Review: ‘Superman: Son Of Kal-El’ #16 Sticks The Landing

I’ve struggled with this series. I’ve made that known here and in other places. But when Superman: Son of Kal-El is good, it’s really good. This is one of those issues.

Cover by Travis Moore & Tamra Bonvillain

Tom Taylor, CIan Tormey, Ruari Coleman, Romulo Fajardo Jr, and Dave Sharpe reunite father and son.

Jon Kent is still wrestling with his father’s absence. Yet he still defends Metropolis, visits childrens’ hospitals, prevents natural disasters… he’s his father’s son, through and through. In the middle of a prison break, he hears a familiar sound- his father’s heartbeat. Clark Kent is home. Will their reunion be cut short by Lex Luthor?

Easily, this is the best issue of this series to date. Taylor is at his best when writing soap opera and character driven/ plot-lite stories. This issue is equal parts Jon missing his father, and living up to his legacy. In these 25-ish pages, Taylor captures the legacy of Superman so incredibly well. You can’t tell me that Jon doesn’t deserve the mantle after seeing what does here. And the pages of Jon rocketing away to embrace his father are as emotional as anything else you’d get in fiction.

Sharpe did a fantastic job bringing the script to life. He’s always a solid and reliable letterer. His captions and dialogue are clear and complimentary to the art, never distraction. He earned applause from me though when he put Clark’s heartbeat on the page. First it’s in Jon’s ear, then he’s getting ahead of the sound as he breaks the sound barrier, and then the two Supermen embrace, and we see Jon leaning into the sound effect as father and son reunite. It’s perfect lettering.

Tormey and Coleman do a fantastic job. Every moment of this issue has an emotional impact. Whether it’s Jon playing with sick kids, or fighting off a super-gorilla, it looks great. Even better, Jon feels like Superman while also feeling like he’s still a kid. It’s a hard balance to strike, and they nailed it. Fajardo helps capture the feel of the story. It’s about hope, so the colors are bright, the outside scenes are all set during the day. This is a story about Superman’s return, and how that inspires his son, and the colors match that.

Superman is back to Earth. If it means more issues like this, that’s a good thing.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #16 is available now from DC Comics.

I’ve struggled with this series. I’ve made that known here and in other places. But when Superman: Son of Kal-ElCOMICONRead More

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