Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Superman, Volume 1: Son of Superman Review (Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason)
Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, the creative team best known for their New 52 Batman and Robin run, try and recapture that title’s magic by applying a similar formula to Superman Rebirth, giving Superman a young son sidekick - and unfortunately the result is not nearly as good.
Superman has a son now? you might ask, and, yeah, apparently he does! The New 52 Superman is dead and a flashback to the famous Death of Superman storyline where Superman fought Doomsday establishes that this is a pre-New 52 Superman (minus the red pants); except that dude wasn’t married to Lois and had a kid called Jon, so I don’t know which Superman this is! Did DC need to make this that complicated? Nope, especially as this is intended to be a jumping-on point for new readers (goddammit, they didn’t learn from their mistakes with the New 52!). I have no idea what plans they have for the character but I hope it’ll make sense in the end.
Damian Wayne may have been a little shit but he was at least interesting - Jon isn’t. Aside from the occasional moment where he’s wigging out over his developing powers, he’s a bland kid character without much personality.
The story of this first book is a shameless rip-off of Terminator. Really? Really. The Terminator-esque Eradicator wants to kill off the half of Jon that’s human and preserve the Kryptonian half, which makes no sense - how the hell do you do that without killing him?! Utterly ridiculous. Anyways, Superman and Jon fight Eradicator and you can imagine how it plays out – that’s the whole first volume.
It’s underwhelming, unimaginative stuff per Tomasi’s other Superman books. Gleason’s art is strong and striking at times, there’s a handful of sweet family moments, and it’s readable enough, but not a lot of the first Superman Rebirth book did much for me. For the most part it was disappointing, derivative tedium - a weak start to this Superman run.