Trials Of The Super Sonthe second volume of Superman following DC Comics Rebirth revivaltells several tales focusing upon Jonathan Kentthe son of Lois Lane and Clark Kentas he begins to master his newfound powers. All these tails are co-written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, covering a variety of settings and scenarios with equal skill.

The first story, “Our Town”, shows The Kent Family trying to enjoy a night off at The Hamilton County Fair. Naturally, Clark proves unable to manage his promise to completely forget about being Superman and must covertly foil a robbery of the fair’s ticket office without giving away his secret identity or cluing Lois in on the fact that he is “on the job”. The silly story proves a perfect pairing to the artistic talents of Jorge Jimenez, whose animated style is well suited to the comedy and action involved.

The second story, “Escape From Dinosaur Island”, sees Clark and Jonathan transported to the titular land out of time following an accident while working with some Kryptonian technology in The Fortress of Solitude. They receive some unexpected help from Captain Stormthe last surviving member of the lost US Army squadron known as The Losers. This story is illustrated by Doug Mahnke, whose intense style proves perfectly suited to depicting the giant monsters that populate Dinosaur Island. Yes, giant monsters. There are extra-large gorillas in addition to dinosaurs!

The third story, “World’s Smallest”, sees Jonathan kidnapped by Damian Wayne, son of Batman and the current Robin, as part of some misguided belief that the younger hero needs to be studied and monitored. This leads to the equally displeased Superman and Batman deciding to put their sons through a superhero boot camp of sorts and force them to learn how to trust each other, if not actually like each other. Patrick Gleason personally illustrated this story with his usual animated acumen.

The fourth story, “Super Monster”, sees Doug Mahnke back on the illustration duties. This story details a team-up between Superman and Lois Lane as the two find themselves fighting Frankenstein. Yes. THAT Frankenstein, who in the reality of DC Comics is an agent of the government agency called SHADE. It seems that one of Lois’s co-workers at her new job reporting for The Hamilton Horn is secretly some kind of monster in disguise, at least according to Frankenstein. It’s a rousing action story and an interesting change of pace to see Lois Lane thrust into an action role when too many Superman stories cast her as the damsel in distress or have her taking an indirect role in things.

As with other Superman volumes in this series, Trials of The Super Son is rated 12+ for teen audiences. That rating is a fair one as this volume contains nothing inappropriate for a teen audience. Even the most violent section of the book—the chapter set on Dinosaur Island—is not inappropriately so given the target audience. There’s no nudity, no sex, and no language worse than what teens are likely to hear in the hallway between classes. It is as wholesome a comic as one could hope for.

Superman, vol. 2: Trials Of The Super Son
by Peter Tomasi Patrick Gleason
Art by Patrick Gleason, Jorge Gleason, and Doug Mahnke.
ISBN: 9781401268602
DC Comics, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: 12+

  • Matt

    | He/Him Librarian

    Reviewer

    A librarian with over 10 years experience in public and academic settings, Matthew Morrison has been blogging about comic books for nearly as long as they’ve had a word for it.  Over the past two decades, he has written regular columns, commentary, parodies and reviews for such websites and blogs as Fanzing, 411 Mania, Screen Rant and Comics Nexus.  He has served as an Expert in Residence for a seminar on Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults at the University of North Texas and has given several lectures on the history of comics, manga and cosplay culture at libraries and comic conventions around the country. In addition to his work for No Flying No Tights, he is the Contributing Editor of Kabooooom.com and maintains a personal blog at MyGeekyGeekyWays.com.

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