There are several really clever moments in this comic, and several others that are really frustrating.
There’s a long scene at New Kandor that’s just wonderful. The former bottle city of Kandor has been released from its bottle to the wide open planet of Rokyn. But the Kandorians make some very interesting decisions about the future of their city, decisions as logical as they are unexpected. I thought it was fascinating to read how society evolved in such a strange environment, and how closely tied the people of Kandor are to their city. As one man says, “We cannot leave Kandor. We are Kandor.” Trust someone like Mark Waid, perhaps one of the foremost fans of Superman comics, to have a unique and interesting take on the bottle city.
The scene ends in a frustrating way, though. The Legion arrives at New Kandor to drop off Supergirl. There’s no real reason why she might have been left there. Kara never is shown thinking about how nice it would be to be back with her fellow Kryptonians. The team had logical reasons for visiting New Kandor, to get permission to investigate the Phantom Zone projector, so what would the point be of leaving Supergirl there too? And why does she change her mind about staying simply because Cosmic Boy asks her to change her mind?
I also really enjoyed the scene where Lightning Lad is working on his campaign speech for Legion leader while being undercut by Dream Boy. It’s a clever scene that shows a lot about both characters, and is funny as well.
But I found the central plot of the story frustrating. Nearly every reader of this comic knows that Mon-El is the hero trapped in the Phantom Zone and that he has amazing powers. Why drag out the process of us learning about him and setting him free? It seems like Waid is attempting to create suspense where there’s no possibility of any. It just seems strange.
This issue is pretty typical of the series as a whole. There are many good ideas here and many that don’t seem well thought out.