REVIEW: ‘Superman,’ Issue #16

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Superman #16
 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Micheal Bendis, art by David Lafuente, colors by Paul Mounts, and lettered by Dave Sharpe. Superboy must decide whether or not to accept the offer to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. In order to make this decision, he turns to his best friend Robin.

With the Unity Sage ending last issue the house of El has returned to Earth. With all that has happened recently Jon Kent looks to reconnect with his dear friend Robin. Given the rapid aging Jon underwent, it’s no surprise things get off to a rocky start. With Damien fighting against a cluster of Leviathan goons, Superboy’s appearance is met with a reasonable amount of suspicion. However, old friendship quickly replaces suspicion and the two get reacquainted.

After the oncoming threat of pan-galactic war that the previous issues have dealt with, Superman #16 is a delightful, lighthearted palette cleanser. Jon and Damien take to the streets to celebrate as only Super Sons could. Whether it’s hotdogs perched atop gargoyles or foiling crime, it’s wonderful seeing the boys back together. While there is some grumbling on Damien’s part about suddenly being the smaller of the duo, his acceptance of his friend in his current state is a lovely thing to see.

Damien’s support of Jon extends beyond just his friend’s sudden age. The bulk of Superman #16 has Damien showing his friend all his support for whatever he decides concerning his future. To travel to the distant future is a daunting decision for Jon, but, with Damien’s support, his mind is clearly put more at ease. The comfort Jon derives from their bond is beautiful. They say friends are the family we choose. I feel this entire issue is a testament to that sentiment.

While I love the story of Superman #16, the art left a little to be desired. While I apprenticed the feeling the visuals go for, some of the character proportions were jarring for me.  This is particularly true late in the issue when Superman makes his appearance. Nothing on the character’s model looks like it belongs with anything else.

Aside from the previous complaint, I loved how the art in Superman #16 complemented the tone of the story. From the touching reunion to a crime-fighting spree, the art never loses step with the story. I especially love a sequence of panels that each have a different color focus. These panels shifting from color to color gives the sense motion as the boys bounce from place to place on the most heroic reunion/boys night out ever. The familiarity with each other created in the dialog is further enhanced by this wonderfully artistic work.

Superman#16 provides a delightful story of two dear friends and the support they provide each other. After reading this issue, I wish fervently DC Comics would write a possible-future storyline with these two having taken up their fathers’ mantles. Just like Batman and Superman, these boys are more than the sum of their parts.

Superman #16 is available now.

Superman #16
4.5

TL;DR

Superman#16 provides a delightful story of two dear friends and the support they provide each other.