Adventures of Superman #16 Review: Fathers and Conquerors

by Daniel Gehen
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Another week, another installment of Adventures of Superman. Check out the DCN review!

AOS 16bThis week’s installment of Adventures of Superman takes us to the early days of the Man of Steel’s career.  In the first chapter of a three-part story arc, we are given a rookie Superman that is struggling to find the best use of his powers. Of course, he is leaning very heavily towards becoming mankind’s protector. After thwarting an alien invasion by a great, if underused villain, Clark seeks counsel with his Kryptonian father, Jor-El.  Bringing this story to tablets and smartphones everywhere is the writing of J.T. Krul (Green Arrow, Superman Beyond) and the pencils of Marcus To (Batwing, Huntress).


J.T. Krul juggles a lot of story elements and is able to lay them out in a manner that allows for a compelling issue while setting the stage for what comes next. While most takes on the mythos reveal Superman to the public in his first outing in the cape, Krul’s Superman appears to be taking a more cautious approach by helping people at arm’s length.  His actions become the crux of the conversation between him and Jor-El. Again, Krul gives us a different Jor-El than we are used to. These shake-ups to the “traditional” Superman story do not distract but rather make familiar territory seem fresh.

AOS 16dMarcus To’s art is, for the most part, very well done. The action scenes are well choreographed while the quieter moments are well drawn. And, his character models do not look ridiculous. I love how expressive the characters’ faces are in this issue. Their thoughts are clearly portrayed through the art in a manner that is effective but not over the top.


AOS 16cJor-El, despite what I believe to be the best intentions, comes across as a big jerk here.  Granted, he has been portrayed to be hesitant to support Kal-El’s decision to help humanity, but it dragged on for too here (i.e. it will continue into next issue).  Also, a certain character is able to hijack the Fortress of Solitude’s hologram communication system, which is pretty cool until the reader realizes how illogical it is.

While To’s foregrounds look pretty good, most panels lack background detail. It’s as if the entire issue takes place on a soundstage and they ran out of funds to build the actual sets. This was not very distracting to me, but I can see it being an issue for some.

Verdict Rating4 (4/5)

J.T. Krul has set up some very interesting plot threads in the opening chapter of his Adventures of Superman story.  A couple minor issues aside, he and Marcus To deliver a very solid issue that lays the ground work for what looks to be a promising story.  Readers should be excited to see how this plays out.

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