REVIEW: ‘Superman: Son of Kal-El,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Superman Son of Kal-El #1 - But Why Tho

What makes being a hero, and how do you stand out as one when your father is one of the most famous heroes of all time? These are the questions facing nascent hero Jon Kent as he must now take up the mantle of Superman. When a forest fire threatens lives, Jon jumps into action as he must directly confront these questions. Superman: Son of Kal-El #1 is written by Tom Taylor, with art by John Timms, colors by Gabe Eltaeb, and letters by Dave Sharpe.

Taylor does a great job at introducing Jon and his origin to new readers. For someone like me that has only read about the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, it felt like a fresh introduction through showing what drives this character, and not giving too much exposition to readers. It’s through his actions, reactions, and casual conversations much like we do through his famous father, that we understand his motivations for heroism. And it is Jon’s upbringing too. While he has the heart of his parents, he has some of Lois’s trademark snark and independence too. We see this in his interactions with authority figures, as he’s always ready to question them. Taylor does well to make sure that while he is a character who is certainly informed by his parents, he’s one who strikes out on his own as well.

Often, there are public conversations on whether superheroes do enough to solve systemic problems that plague society and our planet. This comic refreshingly addresses modern issues such as climate change head-on, making it clear that Jon wants to do far more than treat the aftereffects of systemic core issues. These are some of the most pressing issues facing us today, and comics are at their best when they address them. It’s refreshing to read this in a major comic publication, and I hope that the exploration of these relevant topics continues in Superman: Son of Kal-El and other major DC titles.

The art and colors by Timms and Eltaeb are fantastic. The panels of the forest fire are particularly mesmerizing, with so many various golds and reds put to use by Eltaeb, and striking edges of flame drawn by Timms. Timms also does a great job of transitioning seamlessly from action-packed scenes to more intimate moments from panel to panel, as would be typical for a Super-person going about their day. Timms’ overall style is crisp and smooth, complemented by Eltaeb’s colors and shadings, but with really good textures shown as well. With Taylor’s excellent words, it all comes together in a great experience.

The letters by Sharpe are overall very good and don’t intrude much on the action on the page. The use of color-coded boxes in particular for different characters gives good distinction for readers. One scene where Superman is involved in a fight involves many text boxes as he carries on a conversation with an ally, basically a wordy banter between superheroes, and Sharpe does a good job at keeping the impact of the action intact.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #1 is a great introduction for readers to Jon Kent in his new ongoing series. Taylor does a fantastic job at setting up this new storyline and the themes involved, making a Superman who is very keenly aware of the most pressing issues we have today. Jon continues the legacy of his parents but still aims to strike out on his own, making him a very relatable character even as he has Kryptonian strength. I’m very much looking forward to where this story goes.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Superman: Son of Kal-El Issue #1
4.5

TL;DR

Superman: Son of Kal-El #1 is a great introduction for readers to Jon Kent in his new ongoing series. Taylor does a fantastic job at setting up this new storyline and the themes involved, making a Superman who is very keenly aware of the most pressing issues we have today. Jon continues the legacy of his parents but still aims to strike out on his own, making him a very relatable character even as he has Kryptonian strength. I’m very much looking forward to where this story goes.