Superman: Son of Kal-El #11
While Batman squirrels away the Kent family in a mountain retreat, Jon tries to uncover his boyfriend's ties to a terrorist group and winds up performing brain surgery quite literally on the fly.
One of the best things about reading a Tom Taylor book is the knowledge that the hefty amount of heart packed into the pages will be balanced with a measure of excellent psychology and just a soupcon of the old ultraviolence. In this instance, readers are presented with a fine analysis of Batman (and his blind spots), a discussion of relationship etiquette, and the requisite race against the clock required to disarm a bomb that was planted in some guy’s head.
That’s a lot of ground to cover in twenty-two pages, but Taylor managed it without ever making anything seem either rushed or half baked. The highlight, for me, was the discussion between Jonathan Kent (Jon’s grandfather) and Batman. It was frankly lovely to see the care of an elderly parent for their adult child, and disclosing that Alfred discussed his pride and frustration with Bruce with the Kents was both perfectly in character and lovingly done.
The story of the premature death of Jon’s cat (disclosed in gristly detail, thanks to Tormey’s brutally gorgeous art) gave some beautiful insight into the character, as did Jon’s open questioning of Jay’s motives. Taylor is defining this young superhero (and all of the people in his world) with a virtuosity that I haven’t seen in comics since his tenure on All-New Wolverine.
Taylor is a brilliant writer, and his work shines brighter for being couched in such incredible art. Cian Tormey can render anything well — from the gleam of a tear to the bloody patina of a scorched cat’s skull. There isn’t anything that he can’t draw, no emotion that he can’t help you feel.
This book is beautiful, brutal, and carefully plotted. It’s everything a superhero book should be.
This book is beautiful, brutal, and carefully plotted. It's everything a superhero book should be.
Superman: Son of Kal-El #11: Trust Issues
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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