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Saturday, June 25, 2011

DAMN Good Comics -- SUPERMAN #712

You know, for a Krypto tale originally shelved in 2007 during writer Kurt Busiek's Superman run and then abruptly used as a controversial replacement to another chapter of the interminable "Grounded" storyline started back in June of 2010, it's pretty impressive that this story managed to beat out everything else I read this week.

Busiek's "Lost Boy" is set back in the days when Superman's young clone Superboy (a.k.a. Conner Kent) was killed off for a few years during the events of Geoff Johns and Phil Jimenez' Infinite Crisis mini-series.  In a character spotlight that Busiek does so brilliantly in books such as his Astro City series, we see Krypto waiting sadly and loyally for Superboy to return home, even though for all we knew at the time, he wasn't.  Seemingly determined to find out what happened to Superboy, Krypto flies off to follow a scent trail that takes him to Titans Tower and other various locations.

At each stop, Krypto grasps an idea of the events that took place, finally arriving at the exact place where Superboy dies in the hands of his girlfriend, Wonder Girl.  The scent of death is all too telling to the Superdog and in a heartbreaking sequence depicted well by artist RIck Leonardi, Krypto lets out a powerfully mournful howl for his younger master that carries throughout the land and even shatters windows in the process. 

Leonardi's art looks a bit rushed in a couple of places, but he still does a solid job of conveying this mostly-wordless story.  You really have to wonder what the nonsensical reasoning was that went into the editorial decision to pull such a touching story years ago, but at least Superman fans finally to got to read it, albeit because another editorial decision was made to replace "Grounded" writer Chris Roberson's story.  Ah, well...Maybe in four years, we'll get to read that story as well.

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