Review: ‘Adventures Of Superman: Jon Kent’ #1 Is A Bold Relaunch With Some Bumps

For the last year and a half, Jon Kent has firmly established his worthiness in the legacy of Superman. In Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1, that’s explored in a much more literal way.

Variant Cover by Clayton Henry

Tom Taylor, Clayton Henry, Jordie Bellaire, and Wes Abbott drive Jon Kent into the multiverse. 

Ultraman has left Earth-3, and is cutting a bloody trail through the multiverse. No Superman is safe. Now Jon Kent needs to ally himself with another Superman- Val-Zod- to try to save the Men of Steel, before Ultraman comes for Earth-1.

I’ll say it from the beginning. I liked this issue quite a bit, but I didn’t love it. There are a lot of strengths here, but for all of those, there’s also a few… opportunities.

The art is far and away the best part of the issue. Henry is always a good to great superhero penciller, and in this issue in particular he steps up his game. He’s able to make every different version of Superman stand distinct from one another, but they all look inspiring and powerful, the true spirit of Superman. He makes the layouts dynamic, and the action clear. Bellaire takes those pencils and makes them even better, adding depth and atmosphere with her colors. For example, she adds an eerie glow to Ultraman’s devastation, and gives the violence a pink hue that makes it feel bloody without being gory.

The script is strong but the plot has some issues. Taylor does superhero action and soap operatics really well. Jon and Jay’s relationship is finally to a point that it feels natural. His friendship with Val is immediate but it uses superhero tropes effectively to show why these two would connect and listen to each other, rather than be at odds. The opening scene also makes Ultraman terrifying in a way he hasn’t been since JLA: Earth-2.

It does fall down in a few places though. The dialogue is overly cutesy in more than one instance (Jon and Val talking about the fight-then-team-up trope is eye-roll worthy). The last third of the book is full of convenience and coincidence to the point the plot is doing backflips. Kal-El is coincidentally off-world. Ultraman conveniently has a weapon that weakens Kal-El’s rather than Val or Jon. It mars an otherwise good issue, especially when it would be stronger with Jon proving himself to Clark.

Overall though, I think this is a great launch. It’s just a little too try-hard. That doesn’t prevent me from recommending it, especially for fans of the House of El.

Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1 is available now from DC Comics.

For the last year and a half, Jon Kent has firmly established his worthiness in the legacy of Superman. InCOMICONRead More

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