Superman and Son
At seven issues in for a majority of their titles, the DC Rebirth event can pretty much be considered a resounding success. There’s tons of fantastic titles to choose for your pull list, from Tom King and David Finch’s Batman to Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman, but in all honesty, the one that I love the most is Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s Superman, and it’s the one DC Rebirth title that shouldn’t work nearly as well as it does.
For starters, Superman stars the Superman from the pre-Flashpoint continuity, which brings in a lot of strange questions on its own. This is the same Clark Kent who battled Doomsday and died, grew out a mullet, gained electricity powers, split into a Red and Blue electric Superman soon after that, and walked across the country for some reason. Jumping over to our world after the ‘Convergence” event, he’s now our Superman after the “New 52” Superman died, and the world and the rest of the Justice League is learning to trust him. Oh, Lois Lane has also made the universe jump with him, along with their son, Jonathan, who’s just now starting to gain powers of his own.
That’s a lot to take in for a series that’s supposed be a part of the new-and-lapsed reader friendly “DC Rebirth”, but amazingly Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason not only make it work, they’ve created one of the most heartfelt interpretations of the Man of Steel in some time. Put into the role of fatherhood, Clark Kent takes all of the lessons his father taught him and is now instilling them in his son. From learning to use his powers responsibly to not lying to his mother, Clark’s interactions with his Son are way more impactful than just listening to him lecture a kid. It’s a really heartwarming way of bringing the story of Superman full circle. Jonathan Kent is my favorite character in the Superman mythos, and his impact on Clark is felt in every single page of this series.
But Superman isn’t just all about a father teaching his son to use his powers. Oh no, there’s plenty of time for action as well. The first story arc deals with the re-mergence of the Eradicator, who has been created to help protect the Kryptonian race. When he comes in contact with Jonathan, who’s DNA is hybrid of Kryptonian and Human DNA, he’s judged as “impure” to Eradicator. What follows is an insane four issue long battle between the Eradicator and Superman that takes place all over the world, ending in a secret batcave that Batman installed on the moon. It’s just the kind of thing that reminds you of how great comics can be.
A lot of the charm of Superman comes from the fact that Tomasi and Gleason are one of the dream teams of comics. Their work together is so good that seeing their names is an instant purchase. There’s never any second-guessing when it comes to their work. Gleason, aside from drawing, is also now credited for the story alongside Tomasi, and it’s made the comic even better. It’s fantastic watching Gleason stretch his storytelling muscles and help create a whole new era for Superman.
In a time when the Man of Steel doesn’t really feel like the character we all know in the movies, it’s refreshing to see this classic take on the character in DC Rebirth. A lot of times you’ll hear the complaint that Superman “isn’t relatable” and is “too perfect”, but that’s not the case here. He’s trying to raise his son to be the best person that he can be, and a lot of times it shows that not even Superman has all the right answers for his son. But at the same time, there’s a great sense of family and love that you can feel permeating through the panels. After some rocky starts in the New 52, Superman has a title worthy of him again, and it’s an incredible thing.