The Super-Sons Return (For The Last Time?) In Superman #16

by Tony Thornley

No one in comics has had a year quite like Jon Kent. The latest young hero to use the Superboy name embarked on what he thought would be a simple summer vacation trip, which ended up lasting years, thanks to a black hole and extra-dimensional shenanigans. So it was only natural that a reunion with his best friend was in order when he returns to Earth in Superman #16.

Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Alex Sinclair

Brian Michael Bendis, David LaFuente, Paul Mounts and Dave Sharpe reunite the Super-Sons, perhaps for the last time.

Jon Kent heads for Gotham, eager to find Damian Wayne and tell him all about his adventures. The reunion turns bittersweet, though, when Damian struggles to grapple with what Jon’s been through, and what his next adventure means for their friendship. Can the two part as friends, before Jon heads into the future with the Legion of Super-Heroes?

I really like how Bendis writes Jon here. He’s clearly the same character who struck a chord with readers three years ago, but grown up. Even though the circumstances may be silly and a bit contrived, it works.

His take on Damian is a bit rougher though, as he’s a little too verbose and overconfident. However, as the issue goes on, those rough edges are smoothed out quite a bit. It still packs the right emotional punch that it needed, and Bendis shows a great understanding of these teen boys and their relationship with one-another.

LaFuente’s line work is definitely an acquired taste and won’t fit every type of superhero story, but it’s perfect for this one. He dials back a little bit, and keeps the focus tightly on the characters. His layouts are wide on the page, which creates a large sense of scale, even though the story is primarily about these two reconnecting. Mounts’ colors are very realistic, which helps with the tone, and he really does some great lighting, which sets the scene for this intimate story.

The stage is set for the next stage in the lives of the Kent family. It’s been a great ride so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Superman #16 is available now from DC Comics.

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