Superman: Son of Kal-El #12 marks the first anniversary of Jon’s solo series and it doesn’t disappoint. To celebrate, we’re not only gifted an appearance by Krypto but we also get four awesome covers this month!
The standard cover by Travis Moore and Tamra Bonvillain is a playful take of a person enjoying an outing with their dog. Krypto looks so happy as if carrying his favorite toy. Their casual pose and delighted expressions make this cover feel like a snapshot taken after a game of fetch…with LexBots. Moore and Bonvillain have a great talent for capturing fantastical moments and framing them as every day events.
The variant by Roger Cruz, Norm Rapmund, and Luis Guerrero is another playful moment of Superman showing off for some children. A piece like this is nice to remind us of Jon’s youthful optimism. The clever use of lighting has the sun casting a spotlight on their particular swing set which could easily symbolise how the world focuses on Jon’s actions no matter how small.
David Talaski’s Pride variant has Jon and Jay enjoying a flight through bright sunny skies. Along with some rainbow flair, there’s no better way to symbolise “being out” than having the sun shine on this young couple. This cover captures the entire idea of “Truth, Justice, and A Better Tomorrow” in one joyful image.
The retailer incentive cover by Mario Foccillo and Prasad Rao finishes off the first year issue variants. Continuing the relaxed, hopeful, and whimsical themes of all the covers, Superman is seen floating on his back along the skyways of Metropolis. Jon’s smile is infectious and carefree as he delights in his power of flight.
Cian Tormey heads up the interior art with contributions from Ruairi Coleman (inks & pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Raul Fernandez (inks), Federico Blee (colors), and Matt Herms (colors). This art team really makes each scene pop with color and dynamics. There’s several moments where we’re looking at a screen or through a lens and there’s never a question of our point of view. The art flows so well with the dialogue allowing for an immersive sequential story telling experience.
This issue barely gives us a moment to breathe between scenes. We begin with an optimistic moment only to be wrenched away to a last minute save from Krypto. Dick Grayson is called in to infiltrate LuthorCorp in order to find a connection between Lex and Bendix. We get to see Jon flex his inner Lois Lane as he and Jay confront a politician with some hard hitting questions. From there Tom Taylor serves up an unexpected monster fight which may have lasting consequences for one of our heroes.
One year down and showing no signs of letting up, Superman: Son of Kal-El #12 is another fantastic issue from its creative team. Whether it’s through action packed fights, high risk heists, or cornering a politician in public, Tom Taylor keeps the adrenaline pumping throughout the entire book. Oh, and did I mention Krypto’s in it?