Title: Superman, Issue#2 (2016)
Author(s): Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Artist(s): Mick Gray, Patrick Gleason
Publisher: DC Comics
Genre: Action, Superhero
Release Date: July 6, 2016
After receiving a distress call from the crew of a stranded ship, Superman decides to take his son, Jon, along to see how things are done as a superhero. At first, the rescue mission was going smoothly, but little did Superman know that there was something lurking in the waters. Jon then had to do more than just watch and help his father in a fight.
Some readers might object to seeing their favorite superheroes age or move into a new chapter in their lives, however, its events such as these that allow for more interesting storytelling opportunities. Such instances include Superman taking his son on a mission allowing his son Jon to observe him being a superhero, and allowing his son to gain experience in controlling his powers. It is an example of how Clark has become more than just a superhero, but also a unique father and someone’s mentor, which is still entertaining to see.
At first, the comic appears as if it was going to be a simple rescue mission where Jon would have to observe from the sidelines, but then the situation escalates when a monster attacks. This provides a great opportunity to not only see more Superman action but a chance for Jon to shine as he helps his father. It is nice to see Clark and Jon spend more time together, since in “Superman: Lois and Clark,” Jon hardly spends time with his father.
Sadly, like the previous issue, the story was very short, which can be said about a great deal of Rebirth tie-in comics. This is probably due to DC Comics publishing two issues of every comic bi-monthly. To some of these titles, it does not seem evident, but with others books, such as this, it is noticeable. The story would have been more fruitful if it was longer. For example, there could have been a somewhat longer and challenging fight scene with the sea monster. While it was nice to see Jon help his father, the fight itself appears a bit too easy.
However, the shortness of the comic does not detract too much, as it is was entertaining and had some emotionally satisfying, heartfelt character moments. The result of the fight also provides set up for a future conflict for the “Smith” family.
In addition, the ending was satisfying, and it can entice readers to come back, especially if they have read “Reign of the Supermen.” It also appears as if the nature of Jon’s genetics will be explored, which is very interesting as he is the first naturally born human-Kryptonian hybrid.
Clark is the title character of the series and many writers have had a great job portraying his personality in just a few short pages. It shows that Clark took the time to greet the crew, shook the captain’s hand, smiled, and talked with them. This might be a small detail to mention, however, it’s moments like these that highlight how much of a decent person Clark is. He saves people and takes an interest because he wants to, not just because he has to, and therefore appears more close to the people he saves.
However, the real highlights for Clark were his moments with Jon. During the fight, Superman could have shot at the creature himself instead of Jon, but he allowed Jon to take the opportunity to subdue the threat so his son could prove himself. It’s clear Clark also wants his son to learn and build confidence in himself, which is a wonderful way of portraying Clark as both a supportive father and mentor to his son. Clark was shown as a mentor who believes in his student and gives them every opportunity to shine. Throughout “Superman: Lois and Clark” and in this comic, Jon has been told to keep a low profile, however, Clark still wants his son to embrace who he is, which gives Clark extra points as a great father.
In the previous issue, the story touched on Jon’s insecurities in regards to his expectations towards his father and himself. In this issue, both problems are somewhat remedied, which brought about very entertaining and touching moments. These include, Jon helping his father in the fight, admitting what happened in the previous issue with his heat vision, Clark providing reassurance to his son, and Jon almost making a new friend. This friend being the girl who witnessed him using his powers, which means Jon will have more storytelling opportunities with someone outside his family. In addition, hopefully, Jon will learn to have more confidence as he learns to gain better control over his powers.
When an artist uses a splash page or two-page spread, it is usually used to highlight something important or interesting, such as the appearance of the monster or the moments between characters. Like the previous issue, the usage of two-page spreads was noticeable, however, the comic made use of the splash pages. In the previous issue, there were splash pages, but of a single image, sometimes hardly any text. Compared to the previous issue, the comic made better use to fill in the dead space by adding more panels and it made them more visually interesting, especially during the action scenes or when the family was all together.
Although there is one scene that felt well done, but it could have been better illustrated, would have been when Clark and Jon were talking after the fight. The dialogue and the scene itself was fine, the art was appealing, however, it would have been more fruitful if the scene was depicted from multiple perspectives and in multiple panels instead of just a splash page.
An improvement with the art, compared to the previous issue, is that the vibrant colors are not retrained and readers can see everything more clearly. This is also beneficial when revealing Jon’s new superhero costume, which looked both casual and appropriate for a superhero. It is modeled after Superman’s outfit, however, instead of the traditional spandex, it has a sweater and jeans look to it, all the while retaining the classic, vibrant color scheme, and design.
It is great to see Clark bring Jon to work, allowing his son to gain experience in the field and to show what he’s made of. Surprisingly, the son of Superman did a fine job for his first day out as a superhero in training. Seeing Clark not only as a mentor but also a father is very heart warming. The ending will be touching on some new ideas such as Jon’s biology and a new foe, which might bring a sense of nostalgia for a long time Superman fans.
Mentor and student, father and son
Nothing says “family bonding” than fighting a sea creature during what was thought to be a simple rescue mission. Jon got the chance to fight alongside his dad and possibly gain a new friend as well. The art work was much more vibrant as there was a restricted massive amount of unnecessary shading or inking. “Reign of the Supermen” readers might be enticed to read more given the ending.
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