Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #2, “Out of the Volcano” destroys any assumptions on where this story was going or how it was getting there. Twists and surprises can be considered synonymous with Tom Taylor comics and this one is no exception. Needless to say, I found the events of this issue quite shocking and can’t wait to see what lies ahead for the rest of the series.
Clayton Henry and Marcelo Maiolo handle the standard cover which could hold great symbolism about the interior story. A large menacing bust of Ultraman is bathed in shadow as a determined looking Superman takes the center spotlight. The lighting use makes for a compelling image, as though Jon’s thoughts of Ultraman looms like a darkness in his mind.
Tiago Da Silva’s variant showcases the ensuing battle between Ultraman and Superman. The realism of this piece is simply remarkable. The textures of their suits and the details of the background city make this cover look more like a photo.
The variant by John Timms acts almost like an antithesis to the standard cover. Sharing the same space this time, Clark is in the background beaming with pride with Jon again in the foreground. It’s a fun and whimsical piece that invokes a sense of joy and hope.
Keep a look out for two other great variants by Zu Orzu and Mike Perkins & Mike Spicer.
Interior art duties fall on Clayton Henty with colorist Jordie Bellaire. There’s somewhat of a golden age, four color aspect to their approach that hangs on to a feeling of wholesomeness in spite of the brutality of the action. It has a perfect blend of modern sensibilities too, as the major fight scene captures how personal it is for Jon and is edge-of-your-seat exciting. Perhaps it’s this visual nuance that contributes to one of the most jaw dropping pages of comics I’ve witnessed in a long time. Regardless, Henry and Bellaire are a fantastic art team well suited for the tone of this series.
Tom Taylor, lettered by Wes Abbott, completely shifts the pacing and direction of this story by the end of Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #2. Beginning with a flashback to a time when Jon was imprisoned by Ultraman, the issue has an assuming start. Jon, Val, and Earth-2’s Red Tornado begin their quest to track down Ultraman and put a stop to his multiversal killing spree.
From there the issue deviates from what could be expected from a six-part miniseries as their plan goes instantly sideways. Ultraman and Jon end up in an epic showdown which has Jon activate his new powers once again. Taylor then resets expectations of what this series is about with the last three pages. It’s anyone’s guess as to what can happen in the issues to come but if this one doesn’t grab your attention, I’m not sure what will.
Star Rating: ★★★★★/★★★★★