Moving in the right direction for the moment.
After the humans attack on the city of Kandor left a very important Kryptonian dead, the rest of the race fire up their city and leave the Earth. Their destination ended on the other side of the sun, with intentions on living there away from the people of Earth. Superman travels to their planet apparently forsaking the Earth, but he really intends on keeping an eye on them, especially since their leader is former Phantom Zone inmate General Zod. -summary
I remember when I was originally following the New Krypton story arc, and I wasn't too thrilled to see the writing duties removed from Geoff Johns and tasked primarily to James Robinson. In all honesty, I was never a fan of Robinson, not even up to this day despite some enjoyment I found in his titles. Well, I have to give credit where it's due and admit that by this point, his storytelling practically mirrors Johns as he delivers the best batch of stories in this saga at the moment. Superman: New Krypton Volume Three is by far the best story in the saga by this time. The characters clearly carry the story through some very strong interactions. I will point out that the action segments are in very small supply here, but it's just how strong the constant story and character development can be. I enjoyed this part front to back. This TPB collects the first five chapters of Superman: World of New Krypton, and The Criminals of Krypton, taken from Action Comics Annual #10.
Superman arrives to New Krypton and in a successful attempt he makes peace with his aunt Alura. He takes his place as a Kryptonian and finds himself a member of a guild. Due to the mastery over his powers, he's placed as an officer in the military and is forced to answer directly to General Zod. Their interactions are the best in the book as the reader will not only get to see a very familiar, yet very well written side of Superman, but also see Zod in a totally different light. Zod does not appear to be a tyrant, only a man who loves his race enough to the point where he will kill and die for it. It was a nice moment to see the people of Kandor cheer his name, where even Superman realized how important he is to everyone.
Superman and Zod don't exactly hog the spotlight together. New Krypton also has its own issues; there's a possibility of a civil war taking place with the most understandable of motives at its core. Plus the capture of wanted criminals that leads to a tight situation for the Man of Steel. Robinson and Greg Rucka deserve whatever accolades to come their way for this volume. When looking at the appearance of the Green Lantern Corp, plus tempers beginning to swell on some occasions, this could have easily resulted in an over the top brawl. Instead, they were able to keep a moderate pace and deliver the right amount of drama and suspense to carry the story from issue to issue keeping a high tempo. The second story to close out the book is an origin tale involving Zod, Ursa, and Non. I really wasn't expecting anything much initially, but I have to say this is very interesting to read. Now even though the action segments are in small doses, there is one very interesting moment where Superman displays a rare amount of technical skill on another high ranking soldier, which further works into his character development. Superman knows he's just another citizen now with everyone around possessing his powers, but he proves two things; he's had far more time to master them, as well as strength without skill has no real value.
Pete Woods artwork gets the job done and nothing more really. The character designs are cool to look at, and it was definitely a change seeing Superman dressed up in a black and gray military suit. The Green Lantern Corp look awesome as always, and I thought the Kryptonians were very well displayed featuring different ethnic backgrounds. The action segments receive a nod for the entertainment value.
Robinson and Rucka receive more points for working their themes well without coming off very preachy. Although very predictable, Superman is attempting to teach his values to his race whom suffers from a serious elitist attitude. This could have very easily felt like one of those soapbox moments that drag and drag, yet it was done in pretty good taste. I really liked this volume, but I can see where some may find it very boring due to the lack of action. The fights serve a purpose and aren't just tacked on to satisfy the action crowd. In any case, this is a very solid volume that actually goes some where.
Pros: Strong character and story development
Cons: Not enough action for the action starved