If for some reason you have avoided the internet then you may just be learning about how big of a deal Superman: Son of Kal-El #5. This is an issue that DC Comics has been heavily promoting by already spoiling the major development of Jon Kent, the current Superman of Earth, kissing and starting a romantic relationship with Jay Nakamura. That development is certainly news worthy for what it represents. But while we know going into Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 this is taking place what is still unknown is the developments to the ongoing plot around Henry Bendix’s plans for Gamorra as the country’s president. Let’s find out now.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: John Timms
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: Superman (Jon Kent) continues to try to deal with his powers being overcharged after the beams that Henry Bendix attacked him with. Determined to not be overwhelmed by his powers being overcharged Superman flies to help all the people he hears are in need.
First Superman saves the guy whose fire powers are out of control (the same person he saved in Superman: Son Of Kal-El #1) by taking him out of the prison he was placed in Gamorra by President Bendix.
Superman arrives in Central City and gets Flash (Wally West) to help get the guy on fire to somewhere safe that can help with his power problems.
Superman then goes to Luxembourg and uses his increased speed to save people in danger of the severe flooding throughout the city.
Afterwards, Superman goes to Zambesi where he stops a hostage situation.
Then over in Costa Rica, Superman finds a lost child in the forest and takes her back to her family.
Over in Metropolis, one of the hospitals are overwhelmed as they have run out of beds for patients. Superman shows up and has all the patients unable to check into the hospital loaded into emergency vehicles. He then places them on a large unfinished bridge to transport them all at the same time to Metropolis General Hospital.
As soon as he gets to Metropolis General Hospital Superman suddenly starts feeling that his powers are going out of control. He flies away but before leaving the city sees a guy about to be run over. Superman saves the guy but being unable to control his powers invertedly breaks the guy’s arms.
Superman’s powers continue to go out of control as he fires off a heat vision blast into the sky. Aerie shows up and is able to help Superman get back to Jay Nakamura’s place.
Jon thinks he should keep moving so he doesn’t hurt Jay. Jay says that is no problem as he can’t be hurt, revealing that he has Intangibility superpowers that allows him to phase through anything.
Inside Jay’s apartment Jon tells him about what Bendix did to him to cause his power issues. Jay recommends Jon rest as he has overtaxed his powers and can’t risk him being seen as a danger to the world by keeping up the pace he has been going. While Jon wants to continue going out to save people he ends up passing out on Jay’s couch.
Nine hours later, Jon wakes up surprised how long he passed out for. Jon admits he couldn’t ignore all the people that need his help. Jay mentions that with his Intangibility power he is the one person Jon doesn’t need to protect or worry about. Jay and Jon then kiss.
Jon suddenly sees something when his X-ray eyes activate and says he has to go. Jon apologizes for having to go but gives Jay his cape so he knows he’ll keep the promise to return to Jay.
With a smile on his face, Jon as Superman (without his cape) flies off to stop the armed robbery he detected. End of issue.
The Good: Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 is an important issue for many reasons. The obvious reason is for the moment DC Comics has been heavily advertising in the lead up to this issues release. But just as important is how Tom Taylor and John Timms continued to develop Jon Kent’s journey as he takes on the mantle of Superman from his father.
Starting out Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 with the direct aftermath of what President Henry Bendix did to overpower Jon Kent was a good tone setter. It immediately established how this issue isn’t just about one single moment. It is about how Jon Kent continues to make the mantle of Superman his own while also balancing and figuring out his normal life.
This set-up further pushes the narrative of how much Jon is currently pushing himself to prove he can carry the weight of being Superman. Even in his overpowered state Jon believes that he must save all those in need. And rather than looking at it as a constraint, his overcharged powers is something he decided to use to his advantage. Which is all showcased with how John Timms drew Jon as Superman going faster and using so much physical strength to save everyone he could help in the world.
In doing so much showing by trusting Timms’ artistic ability Tom Taylor was able enhance the inner monologue he wrote for Jon’s character. We understand that as he is thinking to himself about saving people that Jon is also pushing himself too far. Every time he goes to a new place you are almost waiting for when he would push himself to far since he was in such a rush to save people that he wasn’t thinking of any consequences. Which all goes to show how at his core Jon does have a heart of hero that wants to be the Superman of the entire world not just Metropolis.
This was also a good chance to give Jon a reality check a bit with how he does need to come to realize his own limits. As Jay Nakamura points out, by pushing himself too far Jon created a scenario where for all the good he did throughout the day the one bad moment he had in breaking the arm of the guy he saved and his heat vision powers going out of control was the main news story that was being reported on. It’s a good way to use how we see in even our world that it’s the negative news stories that gain the most traction that are also most reported on.
Jay being the one to give Jon this reality check about overexerting himself was a good way to further establish their relationship. Especially with how likely Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 is the introduction of Jay Nakamura’s character to so many people who heard about what would happen in this issue it was important this was established. The interaction Taylor wrote stayed true to how we’ve seen Jon and Jay interact since the series started. It also helped establish Jay’s character in a way that gets you to learn about the character through the interaction if this is really your first time reading his character.
More importantly it worked to position Jay as someone that can be Jon’s lightning rod. While it is too early to say that since Jon and Jay are now just starting their romantic relationship the groundwork is there if this is going to be a long-term relationship. This will be especially important for Jon to have since we saw in this very issue how he gets so absorbed by his role as Superman that he does forget his own limits. Having someone that will call him out on this that isn’t a direct family member is important for Jon to have as he is still growing into being the Superman he has set out to be.
It was also cool to see how Taylor is slowly having Jon as Superman interacting with other superheroes in the DC Universe. Here we see Jon seeking out Wally West’s Flash to help him with getting the guy he saved in the first issue the help he needs. This is a good way to integrate Jon as Superman within the superhero community. Hopefully we see Jon interacting with other heroes in future issues as he continues to establish himself as Superman.
The Bad: The only minor negative I have for this issue is the reveal of Jay Nakamura’s superpower. The way his Intangibility power was established came across as way to convenient for the plot. It felt like something forced onto the character rather than a natural development for what is next with Jay. The presentation just came across as too forced. future issues of Superman: Son of Kal-El can make use of Jay’s superpower in a way that is better showcased than it was here.
Overall: There was a lot of promotion going into Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 to deliver a monumental moment. Tom Taylor and John Timms stepped up and made sure to make it the major moment it was hyped up to be. In the process they were able to continue to develop the narrative around Jon Kent as the new Superman that creates greater investment in his journey.
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