Son of Superman
I love “Elseworlds” tales. Just
like Marvel Comic’s What If…? and the “imaginary
tales” of Golden- and Silver-Age D.C. Comics, they
give creators a free hand with some of the most interesting
and entertaining fictional characters around today. An "Elseworlds"
tale from 1999 is, in my opinion, one of the finest.
Jon Kent is the son of Clark Kent, aka
Superman. His powers 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 make a bombshell of a discovery
which, coupled with his association with terrorists, puts
him at odds with the government-funded and military garbed
team, the Justice League of America.
This is a rapidly paced, highly entertaining
story, even for an "Elseworlds” edition. 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, as he is 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 was perfect for
this story. His work is inked by Mick Gray.
of Superman is highly recommended for Superman fans,
as well as those who enjoy intriguing twists on well-known