Reading Superman comics is fun again, the biggest turn around success story for DC Rebirth. One of the most compelling elements so far has been the number of mysteries afoot. With Superman: Reborn kicking off this week, some of those mysteries are coming to the surface.
The creepy “other” Clark has had fans chomping at the bit since he was introduced in Action Comics. This arc will finally address the powerless Kent-elephant in the room.
Writer Peter J. Tomasi plays the slow burn game, not showing all his cards just yet. We still don’t know what Clark’s deal is, but he’s got it out for the Smith (Kent) family. By issue’s end, Jon has been taken from his parents. A mysterious white flame has also engulfed their house and everything in it.
The white fire started after Jon came face-to-face with “creep-o Clark.” Tomasi has transformed him into a character that makes readers anxious every time he appears. The closer he’s gotten to the family, the more tension has slowly risen.
Other Clark isn’t the only mystery having light shed on it. Mr. Oz appears to be having some issues with whatever he is planning. We see Tim Drake reveling in the fact that one of his specimen has escaped. Oz visits a wall covered in messages to Superman, begging him to come rescue the escapee.
Mr. Oz has been operating in the shadows of many DC titles. Whether he is indeed Watchmen’s Ozymandius remains to be seen. Whoever he is, Mr. Oz certainly plays a big part in the New 52-DC Rebirth transition.
Tomasi has done incredible things building the readers’ relationship with Jon. At this point, he matters almost as much to diehard Superman fans as he does to Superman himself. This series has also developed Clark Smith (Kent) as a father so well that it’s hard not to feel all the parenting fears he does.
To take Jon away, and everything that belongs to them, is a gut punch to any reader with kids. Lois and Clark are about to be put through their toughest challenge yet. All that matters is getting their boy back.
Patrick Gleason proves his worth as a key contributor fully in this issue. Every emotional beat hits readers right in the heart. The looks in their eyes as Jon slowly disappears in Superman’s arms is devastatingly effective.
The art also helps deepen the transition of creepy Clark. His shadowy figure makes readers uncomfortably intrigued. When he looks back at Jon, before the fire starts, the panel oozes desperation and anger. John Kalisz’s coloring only deepens the emotional weight of each panel.
With Superman: Reborn Part I in the books, we’re one step closer to getting our answers. Peter J. Tomasi’s narrative strategy has been fully paying off. This issue had me on the edge of my seat, then broke my Jon Kent-loving heart. DC Rebirth has so far lived up to their promise, Superman comics are the biggest example.
What do you think of the series so far? Did this issue satisfy or tease you? Who do you think these mysterious characters really are? Let us know in the comments!