Superman: Son of Kal-El #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 27, 2021
Cover date: September 2021
“Truth, Justice and a Better World”
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: John Timms
Cover: John Timms
Variant Covers: Inhyuk Lee, Stephen Byrne and Jen Bartel
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Superman soars to the Fortress and is greeted by Batman. He assures Clark that the League will protect the planet while he deals with this important matter. As Clark enters he is greeted by Wonder Woman and Lois; a heavily pregnant, in labour, Lois. Jonathan Kent arrives happy and healthy and for a brief time Superman and Lois are the happiest of parents. Batman, meanwhile, quietly runs tests on the infant and makes a startling, wholly illogical discovery.
That was years ago.
In California, a distressed metahuman who can generate fire, is accidentally setting a huge wildfire while trying to fend off the attacking military. Jon steps in and comforts the young man and as he calms down the fires begin to dwindle. The military, who had exacerbated the situation, demands the metahuman be turned over to them. The young Superman does so uneasily but he still needs reassurance and he seeks out his oldest friend. True to form Damian Wayne is no help at all allaying Jon’s fears.
After aiding Damian on a secret mission, Jon faces a harsh truth from his friend. As much as he is the son of the original Superman, he is also the son of Lois Lane. Jon realises he cannot just continue his father’s legacy, he has to forge a new path… A journey for Truth, Justice and a better world.
We have a short but poignant ‘retelling’ of the birth of Jon Kent and then a flash forward to the present.
If you were after finer details, you’ll be sorely disappointed. You’d think that would be a huge downside but as much of Jon’s stories specifically during the “Unity Saga” felt like the writers hated the fanbase, not going to that was a welcome mercy. We dive straight into an unsure early adventure of Jon’s and his embracing his mother’s legacy gives him a new purpose.
I’m glad this debut issue didn’t get mired down with past stories. It doesn’t need them as the title goes forward to be honest. The only thing I’d like to know is how Lois and Clark fit into Jon’s life now. Obviously as the story unfolds many burning questions will be answered, I guess that means I’ll be back for next issue!
Art – 4: Timms is an expert at dynamic page composition. There is a frenetic pace to the art that keeps your attention throughout. My only critique is that the inking could help flesh out the details a little more.
Cover Art – 5: Timm’s delivers a beautiful homage to an iconic cover. It is very respectful of the original and is distinctly different at the same time. It is still vague enough that is isn’t giving any spoilers away considering the 21st century is 2000-2099. I did scrutinise it for the whizz wagon or other flying vehicles!
Variant Cover Art – 4: Inhyuk Lee focuses on nostalgia for Jon Kent fans. It’s a bittersweet reminder of the characters best stories but it I’d a welcome nod to why we liked the character. These variants have a lot of heart.
Variant Cover Art – 4: Stephen Byrne delivers what might one day be an iconic pose for the young Superman. Really like the style of this one.
Variant Cover Art – 4: Jen Bartel gives us a dramatic piece of art here. You can really feel his hope exuding from his gaze alone.
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