REVIEW: ‘Superman: Son of Kal-El,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Superman: Son of Kal-El #5

Right off the cusp of being bombarded with an energy overflow by his current villain, Henry Bendix, Jon Kent immediately rushes to action worldwide. He’s Superman, and he’s not going to let anything impede fulfilling his duty. But even this Superman has his limits, and unfortunately, it catches up with Jon in some all-too-relatable ways. Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 is written by Tom Taylor, with art by John Timms, colors by  Hi-Fi, and letters by Dave Sharpe. It is published by DC Comics.

I was surprised with the direction of this story coming off the last issue. Instead of facing Bendix directly, Jon instead rushes to save others in Gamorra, Luxembourg, Zambesi, and Costa Rica in various disasters and precarious situations. It’s as though the energy overflow has also convinced him that he has to put out these various fires right at that moment. Many will easily empathize with Jon as he tries to do it all. Burnout is real even for Superman. Taylor’s writing is impactful in how he deftly portrays Jon’s building fatigue and being overwhelmed. His super-sense are through the roof, hyper-stimulating the still-nascent hero and making him think he has to complete everything immediately, and Taylor makes that patently palpable page to page.

But hope comes for Jon in the form of his friend (and undoubtedly more), Jay Nakamura. Jay comes to Jon in his moment of need in such a poignant way, and the relationship developing between these two will be meaningful for readers to see unfold. And yes, this is the historic issue where Superman officially comes out as bisexual in sharing a kiss with Jay, and the moment leading up to it and the effect it has on Jon are wonderful to watch unfold. Taylor does a great job on this front to forward LGBTQ representation in comics and superhero media in such a significant way. Hopefully, this opens the door for even more openly queer characters (particularly for characters of color like in the case of Jay) in the superhero genre.

The art byJohn Timms remains fantastic and mesmerizing. There’s an incredible amount of attention to detail, particularly when Jon is in the various countries listed above and Metropolis. He continues to do a great job at showing Jon’s emotional anguish in his facial features to complement Taylor’s writing. The colorwork with HI-FI is also rich, using as many colors and shades as possible in even the most mundane and intimate scenes. Overall, it’s a beautiful display of art for this moving story.

The letters by Dave Sharpe are also very good, always in place and never intruding on the action. The use of sound effects is also excellent and creative. Overall, they’re a great cherry on top of this masterful issue.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 is a masterfully moving issue that gets even more to the heart of Jon Kent and his motivations. With beautiful art by Timms and HI-FI, a poignantly relatable story about burnout by Taylor, and great lettering by Sharpe, this is an issue that readers new and old won’t want to miss. I cannot recommend this series and this issue enough.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Superman: Son of Kal-El #5
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TL;DR

Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 is a masterfully moving issue that gets even more to the heart of Jon Kent and his motivations. With beautiful art by Timms and HI-FI, a poignantly relatable story about burnout by Taylor, and great lettering by Sharpe, this is an issue that readers new and old won’t want to miss. I cannot recommend this series and this issue enough.