Son of Superman
by Howard Chaykin, David
Tischman, J.H. Williams III
(DC, 2000)

I love Elseworlds tales. Just like Marvel Comic's What If?, Elseworlds gives creators a free hand with some of the most interesting and entertaining fictional characters around today. The latest tale in the series is, in my opinion, one of the finest yet.

Jon Kent is the son of Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman. Once his powers are brought to the surface by an incredibly powerful solar flare, he decides to take up the mantle as the new Superman. Joining the terrorist organization known as "The Supermen," led by Pete and Lana Ross, he takes up their cause of stopping a war of "economic segregation" being waged by the U.S. government.

Raiding a secret instillation owned by Lex Luthor, Jon and the Supermen discover the original Superman in suspended animation. Jon's discovery of his father, assumed dead, coupled with his association with terrorists, puts him at odds with the government-funded and militarily garbed team, the Justice League of America.

This is a rapid-paced, highly entertaining story. Characterization, however, is where it rides the highest. Very high marks go to writers Howard Chaykin and David Tischman. They have created a son of Superman who is as believable as a teenage kid looking to score a date, and as a fledgling superhero seeking to fill his father's boots. Equally as entertaining is this story's "dysfunctional family" of JLA members, whose attitudes range from idealistic to indifferent to downright treasonous.

I found the actions and reactions of the JLA members to the events around them fascinating. This was a very fresh take on the characters.

The artwork is by J.H. Williams III, one of the most talented young artists in comics today. He has a style that is a bit dark and moody, and it's perfect for this story.

[ by Mark Allen ]
Rambles: 26 October 2002

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