Thursday, May 23, 2013

Man of Steel Prequel Review

Man of Steel Prequel Review
By: Jay

Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel movie is almost here and the promotion machine is in full effect with theater trailers, TV spots, toys and other related merchandise all coming at us everyday. Now DC has released an official Man of Steel Prequel Comic! This comic is a Walmart exclusive download that comes with the advance screening tickets.

We are at the beginning of “Krypton’s Great Age of Expansion” where thousands of scout ships are about to set out to terraform other planets. Kara Zor-El earns her place as a Captain on one of the ships. Something happens during her cryo-sleep that sends her ship crashing to Earth.

This book is as official as it gets. The story is by Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer, and Director Zack Snyder along with Geoff Johns. The script is by Sterling Gates and art is by Jerry Ordway. This is a 40-page comic that you get for a free download with the advance screening tickets, so the tickets are really worth it.

The story mainly focuses on Krypton’s past, but there is no mention of Zod or Jor-El in this issue. Instead this book focuses on Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El. Unlike the comics Kara wasn’t sent away to watch over her infant cousin Kal-El. In the Man of Steel Krypton seems to be divided into guilds, an idea that Geoff Johns used during his run on the Superman books pre-New 52. Kara is a member of the Explorer Guild, and is a part of a group of six candidates that are vying for four spots on an exploration crew. Kara’s group includes some familiar names like Dev-Em, Nam-Ek, and Thara, while also exploring Kara’s personal life on Krypton with her boyfriend Kell-Ur. And what exploration team would be complete without someone named Dora?

The story is pretty solid, but without seeing the movie yet, I am unsure how it all fits in to the overall story of Man of Steel. The story does set up a few things, like the reason why a Phantom Zone would be needed, and the fact that there is a division among the Kryptonian people on how things should be. How much of this will effect the movie? We don’t know, but if they are sticking to some of the classic themes of the Superman mythos, then you can see where these events will lead. I also really like this new take on Kara’s origins and I'm looking forward to seeing if she plays into the movie at all. We also get clues that Man of Steel is set in the larger DCU by mentioning the Thanagarians.

Ordway’s art in this book shows a beautiful Krypton and overall is really well done. I have only one slight issue, and that is the stylistic changes. When we see characters from the movie like Jonathan Kent in the beginning and Clark at the end the art is almost photo-realistic, while the rest of the art in the book is more traditional comic book style. The art is not bad at all. I just would have preferred a more cohesive look, either one or the other. There is also a little gem near the end of the book in a tent painting of Kara’s ship that resembles the classic cover of Action Comics #1.

The book succeeded in getting me more pumped up for the movie, so DC really did what a book like this is supposed to do. Right now I am really curious as to what, if any, role does Kara play in the movie? Are they planning a Supergirl movie already? Will any of these characters be featured in the movie? This is what a prequel comic for a movie should do, get the reader asking these types of questions, and wanting to see how events from it play out in the movie. I hope DC releases this in another form, perhaps for those who go see the movie, they will get a code for a free download of this book as well, or even giveaway a printed version of this book at the theaters.

That is what I think about this book. Let us know what you think about the book, or about what you want to see in the Man of Steel in the comments. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to know whenever we post more reviews, news and previews on Comic Frontline.

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