And the father will be the son and the son will be the father.
A few months ago we echoed the first issues of the new Superman series led by Philip Kennedy Johnson. Those early installments left us at a point where the series felt like it was taking off progressively. Even more so if we focused on the work of Tom Taylor in the series dedicated to Jon.
Time has passed and it’s time to look back at the series and see what it offers us after six months.
The first thing to note is that Action Comics and Superman, the two series embedded in the ECC staple, fly separately, but intrinsically related, by narrating events that occur simultaneously in two different places in the DC Universe. The synchrony they show adds robustness to the whole and consolidates the decision to publish the two series together by CCP.
The second thing is that there are also a series of follow-up stories at the end of each installment of Action Comics, which deserve a separate evaluation. That is why we dedicate this paragraph to them in order not to leave anything behind. For these issues we have two protagonists, the first is Guardian, the vigilante of Metropolis in a blue and gold suit, and defender of the innocent, who deals with a case in which he is immersed in the digital world. This plot comes from the previous issues, written by Sean Lewis, and that here concludes, with no certain disappointment since it is not a story that is particularly lucid or manages to explore well the full potential of a character who from the start has more weaknesses than strengths. A work that can be read, that has a very deus ex machina ending and that is easily forgotten.
Instead, in these numbers a new story begins with J´onn J´onzz as the protagonist that mixes the dual aspects of the character at the level of police and superhero. A plot in which he must deal with a series of disappearances of Internet children who disappear after browsing a website with questionable content and that also has the police on the trail of the person responsible for its creation. A simple, effective story that, in the hands of his artistic team, Shaw Aldridge Y adriana melo, shows up to what is expected of this type of work that lives in the shadow of the weight of the main series. It only remains to be seen how it concludes in the following installments.
Focusing on the work of taylor in Superman, it is perfectly appreciated how the writer is accurately marrying the different elements that have been planted throughout the first installments of the series. Jon assumes the duties of his father on Earth, seeing how the responsibility he must assume is overwhelming at times. His relationship with the leader of La Verdad strengthens, gives him emotional stability, while he deals with the complex plans of the president of Gamorra.
The naturalness, simplicity and delicate way in which taylor dealing with the different emotional aspects of the story is what makes the series so interesting. Brilliant dialogues that further outline Jon as a different entity from his father, with his own personality, moving away from his shadow, are what keep the entire structure running.
taylor It combines all the classic elements of a superhero comic, with personal drama, humor, family and personal relationships in an intense story that reveals the full potential of Jon as a person and as Superman. There is nothing I won’t try to do, without giving up the need to help, to change things. And it is at that point taylor rebuke the readers. For a long time, the message of the climate crisis in which we are immersed has been filtering into the narrative discourse of comics. There are works that already address it directly as a tool for raising awareness, while others are committed to putting the characters at that point where they reach the awareness that the greatest enemy for humanity is not a billionaire Luthor, but the actions of a society unwilling to give up anything. Y taylor manifests that society through the figure of the aforementioned Luthor, making his figure the representation of the worst face of humanity.
Superman is an extraordinary series. Well written, well set, with a plot with multiple points of interest, which is benefited by the inclusion of the series annual in which Taylor takes advantage of the extra space to build one of the best stories of recent years around the Man of Steel. This may not be Clark Kent, but his son is a more than worthy successor who is less and less difficult to see in the role of protector of the Earth.
Where to put but the series… in the graphic section. The cartoonist of the series, John Timms, is irregular, with a rigid finish, far removed from the needs of the story, with beginner vignettes, impossible shots, which are surpassed by Taylor’s work. The series benefits from the appearance of fill-in artists, who are, without a doubt, much more effective than Timms. That is why the work of Cian Tromey, Clayton Henry, Daniele di Nicuolo Y Steve Pugh it shines excessively and is a visual relief for the reader who sees how the whole improves notably thanks to better anatomical control and narrative tempo.
In Action Comics, Johnson, continues to develop the plot of World War and puts the direct by placing Superman in a cunningly interesting situation. Things are not looking good for the team made up of Superman in his desire to free the multiple slaves of Mundo Guerra from tyranny. Deep message about freedom, its implications, its consequences and its necessity. Johnson avoids that the story only revolves around Superman, but knows how to pivot on the characters that accompanied him, OMAC, Acero, Midnighter, Apollo… letting them have their own space, their motivations and what is very important, their own management of the situation. This rich setting gives depth to a plot that could remain a simple new confrontation between Superman and the new Mongul. This approach allows each character to do things by an internal, emotional and visceral imperative, according to their different personalities. That this happens allows us to see perfectly that Johnson was not filling in the story, but rather building it around each and every one of them.
Johnson he is not writing Action Comics to fit into the already established canons of the series, but he is managing to create his own space, innovating what is just and necessary to reach a new narrative state within the Superman mythology. And it is not easy to move with elegance and good work in a franchise that has more than 80 years of filming behind it in all kinds of cultural and creative moments.
The writer’s work is supported by the cartoonists David Marquez, Riccardo Federici Y Miguel Mendonca, which provide a powerful staging, without being left behind in the most emotional moments of the story. His drawing perfectly captures each of the aspects of what happens in the plot, with a detailed use of narrative and page composition, to accelerate the story or retain the action as necessary so that the reader can recreate in the detailed backgrounds that position in the whole that is World War.
The Superman series is experiencing a sweet moment that deserves to be enjoyed. If you don’t, maybe this is the time for it. The conception, development, dynamics and tone of it invite you to get on one of the most solid stages of recent years.
• The general tone of the two series.
• Character development.
• Too many cartoonists.
Original Edition: Action Comics no. 1036-1040, Superman: Son of Kal-El no. 4-8, Superman: Son of Kal-El 2021 Annual no. 1, DC Cybernetic Summer (Summer Lovin Excerpt) no. 1 USA(DCComics, 2021-2022) National/Spain edition: Marvel Young Adults. Hawkeye 1 (ECC Comics, 2022) Screenplay: Liz Erickson, Tom Taylor, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Shawn…