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Courtesy of DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent’ #1 is another hit in the Superman lineup

Jon Kent is still Earth’s Superman.

Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent might be a new #1 sporting the Dawn of DC logo on its cover, but it already seems like a culmination of sorts. Writer Tom Taylor returns to Jon Kent after the hero’s critically acclaimed series Superman: Son of Kal-El ended back in December. Here, Taylor and artist Clayton Henry have six issues to tell a promising multiversal Superman story. 

After only one issue, the narrative is already running at full speed. Jon Kent, with his secret identity recently restored, tends to an apocalyptic-level job for Superman. With Oracle’s help, Superman flies all over the globe to prevent satellites from falling out of the sky and annihilating the planet. When some of the satellites seem to have been taken out without Jon’s help, he rushes to see who’s behind the mysterious, heroic deed. 

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Of course, it’s none other than Superman. No, not that Superman… not that one, either. It’s Val-Zod, a nearly decade-old Tom Taylor creation from the New 52-era Earth-2. Val-Zod came to Earth-Zero to get Jon’s help in the fight against Ultraman, who is on a mission to kill every Kal-El in the multiverse. It’s high stakes for Jon, and huge stakes for a six-issue series that doesn’t have the word “Crisis” in the title.

Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1
Here comes Ultraman. Courtesy DC Comics.

Taylor is pulling the strings on a lot of long-term plot threads for Adventures. The title card and the comic’s cover allude to the Injustice universe, another series Tayor was an architect of. Additionally, we are dealing with the fallout of Lazarus Planet, and how the event is changing Jon’s powers. The inclusion of Oracle also ties this series into Taylor’s current run on Nightwing. All of this considered, it could sound like there’s a lot going on. But, because of Taylor’s masterful execution and characterization, it feels natural and almost casual. 

Clayton Henry’s art is the perfect pairing with both Jon’s heroics and his ever-complicated life. Henry’s larger-than-life depiction of the book’s Supermen makes every action they perform have a sense of weight and purpose to them. With detailed backgrounds, we are also given a great sense of place and the scope of the heroics at play. Henry’s exaggerated faces are expressive to the point where if the words were removed from the art, you’d be able to tell exactly how anyone feels on a given page or panel.

With the expertise of Jordie Bellaire, a balance is struck between the explosive neons of Superman saving the day, and the grounded looks of Metropolis and Smallville. Colors pop when they need to, when the action heats up. And when we are in familiar locales we can slow down and appreciate the more subtle greens and browns of a more grounded world. 

Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1
There’s nothing like Metropolis at night. Courtesy DC Comics.

That’s the world Jon Kent inhabits as Superman – his work is almost always grounded in the personal. Jon doesn’t throw a punch to solve a problem; he turns to his friends and family for guidance, and his boyfriend Jay for support. Kal-El might be back from his epic intergalactic journey to Warworld, but Jon is still the Superman of Earth, a Superman of the people. 

With a relaunched Superman and a new status quo in Action Comics, it’s easy to see a world where Adventures of Superman gets caught in the shadow of DC’s flagships and stands tall among them. Taylor has an ambitious story laid out here with expressive-but-grounded art from Henry and Bellaire, this book is simply a must-read.

Adventures-of-Superman-Jon-Kent-1-1
‘Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent’ #1 is another hit in the Superman lineup
Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1
With an ambitious story and powerful artwork, Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1 stands tall alongside DC's flagship series.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9
An ambitious, multiverse-spanning story
Expressive but grounded art and colors
Stands alongside Superman and Action Comics
Not the best jumping-on point for Jon Kent's story
9
Great
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