Superman is slowly building up a team – or maybe it’s the other way around, and a team is slowly folding Superman into it. Tom Taylor and Nicole Maines introduced Dreamer into the DCU in the last issue, and now she’s joining Superman and Jay with the Revolutionaries to bring the fight to Bendix. Who is Bendix? Why, only the president of a nation that turns innocent people into mind-controlled monsters for his gain!
Superman: Son of Kal-El #14 opens with Lois Lane reporting on the attack in the last issue that turned a United States senator into a giant attacking creature. It’s a great opening in that it shows Lois is fully on board supporting her son and his boyfriend’s group The Truth while recapping for readers where we’re at globally. This sets in motion a plan by Bendix to shield his city from the outside world. How can Superman and his friends stop Bendix? It’s time for a heist issue, folks!
The plot in this issue moves at a good clip, establishing the various superheroes in the Revolutionaries team, how Superman wants to protect Jay, and how the plan requires Jay put himself in harm’s way. Taylor continues to write Superman as the kindest hero you’ll ever see, which aligns with what he told AIPT in our interview about Superman rarely even throwing punches.
The way the characters speak is highly entertaining as Taylor imparts a sense of personality through dialogue while progressing the plot. These characters aren’t all best friends right out of the gate. It’s also nice to see Dreamer pop in, ever so briefly, although she’s mostly in the background here.
It’s not all preparation and getting to know each other, though. Taylor and Tormey get to pick up the action with Jay taking on a solo mission and looking cool as hell. There’s also a great smash cut to most of the heroes already fighting, and it feels like something out of a Marvel movie.
Cian Tormey continues to crush it on art, from the excellent full team shot that expertly uses the background and foreground to a heartwarming hug between Superman and a close friend. You can tell Tormey is having a blast. A panel of Superman and Jay in the Fortress Solitude is a good example, where he could have easily gotten away with just the edges of ice/crystals sprouting up. Still, he throws in a polar bear family for a little something extra.
Tormey gets to design Jay’s new costume, too, which has some good details to add a bit of energy and flow. The colors are calming, and the lines are clean. Plus, it comes with his signature hood. It’s also a nice touch to make the palms a different, lighter color.
With so much great character work, plot progression, and action, there’s also a whopper of a cliffhanger. One reason it works so well isn’t the shock of it but the fact that readers will be concerned for Jay and Superman. Superman’s boyfriend (still not sure if they’re calling each other that yet?) is about to go through a lot of emotions. Considering Superman cares for strangers and wants to save everyone, he’s about to face a challenge he likely hasn’t seen yet, as he’ll need to console someone very close to him.
Superman: Son of Kal-El #14 is an excellently plotted, fast-paced comic with many great character moments. So often these days comics stretch out their story, but Taylor and Tormey prove Superman: Son of Kal-El is addictive page-turning storytelling.
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