[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Mick Gray
In this final chapter of the “Son of Superman” storyline, the tide of battle has turned against the Eradicator and Superman proceeds to give him a royal beating. Clark is now supercharged with the Kryptonian souls that the Eradicator had been keeping prisoner.
However, the Eradicator still doesn’t go down easily, as he still retains one Kryptonian soul. The epic battle causes a moonquake that is detected by NASA, who check the visual feed from the nearby Apollo module just in time to witness what appears to be a battle between two Supermen.
Superman releases his hold on the Kryptonian spirits, and as the Eradicator attempts to re-ingest them, Superman instead pulls the remaining soul out. And yes, that final soul was Superman’s faithful pet, Krypto.
As the world watches through NASA’s video feed, Superman and Krypto finish off the Eradicator, causing a massive explosion that topples the Apollo module. Restoring the module and flag to place, the video feed reveals Superman to the world. Lois realizes that there is no going back to Clark keeping his existence hidden anymore, but Jon proclaims that Superman belongs to everybody.
The story then jumps ahead to Lois and Jon back at home watching Superman being honoured at a very public celebration. Bibbo also appears on the TV to affirm that this is really Superman.
Later on, Clark comes to Jon’s room and presents him with a gift – a pair of glasses. Clark explains that there are some questions about the boy who had been seen with Superman, so it would prevent people recognizing him as that boy. Jon seems a bit regretful, seeing the glasses as representing more secrets and lies, but Clark assures his son that “the best thing about putting on the glasses is what happens when you take them off.”
Then Clark does what he realizes he should have done earlier and takes Jon to the Justice League satellite and presents Jon to the League (represented by Batman and Wonder Woman) officially as Superboy.
Thankfully, it turns out Krypto isn’t dead after all. Now, I think Krypto as a character is best used sparingly, but I wouldn’t want to see him killed off. However, I am still left wondering. Does Krypto realize that Clark is not the same Superman, or does he see Clark as a worthy replacement for him? Or is it possible that Clark actually was his real master all along?
Also, I like the glimpse of Superman being honoured by an adoring public. This is a far cry from the open hatred the New 52 Superman was facing before his death. This shows a return to the classic status quo where Superman was respected and loved, especially in Metropolis.
I also liked the full-page scene of Superman standing on the moon, arms akimbo, with the American flag behind him. This was very evocative of the opening of the classic opening from the Adventures of Superman TV show.
But most of all, the best was Clark overcoming his overprotective impulses and allowing Jon to finally and officially become the new Superboy. I can’t wait to see how he fares in this role, especially now that he can openly appear as Superboy.
This isn’t really a complaint so much as a nagging question I had while reading this story. It looks to me like the general public is assuming that Clark is the New 52 Superman returned from the dead. No one seemed to suggest otherwise, and if they check his grave, the body will be missing (Superman and Lana moved his remains to Smallville in Superman: Rebirth #1). Will Superman allow people to continue to think this, or will he let the public know he is a different Superman?
Once again, Superman is my favourite title of the week. This issue in particular exemplifies DC’s commitment to restore the heart of the classic DC Universe, yet to continue the story forward instead of reverting to the past. Superman’s return to prominence as Earth’s beloved protector hearkens back to his classic past, but the introduction of his son as a new Superboy takes the story in a new and exciting direction.