By James Robinson and Greg Rucka (writers), Pete Woods (artist), Brad Anderson (colorist)

The Story: Kal-El goes on trial for the crime of treason. The courtroom, as much as the military, it’s spy network and New Krypton itself, are all under the thumb of General Zod. Zod moves all the chess pieces and Kal-El’s beliefs and values are tested.

What’s Good: General Zod steals the show again. Although Kal-El has the choices to make, like should he try to escape or should he try a different legal defense, Zod is clearly the mover and the shaker of everything that is happening. He’s great fun to watch and Robinson and Rucka make the plot much more complex by a series of reversals– some expected, most unexpected, including a surprising one at the end that sets off a new arc in the next issue.

As for the art, it carries the story as well. What I really like are the little details here and there, like the red lighting in the prison (of course – what else would you use to hold a Kryptonian?) and the big holographic heads that Marlon Brando favored in the movie. The faces outside the courtroom were serviceably expressive to show character emotion, and the struggles each one suffered during this issue.

What’s Not So Good: The court scenes are pictures of stark contrasts, with bright white lights and pitch-black surroundings. The art in these scenes don’t work so strongly, as some of the faces come off as disproportionate and distorted.

On the plot, I certainly enjoyed the reversals as Kal-El and Zod squared off legally and ethically against one another, but a couple of the reversals near the end came almost out of nowhere, so the ending, although surprising, didn’t satisfy while Zod’s justification felt weak.

Conclusion: This was a fair issue, but the arc has been losing steam since the high point the creative team hit with issue #3. In fact, it barely feels like the arc has been completed at all, except that next month, the first part of the next arc is starting.

Grade: C

-DS Arsenault