Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Fun Read; Seriously Thought-Provoking
on November 10, 2008
Honestly, this sounded like a slightly silly premise to me: "Hey, Batman, I've just had an idea! Let's find all the Kryptonite on Earth and get rid of it!" "Sure thing, Supes!"
In fact, it turned out to be a surprisingly good, and not at all dumb, read. It starts out with a scene that just has to make you laugh, then quickly and smoothly segues into the main point of the plot: Supes has noticed that there seems to be more and more Kryptonite around, making it harder for him to do his job (and incidentally, kind of dangerous just to live on Earth). Batman seems to come along on the mission because increasing amounts of Kryptonite presents a mystery, and/or because he thinks the naive, trusting Superman needs a babysitter. Well, Batman's motivations are always hard to fathom.
The plot is a good ride with a lot of unexpected encounters and events; it changed pace nicely, and gave a good balance between action and character. Well-written dialog and internal 'thought bubbles' provide nice, if not stunningly original, insights into both Supes and Bats differing reactions to the same events.. The artwork throughout is excellent. There's a scene where Superman is at the JLA's moon base after exposure to a previously unknown form of (possibly) magic Kryptonite. The depictions of the other League members from Superman's POV is hilarious; it just misses being over the top, but it works and it's a nice giggle in the middle of an increasingly tension-filled plot.
I can't really discuss the questions raised by what (and who) Supes and Bats find in Kansas without spoiling. So I'll just say, you can understand everyone's position up to a point, and interesting questions about secrecy, security and patriotism are raised.
I'm giving four stars instead of five for a couple of complaints: One, the scenes with the new Aquaman just make no sense whatsoever. No one's motivations or actions make any sense in these scenes, but Aquaman appears to belong in the Aqua-Looney Bin. Two, Superman's decision to perform no rescues while on the Kryptonite hunt is totally out of character. And three, Power Girl is not in the JLA; she's in the JSA. Apart from the Aquaman thing, none of these are serious enough to break the reader's suspension of disbelief. So maybe it should really get four and a half stars.
The story seems ready to close about four different times, which is cool. Just keeps hitting unexpected plot twists right up until the end. And the very last page is... infuriating, heartbreaking, beautiful, tragic, and completely in character. It's a good idea but by no means original. With competent execution, it would have been... fine. In order to make it truly moving, the depictions of the setting and the activity, the writing, and, most importantly, the expression on the character's face, all had to be perfect -- and they are. That last page is a tour de force.
Note: This book appears to be set in a more or less current DC 'verse, but doesn't seem to be part of any particular continuity.
If you're a Superman, Batman, or general DCU fan, "The Search for Kryptonite" is definitely worth buying. Enjoy!