Superman #7 review

Finally. After what feels like a lifetime of waiting we get the reunion of Superman and son Jon after the latter’s trip into space with his grandfather, Jor-El, and mother Lois. The dubious idea behind it was that the supposedly summer-long sortie would put Jon on the road to super-manhood.

It seems to have been a loooooong summer.

As regards Jon’s surprising age, Lois makes the same mental jumps as Clark.

Jon tells his father what happened after he and his mother left Superman for the stars. No sooner were they on Jor-El’s immense spacecraft, than they ran into Dominion warriors, en route to attack Earth. Jon and Jor-El made short work of them, causing Lois to make a decision.

Jon was OK with this… for a short while…

‘Grandpa is completely insane’? To whom is this a revelation? Prior to leaving Earth, Jor-El had been revealed as the face behind Mr Oz, who had been kidnapping heroes and villains while manipulating wars and disaster on Earth. He fought Clark and tried to kill him. That Lois and Clark should ever let Jon join him on a space vacation because he suddenly presented as a reasonable man made no sense… the guy should have been locked up and given treatment for his mental health.

It was this move by new writer Brian Bendis in his Man of Steel mini-series that had me really worried about his tenure as architect of the Superman line. As it happens, I’ve really enjoyed what he’s been doing, while having qualms about the suddenly mysterious Clark/Lois relationship. But now we’re back to the Jon storyline and Lois compounding her appalling decision to take Jon into space with Jor-El by leaving him there because he’s good in a fight…

How would seeing how scary the spaceways are provoke any response in a sane parent but the desire to return home? Jon is a super-powered kid but he’s still a kid – and a massive target for Superman’s enemies.

On hearing that Jon was returning to the book aged up, I wasn’t too worried… Franklin Richards, Bart Allen… plenty of super-kids have been temporarily aged, only to return to normal after a storyline or too. Jon’s insistence that he’s ‘earned’ his 17 years makes things a bit trickier to get him back to the sweet tween he was, but it’s not an insurmountable problem. I suspect Bendis is toying with us; would he really freeze Jon as a late-teen just as he’s bringing back a classic Conner Kent over in Young Justice? Certainly it seems he’s setting up a back door here…

Qualms and puzzlement apart, the relationships remain a delight in this series, with the return of Jon adding to the fun. I love the lingering hug between father and son, and what happens when Clark and Jon arrive at the hotel Lois has been staying at of late (for reasons I can’t fathom). The space fights are fun, though I could do without Jon doing the angry red eyes bit, it’s a modern cliche I dislike immensely. I adore that Jon calls Clark ‘Pa’.

There’s an excellent scene in a space eatery that has Jon standing up to one of DC’s nastiest cosmic types, and Lois is reminded what it means to wear the ‘S’.

Penciller Ivan Reis and inker Oclair Albert handle the modern-day Earth scenes, Brandon Peterson gives us the space drama and Man of Steel artist Jason Fabok pops back for a single-page flashback to that series, which seems a tad unnecessary. All the pages look good, with nice, expressive work. and there’s an intriguing cameo by someone who looks like Antennae Boy from the Silver Age Legion of Super-Heroes series… another hint Bendis plans to bring back the team?

Reis, inker Joe Prado and colourist Alex Sinclair – who does a great job on the interiors – give us a striking cover that’s nicely representative of the story, while illustrator David Finch and colourist Brad Anderson produce an angry red-eyed Superman… well done for what it is.

So, an intriguing issue that has me a little nervous, but I’m refusing to throw out my optimism that we will get Jon back to his proper age, and the Kents living together again. How about you?

15 thoughts on “Superman #7 review

  1. I hate that Jon is aged up, but hurray to Bendis for the whole time dilation aspect of super speed travel in space.

    Like you, I really am going to hold on to my optimism because Bendis has been doing good work here. I think he has done a good, though not perfect, job of maintaining the voices the previous run on Superman brought to us, voices I loved. Lois may just be working on a story that she can’t have anyone, even Clark, know about, and so she has separated herself from him. I don’t think she would do it that way, just like I don’t get how she could just leave Jon behind (or why she isn’t aged up), but I think the explanation is that simple. Unless “Jor-El” (I still don’t think he is actually THE Jor-El, but maybe an Earth-3 counterpart) somehow brainwashed them both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you’re optimistic, and Jon-El being Ultraman’s dad fits with the incoming Earth 3 story. I guess Lois isn’t aged up cos she was just with them a few hours, it seems. Mom of the Year!


  2. Yeah, I can’t figure out why Lois made the decision she did…as always, everything surrounding Mr. Oz seems questionable.

    That said, from Lois’s reaction when she thinks Clark is showing up alone, they are definitely NOT on a break. They’re seeing each other regularly, but also on the sly. For reasons that I guess will be explained eventually. But it’s good to know *that* much, at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bendis Superman reminds me of two past books
    1 Flash fastest man alive where they got an overhyped writer and super aged Bart
    2 Captain America’s when they fired Mark Waid and Ron Garney to give Liefield the book. Over rated creator from another company

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seems to me like this is a perfect setup for a new Superboy Prime. Letting a mega-powered kid grow up — his so-important teen years — without security, without guiding hands to correct him and show him the way, without education (including education about what’s happening with his body), without love… Jon doesn’t have his parents, doesn’t have the Martha and Jonathan of his generation to have raised him so he can become a true hero. Nope, logically we’ll wind up with Superboy Prime. Or are we supposed to smile through this insane teen boy stereotyped dream and say, “Sure. He’s a guy; he can take it”?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg! I would *love* that!
        I have to say I’m very curious about what Bendis is going to do with two teen Superboys flying around the DCU. That doesn’t seem like a situation that’s going to be long term.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I was predisposed to dislike t his but the body may have changed but the character seems the same. That and seeing that cover with Young Jon has me thinking now it might be a good thing. Artists for the Big Two are notoriously bad at drawing younger kids and that cover was a perfect example of how cringe worthy it can get…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My review won’t be posted for a couple of days but it is written so I feel fine commenting here.

    You are much nicer that I was.

    Seeing the shock and concern on Clark and Lois face over everything from his aging to learning Jor is insane irked me. They shouldn’t be shocked! Jor’s behavior as Mr. Oz was mega-villain awful. Why would they let Jon spend any time with Jor. And why would Lois think that after 2 skirmishes in space ‘she wasn’t needed’. What set of devoted parents would allow this??

    As a result, this whole story bothers me. Common sense should have made this not happen. I assume Lois and Clark have common sense. So this will always have a bitter taste. Unless something miraculous happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m with you, but I think I expressed my incredulity at the decision by Lois, then Clark, to OK a vacation with mad Mr Oz when I was reviewing the Man of Steel issues.

      It makes no bleeding sense.


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