Superman: Son of Kal-El #6
Kids are going missing from the streets of Blüdhaven. Can Jon unravel the mystery before the children are made into weapons?
In this story, as in all of Tom Taylor’s work, the plot rises up out of a strong understanding of character. Who are these people? What do they want? Why do they want it? Answer those questions and you find the story. In this instance, a rich, white capitalist wants unlimited, unending power. In order to secure that power, he will present himself first as an Elon Musk-ian (Musky. From now on, I’m referring to Musk as Musky) billionaire who has bought, lied and stolen his way into ruling a fictional nation. His motivations are clear, and in his motivations we discover the seeds of this story.
The heroes, reacting against him, are also motivated by desire. One is a refugee — the non-white son of the woman who was deposed to make room for the white venture capitalist. The other is the son of a refugee, one who has been raised in incredible privilege (he’s a white superhero, after all) but who is motivated to learn and grow. And who has developed a pretty strong sense of romantic affection for that other guy.
The romance, for the record, is sweet and beautifully rendered. It was particularly lovely to see Superman asking his boyfriend if he wanted to talk about his trauma, then letting him reveal it at his own pace, in his own way, rather than demanding the opportunity to fix it. The care that these characters exhibit for one another is both well rendered and refreshing.
It’s a bit disappointing that, so far, the only female characters in this series have been two mothers (one of whom has been kidnapped), a homeless teenager who has been, again, kidnapped, and a woman whose body was weaponized against her will. This is probably the first Taylor story I’ve read that doesn’t pass the Bechdel test, but I’m willing to wait for the whole arc to unfold before commenting on this further. I fully expect Lois, at least, to have a more developed role.
John Timms’s art is kinetic and expressive, without ever sacrificing narrative lucidity. I was particularly taken with the costuming and character design. Jay’s chameleon-like mask was a fun touch.
This was another solid issue in what is quickly becoming one of my favorite mainstream comics.
This was a solid issue, packed with quips, action, romance and heart. It was fun to look at, too. You can't go wrong with a creative team like Taylor and Timms.
Superman: Son of Kal-El #6: Do You Want To Tell Me What Happened?
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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