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'Superman: Son of Kal-El' #17 features a tough chat between Clark and Jon Kent
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Comic Books

‘Superman: Son of Kal-El’ #17 features a tough chat between Clark and Jon Kent

‘Superman: Son of Kal-El’ #17 does a lot to establish Clark’s love for his son, Jon.

Superman: Son of Kal-El has been heartwarming and highly hopeful. Jon Kent took over as Superman with his father off-world, and he might have topped his dad as far as caring too much for others. Now that Clark Kent Superman is back on Earth, Jon is not feeling up to talking about his coming out as bisexual. Superman: Son of Kal-El #17 is largely about that conflict Jon is wrestling with internally while his father only wants the best for his boy.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #17 opens with Jon and Clark racing to another planet. You know, as father and son tend to do. This scene shows their bond is strong, the fatherly competitiveness is alive and well, and things are seemingly back to normal. Cut to the planet Vega, and Jon has to go as soon as Clark asks if Clark missed anything else, which is most likely concerning Jon’s boyfriend. Jon runs off, and the conversation is dead.

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Much of this issue deals with Jon’s discomfort and Clark trying to assess how to approach him. There’s an excellent scene with Clark and his Pa, with some great wisdom imparted to Clark. Reading their dialogue, Tom Taylor helps convey why some fathers can’t talk about their child’s sexuality, which reads very much like helpful insight for fathers or future fathers who might have the same problem. Instead of shaming them, Clark’s Pa explains it clearly. That isn’t to say Clark is at all against Jon’s lifestyle or choices, far from it, but it’s a clever way to add some crucial points many parents struggle with.

Clark Kent the father is alive and well in this issue, which is heartwarming. Being gone for much of Jon’s life now as an older teen, you can see how Taylor explores their relationship in new ways. It’s also heartwarming to see how Superman truly loves his son and loves anyone that makes him happy.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #17

It’s not like Jon to run away from something.
Credit: DC Comics

This issue isn’t only about Clark accepting his son for who he is, but also throwing in some action and danger. I say some as this scene takes up only about six pages. Taylor is seeding a new threat that should be fun to watch both Superman’s takedown in the future. Set up via a simple building fire, Jon bites off more than he can chew, and while that villain is as dangerous as any, Clark stays back to ensure he’s okay. A clever nod to Nightwing makes it okay that Superman wouldn’t stop the villain.

Cian Tormey and Ruairi Coleman draw this issue, with the character acting solid as ever. Clark’s care for his son is apparent throughout, and his genuine concern for his health in the final scenes is apparent. The final page is straight from a horror movie in how it is framed, making the cliffhanger effective and the future for both Supermen very dangerous. Layouts throughout the issue are strong – scenes without action still feel tense and cinematic, with critical moments and close-up angles as needed.

However important and impactful Clark and Jon communicate with each other, it feels like this issue is a little too preoccupied with it. The main action scene pops up out of nowhere, acting as a mystery for later, mainly because most of the pages are devoted to Clark worrying about his son and then their conversation. Ultimately it’s a minor gripe, but the balance is a bit off.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #17 is another excellent issue in a series filled with meaningful moments of understanding and love between parents and their children. Superman’s greatest superpower is goodness and hope, and this series uses that to shine a light on queer relationships and show acceptance of others is a heroic act in itself.

'Superman: Son of Kal-El' #17 features a tough chat between Clark and Jon Kent
‘Superman: Son of Kal-El’ #17 features a tough chat between Clark and Jon Kent
Superman: Son of Kal-El #17
Superman: Son of Kal-El #17 is another excellent issue in a series filled with meaningful moments of understanding and love between parents and their children. Superman's greatest superpower is goodness and hope, and this series uses that to shine a light on queer relationships and show acceptance of others is a heroic act in itself.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9.1
Has Clark and Jon talk things out leading to a heartwarming moment of acceptance
Sets up a dangerous threat straight out of a horror movie
Clean looking art that's always great at layout and storytelling
Lighter on action with a main focus on Clark being a worrying father
9
Great
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