to this year's major arcs. Superman will be on New Krypton. Mon-El and the Guardian will be in charge of Metropolis. Flamebird and Nightwing will be hunting whatever they are hunting.
The last issue ended with Mon-El ripped from a collapsing Phantom Zone only to begin dying from the sudden exposure to lead.
With Mon-El turning an unseemly shade of gray, Superman comes up with an idea. Why not go into the future for Brainiac 5's cure serum? Superman knows that Mon-El is safely active 1000 years from now.
But when he tries to use his Legion ring to go to the 31st century, it doesn't work. Superman sums it up pretty ominously. "Something's wrong ... with tomorrow."
My guess is that we haven't quite reached the post-Final Crisis DCU. The problem with tomorrow is that the events of Final Crisis:Legion of Three Worlds are still bubbling to the surface.
But seriously, not to pick at the finaly scabbed over wound of Final Crisis, when will the DCU move to the post-FC reality. The DCU titles have been moving forward without even a glance at the trauma of Final Crisis. And assuming that each title moves ahead with current storylines will there even be a mention of Earth nearly dying, the death of some friends, the restructuring of the orrery? Hawkman and Hawkwoman and Batman all died in Final Crisis and yet all three are in the current Justice League of America issue. Heck, Hawkwoman stars in the 'Origins and Omens' back-up. Is she dead? Did New Krypton get created before Final Crisis? If so, why weren't 100,000 Kryptonians mentioned? Aftewards? Well where does Final Crisis fit in the timeline of the super-titles. I just think that after a major event .... the last Crisis ... there should be a new feel to continuity. As it is, outside of the impact on the Bat titles, I feel like Final Crisis could have been an Elseworlds mini-series.
Yikes, that's a lot of bile to spring forth from one panel in Superman. Sorry for the tangent.
Realizing that an answer from the future won't come easily, Superman rushes to his lab to try to cobble some cure together last minute.
When he arrives he discovers this 'Alice in Wonderland'-like flask, the 'drink me' label festooned with a Legion symbol. Feeling he has no choice, Superman administers the serum to Mon-El who is miraculously cured.
So this save felt a bit too much like a deus ex machina. However, there aren't many people who could have sneaked into the Fortress to leave it there. My guess? Flamebird and Nightwing. There is a theory floating on the web that Nightwing is Cosmic Boy. He could have brought the anti-lead poisoning serum from the future.
If Nightwing is Rokk, then who is Flamebird? What about Officer Schvaughn Erin?
Now that the immediate crisis of Mon-El and the Phantom Zone is over, Superman can go back to worrying about the ongoing crisis of New Krypton. He simply doesn't trust General Zod. Superman feels his people, the Kryptonians, are in danger and he needs to be there to protect them.
One thing I did like was Robinson showing us Superman's reaction to the UN resolution banning Kryptonians (outside himself) from Earth. He looks pretty shocked and he should be. Things aren't going well with the Terran/Kryptonian relationship. More then ever, he probably feels the weight of setting things right, of being a arbitor between the two sides of his life.
Robinson does give a glimpse of the Guardian as well. Harper has been receiving telepathic messages from Tellus in the form of dreams. Tellus keeps telling the Guardian that he is fine and that the Science Police will arrive. But Harper seems to ignore the advice. After seeing visions of battles with Superman villains Riot and The Atomic Skull, Harper says that he is coming to the rescue.
The rest of the issue is actually a nice character study of Clark. He knows he needs to go to New Krypton to watch Zod, save his people, and hopefully bring an end to the animosity between his two cultures.
But he cannot do it without the blessing of the two women in his life, Ma and Lois. He begins to lay out his reasoning to them. One thing I did not like is Clark saying that he felt Kara was under the sway of her mother. While she may be living on New Krypton, Kara has seemed concerned about her mother's actions as much as anyone. She has never fallen in line with Alura's thinking like a good little soldier.
I love the support that Lois and Ma give him. When Superman states that he doesn't know what to do, they both say 'yes you do'. They both know he needs to leave Earth and go to New Krypton.
The issue ends with a nice 'Origins and Omens' story reviewing Mon-El's history succinctly and setting him up for the next year in Superman.
First off, he gets an identity for Metropolis. He will be Jonathan Kent. Nice touch.
And he looks like he will be busy too. Fights with Atlas and Sodam Yat? Tangling with Lex Luthor? And what looks to be a kiss with Natasha Irons?
I have to say that I am most intrigued with Superman:World of New Krypton. Of all the directions of the super-books, Superman starring Mon-El and The Guardian is the one that I am least optimistic about. Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised.
As for this issue, Robinson does a fine job of aligning the characters so next month will start smoothly. It still felt more like set-up than story progression, but you have to get to the beginning of a story somehow.
I don't know Javier Pina but his work was serviceable. Certainly it is much smoother than the dark stuff we saw by Jesus Merino and Pable Raimondi recently. Raimondi's stuff looked much better in this month's 'Origins and Omens', less blotchy and thick.
Overall grade: B