Jon Kent meets Lex Luthor! What does the infamous villain and businessman want, and how will the new Superman confront him while his father is still off-world? Superman: Son of Kal-El Annual #1 is written by Tom Taylor, with art by Steven Pugh and Clayton Henry, colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Steve Buccellato, cover by John Timms, variant cover by Steve Pugh and Romulo Fajardo Jr., and letters by Dave Sharpe. It is published by DC Comics.
Throughout his series, Jon has wanted to defeat systemic problems that are often brought on by the evils of unhindered capitalism, such as climate change. Facing Lex Luthor, who in many ways is a representation of these harmful capitalistic forces, is a great story move, and the dialogue Taylor writes for him and Jon is bitingly intriguing. We might think of other billionaires in our world who could do so much to solve the systemic problems they’ve caused, and Taylor continues to make Jon a viable surrogate for readers facing such people.
Lex Luthor is one of the greatest villains of all time for those reasons and more, and Taylor conveys a deep understanding of that. He writes Lex as someone with unwavering conviction and arrogance, sincerely believing that any action he does is justified, especially when it benefits himself. Taylor does a particularly great job showing Jon’s increasing realization of Lex’s selfishness throughout this issue and how that strengthens his resolve to save the world from people like him.
The art by Pugh and Henry is overall good and has some great visuals, but unfortunately, this annual issue is missing the trademark dynamism of the Son of Kal-El series. The characters are well designed, and the details are intimate and coupled well with the colors by Fajardo and Buccellato, but the sense of movement is lacking in this issue. Despite that, the artwork at least retains some of the grandness and scope necessary for a Superman story, and Pugh and Henry have great designs for Jon, Lois, Lex, and other characters throughout this issue.
The letters by Sharpe, as always, are very good and don’t distract from the art on the page or whatever action Jon is partaking in. Sharpe does well to accentuate Taylor’s words with his speech bubbles and makes this a constantly fun read.
Superman: Son of Kal-El Annual #1 is an intriguing issue that sets the stage for the new Superman’s rivalry with Lex Luthor, juggling some important systemic questions in its storytelling. Taylor continues to explore very interesting ideas with Jon Kent through his fantastic writing. The art and colors by Pugh, Henry, Fajardo, and Buccellato, are epic enough to be the grand setting for this new adventure with Jon. The letters by Sharpe are the cherry on top to make this an overall engagingly exciting and deep read.
Superman: Son of Kal-El Annual #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Superman: Son of Kal-El 2021 Annual Issue #1
Superman: Son of Kal-El Annual #1 is an intriguing issue that sets the stage for the new Superman’s rivalry with Lex Luthor, juggling some important systemic questions in its storytelling.