A Lost Tale about a Dog and his Boy
This story really should have been published sooner, given that it is set during the events of 52 where the Big 3 Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are missing and seeing it now is kind of disjointing but I suppose given the DCU reboot, it had to be published before then
Set during the 52 storyline, Krypto embarks on a search for his master, Connor Kent unaware of his fate.
· This issue gives an interesting concept, that is the story is mostly from Krypto’s point of view and is well executed for a story that has so little dialogue and thought boxes/bubbles. The use of Krypto’s nose to trace Connor’s last movements during Infinite Crisis was exceptionally well done.
· Another pro is that there is plenty of emotional impact in the story. Krypto and Connor’s relationship is the main focus of this and Krypto’s dogged (sorry about the pun) devotion to his master really makes the reader feel for his plight as he searches for Superboy.
· Also, you get a pretty good summing up of what happened from Connor’s perspective during Infinite Crisis. The fight between Connor and Superboy Prime, his recovery, his last night with Wonder Girl, following Nightwing’s summons and his death following his brave sacrifice is succinctly encapsulated by Busiek. I find this surprising given his poor run on Superman on arcs such as Camelot Falls and the Third Kryptonian so finding that Busiek is capable of writing an incredibly good story baffles me.
· Undisputedly, the best part of the issue is Krypto’s reaction to the death of his master. No dialogue, just one long howl that shatters windows across the country. Perfectly in tone with the devotion most dogs feel towards their owners.
· And that is another thing this book excels at. It appeals to dog lovers and owners in this particular issue to encompass the relationship between canine and man throughout the ages and why dogs and humans are so attached to one another and how the death of one can cause great tragedy in the other.
· This hard hitting story really captures Krypto’s loneliness towards the end of the book as he desperately searches for his other master, Superman and in failing that retreats to his own Fortress of Solitude.
· In terms of story, this is flawless. I hardly ever see such brilliant writing and the fact it’s from a writer I very much like (Camelot Falls aside). Busiek has done some great work on comics such as the Avengers and the award winning Astro City so hats off to him for another great comic.
· Both covers are good but I slightly prefer the main one as it focuses more on Krypto and it shows the traditional Kent Farm which we may not be seeing for a long time
· Undoubtedly, the worst part of this issue was the art. I strongly disliked Leonardi’s work on the Third Kryptonian and I dislike it still today. His jarring pencils, obscure facial expressions and vague sketchy lines cement him as unfortunately one of my least favourite comic book artists. Sibal’s inking is the saving grace of the art and ensures it does not descend to Frazer Irving level. I dislike Irving’s artwork even more by the way.
· The art is one of the essentials to selling a series as the artist has to depict the writer’s story to the audience and bring it to life out of the pages of the comic. And in this respect, Leonardi has prevented Superman #712 from becoming an immensely brilliant comic.
Whilst the artwork does detract from the issue, the story greatly overshadows this. It’s a shame that one of the better Superman stories for a while does not actually include him in it.