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Zahn is one of Krypton's elites: wealthy, privileged, a future leader. Sera is one of Krypton's soldiers: strong, dedicated, fearless. Their rule - bound society has ordained that their paths should never cross. But groundquakes are shaking the planet's surface. Rebellious uprisings are shaking the populace. Krypton's top scientists — Jor-El and Lara — conduct a secret expe Zahn is one of Krypton's elites: wealthy, privileged, a future leader. Sera is one of Krypton's soldiers: strong, dedicated, fearless. Their rule - bound society has ordained that their paths should never cross. But groundquakes are shaking the planet's surface. Rebellious uprisings are shaking the populace. Krypton's top scientists — Jor-El and Lara — conduct a secret experiment that is meant to reform their planet from the cellular level up. Zahn and Sera must join forces to investigate the hidden dangers truly threatening Krypton. In the process, they form a bond that will endure past the end of the world.


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Zahn is one of Krypton's elites: wealthy, privileged, a future leader. Sera is one of Krypton's soldiers: strong, dedicated, fearless. Their rule - bound society has ordained that their paths should never cross. But groundquakes are shaking the planet's surface. Rebellious uprisings are shaking the populace. Krypton's top scientists — Jor-El and Lara — conduct a secret expe Zahn is one of Krypton's elites: wealthy, privileged, a future leader. Sera is one of Krypton's soldiers: strong, dedicated, fearless. Their rule - bound society has ordained that their paths should never cross. But groundquakes are shaking the planet's surface. Rebellious uprisings are shaking the populace. Krypton's top scientists — Jor-El and Lara — conduct a secret experiment that is meant to reform their planet from the cellular level up. Zahn and Sera must join forces to investigate the hidden dangers truly threatening Krypton. In the process, they form a bond that will endure past the end of the world.

30 review for The Shadow Threat

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nick Borrelli

    THE SHADOW THREAT is the first volume in a planned trilogy of YA graphic novels from DC Comics called House of El, penned by highly-acclaimed author Claudia Gray and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki. The story begins before the destruction of Krypton but already there are tremors and groundquakes being felt across the planet. A select group of citizens are demanding answers as to the causes of the instability, feeling as if the tribunes at the head of the government may be covering something up. Susp THE SHADOW THREAT is the first volume in a planned trilogy of YA graphic novels from DC Comics called House of El, penned by highly-acclaimed author Claudia Gray and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki. The story begins before the destruction of Krypton but already there are tremors and groundquakes being felt across the planet. A select group of citizens are demanding answers as to the causes of the instability, feeling as if the tribunes at the head of the government may be covering something up. Suspicions grow even more when the leaders of Krypton order other planets in the system to be terraformed immediately, most so hurriedly that they trigger violent eruptions and the spawning of creatures beyond imagination. Throughout it all the tribunes continue to tell the populace that absolutely nothing is wrong and that Krypton is too perfect a society to worry about any potential disasters occurring. I haven't read many graphic novels in recent years but THE SHADOW THREAT was one of the best and had me fixated the entire time. The story totally captivated me and it effectively encapsulated the struggle between the upper caste and the general population and soldiers. It shows how corruption can eat away at the system from the inside and how that same corruption can lead to the suppression of information that is vital to a free functioning society. Yet there was also an undercurrent of hope as the few who choose to resist are determined to uncover what they believe the government is hiding from them. There was also a nice forbidden romance aspect that personalized the characters and elevated them from mere cookie cutter status to something much deeper. Another pretty cool moment is when General Zod makes a brief appearance. Let's just say he is portrayed quite differently from the accused criminal who is banished from Krypton years later. It was interesting to get a little more backstory on this somewhat enigmatic character. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the stunning artwork in this graphic novel by the extremely talented Eric Zawadzki. He captures the mood and tension in the story brilliantly with amazing deftness and it really made the story so much more enriching as a result. Kudos for his ability to perfectly depict the plot visually and to render it so vividly with his magnificent illustrations. In the end I was totally sucked into THE SHADOW THREAT and found myself devouring it pretty quickly. This was a fantastic opening volume in the House of El graphic novel trilogy that bodes well for the entries to come. I can't wait to check out the next two to see how this incredible story plays out. I mean, I kind of know how it plays out based on the history, but it is fascinating to get a better perspective on exactly what could have taken place before the tragedy of what eventually befell the doomed planet of Krypton. I simply loved the ride and this has gotten me back on reading graphic novels again, it was that good!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    I loved reading this graphic novel, and this particular book is the first in this planned trilogy, which really sets up the story introducing the wonderful characters as we meet Zahn and Sera as Krypton is threatened. The illustration was phenomenal and really added to the description storyline. Fabulous comics I enjoyed!

  3. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by David Allen The House of El Book One: The Shadow Threat is the first in a new trilogy of graphic novels. It is clearly a part of the effort to draw in new, younger readers. Written by prolific young adult author Claudia Gray, with art by Eric Zawadzki, the book attempts to put a new twist on the story of the demise of the planet Krypton. Gray is best known for her Evernight series and her work as a Star Wars novelist. With The House of El, she has Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by David Allen The House of El Book One: The Shadow Threat is the first in a new trilogy of graphic novels. It is clearly a part of the effort to draw in new, younger readers. Written by prolific young adult author Claudia Gray, with art by Eric Zawadzki, the book attempts to put a new twist on the story of the demise of the planet Krypton. Gray is best known for her Evernight series and her work as a Star Wars novelist. With The House of El, she has to face a pretty substantial challenge. Is it possible to present the last days of the planet Krypton, Superman’s home world, in a new way after so many writers have put their own spin on its story? To her credit, the answer is a resounding “yes”. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    This first of three planned parts serves to introduce the protagonists (Zahn-Re and Sera-Ur), the important side characters (Lara and Jor-El, Zod, etc.) and the stakes (the viability of Krypton and survival of the Kryptonian species and civilization, wouldn’t ya know). DC seems to have hit kind of a groove with this style of YA graphic novel with talented writers like Gray and stylized art that conveys more narrative than detail. I will certainly check out the second volume when it’s released lat This first of three planned parts serves to introduce the protagonists (Zahn-Re and Sera-Ur), the important side characters (Lara and Jor-El, Zod, etc.) and the stakes (the viability of Krypton and survival of the Kryptonian species and civilization, wouldn’t ya know). DC seems to have hit kind of a groove with this style of YA graphic novel with talented writers like Gray and stylized art that conveys more narrative than detail. I will certainly check out the second volume when it’s released later this year.

  5. 5 out of 5

    M. [storme reads a lot]

    This is the story of Krypton before it was destroyed, something I was very interested in as someone newer to comics. I enjoyed this, but I wish there had been more background since there is still much I don’t know about this world. The artwork is great and the storyline kept moving. I felt it hard to connect to the characters, but there are two more books to go. I’m excited to read the next ones, hoping I’ll get more info about the world of Krypton. Definitely suggest for comic fans as anew story This is the story of Krypton before it was destroyed, something I was very interested in as someone newer to comics. I enjoyed this, but I wish there had been more background since there is still much I don’t know about this world. The artwork is great and the storyline kept moving. I felt it hard to connect to the characters, but there are two more books to go. I’m excited to read the next ones, hoping I’ll get more info about the world of Krypton. Definitely suggest for comic fans as anew story in the universe of Superman. Thank you NetGalley and DC Comics for the ArC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I received a copy of The Shadow Threat in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Shadow Threat (House of El #1) is the tale of Krypton, before everything went so horribly wrong. Written by Claudia Gray (the detail that caught my attention to begin with) and illustrated by Eric Zawadski, this is a fascinating tale that shows a darker side of Krypton. Zahn is one of the elites on Krypton. He was born into wealth, power, and privilege, and only recently has he realized just how much farther ah I received a copy of The Shadow Threat in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Shadow Threat (House of El #1) is the tale of Krypton, before everything went so horribly wrong. Written by Claudia Gray (the detail that caught my attention to begin with) and illustrated by Eric Zawadski, this is a fascinating tale that shows a darker side of Krypton. Zahn is one of the elites on Krypton. He was born into wealth, power, and privilege, and only recently has he realized just how much farther ahead that has brought him in life. How many times it has saved his life, or changed it for the better. Perhaps that is the reason why he's intent to join a rebellion. Sera was born and bred to be one of Krypton's soldiers – literally. It's her job to protect the people, and to take on all of the risky missions specifically designed for the soldiers. She's one of the best at her job, despite all of the constraints. You'd think that these two would never meet, but you'd be wrong. Their paths are about to collide in the events of The Shadow Threat, as both struggle to come to terms with all of the signs they've been seeing. I'm going to be honest with you here, I really wasn't sure what to expect from The Shadow Threat. While I do read a lot of comics, I'm arguably the weakest when it comes to Superman knowledge. That being said, I just knew that I had to give it a try when I saw Claudia Gray's name on the project. I'm actually pretty happy that I took a chance and gave it a go. Though I'm certain my experience will be drastically different from somebody who knows everything about Superman and his home planet. The art style felt almost Atlantean at times, yet it actually worked quite nicely for Krypton and all of the advancements it has available. I adored the color palette, and for the most part, liked the character designs as well. The differing plots revolving around Zahn and Sera were fascinating. Both had such strong personalities, and plenty of reason to be questioning the status quo (even if it is truly the last thing they wanted to be doing). It raised a lot of questions along the way, and I for one am actually really looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installment of the series. That may be my lack of knowledge speaking there, I'm not certain. I'm not worried though, as it will be a fun read regardless. Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Before Superman, there was Krypton, and Krypton, before it exploded, has quite a backstory, and House of El is delving into that. Each person is genetically engineered to be the perfect thing that they are supposed to be. If you are to be a soldier, you are the perfect one. but what if you weren't genetically engineered. That is the mystery at the heart of this, the first in what it is assumed to be a series of stories told before Superman was even born. This first volume, only begins to touch on Before Superman, there was Krypton, and Krypton, before it exploded, has quite a backstory, and House of El is delving into that. Each person is genetically engineered to be the perfect thing that they are supposed to be. If you are to be a soldier, you are the perfect one. but what if you weren't genetically engineered. That is the mystery at the heart of this, the first in what it is assumed to be a series of stories told before Superman was even born. This first volume, only begins to touch on what makes a perfect, anything. If you are born into a house, does that make you what it is? Are all the genetics in place, and what happens with the things are removed. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Claudia Gray is the queen of taking IP and turning it into gold (she also seems to live in a world without time because HOW DOES SHE DO IT ALL?!). To say I was excited for House of El: The Shadow Threat is an understatement. I’ve always been curious about the time before Superman came to Earth and this trilogy starter was out of this world! This page turner kept my fully in the story, with action, worldbuilding, and captivating art. The book establishes this universe’s unique take on the House of Claudia Gray is the queen of taking IP and turning it into gold (she also seems to live in a world without time because HOW DOES SHE DO IT ALL?!). To say I was excited for House of El: The Shadow Threat is an understatement. I’ve always been curious about the time before Superman came to Earth and this trilogy starter was out of this world! This page turner kept my fully in the story, with action, worldbuilding, and captivating art. The book establishes this universe’s unique take on the House of El and establishes itself as part of Superman but not reliant on him. The Shadow Threat takes on not only the clear political instability as Krypton gets to a boiling point but also the challenges of genetic engineering. Classism reigns in the world of those with and without modifications, mirroring the issues we would inevitably have with such an endeavor. I too would like to know the truth about Krypton. A solid start to this series – I can’t wait to see what comes next! TY DC Comics for sending me a copy of House of El: The Shadow Threat!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    House of El: The Shadow Threat covers quite a different perspective when it conveys a story of Krypton unlike one we've heard of before. Set before Superman and the explosion that destroyed Krypton, House of El holds a secret even the people of Krypton wouldn't be able to understand. The Shadow Threat covers a series of events in Krypton about the genetic engineering that keeps their planet...perfect. Dedicated soldiers raised only understanding their sacrifice and high elites who only want powe House of El: The Shadow Threat covers quite a different perspective when it conveys a story of Krypton unlike one we've heard of before. Set before Superman and the explosion that destroyed Krypton, House of El holds a secret even the people of Krypton wouldn't be able to understand. The Shadow Threat covers a series of events in Krypton about the genetic engineering that keeps their planet...perfect. Dedicated soldiers raised only understanding their sacrifice and high elites who only want power. Yet both are becoming blind to their failing planet and the dangers that reside within the core of it all. While the reader has a transversal perspective of both Sera and Zahn's personalities, they are quick to assume that one won't be able to survive without the other and both of them need each other's skills in an attempt to save the future of Krypton's people. When Sera undergoes an experimental treatment from none other than Lara herself...she quickly understands that the omitted emotions her genetics have never touched before are just what is needed to best serve Krypton. Krypton is full of a society that is based on specific genetic engineering that is geared fulfill the roles of their society perfectly. Yet, not even those skilled to defend the city can save it. By lacking vital elements of humanity, Krypton will fail and fall. Unless Sera and Zahn can help save them. What once felt like a simple and perfect planet is quickly shattered by the reality of their government. As we know from past DC Young Reader graphic novels, they advance a new perspective on the origin stories for a younger audience. Each illustration was mesmerizing, colorful, and great transition for visual concept. Action scenes were played out without gore and grueling details, yet still relevant to the sacrifice. Some characters are familiar within typical Superman research which will help transition the story later on. This story starts out rather slow in regard to the reader understanding the mission. While I am told that this is at least a 3 book series, it leaves some details to be gained in the next installments. House of El: The Shadow Threat is a page-turning, sit and binge read that will suck the reader right to the planet of Krypton. You won't need to be a fan of Superman to enjoy these new characters from the Krypton planet. Sera and Zahn are more than ready to steal the audience and make their own way into the DC Universe.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Read more graphic novel reviews at www.graphiclibrary.org. House of El is a story of Kryptonians before Superman is even born. There is an impending doom of the planet that the Tribunes refuse to admit is real, but citizens are starting to act out and investigate what's happening. A group of dissenters recruits Zohn, of the House of Re, who is part of the upper caste and destined to become one of Krypton's future leaders. Zohn knows that the earthquakes are getting worse and could be a sign that Read more graphic novel reviews at www.graphiclibrary.org. House of El is a story of Kryptonians before Superman is even born. There is an impending doom of the planet that the Tribunes refuse to admit is real, but citizens are starting to act out and investigate what's happening. A group of dissenters recruits Zohn, of the House of Re, who is part of the upper caste and destined to become one of Krypton's future leaders. Zohn knows that the earthquakes are getting worse and could be a sign that the planet is near to collapse. Elsewhere, Zohn's cousin, Lara, wife of Jor-El, is experimenting with rewriting the genetic code of Kryptonians in order to introduce missing elements left out from generations of genetic manipulation. Their chosen subject is Sera, an Ur, a lower caste, genetically engineered soldier bred to be completely loyal to Krypton. Urs are modified to live life without fear, without questioning orders, and without regard to their own lives. Lara hopes to create a better soldier with some semblance of self-preservation, believing that these omitted traits are essential for Kryptonians to fully serve their society. The pre-collapse of Krypton is an interesting time in Superman's lore, as many people often question how an advanced civilization didn't realize their own planet was doomed. This series has started to explain what happened, and I appreciate the direction Gray is taking in her rendition of Krypton. There are some familiar characters: General Zod, who is Sera’s commanding officer, and Jor-El and wife Lara, Superman's parents. There isn't a ton of prerequisite knowledge needed to jump into this title, so this is a perfect place for new fans to get into Superman stories. There is one heck of a cliffhanger here, the frustration of which is compounded by a volume two release date of 2022. Zawadzki's illustrations beautifully depict the futuristic society of Krypton. Most of the world is set in a light blue with decadent gold accents. The places frequented by the lower caste are anchored in browns and darker, dingy colors. Action sequences are fluid and easy to follow. There are some action sequences with explosions, earthquakes that destroy buildings, and gunfire fighting, but no gore is seen on the page. This title would easily find a home on middle school and high school shelves. Sara's Rating: 9/10 Suitability Level: Grades 7-10 This review was made possible with a digital reader copy from the publisher.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Thank you to @DCComics for sending me this free copy of House of El Book One: The Shadow Threat written by @Claudia_Gray and illustrated by @XYZ_Eric! •:•.•:•.•:•:•:•:•:•:•:•☾☼☽•:•.•:•.•:•:•:•:•:•:•:• This graphic novel gives us the backstory of Krypton before it’s destruction. We meet an upper caste member of society who never quite fit in, as well as a soldier - both who are genetically preprogrammed for their specific functions in this world. Zahn is wealthy, privileged, a future leader - while Thank you to @DCComics for sending me this free copy of House of El Book One: The Shadow Threat written by @Claudia_Gray and illustrated by @XYZ_Eric! •:•.•:•.•:•:•:•:•:•:•:•☾☼☽•:•.•:•.•:•:•:•:•:•:•:• This graphic novel gives us the backstory of Krypton before it’s destruction. We meet an upper caste member of society who never quite fit in, as well as a soldier - both who are genetically preprogrammed for their specific functions in this world. Zahn is wealthy, privileged, a future leader - while Sera is strong, dedicated and fearless. Though their paths were not meant to cross, a rebellious uprising will change this. I really felt connected to this one. We explored a world where power, efficiency, and greed outweigh the lack of humanity. The pace picked up towards the middle of the book and piecing the two POVs together can get confusing at times but overall it worked. The illustrations were beautiful, and with graphic novels, the lack of descriptions were made up for with the artwork! If you like DC Comics and the Superman world, you’ll like this! This is book one in a trilogy!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lu

    Thank you, DC comics, for sending me a free copy! All the opinions are my own. I really loved reading this graphic novel! Set on Krypton, the story follows two characters, very different from one other. Zahn is a Re, from and élite classs, while Sera is a Ur, a soldier. Both of them are programmed to be and act in a certain way. Their paths shouldn't cross, but slowly they start to question the truth about their government, about the groundquakes and the lies they are told. Between uprisings, esp Thank you, DC comics, for sending me a free copy! All the opinions are my own. I really loved reading this graphic novel! Set on Krypton, the story follows two characters, very different from one other. Zahn is a Re, from and élite classs, while Sera is a Ur, a soldier. Both of them are programmed to be and act in a certain way. Their paths shouldn't cross, but slowly they start to question the truth about their government, about the groundquakes and the lies they are told. Between uprisings, esperiments and rebellion, in a society bound by caste, rules and lies, they will have to find a way to uncover the truth and save everyone. The story is captivating and really interesting, dealing with themes like government lies, caste system, deaths and sacrifices. The artwork is amazing, the characters are well written and crafted and I can't wait to read what will happen next.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    First of, DC sent this book to me for free so I could review it. Thank you so much for that! Even if you don’t know anything about the origin of Superman, you will still be able to follow the story. The images already tell you a lot and are really amazing. So it really isn’t hard to follow at all. The problem with a lot of comics or graphic novels is that you miss an amount of depth. There is only so much you can tell by using images and actual conversations between people. That was a bit of the p First of, DC sent this book to me for free so I could review it. Thank you so much for that! Even if you don’t know anything about the origin of Superman, you will still be able to follow the story. The images already tell you a lot and are really amazing. So it really isn’t hard to follow at all. The problem with a lot of comics or graphic novels is that you miss an amount of depth. There is only so much you can tell by using images and actual conversations between people. That was a bit of the problem here as well. You do get to know all the important characters, but only on the surface. There are some hints and remarks about things that happened in the past between some of them. But it still keeps you guessing a lot. And that is a shame. What I did like, that when you do know more about Krypton and the origin of Superman, you get to see some things you recognize. And I think the writer took the already existing characters and gave them a really nice spin. In combination with the amazing graphics, you finally get a real feel for Krypton. And it makes it easier to place some later things about Superman in perspective. It was an enjoyable read. And if you like the Supermand story, or just sci-fi in general, I think this can be a nice graphic novel for you. It reads away easy, even without reading you can still follow a lot of the story because of the graphics. And it really keeps you guessing what will happen next and wanting to read the next book. World building: 3/5 Characters: 3,5/5 Storyline 3,5/5

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    3.5/5 Fun introduction to a new arm of Superman lore. I love how well Gray writes stories for characters "in the background" of other more popular/known ones! Check out my full review at Forever Young Adult. 3.5/5 Fun introduction to a new arm of Superman lore. I love how well Gray writes stories for characters "in the background" of other more popular/known ones! Check out my full review at Forever Young Adult.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    An interesting start to this story. It's fascinating for me to see Krypton and how it's supposedly perfect world was actually pretty horrible and messed up. This definitely gets across the difference between the castes and highlights the dangers of genetic engineering. An interesting start to this story. It's fascinating for me to see Krypton and how it's supposedly perfect world was actually pretty horrible and messed up. This definitely gets across the difference between the castes and highlights the dangers of genetic engineering.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diana-christie Biancardi

    I did not care for the story and hated the artwork. I liked the cover.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brion Salazar

    Listen to Around Comics Ep. 359 to find out my thought on this book. www.aroundcomics.com Listen to Around Comics Ep. 359 to find out my thought on this book. www.aroundcomics.com

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas

    I had early access to this thanks to NetGalley and I was excited to dig in. As a fan of this author as well as non-traditional Superman stories, I had high hopes. Ultimately I was let down by the art as well as the inevitability of Krypton's fate. It's hard to get invested in characters with such a threat looming and this didn't give me enough to latch on to. I don't think this is a series I'll follow. We discussed this further on a special episode of Comic Book Coffee Break: https://www.youtube. I had early access to this thanks to NetGalley and I was excited to dig in. As a fan of this author as well as non-traditional Superman stories, I had high hopes. Ultimately I was let down by the art as well as the inevitability of Krypton's fate. It's hard to get invested in characters with such a threat looming and this didn't give me enough to latch on to. I don't think this is a series I'll follow. We discussed this further on a special episode of Comic Book Coffee Break: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EhTj...

  19. 4 out of 5

    John

    This book is set on krypton from the superman mythology but it really doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes other than the backstory of superman. The main theme is about genetic predisposition and genetic engineering with regards to social caste and philosophy. It wasn’t very captivating with the main characters but the story was new and interesting and some ways. By definition they were very one-sided. The art was fine. There isn’t much conclusion in book one so you need to read book two This book is set on krypton from the superman mythology but it really doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes other than the backstory of superman. The main theme is about genetic predisposition and genetic engineering with regards to social caste and philosophy. It wasn’t very captivating with the main characters but the story was new and interesting and some ways. By definition they were very one-sided. The art was fine. There isn’t much conclusion in book one so you need to read book two.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict... THE SHADOW THREAT is a fantastic sci-fi graphic novel that follows Krypton as it is nearing its end. Krypton genetically engineers people to fill certain roles, making sure that they have the qualities that will allow them to succeed. As a soldier, Sera is fearless and duty-bound to follow orders. Soldiers around her die everyday on missions from the Tribunes, and they are genetically desensitized to care about all the death, inclu See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict... THE SHADOW THREAT is a fantastic sci-fi graphic novel that follows Krypton as it is nearing its end. Krypton genetically engineers people to fill certain roles, making sure that they have the qualities that will allow them to succeed. As a soldier, Sera is fearless and duty-bound to follow orders. Soldiers around her die everyday on missions from the Tribunes, and they are genetically desensitized to care about all the death, including their own. Zahn was born to be one of the elite, a ruler, but he has a lot of questions about the way Krypton is run and whether the Tribunes actually have the best interests of the citizens in mind. Seeing the increasingly frequent groundquakes and hearing the voices of sedition, Zahn is questioning what he knows and trying to work for the good of all Krypton - even if the penalty could be banishment to the Phantom Zone or death. What I loved: The art in this graphic novel is really fantastic with plenty of old comic flair and simple use of color that conveys the emotion of the scenes so well, such as the red in the battle scenes and golds during the trial. It is quite masterfully illustrated, and I felt like we really got a feel for Krypton, the danger, and the questionable morality there. The amount of words to images is perfect, and it is always easy to tell who is talking as well as which are narrative information. The focus is definitely the illustrations, and they really tell a great story. The story has some really intriguing themes, and I was quite caught up in it all. There are themes about morality, destiny/fate, genetic engineering, and the value of human life. As Sera begins to understand more of the world around her, we really see the problematic treatment of life at different caste levels. The book also raises the questions of ideal qualities in certain job types and why balance matters. In Krypton, people have been bred for one specific role - but does that mean that the qualities selected are exclusively good for the role? These kinds of questions that arise as the reader dives into the story really make this a thought-provoking read. This is definitely a story I am eager to continue. We all know what happens to Krypton from the original books, but this transports the reader into the lives of individual citizens and their experiences of that time. The parallels that readers may find with connections to our planet today (global warming, dissention, socioeconomic divides) make this an even deeper and provocative read. Final verdict: THE SHADOW THREAT is an intriguing, thought-provoking, and clever graphic novel that takes us back to Krypton before Superman. Important themes and fantastically crafted illustrations make this a must-read for sci-fi fans. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    *I received a free copy of this book from DC Comics for review purposes. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.* My rating: 4/5 Stars Book Review ‘You’re a perfect example of military genetic engineering. And yet you’ve got a … spark. A bit of cunning that’s all your own.’ -Claudia Gray, House of El: The Shadow Threat Here are some of my initial thoughts about the book: This was a fun, quick read about Krypton, Superman’s home planet, before the planet’s demise. As the first in a trilogy, it cert *I received a free copy of this book from DC Comics for review purposes. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.* My rating: 4/5 Stars Book Review ‘You’re a perfect example of military genetic engineering. And yet you’ve got a … spark. A bit of cunning that’s all your own.’ -Claudia Gray, House of El: The Shadow Threat Here are some of my initial thoughts about the book: This was a fun, quick read about Krypton, Superman’s home planet, before the planet’s demise. As the first in a trilogy, it certainly feels like a beginning that is setting up future events. I just hope the next two books are not too drawn out, as is often my fear with trilogies. The illustration style fits the story well. Zawadzki is quite talented at drawing sci-fi planet types of buildings and scenery. Claudia Gray paints an interesting picture of the social divide on Krypton. It was interesting to observe the social class dynamics from both Sera and Zahn’s perspectives. Krypton’s terraforming efforts on other planets have been failing, but the pig-headed leaders of Krypton don’t want to admit it to the public. At times, I just wished someone would give them a good knock on the noggin, you know? I am definitely curious to see what all the denial is about and how Sera and Zahn, the two main characters, will try to save Krypton in the next two books. Characters: Here is a brief overview of the main characters: Sera Ur is a soldier, genetically coded to serve and protect Krypton. I found it slightly difficult to relate to her, because her character is a bit emotionally stiff for most of the novel. But then again, considering the plot, I’m guessing her stiffness is likely intentional. Zahn Re is a member of a wealthy family and is genetically coded to become a future leader of Krypton. I liked Zahn and his desire to do good and become a better person. He gets involved with a rebel group called Midnight and must prove himself to the group. Scientists Jor-El and Lara come up with a secret plan to try to save Krypton, and they ask Sera to be a participant. She is unprepared for how much her participation will change her. Regarding the romance, I hardly felt its existence in this first installment. Just a tad. Perhaps I had expected more romance based on the book’s official synopsis, but it seems that the real development of the relationship between Sera and Zahn will develop in the future novels. Sera and Zahn don’t actually spend much time together in this first novel. Their paths cross here-and-there. I didn’t love the fact that Zahn and Sera already sort of have crushes on each other prior to the novel’s beginning. When this happens in a book, I often feel that it’s difficult to understand the story behind why the characters are attracted to each other since we don’t get to see how they first meet. I’m hoping for a little bit more about their history together in the second book. Final Thoughts: Overall, this was an entertaining read with a good amount of action. There is one thing that is revealed about Sera’s ex boyfriend near the end that is kind of out-of-the-blue, but this is only a minor issue. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read this first installment of House of El. I’ve read several other books by Claudia Gray, and I look forward to reading more and finding out what happens to Sera and Zahn. There is a good twist at the end that makes me want to read the sequel! This book released today, so definitely check it out if it sounds interesting to you. Happy reading, everyone 🙂

  22. 5 out of 5

    M. K. French

    Zahn-Re is from one of Krypton's elite families, genetically destined to be a leader. Sera-Ur is engineered to be one of Krypton's fearless soldiers. Both question the strict caste system in their society, especially as the tribune seems to do nothing about the massive groundquakes shaking the planet. Top scientists Jor-El and Lara conduct a secret experiment that is meant to reform their planet from the cellular level up. Zahn and Sera are drawn into the center of the discontent and must join f Zahn-Re is from one of Krypton's elite families, genetically destined to be a leader. Sera-Ur is engineered to be one of Krypton's fearless soldiers. Both question the strict caste system in their society, especially as the tribune seems to do nothing about the massive groundquakes shaking the planet. Top scientists Jor-El and Lara conduct a secret experiment that is meant to reform their planet from the cellular level up. Zahn and Sera are drawn into the center of the discontent and must join forces to investigate the hidden dangers truly threatening Krypton. This is the first of a trilogy outlining the last days of Krypton from the POV of two teens from different classes. Those classes are defined not by race (it was wonderful to see different skin colors and even disabled Kryptonians in the background on many panels) but by the genetic codes they were programmed with. The upper echelons all manipulate genetics of offspring in order to have selected traits be prominent, while the poor living on the broken ground level of the planet have children the old-fashioned way and are looked down on for it. Zahn has a darker skin tone than Sera, and is part of the upper class that generally resents even having to see the lower classes; visually it's distinct by the colors used in their clothing even when the styles are different. I really liked seeing more of Lara in this, as most movie renditions seem to forget her or don't give her a voice. She's a big part of the experiment, and she doubts the tribune as much as some of the poor do, even though she's from the House of Re before marrying Jor-El. She even says one of the lines that struck me while reading the book: "You weren't designed to enjoy your life. Only to sacrifice it." This is said to Sera, and it's certainly true. The warrior class looks at cold calculations and the end result of the mission, so that lost lives don't matter as much to them as lost equipment. Zahn is more idealistic than calculating, which is why he's drawn to the protestors and the underground resistance movement. As awkward as he is trying to help, his heart is in the right place. Both teens want to make a difference on Krypton and save the people when it seems like the government is ignoring any evidence that would invalidate their claim to Kryptonian supremacy. The reader knows that this cannot last, and they're racing against a clock they don't even know is ticking. For their sakes, I hope they work as fast and find their way off-world before the end comes. There are two more books coming, so fingers crossed!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Bautista

    Already drawn to this book because of my fondness for Claudia Gray's Star Wars books, I came away pleased as she offered a complex and fresh look at Kryptonian society. Maybe I don't read enough Krypton stories, but I feel like part of the strength of this book is that it doesn't pretend to be a Superman prequel story at all like the Krypton TV show on SyFy channel (which I loved, BTW). This is a straight-up story about cousins who are on somewhat different (yet, both privileged) paths in Krypto Already drawn to this book because of my fondness for Claudia Gray's Star Wars books, I came away pleased as she offered a complex and fresh look at Kryptonian society. Maybe I don't read enough Krypton stories, but I feel like part of the strength of this book is that it doesn't pretend to be a Superman prequel story at all like the Krypton TV show on SyFy channel (which I loved, BTW). This is a straight-up story about cousins who are on somewhat different (yet, both privileged) paths in Kryptonian life (by way of caste system), but somehow are coming to similar realizations about the flaws of their society. And these flaws run deep into the structure of their caste-based society, the lies being told to them by their leadership, and the way society discourages asking questions of itself. There is a good mystery brewing here, as it is only Book One of this series, as to what is behind the failing attempts of terraforming other planets and why the tribunes (apparent leadership) continue to insist that there are no geological problems despite constant ground quakes. It's multilayered and deep and engaging enough to forget that there is a future Superman that will be put into a little rescue pod soon on his way to Earth that will happen, eventually, in this timeline. And this is a good thing because I think an exploration into the social structure, political dynamic, cultural trappings of Krypton that led up to (and possibly helped cause?) the entire planet's eventual demise is an untapped area for storytelling and social commentary on our society today. Can we be more than what others had planned out for us? When we optimize our lives for excellence in one area of our lives at the cost of other areas of life, is this life to the fullest? If our society doesn't enforce a caste system, but still has a social hierarchy, how best do we address that for the good of all people? If Claudia Gray will continue to dwell on ideas like this, then count me in for this series. While I don't love Eric Zawadzki's style of art in this book, it's on par with other books in the DC Young Adult Graphic Novel line of books with even a little more color than past books. It's certainly not a negative on this book. I would recommend this book to anyone who liked the vibe of the Krypton TV show series or wants to explore the societal problems of Krypton, a seemingly intelligent, pioneering, yet overly pragmatic and sadly condescending of fellow Kryptonians of lower castes. Don't look for a Superman prequel. This is something better.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donald Scott

    Prose (Story): This well-done, highly readable graphic novel is just book one of a proposed trilogy by DC that appears to start at the beginning of what will ultimately become Krypton's downfall as a planet. The Shadow Threat opens on a Krypton where the division between castes seems to grow every day, even as groundquakes that have the lower castes fearing the future of their planet are virtually ignored by the higer-ups, who follow the tribune's "everything's okay - no need to panic" message t Prose (Story): This well-done, highly readable graphic novel is just book one of a proposed trilogy by DC that appears to start at the beginning of what will ultimately become Krypton's downfall as a planet. The Shadow Threat opens on a Krypton where the division between castes seems to grow every day, even as groundquakes that have the lower castes fearing the future of their planet are virtually ignored by the higer-ups, who follow the tribune's "everything's okay - no need to panic" message that's sent over the airwaves across the planet daily, almost as if hypnotizing the populace. Meanwhile, these same leaders are sending military crews out to nearby planets on a massive and seemingly urgent terraforming mission, as if the need may be coming very soon for a new planet for Kyptonians to live on - and when an intelligent, brave female soldier named Sera, along with Zahn, a member of the upper-caste who is secretly working with a militant group determined to expose whatever's really going on with Krypton, learn some startling information about themselves and the genetic makeup of generations of Kryptonians, both must work together to find a way to save a planet that seems ultimately doomed for destruction, even if their fellow Kryptonians don't seem to either understand or care about it. Don's (Review): Though I wasn't sure about the story at first, Claudia Gray's characters and plot sucked me in pretty quickly, both as gritty as Eric Zawadzki's precise artwork that gives you a sense of the intimacy of character in some panels ... and both the beauty, and now-lost beauty of different sections of Krypton the next. Pretty much anyone who knows Superman's story knows what ultimately befalls Krypton, but The Shadow Threat gives readers a nice backstory that teases at potentially answering some of the questions that remain of the cause behind what happened to Krypton in the end. The multi-layered political, social and personal plotlines are nicely textured - especially for a graphic novel - and toward The End I rememberd this was only book one so I was ulikely to get a wrapped-up/satisfying conclusion here ... but again, was surprised when, though definitely the expected cliffhanger, the ending provided more closure to the actual events going on in this book than I expected. But seriously: 2022 for volume two?? No way! (Available January 5) 4/5 stars NOTE: I received a free ARC of this title from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I don't really read comic books often, but this was a solid read! The Shadow Threat is a graphic novel that's set on Krypton, before Superman is born. The planet is riddled with earthquakes and the world's efforts in terraforming have failed numerous times. While the tribunes have tried to keep this a secret from the population, a rebellion is forming. The story follows Zahn, a young elite born to Krypton's highest caste, and Sera, a soldier genetically programed to sacrifice her life for Krypton I don't really read comic books often, but this was a solid read! The Shadow Threat is a graphic novel that's set on Krypton, before Superman is born. The planet is riddled with earthquakes and the world's efforts in terraforming have failed numerous times. While the tribunes have tried to keep this a secret from the population, a rebellion is forming. The story follows Zahn, a young elite born to Krypton's highest caste, and Sera, a soldier genetically programed to sacrifice her life for Krypton, as they join together to help save their home. The plot is very fast paced. I don't think you need to have much knowledge about the Superman universe, which makes it easier to follow if you're not really familiar with this world (like me!). The characters are very enjoyable. I liked that they each had their own inner struggles with their identity and how they decided to face them. While Zahn is born in the upper class, he isn't like many of his fellow members and recognizes the wrongness of his home. He strives to help others in lower castes and wants more from his life than what has been planned for him. You also get a look at Zod, Jor-El, and Lara before the events of Superman, which I thought was very cool. I also really liked the topics of genetics and what it means to not have a choice in what you do or how you act. Each person on Krypton is programed and designed for a specific role on the planet yet have no say in whether that is truly what they want. They are born into this role and they cannot question it, which is a huge inner struggle that the main protagonists, as well as Superman's parents, face. However, because it's a graphic novel, it's too short to fully flush out all the characters and plot. I'm hoping that the next books follow more on Sera and her identity outside of being a soldier as well as a bigger focus on the growing rebellion. I definitely recommend this comic if you're interested in exploring more of the Superman universe or if you're looking to read more science fiction. I think this graphic novel is great for Superman fans and even others who have yet to explore this world. Special thanks to Netgalley and DC Entertainment for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kasey Connors-Beron

    I received an ARC of House of El Book One: The Shadow Threat by Claudia Gray thanks to the publisher through NetGalley. I do want to start this review off by saying I am not a DC fan (comics, movies, etc.) but I have been trying to increase my comic/manga reading (because I love them and have not had the opportunity to enjoy them lately) and this looked really interesting (I also did not notice it was DC until I was already approved to review it). However, this was nothing like I was expecting in I received an ARC of House of El Book One: The Shadow Threat by Claudia Gray thanks to the publisher through NetGalley. I do want to start this review off by saying I am not a DC fan (comics, movies, etc.) but I have been trying to increase my comic/manga reading (because I love them and have not had the opportunity to enjoy them lately) and this looked really interesting (I also did not notice it was DC until I was already approved to review it). However, this was nothing like I was expecting in a great way. The art style is not one I am a huge fan of, but it is very classic superhero comic style, so it works for this well story. Although, the main characters, actually everyone encountered, do not fit in the superhero category. This might be why I liked it so much. It’s two ‘normal’ people. Whether that continues to be the case throughout the trilogy, I doubt, but I am already invested! The story gives me slight Romeo and Juliet vibes (“two house both alike in dignity, in fair [Krypton] where we lay our scene”). However, there is no real romance in the story, although I do ship two of the characters strongly. Their banter is just so great! The action scenes are wonderful and you can feel the emotions rising high in them as they are life-or-death situations. I also enjoyed that the POV changed between two main characters, with ‘plot-establishing’ POVs from others. It made the story feel very cohesive. The end (chapter 3) really ramps up the story and then leaves you hanging on by a rope (ha!). I really need to know what is going to happen next! I highly recommend this quick read, whether you like DC or not, because it really keeps you engaged throughout the whole book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received a free eARC copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own. House of El: The Shadow Threat takes place not too long before Clark Kent was born, when the planet was still alive and apparently thriving. Sera and Zahn know each other despite being from different classes. Due to their varied circumstances, both Sera and Zahn come to learn that everything on Krypton is not what it seems. Sera receives a secret message from Jor-El and Lara-El, whom we know to be Clark Kent’s I received a free eARC copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own. House of El: The Shadow Threat takes place not too long before Clark Kent was born, when the planet was still alive and apparently thriving. Sera and Zahn know each other despite being from different classes. Due to their varied circumstances, both Sera and Zahn come to learn that everything on Krypton is not what it seems. Sera receives a secret message from Jor-El and Lara-El, whom we know to be Clark Kent’s parents. Little does Sera know that answering the Els’ call will let her in on a huge secret that will change her life and the life of Zahn forever. House of El: The Shadow Threat is written by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray. What I appreciate about Gray’s writing is she basically is creating an entire new world. Sure, Krypton is a planet that most people who know even a little bit about Superman are familiar with, but this story provides a huge opportunity to explore Krypton and its culture. Eric Zawadzki, who is most well-known for The Dregs and Eternal, lends his pen to the art in this graphic novel. What stands out the most in Zawadzki’s art is how there is so much action in each panel. Overall, I enjoyed House of El: The Shadow Threat. Admittedly, stories that are more sci-fi in nature are not generally something that I read. So, it took me some time to get into the plot. However, the main characters are very personable, and I enjoyed learning about them throughout. How they interacted with their friends and those in authority felt very real. I recommend House of El: The Shadow Threat to those who enjoy space and sci-fi stories and to anyone who would like to know more about Superman’s home world. The graphic novel ends on a cliff hanger that sets the reader up for book two in the series, House of El: The Enemy Delusion, which is set to come out in the spring of 2022. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but I think just like myself, readers will be excited to see what comes next when they see the very last panel! My full review can be found here: https://thegeekiary.com/before-the-de...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Krypton, and although I am not very well versed in Superman lore, I was able to jump right into this graphic novel. Grey spends enough time with each character to give them the appreciation the reader needs to really care about them. It’s important to point out that The Shadow Threat is Book One in a trilogy, which increased my interest. I like the idea of a longer story that I can really sink my teeth into. There are times reading graphic novels that I fe I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Krypton, and although I am not very well versed in Superman lore, I was able to jump right into this graphic novel. Grey spends enough time with each character to give them the appreciation the reader needs to really care about them. It’s important to point out that The Shadow Threat is Book One in a trilogy, which increased my interest. I like the idea of a longer story that I can really sink my teeth into. There are times reading graphic novels that I feel rushed through a story. At 150-200 pages, I can rip through one in a couple hours and sometimes I too quickly forget the story. The only part of the book I couldn’t fully get behind is the artwork. I was hoping for a more modern look, yet I found a strong connection the style of the Silver Age of comic books. (I am no expert at all. This is only a gut reaction from reading my father’s old stack of DCs.) I did like the color palette and how it ties into the caste system. Golds and greens for the upper class and greys and browns for the lowly soldiers. Overall, this is a mixed review, but one where the positives outweigh the negatives. This is a very good title for YA readers and a series that I would recommend for any of my students who are superhero fans. For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2021/02/01/ho... For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog

  29. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    Growing up on Krypton means one thing, being genetically modified to fit the mold you will grow up in. For Sera, that means being from House Ur, a solider who is committed to being strong and courageous. While Zahn comes from house Re, the upper class of Krypton. So what would happen if two citizens of Krypton started to question their entire being and the way they live their lives? Sera and Zahn, were never meant to intermingle but their paths keep crossing and they both are questioning their g Growing up on Krypton means one thing, being genetically modified to fit the mold you will grow up in. For Sera, that means being from House Ur, a solider who is committed to being strong and courageous. While Zahn comes from house Re, the upper class of Krypton. So what would happen if two citizens of Krypton started to question their entire being and the way they live their lives? Sera and Zahn, were never meant to intermingle but their paths keep crossing and they both are questioning their government and what is really happening to their planet and they must figure out a way to save them all. Coming from someone who doesn’t have a ton of Superman and Krypton background information.. I thought House of El was EXCELLENT! We’re able to see what exactly is happening to Krypton and it’s citizens before it was ultimately destroyed! I’m a sucker for prequel(ish) kind of stories and was excited to find out that’s exactly what we were getting! The world was beautifully developed and the plot is believable (as believable as space and genetic modification can be lol) and let’s not forget to mention the ART! Seeing that this is a graphic novel, I always feel the need to talk a bit about the art and did I love this style!! The colors and the characters are just so beautiful, I couldn’t stop staring at the pages long after I finished reading the text! I really had a grasp of what the characters were feeling and thinking and just all around enjoyed the heck out of this novel!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thriftyniftynerd

    I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect going into this comic, but I absolutely loved what I found upon reading. The House of El tells the story of Krypton in the days leading up to its ultimate demise, from the perspective of two young people going against their genetically programmed roles to see beyond the lies of the planetary leadership. The dystopian setting of the story was sooo engrossing, and it was honestly just made all the more interesting by the fact that everybody knows Krypton will I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect going into this comic, but I absolutely loved what I found upon reading. The House of El tells the story of Krypton in the days leading up to its ultimate demise, from the perspective of two young people going against their genetically programmed roles to see beyond the lies of the planetary leadership. The dystopian setting of the story was sooo engrossing, and it was honestly just made all the more interesting by the fact that everybody knows Krypton will be destroyed. I was at first disgusted by the mindset of almost every single person in the story, until I realized that’s the point and every single person is lacking vital aspects of their humanity (and that is ultimately leading to their inevitable apocalypse). I think one of the most interesting things about the story were the similarities to our own world, and how people can believe the word of those in charge that their blind to all the ways we’re literally destroying our planet. I’m very excited for the next two books to this series, and I honestly now have an urge to go on a comic book reading streak. Very strongly recommend to all fans of DC, comics, and dystopian/sci-fi stories in general.

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