In which Lois Lane exposes Henry Bendix’s trade in superhuman living weapons to the world.
The Gamorran leader prepares for a siege.
Young Superman Jon Kent’s new allies the Revolutionaries get a talk on heroism.
Another hero joins the campaign to topple Bendix.
And Jay acquits himself rather well in his first outing as superhero Gossamar.
On the one hand, well done Jay for showing great courage in the face of Bendix’s thugs. On the other, does Jon really need to send his untrained boyfriend onto his enemy’s home turf. Yes, reckons Jon.
If only Jon knew a more experienced superhero who could, say, vibrate through walls?
Or phase through them, like Jay.
OK, there’s often someone better to do the job than the person in the series you’re reading, but Jon was chatting to Wally just days before this. His ties to the Legion of Super-Heroes are so strong that he seemingly has a closet full of 31st-century superhero kit he can hand out to Dreamer (last issue) or Jay (this one). The idea that Jon would just see a barrier, throw his hands up in the air and say he doesn’t understand it, rather than, oh I don’t know, examine it with his super senses, equipment from the Fortress of Solitude or call in a super genius like the Atom or Blue Beetle is ludicrous. Heck, surely Dreamer has a nonsense power for the occasion?
Maybe Jay will get killed and Jon will Learn a Lesson? I do hope not, Jay is growing on me, he hasn’t seemed shifty for months. Also, he’s more useful than this comic￼’s title character this time, with Superman Jr sticking to the roles of quartermaster and Speechmaker in Chief.
Am I grumpy? I may be grumpy… I honestly thought the Bendix business would be over by the end of this comic, but nope, turns out this is just part one of the ‘Siege of Gamorra’. Make it stop. Henry Bendix is super dull and the idea that Batman hasn’t gone all in with Jon to shut down what’s become a rogue nation is daft – this is perfect Outsiders fodder. And what’s Luthor’s endgame? We know he’s been helping Bendix, but while mentioned, he’s not in this issue…is he sitting back, waiting to pick up the pieces after the kryptonite hits the fan?
Things I liked in Tom Taylor’s script. That speech by Jon is great. The subsequent rallying of the troops by Robin is differently excellent. Jay does indeed do well.
But Jon doesn’t do enough. The Revolutionaries are utterly anodyne compared to how they were in Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s superb Suicide Squad. We still don’t know if Lois has actually quit the Daily Planet to work for The Truth online rag. And this is a very quick read, a tiny nugget of the overall story.
Cian Tormey’s art, coloured rather drably by Fernando Blee, is fine, not terribly exciting but it tells the story. There’s a double page action spread that should be a lot more exciting. The best artistic moment is when Jon finds Robin has joined their mission – we get smiles. Everywhere else Jon is looking sad or bemused or stern… a Superman shouldn’t be so depressing. But when he’s with Robin, he’s happy. I’ve not said it for months, but for cripes’ sake, wipe out this version of Jon Kent and give us back tween Jon, the happy, spunky, clever Superboy – let some other hero carry the torch for earnest young adults.
Rant rant… I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue, on this series. Am I being too hard on it?
Another positive! I really like the cover by illustrator Travis Moore and colourist Tamra Bonvillain, it has the joie de vivre the actual storyline lacks, and it’s beautifully executed.
Is it deliberate that the costume designed for ‘Phantom Boy’ Jay is so much like old LEGION member Phase’s look?