Friday, April 15, 2022

Review: Superman Son Of Kal-El #10

Superman Son of Kal-El #10 came out this week and was a solid issue, pushing the overall storyline ahead a touch while giving us some key character moments that raised this up a notch or two.

Writer Tom Taylor is giving us this socially conscious, socially progressive book, giving us a 'new' Superman. At times I have worried that the issues raised are treated superficially. I have said that Jon's solutions often seem too easy, with the book leaving the scene before anything real messy outside of the message gets delivered. 

But the strength of the book has always been the character moments. That is Taylor's forte. And this issue has several great ones, including a splash page that has been appropriately lauded on the internet already. Taylor's Lois is strong and unflappable. And Jon is growing.

I will say the last page's cliffhanger had me cheering, even if for personal reasons.

The art is by Cian Tormey, the new regular penciller. His work with Lois in the issue is powerful. There isn't much action in this issue but the rescue scene in Ireland is well paced. There is one panel progression in that scene which works incredibly well.

On to the specifics.

The issue starts with Lex Luthor holding a press conference where he openly questions Jon as Superman.

He brings up all the recent episodes that could be construed negatively. Being involved in a riot against the police (although it was a peaceful protest), being arrested for a crime and led away in handcuffs, defending a monster while letting the city get damaged ... it all gets twisted in a way.

I am glad that Taylor is addressing this. These are the things I thought were swept away too easily. And yes, it is easy to have the villain give this diatribe in sound bites that can be disseminated to the believing masses. 

In Ireland a storm has hit Dublin, knocking over the Dublin Spire. 

While Jon knows he is being besmirched by Lex, he also knows he has work to do. He has to free people from a building the toppled spire is resting on. He burns his way into the building.

Those glowing red eyes are scary to the people who have just heard about this villainous, alien, untrustworthy Superman. This father is scared for his daughter.

I really loved this. We have seen those angry red eyes peeking out of the shadows far too often in this gritty era of comics. So seeing how it could be construed by people living in that world worked well for me. 

He saves everyone, changing some minds. 

I wouldn't mind an artistic moratorium on the angry red eyes look.

The Luthor press conference is interrupted by, of all people, Lois. 

She is there and is asking some hard questions.

Jon didn't kill that Gamorran hero. A device exploded in his head. What does Lex say about that?

I do love how the former Suicide Squad members working with Jay over on The Truth are distraught by this. Nice callback to their continuity. 

Maybe Lex will answer the tough questions while holding this. It sure looks like the lasso of truth.

Is Lex helping President Bendix frame Jon?

I guess rather than face the music in front of the throngs, Luthor quietly leaves. 

Lois sure knows how to take control of a situation. Heck she even goes behind the podium.

Nice scene and great panel work here.

When one of the Gamorran heroes grabs Lois to lead her away, suddenly Jon is there.

Another nice panel showing how just his arrival has impact. The cape, the exploding ground, Lois' hair ... it all has 'oomph'. 

Back at the Kent house, Lois reveals it wasn't the Golden Perfect, just a rope painted gold. 

I love the smirk when she says Lex maybe isn't the smartest man in the world. She put one over on him. Great art by Tormey.

And then the page everyone has been sharing.

Jon lets Lois know he and Jay are a couple. 

Lois calls him into the other room. She accepts him. Very nice page.

When she says she had figured it out before Jon's reveal, he jokes about she thought Clark and Superman were two people. It is a nice funny moment showing how easy these two are with each other.

But that wasn't my favorite page.

All along I have felt that something was amiss with Jay. It seemed like he was manipulating Jon.

Batman shows up saying the Kent house is no longer safe for Lois to live in. It is time to move to a safe house. 

And then, in the Bat-plane, Batman says Jay is working for someone, planning something, and can't be trusted.


Maybe this time I'm right!

So this issue sort of went by quickly. This was sort of world-building, letting us see the world consequences of Jon's actions and how he'll need to repair things. But it was the Lois scenes that worked the most for me. 

Overall grade: B+

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

Top review as ever. This was the best issue in ages, and it is indeed great to see shade cast over ‘Gossamer’ (hey kid, that name’s taken!). I hope it’s not a double bluff on Taylor’s part.