As much as I like the work of writer James Robinson (Starman), I can’t in good conscience recommend purchasing Superman: Codename: Patriot (the comic industry sure loves their colons). What I look for in a graphic novel is something resembling a full story, with beginning, middle, and end. Of course, I realize superhero comics never really end, and that the end of one story immediately segues into another, thereby forever denying gratification, but I expect some semblance of a narrative in a graphic novel, which is something I didn’t find here.
Superman: Codename: Patriot is part of 2009′s New Krypton epic, but it’s the most underwhelming part. It’s made up of issues that are just loose ends, some featuring Supes, others with Mon-El and Supergirl, and ending with a surprisingly dark adventure for Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen. There’s no real beginning or end to this graphic novel–only middle. That type of story might be fine for Anton Chekov or in Dubliners, but it hardly passes here. The only reason I’d say to buy this is if you were looking to compile every part of the New Krypton story. Otherwise, you’d be better off looking into James Robinson’s and Greg Rucka’s World of New Krypton which was much better and featured some stellar art by Pete Woods.
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