Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Comics

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Superman #16

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 9, 2019

Cover date: December 2019

"Superman Featuring Super Sons"

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: David Lafuente
Inker: David Lafuente
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Bryan Hitch & Alex Sinclair

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Click to enlarge

Robin is fighting a horde of Leviathan's soldiers in a shipping yard. As he gets the upper hand they escape using a ship's explosion as cover.

Damian is shocked to find an older Jon Kent has arrived. Shocked by the arrival of his former best friend as a young man Damian surmises it is the trickery of Leviathan or perhaps even Leviathan himself.

Jon explains his disappearance as basically as he can. Damian points out that Jon has only been gone for three weeks and now he's seventeen so his distrust is warranted. Jon is as stubborn as ever and they are soon bonding over a love of hot dogs.

A siren interrupts and the Super Sons are soon in action. As they foil crime after crime Jon opens up about his offer to join the Legion and as the sun rises Damian gives his friend the thumbs up to chase his dreams that Jon was after.

As Jon arrives in the Fortress to meet his father Saturn Girl arrives from the future. She performs a psychic link to copy her knowledge of the 31st century into Jon's so he isn't such a strange visitor when they arrive.

Saturn Girl gives Clark a special device to contact Jon in the event of an emergency and with that they vanish and Superman is alone.

2Story - 2: From the very first panel you knew it was an infantile comedic issue. It was quite an insult to those Super Sons stories before it, for the relationship of Jon and Damian to devolve in such a way that they really have no bond at all by the end of it. Damian states that it's been three weeks since Jon vanished which obviously doesn't match up with Unity Saga but I can see that the point of this was to kill any ties to the present that Jon has.

Damian and Jon's last night together is a montage (no I'm not going to joke about South Park or Team America) and a last meal of a hot dog. Sigh. After all they went through as a duo that's how it ends. I was shaking my head as I read it.

Superman appears on three pages, one as a joke and two for an emotional door to close. As awful as the issue is, the most shocking thing wasn't how Super Sons was reduced to a joke but Lois Lane NOT coming to see her son leave perhaps forever to be in the future.

She has a quick behind the scenes call with both Clark and Jon but that's it. There is just no way after all that's happened that she wouldn't move heaven and earth to be with him and her husband to support him or to see her son who lost 7 years of his life and is going on a trip where he may well be even older upon his return.

This issue was an insult to the intelligence of the audience.

3Art - 3: The art of Jorge Jimenez gave the Super Sons a definitive look but it was never played for jokes or specifically for a young audience, to add to that neither was the writing of Tomasi, Gleason or Jurgens. The problem with Lafuente's art for me was that the writing was so utterly painful this issue that the art only made it more childish. I honestly wish Lafuente had a better story to showcase his art.

4Cover Art - 4: A fun cover except Jon is seventeen on this cover and Damian is nine. As good an image as this is it feels wildly inaccurate to the ages they are meant to be depicted as.

4Variant Cover Art - 4: I like the composition here, it's quite a creative approach with the globe and it must be quite difficult to draw that warp effect of the reflection. I wish I had read DCeased so I'd know why the events in the image are happening.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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