Monday 14 March 2011

Krypton Explodes

Krypton Explodes

Art by Joe Shuster, Superman Daily Strip. January 26, 1939

Shuster's first representation of Krypton exploding; it's arguably the most important explosion in American comics history. It's also a beautiful image, Shuster's line capturing something of the brittleness a planet must necessarily have, even if we refuse to see it. I can see in the image an influence of cinema, not just science-fiction film serials, but the way an image would be paused over in, say, a Harold Lloyd feature, before or after a caption was seen. There's a brittle stillness to the image, which enables it to capture the sombre moment, not least through the use of blackness in the surrounding space. I can't help but be reminded of this explosion.


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