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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.

Son of Superman is highly recommended for Superman fans, as well as those who enjoy intriguing twists on well-known characters.

Mark Allen

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