This is the first part of this year's Superman x-over event, Codename: Patriot. This comic is written by the team of Greg Rucka and James Robinson. Pete Woods handles the artwork.
-Previously in World of New Krypton, Superman managed to narrowly escape execution thanks to an unlikely assist from Gen. Zod. At a celebration celebrating some Kryptonian holiday, Gen. Zod was shot in an apparent assassination attempt. Now that you know what happened before, let's see what happens next.
-The Kryptonian who shot Zod screams that he did it for his people, before taking flight in an effort to escape. An angry mob of Kryptonians manage to get a hold of the would be assassin and they begin to beat him to death. Supes and his military unit rush to the scene of the riot and prevent the furious Kryptonians from killing the assassin. As the assassin lays on the ground, beaten to a pulp, he weakly says, "For Krypton" before passing out.
-With Zod at death's door, the leadership of the Kryptonian military guild falls to the three commanders, Supes, Ursa and Gor. Gor wants to kill the assassin immediately, but Supes explains that it's possible the assassin wasn't working alone and that he needs to be interrogated when he wakes up. Ursa appears extremely distracted and winds up leaving Supes and Gor behind, not wanting to leave Zod's side.
-Supes and Gor strap the assassin to a Kryptonian lie detecting machine and begin to ask him questions about why he tried to kill Zod. The assassin, Ral-Dar, says he wanted to kill Zod for the safety of New Krypton. He also says that with Kryptonians numbering at less than 100,000 people strong, something had to be done to assure the survival of New Krypton. According to the lie detector, Ral seems to sincerely believe that by killing Zod he was helping to save his people. However, he refuses to give a straight answer regarding whether or not he worked alone. Before Supes can press the issue further, he is summoned to meet his aunt Alura at the medical facility immediately.
-Supes makes his way to see Alura and she explains to him that thus far the science guild has proven unable to heal the damage done to Zod. She then tells Supes that prior to Zod losing consciousness, he specifically asked to see Supes.
-While in the medical facility, an aide to Alura reports that the people of New Krypton are panicking over the shooting of Zod and that they fear Brainiac is somehow involved. Alura takes to the sky and manages to assuage the Kryptonians with her words. Alura then asks Supes to find out why Zod was shot and Supes, along with Supergirl head back to the prison facility.
-Upon arriving at the prison, Supes and SG discover all of the guards unconscious and Ral broken out of his cell. Supes puts out an all point bulletin to find Ral, and a member of his military unit reports that Ral was spotted leaving New Krypton and heading for Earth. Supes realizes that Ral's arrival on Earth could start a war between the two planets, as well as the fact that a Kryptonian military unit arriving on Earth to hunt down a Kryptonian criminal could also have dire consequences, so Supes decides the only thing left to do is for him to don his Superman costume and head to Earth himself.
I really enjoyed this first part of Codename: Patriot! It was very fast paced, set up the x-over nicely, and left us with lots to ponder. Such as why would a member of the military guild try to kill Gen. Zod? Who helped Ral escape from his cell? What was it that Zod wanted to tell Supes before he lost consciousness and was placed in stasis? And of course, what's going to happen when Supes sets foot back on Earth after he seemingly abandoned the planet to join his fellow Kryptonians?
Personally, and keep in mind it's still VERY early in this x-over, I think Ral wanted to kill Zod so that Supes would become the head of the military guild. Ral seemed sure that under Zod's aggressive leadership the Kryptonians would eventually go extinct, and he also remarked that everybody on New Krypton knew who Supes was. Of course I'm probably as wrong as can be, but still, that's my early prediction. For a score, I'm going to give this comic a very strong 9 out of 10. THIS is the way to begin an x-over event. After reading this comic I can't wait to get my hands on the second part to discover what will happen next.All I can say is, it's about time we get to see Supes back in the red and blue!