Superman: The Next Generation
The year is 2015, and the event was Convergence. Along with the subpar main series, we had several different two-part stories that varied in quality. One of the better stories was Convergence: Superman, which followed Superman and a pregnant Lois Lane. By the end of the story, they gave birth to one of my favorite characters in DC’s current era: Jon Kent. When Rebirth started, I would follow any story he was in, watching this hero grow more and more. Now, thanks to the time-hopping shenanigans from the Bendis Era, that Superboy prepares to step into the role of Superman.
**Some Spoilers Below**
We open with a different version of the birth of Jon Kent. Rather than seeing the Convergence: Superman story all over again, we find the Justice League fighting back an alien invasion so Clark can witness the birth. Wonder Woman comments that Jon could be the greatest of all superheroes due to his parentage. This carries to the present day, where Jon works to be a hero like his father. He is able to assist with putting out a large forest fire but feels conflicted after turning over the metahuman responsible. He decides to seek advice from the one person who knows him best.
Overall this issue is meant to show off the character of Jon to those who haven’t read any of the previous titles. It’s one thing to talk about the parentage, but we still need to see the hero in action. This action isn’t full-out destruction, with Jon talking the metahuman down through their panic attack. It gives the readers a chance to show the kind of hero the new Superman is. It’s a simple encounter that proves that we don’t need constant smashing to enjoy the Man of Steel.
There is also a surprise character(though not a huge surprise if you’re a long-time Jon Kent fan) who gives him a speech on what he should do with his new title. Now, this character might not be my favorite, but his speech was a well-written one. It points out that a hero in Superman’s position has the power and morality to challenge the injustices of the world. Tom Taylor definitely knows how to write these characters, specifically Jon. He’s already done great work with him during DCeased, so this reviewer can’t wait to see what he will do with him in the main timeline.
In the art department, we have John Timms returning to the character after his stint in Future State: Superman of Metropolis. While I had some issues with the story in that, I found John Timms work the real selling point of the two-part story. His work with action sequences is very well done, as well as his character designs. This shows best during the wildfire sequence. Jon has never looked better, along with the massive, detailed flames dying down beautifully. The scene is made even better with spectacular colorwork from Gabe Eltaeb. It’s a fantastic look for an equally fantastic story.
Overall, this was a great way to start the run. For new readers, they learn the origin of Jon and what he’s exactly working towards. Meanwhile, old readers can enjoy the references and growth from the past stories. The artwork does a spectacular job of pulling us into the world with beautiful colorwork and designs. Tom Taylor and John Timms are definitely the best choice to helm this series, and if it’s going to continue to be this well-drawn and written, then the future belongs to Superman.