Tom Taylor and John Timms got off to a strong start with Superman: Son of Kal-El #1. We were able to get some good insight into where Jon Kent is at this point in his life with hints of what direction he wants to go now that he is the Superman of Earth. While Jon is still trying to figure out the full direction he wants to take his life he got some advice from his best friend, Damian Wayne, along with a new secret identity. Will Jon be able to balance both a normal life and being Superman? Let’s find out with Superman: Son of Kal-El #2.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: John Timms
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: While listening to reports from The Truth streamer about asylum seekers escaping the nation of Gamorra, Jon Kent is reminded by his mom to get ready for school. Jon changes into his new secret identity with the name of Finn Connors. Lois Lane then sees Jon off for his firs day of college.
Jon as Finn Connors goes about his normal day at his college campus. Suddenly guy named Kyle appears with a gun and starts firing at the students. Without thinking Jon jumps in to use his body to deflect all of the bullets, losing his disguise in front of everyone in the process. Jon as Superman then quickly tackles Kyle and disarms him before handing him over to the police.
The students then gather around Superman thankful for his help. Seeing that his secret identity has been blown Jon takes his car and flies away.
Later Clark Kent finds his son on the Moon. Jon reflects on everything that is going on across the Earth. Jon asks his dad why he doesn’t do more to help. Clark admits that he has always held back because a part of him knew he wasn’t born on Earth and wanted to lead by example. Jon calls out his dad for that not being a good reason for to limit his actions. Clark agrees and says that Earth is Jon’s home and can be that Superman, though advises him to allow his friends to help with the burden of protecting the planet.
Clark then takes Jon to the second Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic Circle to give Jon the key to the place. After going over some rules for the Fortress of Solitude Clark gives Jon a new Superman costume that is made using the cape Ma Kent made for him and Batman additions for protection.
Jon wonders why his dad is using this time to give him the responsibilities of being Superman. Clark admits that he was going to wait for Jon’s 18th birthday for this but that soon he is likely to go away. While he promises to stay in Jon’s life Clark wants his son to know he believes that Jon can protect Earth and make the right decisions for the future.
Back home Jon watches another stream from The Truth. Hearing what is going on in Gamorra Jon decides to do something to help the refugees.
Out in the middle of the ocean a boat filled with refugees trying to escape Gamorra battles harsh waters. One of the kids on board falls off the boat into the water. Superman quickly saves the kid and then lifts the boat above water.
Later Superman brings the boat filled with refugees to the port in Metropolis. The police attempt to arrest the refugees but Superman stops them. He gets the cops to not use handcuffs on any of the refugees. Superman then promise to one of the kids to look out for the refugees he brought to Metropolis.
Later The Truth appears behind Superman while he is on a rooftop. The Truth reveals himself to be Jay Nakamura, one of the students at the college Jon tried to go to as Finn Connors. Jay says he wants to help Jon in what he wants to be as Superman but first needs to talk to him about everything going on in Gamorra.
As Jay explains to Jon about the situation in Gamorra it is shown that Gamorra President Henry Bendix is now targeting Superman for saving the refugees, which goes against the propaganda machine he has created throughout the country. End of issue.
The Good: With Jon Kent still being new to the responsibility of Superman we see how that adjustment period is not something that will be short. Following his dad’s footsteps is something that is a major deal and we see how that weight impacts Jon throughout Superman: Son Of Kal-El #2.
Starting out by addressing Jon wanting to try to live a double life so he can find some sense of normalcy and friends was a good way to address a general superhero trope. Tom Taylor tackles this aspect of superhero stories in a way that is specific to Jon Kent. While Jon did get to have a childhood living with his parents he quickly grew up once he became a teenager. Up to this point his formative teenage years were spent being Superboy rather than Jon Kent. Because of that he hasn’t gone through the experience of living with a secret identity like Clark Kent or others have. Without that experience little things like jumping in rather than using his super speed to change and returning in time to save people without giving away his secret identity show this inexperience from Jon.
This also worked as another example of how Jon does not hesitate to jump in to act as Superman. He has the natural superhero instincts to protect people while taking down the bad person he is taking on. Having a shooter suddenly show up at the college campus he is at shows that Jon does stay alert so he can act.
At the same time, you are left understanding that Jon is still trying to figure out his direction in his life. He knows being a superhero is something he wants to be but isn’t sure what direction to take. It’s a reminder that Jon is still relatively young as he is not even eighteen years old yet. Having the responsibilities of Superman is a lot for him to carry.
Which makes the conversation Jon has with his father such an important thing to happen. Taylor shows that Clark understands that he is putting a lot on his son’s shoulders by giving him the mantle of Superman and responsibility of protecting Earth. At the same time, you can tell that Clark does believe Jon is ready for the responsibilities and will grow into being the Superman that is a beacon of hope like so many saw Clark as Superman.
This leads into the big difference between Jon and Clark. With Clark he has always been about leading by example and inspiring others to do good. Unlike his dad, Jon isn’t happy with just leading by example. He wants to be active in finding solutions for the problems on Earth while saving people in the normal superhero way.
Which makes Clark admitting that he could never let go of the fact that he is an alien who came to Earth be a factor for his mentality so important. There is truth to this with how we’ve seen Clark act throughout his Superman career. At the same time, Jon calling his dad out on this made him standout even more. Clark even admitting that his son is right and why Jon is the right person to take on the responsibilities of being Superman. Jon can be an even better Superman because he does have a connection to Earth as the planet he was born and raised on.
Going from this to Clark giving Jon a new Superman suit based on his original costume Ma Kent gave him was a great passing the torch moment. It helps to further establish how we should see Jon as Superman moving forward. It also address why Clark won’t be around, at least on Earth. What Clark’s greater mission across the DC Universe will be interesting to see play out and how it impacts Jon.
With this passing the torch moment done having Jon as Superman saving a boat of refugees escaping the dictatorial nation of Gamorra transitioned well into the first big story arc for this series. Dealing with the problems facing the people of Gamorra as President Henry Bendix is not pleased with Superman challenging his powers an interesting way to address the bigger picture Jon wants to tackle. The situation on Gamorra is exactly type of problems that Jon told his dad he wants to solve as Superman.
Adding in a new supporting character in Jay Nakamura, who turns out to be The Truth streamer Damian Wayne recommended Jon to watch, and having him connected to Gamorra immediately made him important. He is shown to have all the information Jon lacks on the country. It’ll be interesting to see how Taylor develops Jay’s character and his identity as The Truth streamer. Jay could play an Oracle-like role that helps Jon out as Superman. Being Jon’s first friend outside of Damian, Jay could have an even bigger impact on this series moving forward. What that impact is will be interesting to see play out.
John Timms artwork throughout Superman: Son of Kal-El #2 fits well with the tone Taylor is going for the story. Even without the dialogue Timms is able to put over how Jon Kent is still trying to figure out what his life as Superman is going to be. Once his superhero instincts are gone after saving the students from the shooter we see how Jon is very awkward with the praise people are throwing his way when they know he is Superman. It is all new to Jon and something he still needs to get used to. At the same time, Timms artwork gets over how Jon as Superman is able to inspire people through his actions, like he does when saving the refugees.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Superman: Son of Kal-El #2 is a strong follow-up to the debut issue by Tom Taylor and John Timms. The story dives further into the current mentality of Jon Kent and how it is different from his father. This made the passing of the torch moment have even greater impact during Clark Kent’s appearance in this issue. It all builds greater interest for this series as we quickly move into the first big story arc of this series by the end of Superman: Son of Kal-El #2.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter. You can also watch the fun and silly videos Kevin is making over on his TikTok.