That's what the writer wanted to call it - as a bookend to the `Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes' volume.
This volume reprints Adventure Comics #10 & 11, Superman: Last Stand on New Krypton #3, Supergirl #52, and Superman #699. It begins with a Crisis in the 31st century, and the Legion of Super-Heroes must travel back to the 21st century to help Superman, Supergirl, Superboy and Mon-El avert the disaster, as Braniac and Luthor attack New Krypton and once more Kandor is imprisoned. All-out action as everyone fights Braniac, Luthor and Zod, and secrets are revealed about Braniac and Mon-El's future. Oh, and Zod declares war on Earth... This is another excellent episode, the penultimate one, in the saga of New Krypton.
I'm approaching this story from the standpoint of a Legion of Super-Heroes fan who does not follow the other parts of the Superman franchise. I had been following the Legion in their feature in Adventure Comics when this story was announced. Since it would involve a host of titles I had no interest in buying I opted to "wait for the trade". The wait was worthwhile.
The story involves the Legion, Superboy, Supergirl, Mon-El, and Superman all combining to thwart Brainiac with further designs to put the city of Kandor back in the bottle. The Legion involvement was of the most interest to me and I found it on the whole satisfactory if a little to Brainiac 5 centric. There are good sequences with Brainy trying to come to grips with the whole Brainiac legacy and a fine sequence dealing with his feelings for a Supergirl who has yet to meet him thanks to the complications of time travel. The rest of the Legion is not completely forgotten; Tellus and Quislet play important roles and Starman from his JSA stint is his goofy self. The Mon-El sequences were also of interest to a Legion fan and did not disappoint.
The story as a whole I read in one sitting. It moved very fast with plenty of twists and turns. Even though I had no Superman franchise background going in I found everything quite comprehensible except for that Luthor/Major Krull sequence which carried over from another arc. This story is quite self contained - no prior knowledge required although another story arc is setup at the end. Volume 1 and Volume 2 are not self contained, however. One is can't really be enjoyed without the other.
The only complaint is the spreading of the arc over two hardcover volumes. This was unnecessary. In protest, I'm posting the same review to both volumes.
All in all, recommended for the superhero fan, and if you're a Legion fan like me, essential reading.
I think that's the problem swith this whole New Krypton Saga. The story is not bad, is actually gripping in some parts, but that the whole shabang is divided in 8 books instead of 3 makes some volumes boring and hollow.
This one that is the story previous to the grand New Krypton end (War of the Supermen) is so short that you don't really get to feel any exitement. James Robinson and Starling Gates are not my favorite writers but sometimes they get momentum. Here, everything happen so fast that doesn't really have the hit New Krypton 2 and 3 had and besides that it ends up by telling you "This isn't over".
Not bad of a story but somewhat repetitive in the DC way of publishing stories.
With this collection of comics, DC continued wrapping up its epic "New Krypton" story. While there were some interesting ideas in "New Krypton" and loads of potential, the story became bogged down and, despite initial promise, did not quite fulfill high expectations.
Readers who pick this book up thinking it is a Superman story will be disappointed. Superman does play a prominent role of course but he fights Supergirl, Superboy, Mon-El, the Legion of Superheroes (namely Brainiac 5), Brainiac 1, General Zod, Lex Luthor and other characters for stage time. Readers not familiar with the other "New Krypton" stories will be lost. Readers will, at the very least, have to read the first volume of "Last Stand of New Krypton" before tackling this volume.
Still, James Robinson and Sterling Gates assemble an interesting story and there are some wonderful action scenes. The writers also shine when they turn to the ordinary residents of New Krypton and how they cope with an old nightmare returning. But while the writers do a fine job, a reader can get whiplash as new styles emerge from the team of artists--too many people helped pencil, ink and color the comics included in this book--and the art changes.
I'm more a fan of the Legion than Superman--and I was thrilled to see one of my favorite members of that team developed. Originally this story was going to be called "Brainiac and the Legion of Superheroes" and I suspect that would have been a more accurate title. Legion fans will enjoy this book but it is not directed towards us. Superman fans--unless they are familiar with the rest of the "New Krypton" saga--should look elsewhere.
But there are some solid moments--and they help redeem the book. It's a better collection of comics than the first "Last Stand of New Krypton" volume. The confrontation between Brainiac and General Zod is masterful. So are the ramifications of that fight and the way New Krypton rallies to a hero's standard. Thee interaction between Brainiac 5 and Supergirl is very well done. Mon-El also gets his chances to shine. But Superman's role is a bit lacking and, while he is the main character, his part in the tale is fairly forgettable.
The story isn't great, but it's also not too bad. It's fine and entertaining. The problem is that I was expecting that this second volume would have the complete issue of Adventure Comics #11, one of the comic books editions it collects, which shows an epilogue with both Brainiac 5 and Mon-El. Unfortunately, this second volume has only the "Brainiac 5 part" of it, and for no reason that I could thought about. It's sad, then Adventure Comics #11 seems to be a really fine issue, and I'd like to have it collected in this edition.
That's the main reason I'm giving only 3 stars for it.