Review: SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #10
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Cian Tormey
Colors: Federico Blee
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Superman: Son of Kal-El #10: Henry Bendix’s plans are now clear. Gamorra’s president won’t stop until he has total control. He’s now sold his strategy to other dangerous regimes. Only Superman and his allies stand in the way of Bendix’s dark vision for the world…a world where superheroes are put in their place, discredited, and even destroyed. A world where heroes are replaced by agents of those ruthless enough to have seized power. The Rising has begun!
Last issue, Henry Bendix framed Superman for the apparent murder of one of Bendix’s metahuman agents. And right at the beginning of Superman: Son of Kal-El #10, we see Jon faced with public distrust as a result. This has to be a new and unnerving experience for him. Clark has gone through the ups and downs of public opinion, but as Superman’s son and protégé, Jon was enjoyed positive public perception up until now.
However, it’s great to see that Jon and his supporting cast are putting up a fight against Bendix and Luthor’s campaign to vilify Jon. First and foremost, Jon is not letting public distrust stop him from helping those in need. He’s not going into hiding or letting up on saving lives and fighting crime.
Meanwhile, Lois confronts Luthor at a press conference to get the truth of the encounter to the public. Luthor is dismissive at first, asking her, “Does Superman need his mother to defend him?”. But Lois ignores the barb and manages to show Luthor up with a clever stunt of her own that deflates Luthor’s narrative somewhat.
We also see Jay and the staff of The Truth watching the TV broadcast. One particular facet of Lois’ story strikes a cord with Jay’s team. Lois reveals that Bendix’s agent was killed by a bomb implanted in his brain. Jay’s staff is comprised of members of the Revolutionaries. In Tom Taylor’s 2019 Suicide Squad title, the Revolutionaries were captured and incorporated into the Squad. So, they recognize this tactic that Bendix has picked up from Amanda Waller.
However, the most notable part of the issue comes near the end, as Jon comes out to his mother. This is handled absolutely correctly, with Lois giving her immediate and total acceptance, telling her son, “Jon…I love every single part of you”. I can’t reasonably picture Lois having anything but totally positive and accepting reaction. The slightest bit of hesitation, denial, or intolerance would have been a betrayal of her character. And I expect that Clark will have the same reaction when he finds out as well.
Jon suspects that his mother already knew, but she contends, “I suspected. I’m pretty intuitive”. However, I do wonder, as Jon doesn’t spell it out, whether Lois knows that he’s not just gay, but bi. But I guess that doesn’t really matter much in the moment, she’d be as accepting either way and there’s plenty of time to get into that later.
And they don’t have much time to discuss it, as they are interrupted by Batman. There is an amusing exchange when Batman manages to catch Jon by surprise. Jon asks, “I didn’t see you. I didn’t hear you. How?”. But Lois’ simple response of “He’s Batman” doesn’t satisfy him. He retorts, “That is in no way a satisfactory answer to my question”.
Batman has come to usher Jon and Lois away to a Justice League safehouse. However, he drops a warning that upsets Jon, telling him that he cannot trust Jay. I wonder if this is due to Jay’s association with the Revolutionaries. Or does Batman know something more about Jay that hasn’t been revealed yet?
I have been really enjoying Superman: Son of Kal-El. However, Tom Taylor’s story has been building rather slowly, which may be boring for some readers, but I don’t mind a slow burn – up to a point. Clearly. However, I expect that the story will kick into high gear soon, especially with Dark Crisis looming.
Tom Taylor and Cian Tormey deliver another great issue with Superman: Son of Kal-El #10. Jon Kent’s coming out to his mother was handled perfectly. Tom Taylor is clearly laying the groundwork for a monumental story, and I look forward to seeing the payoff.