Friday, June 17, 2022

Review: Superman Son Of Kal-El #12

Superman Son of Kal-El #12 came out this week and was a quick read which only nudged things forward. This issue felt like we were treading water in some ways. I get it, President Bendix is a bad guy, turning people into super-human drone warriors, and blowing them up when they serve their purpose. I get it, Bendix is willing to go after the Kents. I know that Jon and Jay are a couple and are starting to team up. We just get that recapitulated this issue. 

Tom Taylor does a nice job linking this book with Nightwing again. Both books are socially progressive. Dick has decided to mentor Jon. It makes sense for them to help each other. But even this team-up has been done recently.

Even the addition of Krypto, an element I usually love, felt a little forced. Almost like Taylor needed to add a cute dog in the mix. 

The art by Cian Tormey and Ruairi Coleman is solid throughout. There is a lot of zany action here. That includes a craziness with a sort of Cthulhu style monster battle in the Senate. It flows nicely. 

But I was hoping for something more here. This felt a bit like more of the same. 

On to the book.

Jon has just brought the rescued drone Inferno home when his signal watch goes off. Something is about to attack the JLA safe house. Batman activates the defenses which include robots and what appears to be a Green Lantern dome. 

Turns out the approaching attack is Krypto.

So now Krypto is in the book. 

Yes this is a cute moment. I was expecting a villain or a Gamorra drone. Instead I get the dog. As I said, cute.

But this felt in some way like the addition of the cute cousin to a sit-com trying to reinvigorate.

Jon gets to tell us again about Bendix and his nefarious plans. He thinks he has enough proof.

At least Pa is able to give common sense advice. He can't invade. 

How aggressive should a super-hero be when faced like this? Enough to bend the law? At least for now, Jon isn't being criminal.

Instead, the idea is to try to get to Bendix through Lex Luthor. And that is where Dick Grayson comes in. As a newly minted billionaire, Dick can get some face time with Luthor.

I do like the way Taylor writes Luthor.

Lex treats Dick with the respect money brings. He doesn't understand why Alfred would remain a butler if he was that rich. And he knows what it is like to have people stand in the way of a smart man's vision. Dick is trying to move Bludhaven forward. Lex is being stopped by Superman. Two different perspectives. Fascinating.

Dick plants a bug which will self-dissolve allowing Jay and Jon to listen in. Whatever Bendix and Lex are thinking of, they are close. Bendix has an army.

Even though the idea of a self-dissolving bug is fun, it seems a little off that Lex wouldn't have defenses to stop that from happening at all. He doesn't have jamming fields? Alarms? It seemed a bit too easy.

Bendix mentions a Senator which leads Jon and an out in the open Jay to confront a Senator Henderson, seen in photos bringing out Faultline from STAR Labs. 

Again, this seems a bit too theatrical for someone calling themselves Superman. They aren't confronting this Senator in his office. This is in the rotunda. I don't think this is what Clark would do and maybe that's the point. But if you want to look like you are threatening a high ranking politician, this is one way to do it. Does it re-ignite my original thought that Jay might be controlling Jon somehow? Maybe.

But perhaps this is the way super-heroics are to be done in the age of underground news sites where the revolution will be televised.

I do like that letterer Dave Sharpe gives Jay here a different font, an almost computerized lettering showing he is hiding his voice.

Before things can go further, Krypto lashes out against the Senator.

Okay, I was worried that Taylor might be turning Krypto into some dupe.

Nice image here. Great viewpoint for the action.

The Senator turns out to have been part of the Gamorran process, whether willingly or unwillingly. He says he couldn't stop things from going bad. But after being attacked by Krypto, the Senator devolves into an octopus-like monster. 

And then Bendix takes him over.  He voices how many people want order and his plan will bring that into being. They want humans protecting them.

The Senator-monster looks almost silly.

With the fight getting out of control, Jay goes intangible and removes the control device/bomb from the Senator's brain.

But somewhere in the fray, Jay lost his goon-mask. Now everyone knows his identity.

That is a decent cliffhanger. Jay can't be an anonymous news agency when everyone knows who he is. What will the fallout be?

This was a fine issue. But it seemed to just be restating the overall plot over again. We are 11 issues in. It might be time for us to pick up the pace.

Overall grade: C+

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

That’s a very fair review, this certainly did feel like a ‘nothing much’ happens issue. I think you’re right, this is one Nightwing appearance we didn’t really need. You want access to Lex Luthor? Lois Lane is right there! Lex would certainly have seen her. The point about the bug is a fair one, I assumed it was a special piece of kit invented by JLA big brains. And he certainly would be suspicion of Dick’s intentions… there’s no way he doesn’t at lest strongly suspect Dick has ties to Batman.

And I am dreading the Coming Out Day special.