Camelot Falls (Hardback)

Author: Kurt Busiek
Artists: Carlos Pacheco and Jesús Merino
Titan Books
RRP: £12.99, US $19.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 434 0
ISBN-10: 1 84576 434 X
Available 27 April 2007

It's a new day for the Man of Steel, and all is well with the world. He has the menace of the scientific cabal Intergang on the run, and Metropolis under his protection stands throughout the world as a shining example of a modern-day Camelot. But even as he travels to Kazakhstan to confront a mysterious and frightening new enemy, Subjekt 17, he receives a grave warning from an ancient sorcerer. Camelot is destined to fall - and somehow, it's all Superman's fault. With this terrible vision revealed to him, will the Man of Steel have the strength to stop it from coming true, even if it means going against everything that he stands for...?

Yes, in this graphic novel (which compiles material originally published in Superman issues 654-658), the Man of Steel visits a real-life Eastern Bloc country. No phoney nations like Boravia or Qurac this time. However, I did find it hard to get Sacha Baron Cohen's Kazakhstani character Borat out of my head whenever I saw the country's name on the page. Perhaps this volume could have been called Superman: Cultural Learnings of Krypton for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of America!

However, the Man of Steel's confrontations with Intergang and Subjekt 17 (a super-powered alien who fell to Earth not in Kansas but in a Soviet experiment camp) are mere prologues to the real threat - a threat that has only just been defined as this volume comes to an end. Be warned: this is, in fact, only the first part of an ongoing story. I think the cover should have made this clearer to unsuspecting readers. As it is, there is only a small "1" on the spine to alert us to the fact.

Nevertheless, this book is blessed with beautiful and detailed artwork by penciller Carlos Pacheco and inker Jesús Merino, though Superman does occasionally look Oriental or Hispanic rather than his usual Caucasian appearance. This might have something to do with Pacheco's Spanish origins - though come to think of it, why should Kal-El look Caucasian anyway? He's from another planet, after all, even though he crash-landed and was raised in Smallville.

Writer Kurt Busiek continues to build upon the Man of Steel's developing and increasingly sophisticated super-powers. Now he can read faster than ever, possesses an eidetic memory (a throwback to his Silver Age gift of total recall) and is able to concentrate on several things at once, such as fighting a hand-to-hand battle with a powerful enemy while listening in on a distant conversation. The writer also suggests a reason why the DC Universe has faced so many Earth-shattering catastrophes in recent decades - and the implications of this revelation are not good for the future of Superman...

I strongly believe that this volume should have been more clearly labelled as the first in a continuing saga, but that aside, this is an exciting and enjoyable adventure.

Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal! Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£8.57 (
£7.79 (
£12.99 (
£9.74 (
£9.99 (
$13.59 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.