Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason (Writers), Jorge Jimenez (Artist), Alejandro Sanchez (Colourist), and Rob Leigh (Letterer).
July 20th, 2016
Disclaimer: This review is based on an advanced copy from the publisher and contain spoilers.
I love Superman the Dad.
The Superman comics I’ve enjoyed can be counted on one hand, so I went into this thinking it’d be a solid but not a particularly standout story. I was wrong.
A common criticism of Superman is how much of a boring character he can be when we’re not trying to fit him into a Batman-shaped hole. As a dad, Superman was delightfully irrational in this issue and I loved it. He punched first and asked questions later as he fought the Eradicator to protect his family. I’ve grown to like Tomasi and Gleason’s writing but it was Jimenez’s art and Sanchez’s colours that had me fall head over heels. Superman has stakes that aren’t just about stopping a supervillain or saving the world. It’s more personal. It’s about being a good father to his half-human, half-Kryptonian child. It’s about making sure that the fight out there doesn’t follow you home.
It’s also a Jonathan Kent story and about the straddling of his two halves. The issue begins with Superman and Lois taking Jon to the Fortress of Solitude in order to understand why his invulnerability comes and goes (he had suffered a concussion after falling out of a tree). After fighting the Eradicator (which feels counterproductive since Superman is putting his family IN danger due to the extreme violence) and realizing he’s there to help, Eradicator gives us a rundown of his origins and decides that the best way to preserve the purity of the Kryptonian race is to destroy the human side of Jon. Everyone else has agreed that this is a bad idea and it ends with the Eradicator devouring Krypto when he jumped in front of Jon (I know, man).
In the penultimate page, we watch Jon grieve over the loss of Krypto while the lettering indicates the fighting between Superman and the Eradicator happening in the background. It’s all done well, especially in setting up the last page. In the first issue, we got to see how Jon handled his anger when a heat vision-powered emotional outburst killed his cat. The last page gives us Jonathan who is about to act on his anger without having full control of it, and I’ll go as far to say that Superman has set a poor example in how he handled the Eradicator.
It’ll be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the next issue. The combination of Jorge Jimenez’s art and Alejandro Sanchez’s colours created a stunning issue and I want them stay on the book forever. I also hope that we’ll get more Lois because it is such a family book and…Jon has a mom as well as a dad.