Review – Superman: Son of Kal-El #15 – The Final Gambit

Comic Books DC This Week
Superman: Son of Kal-El #15 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #15 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Cian Tormey, Artist; Scott Hanna, Inker; Federico Blee, Colorist

Ray – 9.5/10

Ray: The first year of this series has really all been one arc, following Jon after Kal-El leaves earth and the young half-Kryptonian slowly adapts to the role of Superman. It’s elevated Jay Nakamura to one of the most promising new heroes at DC—and took the D-list villain Henry Bendix from the Wildstorm Universe and elevated him into a major treat. The mad dictator creating his own army of supervillains and looking to turn the world against Jon has been a compelling threat, especially once it was revealed that Jay was a Gamorran refugee and the son of the former President. Now, as Jon battles against the villain himself, Jay discovers that his mother has been turned into a mind-controlled cyborg puppet. This is a chaotic issue, with some great action and eventually Jon pulling off a feat just as impressive as his father did on Warworld over the last year.

Betrayal. Via DC Comics.

But as impressive as Jon is here, and as powerful as his heroic triumph and his reunion with Jay is to watch, they’re not the stars here. That goes to an unexpected figure—Lex Luthor, who has been Bendix’s biggest ally through the villain’s war of conquest. As Bendix’s army defects, his plans fall, and he slips further into madness, we see just how far he’s willing to go to ensure no one takes his country away from him—and that’s something Luthor can’t quite abide. Taylor may get what kind of villain Lex Luthor is better than any other writer out there. He’s a villain who is always working towards a bigger goal a villain for whom defeat is just a setback and often unaccounted for. And he has no patience for people who throw over the chess board the first time they lose a piece. The confrontation between the two villains is a masterpiece of tension, and the outcome is highly satisfying. This title is about to change completely as Kal-El returns from space, and I can’t wait to see Taylor’s plans for what comes next.

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