Comic Review: Superman #1

DC has mastered the "slight of hand" narrative with Rebirth; If its villains, heroes or relationships returning, they do it in unexpected/subtle ways.

They managed to do exactly that again with Superman #1 - This issue really isn't about Superman, it's about his son Jonathan. 

The innocence of youth ...

Obligatory Spoiler Warning

We start with a barnburner. 

Literally.

Lightning strikes the "Smith" (Kent) Farm, which lies somewhere 300 miles north of Metropolis (Albany?). Clark is saving the animals and putting out the fire because, after all, he is Superman. 

Jon watches in awe of his father, knowing his dad is the greatest. Through the interactions of the "Smith' family (I'll not get used to saying that) we learn that Lois is writer who uses a pen name while Clark plays the farmer role. Jon's powers are just beginning to manifest - a condition which has Clark on edge. 

Something every father can relate to ... minus the super powers.

Jon goes running off with the house cat, Goldie, into the fields while dad does some "clean up" (afternoon delight?). This is where young Jon is introduced to the circle of life: A raptor swoops down from above and snatches the tabby. Jon, screaming in fear, sparks the embers of his father's iconic heat vision and torches both the bird and the cat. Crying, he picks up the remains, only to realize he is not alone.

well that's an awkward introduction

Jon's neighbor scampers off, but returns later that night during the "Smith's" dinner. Her name is Kathy Branden and her father bought the dairy farm down the road. We learn that Jon hasn't told his parents about Goldie, and when Lois asks if she has seen the cat Kathy covers for Jon. (Looks like Kathy is the new Lana.)

Jon has a breakdown after dinner, and he exposes his difficulty coping with being a half-Kryptonian half-human who has to lie to everyone about who both he and his family are. Clark sends him to his room where Jon stoically cries, looking out his upstairs window, until he sees the approach of two familiar individuals who are joined on the lawn by his father.

Of course he knows you're listening in.

Jon eavesdrops into their conversation and finds out it is actually about him as much as it's about his father. The conversation ends and Superman appears in Jon's doorway beckoning him to follow.  It would seem that Jon has turned a page in his life and will be taking his first steps into a wider world.

.................. ok ..................

This story might be the most "human" superhuman comic I've read in a while. The adolescent yearning to grow, the parental desire to protect, the weight of responsibility, the loss of innocence - It's all in here, and it's done so well that it leaves a lump in my throat just typing this review. Tomasi is writing a story about a family. It just so happens that the family basically contains god and a demigod. 

But the wonderful writing wouldn't have the gut-punch impact that it intends if it wasn't for the collaboration of Gleason and Gray. Portraying that awful moment of adolescent super power left a tear in my eye, and no words were needed. Those panels carried with them a multitude of emotions which strikes keenly at the human soul.

This is a comic that fully deserves "#1" on its cover, as it's a new start for all of those involved: We have a new protagonist in Jon "Smith" who has a lot of growing to do, while the Justice League has to get to know this new (old) Superman as well (which should drive Bruce crazy). So buy this book and wear the colors proudly, because Superman is back and that is all that matters!

As Iconic as it is Apt.

Rating: 10/10 Lumps In My Throat