Superman: Son of Kal-el
Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: John Timms
Colors by: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Dave Sharpe
As part of DC’s Future State line at the start of 2021, Superman’s son Jon Kent took up the mantle of Superman for Metropolis and Earth. Now with the launch of Tom Taylor’s new series, Jon Kent takes center stage in the current continuity and delivers a modern and engaging twist on Superman’s role as a hero.
Tom Taylor is familiar with the DC canon and has twisted expectations of classic characters with his writing in DCeased and the Injustice series. Taylor brings a more subtle approach to shifting expectations here, while successfully changing the focus to “truth, justice, and a better world” rather than the “American way” of Jon Kent’s father. After an introduction which retcons the birth of Superman’s son and wisely bypasses all the New 52 and Rebirth complexities of Superman, Lois, and Jon. Taylor creates a situation where Jon’s version of the right way differs from the American government’s. This interaction leads to Jon doing some soul searching with his friend Damian/Robin. Damian encourages Jon to not just fight the symptoms and results of the world’s problem, but to fight for a solution.
Taylor’s setup of an activist Superman provides creative license for the series. Taylor’s introduction is also pitch perfect for Jon Kent’s generation who is tired of waiting for progress and solutions to world issues. But read cynically, Taylor’s introduction holds allusions to Taylor’s Injustice Superman who forced his will on the world. The Future State version of Jon Kent’s Superman created conflict with his proactive ways. How Taylor explores Jon’s emotions and powers on both of these paths may determine the success of the new series.
John Timms artwork captures the youthfulness and budding maturity of Jon Kent’s Superman. Jon’s build is not as bulky as his father’s, but Timms depicts him with a sense of strength and confidence even as he questions his role as a hero.
Superman Son of Kal-El is an easy entry point for readers interested in a new twist on the classic superhero. Tom Taylor’s DC legacy may provide longtime readers hints or red herrings as to the direction of the series. Either way, readers are given a Superman determined not just to fight the problems of the world, but to be a solution.