Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Superman: Last Son of Earth #1

Superman: Last Son of Earth #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 19, 2000

Cover date: September 2000

Writer: Steve Gerber
Artist: Doug Wheatley
Colourist: Chris Chuckry

Reviewed by: Gareth Baker (

It's 1968 and Martha Kent is pregnant. She quickly rushes to the university where her husband, Jonathan Kent is the head of the astrophysics department. However, when she tells him the news he is mortified - not the reaction she wanted. There is a huge asteroid that is moving towards Earth and it will destroy the planet. However no one believes him, and he sets about saving his unborn child. Using university funds, Jon orders materials that he can use to build a space rocket.

The baby is born, and named Clark. A week later, Jon tries to get Martha to escape with their son in the rocket, but she won't leave the man she loves. The baby is launched and Earth is destroyed!

The rocket enters some sort of anomaly in space, and when it comes out the other side it arrives at the planet Krypton.

Jor-el is busy watching some library film, when there is some sudden seismic activity and the house is rocked and the film ends. Jor-el gets Kelex (his robot servant) to prepare his flyer, and they head to the library building. As they approach they see a stream of smoke in the sky.

Entering the libarary, Jor-el meets Lara, the librarian. She seems somewhat shaken, and Jor-el reaches out to touch her. Lara is horrified. Civilised beings do not touch each other. Jor-el manages to persuade Lara to go with him to the end of the smoke, where they find a burning ship. Jor-el picks up some soil (much to Lara's disgust. Kryptonian's do not touch unprocessed soil) and throws it on the flames. Kelex, puts out the flames to reveal a baby lying inside. Once again, against Kryptonian ways, Jor-el picks up the baby touching its naked skin! Despite Lara's pleas to leave it to die, Jor-el takes the infant home.

At home, Jor-el creates a chamber where the child can live in a lower gravity environment. Over time, Jor-el adds more gravity so that the baby's body can adjust. Perhaps more startling is that over time Jor-el forms an attachment to the child. He begins to love it - another thing not done on Krypton.

Lara arrives and she is not in a good mood. They have been chosen to share genes and create a child in the birthing matrix. However, when she sees the toddler floating around in his chamber her heart softens, and then he says her name - his first word.

Jor-el is summoned before the council. Here he is told the news which Lara has already informed him. However, Lara arrives and tells the council about the baby that Jor-el has been bringing up. Jor-el informs the council that he has named the child Kal-el and that he is his intended heir. The council take it under consideration.

Years later (Kal-el is about 8), Jor-el show his son the film he was watching the day Kal-el arrived into his life. It showed a group of terrorists who wanted to destroy Krypton rather than keep using the clone banks. Kal-el asks questions about Krypton's past and why things are the way they are, questions that Jor-el finds disturbing.

Kal-el is now a young man, and using an exoskelal suit he is able to survive Krypton's gravity. He now has his own life, a life that involves looking for artefacts and clues to Krypton's past. As he arrives home to analyse some finds, an earthquake hits. They have been having a few recently, but this is by far the worst so far. The quake opens up some rock, and from inside comes a green glow! Kal-el goes to inspect it and finds a strange green ring and a lantern along with a dead alien body. Kal-el puts on the ring and picks up the lantern. The lantern suddenly speaks out an oath, which Kal-el copies.

His exoskeltal suit is destroyed and a new costume is formed and Kal-el is able to fly! Kal-el rushes to his parent's home to tell them the news. However, when he gets there, his father goes to bed and tells him to wait til tomorrow. Kal-el can tell that there is something wrong and so accesses his father's computer, and is caught by his father.

It is here that Jor-el notices his son's new clothes. But now it is Kal-el with the questions. How long has Jor-el known the planet is doomed. The terrorists all those years ago didn't quite fail.

Kal-el acts quickly and uses his new found power. Collecting lots of asteroids from Krypton's orbit, he uses the ring to form them into metal rods. Using all his will, Kal-el drives the rods into the planet's crust and saves the planet, at least from the quakes. As he flies home he finds an old building that has been uncovered. Finding valuable artefacts there, he rushes to the council for a meeting. He tells them that he has found Krypton's lost history. When they were great thinkers and explorers, instead of living in fear as they do now. Kal-el leaves to get some rest.

That night, Kal-el has a dream where he sees things he has never seen before. Adults, a space ship and a world destroyed. He confronts Jor-el, "Am I of this world?"

5Story - 5: The whole reversal of the story was such an obvious one, I'm surprised it hasn't been done til now, but it was well worth the wait because it has been done so well. By far the best part of the story is the middle third which concentrates on Jor-el. The way he takes the baby into his life and goes against Lara and the council to keep him. I loved the little touches where he broke all the rules by touching the soil etc. It was great to see the father that Jor-el might have been. The "love" story between him and Lara was also very engaging. You just knew they'd fall in love. If there was a six shield, then this book would almost have had it. I say almost, because I felt the last third let the book down. However, don't be dismayed because it is still brilliant the first two thirds are wonderful.

5Art - 5: Again if there had only been a six point shield. Forget Kindom Come, this has to be THE most beautiful comic I have seen. Chuckry's colours are amazing with so much depth and feeling. Wheatley has drawn some of the best faces I have ever seen too. The expressions are marvellous, telling us more than the speak bubbles themselves. The looks on Lara's face of horror and love. Fantastic.

4Cover Art - 4: I give this four becuase it is beautifully drawn, though it is somewhat uninspiring.

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