Superman: Son of Kal-El #6 – Tom Taylor, Writer; John Timms, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: How does Tom Taylor write something as utterly bleak as Dark Knights of Steel, and then give us a comic as full of pure superhero joy as this one? They’re both excellent, but the man has range. That’s not to say that Jon Kent’s adventures don’t have some darkness—he’s up against one of the most evil villains at DC, Henry Bendix, and his plot involves human experimentation and trafficking. But amid that is some brilliant characterization and one of the best superhero coming of age stories I’ve seen. Last month’s coming-out story for Jon thankfully isn’t used for drama and angst—he and Jay get back to work, with an undercurrent of young love that reminds me a lot of some of my favorite Spider-man comics. Jay’s backstory is dug into a little more, as the young Gamorran phaser turns out to have some surprising ties to Gamorra’s pre-Bendix government—and a very personal reason to want the villain taken down.
I really like what little we see of Lois Lane here—while Lois was often a more passive parent to a younger Jon, letting Clark take the lead with his training, here it’s great to see her be protective over her Kryptonian son and jump into the fray to find him. But the biggest surprise of this issue is the appearance of Robin, who just happens to be investigating the same case as Jay and gets into a hilarious fight with the intangible boy. While Jon’s growth spurt initially looked to ruin the Super-Sons dynamic, the two of them have both grown up and this is the best content for them in a while. I particularly liked how Jon didn’t even have to come out to Damian—of course Damian knows already. The character scenes are great, but Taylor and Timms are no slouches with action. A battle scene aboard a massive smuggling ship has great scale, and leads to a tense cliffhanger that might push Jon and Jay to their limits. One of the best books at DC right now.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.