As the DC Universe gets ready to have a fresh start in the post Dark Nights: Metal period Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are starting to wrap up their run on Superman. Before they exit Superman there are still a few things they need to get taken care of. One of those things is having the Kent Family go on one last trip to Hamilton, their home since before DC Rebirth started. While a small city, Hamilton ended up becoming a great addition to the DC Universe as it had a lot of secrets and interesting characters. Now let’s see how Tomasi and Gleason close out this chapter of the Kent Family’s life with Superman #45.
Writers: Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorist: Stephen Downer
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In Hamilton the Kents have sold their old home and have finish packing their things up, including their mailbox. Jonathan is a bit upset that they are selling their Hamilton house. Clark and Lois tell Jonathan that change will be good for them.
After a few hours they are finally able to get all of their stuff out of the house. Lois finds the plant that Swamp Thing gave to Clark a while back. Clark gives it to Jonathan to plant were he wants. Jonathan says he wants to plant it at Kathy’s place.
While they plant the flower Clark talks about how Jonathan’s grandpa taught him how plants need to be cared for and given room to grow. Jonathan knows that Clark is talking about how change is good and that he understands what they mean.
Jonathan wonders if Maya and Kathy’s probes have found signs of Boyzarro’s home. Clark says they are trying their best.
While walking through the fields and reminisce about the memories they made their, specifically all the places Clark trained Jonathan to control his powers. While they talk Clark mentions how he left Smallville and that Ma Kent taught him what was important was the memories they hold is what is most important, not the actual physical objects.
Back at their old house Lois gets a bit emotional when she finishes up cleaning the living room.
Clark and Jonathan return and Lois mentions to them that due to a Justice League drill operation the movers aren’t able to come to pick up their stuff.
Flash suddenly runs in and says he can help them out to move their stuff since Batman is keeping the kids busy at the drill. Flash is able to move all of the Kents stuff.
After Flash says his goodbyes Lois tells Clark and Jonathan that they should go to the County Fair.
At the County Fair, as the Kent Family enjoy the food and rides Jonathan runs into Kathy. They then see how all the kids from Bizarro World are helping out at various fair stalls.
They eventually head over to the main stage where Mayor Goodman unveils the latest addition to Hamilton: a golden statue of Superman and Superboy.
Suddenly Flash calls Superman to ask for some help against a big blue bug-like creature. Lois tells Clark he and Jonathan can go on his cape adventures.
Clark and Jonathan sneak off into an alleyway and change into their Superman and Superboy costumes, respectively, just as the fireworks for the County Fair are set off.
Later that night, Lois gets back to their apartment in Metropolis and finds Superman and Superboy passed out on the couch while the TV is on. Lois grabs a blanket and covers them both. She then places their mailbox next to a family picture. End of issue.
The Good: While not an monumental issue like Action Comics #1000, Superman #45 does a great job celebrating the Man of Steel by closing out the Kent Family’s time in Hamilton County. With the Kent Family already back in Metropolis it did seem odd that we never got closure for their time in Hamilton County, where they’ve lived since before DC Rebirth. Now Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason gave us just that in a way that continued the theme of celebrating who Superman is and will be in the future.
Seeing how each of the Kent’s reflected on their time in Hamilton County was incredibly touching. Tomasi and Gleason hit the right marks to make this feel like an end of a major chapter in the lives of Clark, Lois and Jonathan Kent. And while the Kent Family has been in living in Metropolis for a few months now it was nice to see that their time in Hamilton County meant something to each of them. Each character was given a strong moment to reflect on the importance of where they lived and how it is a place they won’t forget.
The strongest of these character arcs was for Lois. Tomasi and Gleason did a great job having Lois exude a strong persona while around Clark and Jonathan. Her stubbornness about taking their mailbox played well for comedic effect as it wasn’t a joke driven to the ground. Seeing how Lois was starting to breakdown in tears when she realized the move was almost over was a strong solo scene to show how this was a real home for her. The joke with the mailbox nicely came full circle at the end with Lois raising the mailbox up to show it is an important memento that’ll be in the background moving forward.
Clark taking Jonathan around the area where they lived was a great choice. As someone who grew up in Smallville, Clark knows what it is like to grow up living in such a tight community and what it means to leave it. While Clark was older when he left Smallville it was great to see how he related his stories growing up and how he passed on the lessons Ma and Pa Kent taught him to Jonathan. Clark made sure to communicate with Jonathan that his memories of Hamilton County being the most important thing. Most importantly, Tomasi and Gleason made sure Clark was never talking down to his son. Instead Clark was always talking with Jonathan in a way that was relatable to both of them.
At the same time it was great to see how Tomasi and Gleason treated Jonathan like any normal kid. Even though he has been through a lot Jonathan is still a kid and everything that happens is the biggest thing in the world to him. Moving away from the only home he knows where his best friend is is a big change for Jonathan. It made later scenes with the Kent’s going to the County Fair even more important as it was the last time Jonathan will get to hang out with Kathy normally.
Adding to the sense of closure in Superman #45 was how Tomasi and Gleason brought in the rest of the supporting cast in Hamilton County. The County Fair scene felt like a big goodbye to the entire town. Things like seeing Jonathan and Kathy hanging out or all the Bizarro World children along with Maya felt like one last fun night out with the community. Ending things with a big presentation of the Hamilton County Mayor debuting the golden statue of Superman and Superboy showed the strong connection the Kent’s will always have with this community.
Gleason’s artwork for Superman #45 made the entire story even better. He got across how much Jonathan hated that they were selling their house in Hamilton County. Jonathan’s strong emotions made how Gleason drew Clark as the father trying to cheer up his son even better. While it was a goodbye the County Fair scene had a great sense of celebrating why the town was so special. Seeing the fireworks go off as Clark and Jonathan changed into their Superman and Superboy costume was a great visual to close out this chapter for their lives.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Superman #45 is a fantastic goodbye to the Kent Family’s time in Hamilton County. Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi did a great job capturing the all the emotions that comes with the closure of a major chapter in the life of a family. Clark, Lois and Jonathan all had strong arcs in this one-shot issue that all hit the perfect emotional note. This is definitely one issue all Superman fans will want to pick up.