SUPERMAN #683New Krypton: Part 9 - "Hard Times!"James Robinson - WriterRenato Guedes and Jorge Correa Jr. - PencillersWilson Magalhaes and Jorge Correa Jr. – InkersDavid Curiel – Colorists Warning: Contains Spoilers Brief Rundown:So New Krypton is at war with Earth.Earth’s superheroes travel to Kandor to take the group of kryptonian soldiers who murdered the science police officers and prison guards last issue.Superman confronts them, trying to convince the adventurers to leave matters to him. They give him 30 minutes.Alura (now the leader of New Krypton since Zor-El’s death) refuses to hand over her people. Battle ensues.The Kryptonians have the upper hand until Zanntana arrives, leading a group of the DCU’s magic users.To Be Concluded…Drew’s Review:Okay so now we are one issue before the final chapter of “New Krypton” and I’m pumped.James Robinson is a heck of a character writer. His run on Starman was legendary and I have faith that his Superman run will only improve with each issue.I’m intrigued as to why he chose the superheroes he did to confront Superman. I haven’t seen Starfire in a long time and it’s awesome to see her back. I always thought she’d make a great heroine if they broke her away from the “Teen Titans” label and gave her, her own book. I’ve wondered why Powergirl hasn’t shown up before this. Even though she’s an Earth 2 kryptonian she’s still a kryptonian and would be more than happy to see more people like herself.The line The Guardian says when Superman states he thought he was dead made me laugh out loud. “I got better.”Seems like a lot of comic characters have been getting better lately and in my opinion Mr. Robinson was poking fun at that factor. Well-played sir.The dialogue between Superman and his aunt was terrific and really upped the tension to a whole new level. So much so that when Supergirl arrives you really can feel her pain.She finally got her family back and its already been torn apart. Her dad was viciously assassinated in an act of war on America’s part [General Lane is obviously behind sending Reactron and Mettallo, in their god-awful get ups, to New Krypton] leaving his wife Alura extremely pissed at mankind. Superman being our self proclaimed savior of course has to side with mankind and Kara is in the middle of an emotional tug of war between her cousin who she aspires to be like and her mother who she loves very much.The kryptonian army’s “call to arms” was nicely done but suffered a bit from the artistic layout of the page, as did the battle in general.Black Lightning’s thought boxes were annoying and distracted from the story. While it is interesting to see how his powers worked, this isn’t the time or the place to explain it. I don’t see what the big pull with this character is. It seems like DC is really pushing him by putting him in the JLA and giving him his own mini series but I just don’t see why. Does this guy really have a large fan base?Side note: How the hell does he stand up against a Kryptonian? Especially a fully trained Kryptonian solider!Nicely put the battle scene was crap. Superman’s statement that Alura can’t win makes no sense. 100,000 kryptonians can tear every human on Earth apart within a day. Superman, Powergirl, and Supergirl are the only heroes that would really stand a chance and Kara is in no shape to fight.I loved it when Kara decks Kal. He really deserved a sucker shot for grabbing a woman like that. Come on Clark, didn’t Ma and Pa teach you better than that?! But I guess he learns his lesson after getting knocked through a few buildings.The Green Lanterns complain about being out gunned. And then a bunch of magic wielders arrive. Magic affects everyone even kryptonians so in essence the Cavalry has just arrived.I think it is safe to expect a knock em sock em issue next time around as the battle reaches its head and Geoff Johns finishes off New Krypton.Pick this up if you’ve been reading New Krypton. If not, then go do it now.I give it 3 out of 5 Speeding BulletsThe issue loses a few bullets mainly for the awkwardness of the battle and the unnecessary use of thought boxes during the fight. Powergirl could of used a few more thoughts though, in my honest opinion.Short Recap:Story: 3/5 Nice Dialogue between the Super family but weak battle and fight scenes.Art: 2/5 Awkward and at some points hard to follow; layout is off. The battle really suffers due to the art and not Robinson’s writing. Bland color hinders the artist’s work.Cover: 1/5 Why is Superman flying around in space with lots of kryptonite?? Alex Ross is a great artist, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been on Alex Ross burn out lately. Superman’s face reminds me of John Goodman and this image has nothing to do with anything.