That’s a striking cover from John Timms, I always like it when the Superman shield is incorporated into a design, and the upside down Metropolis cityscape screams “City of Tomorrow’. The globe is probably one element too many, though it’s relevant to the interior, while the lines behind Jon are just confusing… is it a surprint of fields, or lines that should have been erased?
Inside, Jon Kent is embracing his future. It’s his first day at Metropolis College and he has quite the surprising look.
Jon’s bid to establish a secret ID to give him some privacy is immediately kiboshed by one of the less friendly students.
Our hero leaps into action… and out of his clothes. And that terrible wig. His plans ruined and with all eyes on him, Jon leaves to do some thinking. And where better to find some space than the moon?
Well, that was the idea.
Earth has so many problems that don’t involve slugging super-villains… why doesn’t Superman tackle them, wonders Jon.
Superman gives his Super-son the keys to the car… well, symbolically. He hands over the key to his Arctic Fortress of Solitude, a new costume and the responsibility to protect Earth as Superman while he’s off on what could be a lengthy mission.
Later, alternate news website the Truth tells Jon of a boatful of refugees from an island called Gamorra, adrift in the North Atlantic. Jon reckons he knows just what to do
After an altercation with the police echoing last issue’s with the army, Jon is gently ambushed by a potential friend.
I swear Jon Kent was smarter when he was a tween, running around with Damian Wayne. OK, we don’t hear Jon’s thoughts, but it seems he’s buying Jay’s story. This stranger manages to sneak up on a guy with super senses. He just happens to have been beside Jon when a kid at school just happened to go postal. Either Jon is keeping his counsel because he’s not daft and is scoping out Jay, or he’s the most disappointing child two ace reporters could have. Future issues will tell.
I love how Tom Taylor writes Clark and Lois, he has their voices down pat – smart, knowing, funny. They worry about Jon but don’t keep him on a leash. Sadly, I’ve not warmed to this version of Jon yet, his earnestness and apparent naivety – he looks to be treating a website fronted by a kid in a sinister mask as gospel – seems wrong for a fella born into a family of heroes. Heck, he spent years as a fugitive on eeeeevil Earth 3, he should always be suspicious of kids bearing wigs. If Jay Nakamura isn’t in league with the baddie revealed on the last page – yet another Wildstorm type, right now they’re all over DC like nits – I’d be very surprised.
And while it’s great Jon acted quickly to save lives, I’d expect him to use a tad more guile in stopping Kyle. Could it be Jon’s heart just wasn’t in the experiment, so he welcomed the chance to blow it up? Jon only seems comfortable when he’s helping the public, in costume. The rest of the time he’s pretty darn mopey.
Really, I miss fun Jon. This young Superman is well-meaning, but needs to smile more. Golden Age Superman showed that you could fight for social justice while still leading with a quip and a grin.
But, this is Tom Taylor writing – he’s a very, very bright man, look how easily he subverted expectations on the secret ID front. It’s unlikely he’s going to make Jon a dope. He’s drawing us in…
I was surprised to see Superman show up. After his not being around last time I’d assumed he’d already buggered off to Warworld for awhile. It was good to see the handover talk.
Now, let’s wind back a moment, to the school not-massacre.
‘Politicise’ what? His choice of gun? Any ideas?
Bringing the script to life is the aforementioned John Timms, whose storytelling hits all Taylor’s beats. I like that he doesn’t draw Jon as a mini-Clark, he’s more lithe. The big action moments are terrific. And the new characters – as well as Jay and Kyle there’s the unnamed young woman, I’m sure she’ll be part of the regular cast – look good. I’m not sure what’s going on with all the hair dye, though – pink for Jay, green for Kyle and several other students. Perhaps colourist Gabe Eltaeb was feeling a little playful. As ever, Eltaeb does a cracking job, as does letterer Dave Sharpe.
I enjoyed this more than the first issue, and hope to enjoy next month’s edition even more. A bit less teen angst and more Superman Family optimism would go a good way towards making it happen.