The Superman: Son Of Kal-El Annual is here and it’s no wonder, especially after the series has had huge success! It’s great to see yet another comic starring Jon Kent, even if it just an annual!
But before we get into the issue, let’s take a look at the covers. The standard cover is by John Timms and teases readers with the return of Lex Luthor. I’m a sucker for a dialogue cover and this one is perfect, I can literally hear him say it. I love Jon’s laidback posture here too, he knows exactly who he is dealing with and I cannot wait for the two to meet. The Metropolis skyline looks absolutely gorgeous here too.
The variant cover is by Steve Pugh and Romulo Fajardo Jr and again teases the return of Lex Luthor. First of all I love the detail on this piece, Metropolis looks great even with Luthor sitting on top of it! This cover does an excellent job of showing the control and power that Lex Luthor has, he looks calculating and rather quite intimidating as he looks down upon his new potential opponent, Jon Kent.
Superman: Son Of Kal-El Annual gives us a perfect round up of what has happened in the past between Lex Luthor, Superman and the rest of the Justice League. We know exactly what he did to end him up in prison and based on the discussion between Lex and Superman, we know exactly what this iteration of Lex Luthor is all about.
We then cut to the present as Batman pays Lois and the new Superman a visit. First of all I love the interaction between them in this moment, Lois has clearly given Batman a good telling off for showing up uninvited in her house, and I love that he has resorted to knocking the front door because of it. That’s my Lois.
I also love that Alfred get’s Earl Grey Tea delivered to every home that Bruce might visit without him knowing, there’s something about that just makes me giggle and it’s a nice little detail from writer Tom Taylor. Batman brings a message for Jon sent by his father and this is the first time we see Jon go to the Fortress under his new role as Superman of Earth.
Once again Tom Taylor has done an expert job of slipping in real troubles of today, as Jon encounters a polar bear stranded on a melting block of ice during his journey to the Fortress and expresses his disappointment as to why no-one still has done anything about the issue. Taylor has given a lovely little nod to his ongoing ‘feud’ with fellow comic book writer Gail Simone as Jon names the bear after, that was something that really made me smile.
This issue offers up a great opportunity and something that we haven’t really seen all too often. Clark warns Jon of Lex Luthor and suggests towards a different relationship between the two of them, something he hasn’t been able to do and I’m excited to see how that works out. Tom Taylor has given us a taste as to what this Lex Luthor is like, what he is capable of and how cruel he can be. But I already love this relationship between him and Jon, it seems that he really underestimates him and very much thinks of him as his father, when truly he is his own person and a very capable one at that.
The interior artwork is by Clayton Henry, with colours by Romulo Fajardo Jr and Steve Buccellato is excellent, though this is a different art team it really fits in with the style of the series and is quite reminiscent of Ivan Reis’ artwork on Superman. It’s incredibly detailed and vibrant and works perfectly with the tone of the issue. I love how Tom Taylor really let’s the art do the talking during the action and combat sequences, which are carried out to perfection.
Superman: Son Of Kal-El Annual is a great gateway into a rather different relationship between Lex Luthor and Superman. It had action, great references and excellent artwork and is a great addition to the series as a whole. I’m looking to seeing how this pans out.
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