REVIEW: ‘Superman: Son of Kal-El,’ Issue #4

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Superman: Son of Kal-El #4

Jon Kent/Superman is sitting down for a nice family dinner at the Kent farm with his grandparents and new friend Jay Nakamura. Initially, everything seems fine. But from the very first few panels, Jon’s world comes crashing down, literally and figuratively, in more ways than one. What follows is the new Man of Steel’s most challenging mission yet. Superman: Son of Kal-El #4 is written by Tom Taylor, with art by Daniele Di Nicuolo, colors by Gabe Eltaeb & Hi-Fi, and letters by Dave Sharpe. It is published by DC Comics.

Things get pretty dire for Jon and his family, and it’s tough to read. Thankfully Taylor does a good job of not playing the Kents (including Lois) as victims. They’ve been through the wringer plenty of times before, and they’re a family united and unfazed. But the emotional toll of his family being targeted still weighs heavily on Jon. Since his father Clark publicly revealed his identity as Superman, his family is now a target. Since Clark had to leave Earth for unknown destinations, Jon is the primary defender of the Kents. Thankfully Superman made sure to have the Justice League defend his family as well, but as Jon notes, even they’re not fast or skilled enough to deter all threats.

Taylor does a fantastic job of showing how all this responsibility weighs on Jon. And it’s while he has to put out a ton of fires (again, both literally and figuratively) in this issue. The reader can easily empathize with Jon as he’s trying to carry what feels like the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s still just a kid at 17, already expected to be Superman. Again, it begs the question of whether Clark was right to give his son that much responsibility at such a young age. Jon is capable, to be sure, but I can’t help but keep wondering, especially after this story by Taylor. I hope more of those questions and that dynamic will be explored more directly in future issues of the series.

The art by Di Nicuolo is excellent. It’s distinct from the crisper art by Timms that has been the standard for this series, but he does a fantastic job at depicting Jon and his supporting cast. He does a great job with facial expressions, in particular, perfectly complementing Taylor’s writing. For instance, Jon’s expressions perfectly match with what the dialogue or thought bubbles are, immersing the reader more into the story. The colors by Eltaeb are also great, varied, and make good use of lighting and shadow, drawing readers more onto the page.

Sharpe’s letters remain great and lively. Even when there are many speech bubbles/exposition, he makes sure it never clutters the page, and he includes excellent sound effects to boot. His letters are the cherry on top of a significant issue.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #4 is a stressfully compelling story as Jon Kent faces his most dire challenges yet. Taylor continues to write Jon Kent with keen empathic understanding as he gives more challenges for the young Superman, and the art and colors by Di Niculou and Eltaeb continue to immerse readers in his thrilling world. With great lettering by Sharpe to boot, it’s another excellent issue in this comic series you don’t want to miss.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #4 is available now wherever comics are sold.


'Superman: Son of Kal-El,' Issue #4
4.5

TL;DR

Superman: Son of Kal-El #4 is a stressfully compelling story as Jon Kent faces his most dire challenges yet. Taylor continues to write Jon Kent with keen empathic understanding as he gives more challenges for the young Superman, and the art and colors by Di Niculou and Eltaeb continue to immerse readers in his thrilling world. With great lettering by Sharpe to boot, it’s another excellent issue in this comic series you don’t want to miss.