Superman (1939 Series) #712
Title: Lost Boy: A Tale of Krypto the Superdog
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Pencils: Rick Leonardi
Inks: Jonathan Sibal
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Cover: Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, Dave Stewart
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Well… this is odd. With just three issues left in this run of Superman, DC decided to pull the scheduled story for this issue, and instead replaced it with the long-lost but never-seen Krypto story that Kurt Busiek and Rick Leonardi write about five years ago. This issue is set shortly after the events of Infinite Crisis. Superboy is dead, and Superman is coping with the loss of his powers. Back in Smallville, the last superhero from the Kent farm, Krypto, is in mourning.
This is actually a really good issue. It’s mostly wordless, showcasing Krypto’s true loneliness. I wasn’t really big on Rick Leonardi’s previous work with the Superman family, but he absolutely nails this issue. He draws a great Krypto, first of all, and ha manages to get across the emotional impact of his loss. You look at this poor dog and feel the pain, the agony that he’s left in, with both of his masters gone. The final panel is one of the saddest moments ever drawn into a comic book, and the fact that it feels so sad is exactly what makes it so good.
But man, it’s an odd choice to put here. First of all, why didn’t they run this five years ago, when it would have still been relevant? And second, why run it now at all? As much as I enjoyed it and as much as I’m glad we finally got to see it, it still feels oddly out of place.