Friday, September 16, 2022

Review: Superman Son Of Kal-El #15

Superman Son of Kal-El #15 came out this week, the ending of the first arc of the book. Fifteen issues.

I have had some problems with this book no doubt. The politics are pretty obvious and often ham-fisted. The social justice scenes always make the problems look easy to solve without looking at any ramifications. And the Gamorran plot hasn't been interesting enough to prop up the rest of the book. This really has been a book sort of treading water.

Finally this issue, the Gamorran threat ends. Much like the political scenes feel a little too easy, the defeat of this President Bendix and the Gamorran government seems a bit too simple. I shouldn't complain. At least this revolution didn't take more than one issue. But I wonder if writer Tom Taylor will follow up the victory by showing any fallout. Superman led a group of known murderers into a country and overthrew the government. You can't tell me that other governments are going to feel thrilled about that.

Now that doesn't mean there aren't some good moments. There always are. Maybe just maybe Jon's unique physiology has given him a new power.

As for the art, Cian Tormey continues to shine here. There is a fluidity to everything here. The action flows well. 

On to the book.

The revolution is on. But Jay Nakamura has to fight his mother, mutated and controlled by President Bendix. 

One thing I do like that Tom Taylor has done is taken Jon's history of years of torture and inserted them into the story. That is something that hasn't been done enough. You can't just sweep years of torture under the rug.  Whether here or in the Nightwing book, it has at least been acknowledged.

So I think that saying that Jay fighting his mutated mother is worse than six years of torture by your father's doppelganger .. six years ... is a stretch.

Jay sends Jon off to free the country figuring he can't be hurt by his mother. But when Bendix threatens to blow up the mother's head if Jay doesn't stay solid, Bendix is able to get in some decent damage.

That is a pretty good way to hurt someone who can become intangible. But if these 15 issues have shown me anything, it is that Bendix is without a doubt evil. You think he'd simply kill Jay here. After all, Jay has organized all this, even getting Lois onto The Truth. Seems like this would be a moment where Bendix would go for the kill quickly.

The scientists who turned on Bendix last issue tell Jon that the people controlling the meta-humans are in a tower built to implode if entry is forced. Bendix is basically forcing these people to control his troops. You can only get in by teleportation. Luckily Wink is there. 

And just like that the troops are all freed. 

Nice art here. I especially love the POV of the bottom issue.

Meanwhile Damian comes in and cuts Bendix's link to Jay's mother. 

In another fun little moment, Taylor has Damian slap Bendix like the famous, classic 'Batman slaps Robin' panel that has been all over the internet these last few years.

Pretty funny.

And yet somehow Damian, easily as tactical as Batman, lets Bendix run out of the room and teleport away. Not a batarang or bolo in sight.

The best scene follows. On his satellite, Bendix plans to raze Gamorra with a massive laser cannon. 

But then Lex Luthor shows up. After all, it is LexCorp's teleport tech that has been aiding Bendix. With the revolution televised, Luthor knows Bendix's time is over. Lex is cutting funding and ties. Better yet ... and completely Luthor, he will use everything Bendix has created.

That is a pretty solid take on Luthor. The unfazed and oddly calm demeanor Tormey gives him makes it all the more terrifying. 

Suffice it to say, Lex deals with Bendix.

But before Lex does, Bendix actually fires the cannon. 

Jon dives in front of the beam to block it. And while it hurts him tremendously, it definitely does something else. We don't know what this means but I wonder if Jon's unique physiology is letting him absorb all sorts of radiation, not just yellow sun.

Could this be some new power about to manifest?

That's a decent wrinkle.

I told you the revolution was televised. With all the Gamorrans happy that Bendix is gone and with everyone's cell phones out, Jon and Jay kiss. 

So we finally reach the end of this arc and we are promised the return of Kal-El. 

I'm ready for it. 

Overall grade: C

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

Terrific review, I agree, Jon should have played a bigger part in his own book. And yeah, there are always good bits, but not enough - the series feels undercooked, a place holder, a banner headline without a story to justify it. I wouldn’t be sad were it to end tomorrow.