Superman Son of Kal-El #15 Review

Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Cian Tormey, Scott Hanna, Federico Blee, and Matt Herms
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 13th, 2022

The siege of Gamora begins!
Superman Son of Kal-El #15 continues Superman (Jonathan Kent)’s fight with Henry Bendix, the evil Jeff Bezos/Elon Musk-like billionaire tech genius who has enslaved the people of Gamorra.   Superman, Robin (Damian Wayne), Dreamer, Superman’s boyfriend Jay Nakamura, and The Revolutionaries team up to stage an assault on Gamorra in this explosive finale of the story.

The Story

Superman Son of Kal-El #15 is pure action from beginning to end, as Superman and his makeshift team attack Henry Bendix on multiple fronts. Dreamer’s vision of the end of the world happening (due to Henry Bendix’s actions) hangs over the book, increasing the tension as the battle continues.  It seems like

Superman and the others bring the prophecy closer to happening no matter what they do.
Though the book was thrilling for the most part, it felt very rushed.  After the long build-up to this confrontation, the battle itself should have been stretched out over two or more issues to really give it that epic feel.
There was a recent storyline in the Harley Quinn book called “Task Force XX”, which had nowhere near the high-stakes odds and scope of this story, yet it was stretched out over 3 issues and an annual. 

The final showdown for this story would have benefitted greatly with that number of issues. I’m liking Jonathan Kent’s Superman.  He’s as kind-hearted and courageous as his dad, but a lot more impulsive.  His romance with Jay Nakamura and his friendship with Robin (Damian Wayne) shines here, and it’s heart-warming to see Jonathan’s already got such a unique group of supporting characters that are so different from those of his father.

The Revolutionaries are shoved in the background for most of the issue, unfortunately.  They’re an interesting group of characters, kind of a cross between The Legion of Super-Heroes and the X-Men, a large group of anti-heroes each with their own unique powers and style, and I would have loved to see more of them in action.
Ultimately, the most disappointing aspect of the issue is the sudden appearance of a character who’s been an eternal thorn in Superman’s side, who serves as a Deus Ex Machina by surprisingly saving the day.   It seems forced and takes away from Jonathan a bit as if he can’t beat the villain in his own book.  It would be like having Green Lantern show up in an issue of The Flash while Flash was fighting Mirror Master, and Green Lantern cages Mirror Master with his power ring then takes off, leaving The Flash scratching his head and wondering what the heck just happened.

The Art

Cian Tormey’s art on Superman Son of Kal-El #15 does a great job contrasting the destruction, fire, and rubble flying down on the ground in Gamorra versus Henry Bendix’s sterile command chamber high above the action.

There are a vast number of characters in the book and a lot of action going on, but Cian keeps everything flowing well, and you always know where you’re at and what characters are involved at any moment.
His version of Robin (Damian Wayne) is especially great.  Through his expressions, the arrogance and borderline insanity of the character comes out.  If I were Jonathan Kent, I’d be a little wary of Damian.  At least this version of Damian.

Final Thoughts

Superman Son of Kal-El #15 wraps up the Henry Bendix storyline a bit too quickly and neatly.  Given that Henry Bendix had a whole nation under his control, it would have been great to see this stretch out a bit longer, so we could see more of the nuances of the conflict and see more of the heroes in action. On the plus side, Jonathan Kent is as interesting as ever and a great character and his relationship with Jay gives the book a lovely dose of romance also.


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