SUPERMAN Rebirth Volume 1: Son of Superman Review
This volume collects the Rebirth one-shot issue and then the first six issues of Superman post-Rebirth.
The creative team on Superman at the moment are absolutely nailing it. I've never enjoyed a run on the character as much as I am enjoying the current run. Peter Tomasi, is the writer and Patrick Gleason is doing the art. I've been a fan of Gleason and Tomasi for a while now and it's safe to say that I'll follow them to whatever title they choose next- however, I would urge them to stick with Superman for as long as possible. Or at least stick within the Superman family. They are working on Super Sons too, which has only had two issues so far but it seems like another winner.
What's really cool about the first arc, Son of Superman, is that thanks to Jonathan Kent, the powers and abilities of Superman are fun and fresh again as we see them through the eyes of an adoring son. The whole family dynamic is portrayed so well. They just want to fit in to their local community but they are not normal people. Thankfully, they also aren't constantly brooding about how they have these powers and responsibilities! They just get on with it! Jonathan Kent Jr. is such a wonderful addition to the DC Universe in my opinion and I'm very glad that the book gives him such a spotlight. If he wasn't handled as well I could see him being retconned out of continuity but thankfully, at this stage there is no worry of that. He is firmly established to be a huge part of Superman's life now and now he is co-leading his own book with Robin in "Super Sons".
An interesting family dynamic seems to be something of a speciality for Tomasi. He previously worked on Batman and Robin which was also a very emotional book, however, the relationship between Batman and Robin is very different to Superman and Superboy. Superman is a perfect and ideal father figure.
I find the comic works best when it is dealing with family matters, when it comes to dealing with the more typically superhero-ey stuff it seems to falter. The Eradicator is the villain in this first arc. Which is a fine choice- it allows for Jonathan to be an integral part of the plot without getting in the way. However, I believe that some of the punch-ups went on for slightly too long. Every scene transition refreshed the settings of the fight, which is what kept me interested and wanting to read on. It was in the first few issues that I stopped caring about the Eradicator's plan. He became pretty generic in his need to destroy his target.
Another minor complaint is that, considering this is a first volume and starts with an #1, many may consider it to be a good jumping on point. However, a casual reader will probably not be aware that this is that the original Superman but in the New 52 world. It doesn't really come up that often but near the end of the arc there is brief discussion of how Bruce still doesn't trust him. This is not a problem for me and it won't be for fans of the character but it may for newer readers. Those are very minor complaints though because I loved everything else! They end up on a Batcave on the moon and it's incredibly fun! There are also some really cool surprises along the way.
I love Gleason's art style. I love his use of darkness and shadows- I'm no art critique but there is something about it that I find very appealing. Especially in the way he draws eyes! I don't have the right vocabulary to fully make my point here but just understand that I think he is insanely talented! Unfortunately he hasn't done every issue so far but his occasional replacements are also pretty great. It's Superman, no one is going to slack on a character that big and popular!
In conclusion, I would give this collection a solid A, for me it was almost perfect. Only problem was the super villain. I will definitely be continuing on with the series.