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Comic Book / Superman: Son of Kal-El

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"It's time for Superman to stop fighting the symptoms. You're powerful enough to be the cure."
Damian Wayne, Superman: Son of Kal-El #1

Superman: Son of Kal-El is an ongoing DC Comics solo series written by Tom Taylor with art done by John Timms. It is part of DC Infinite Frontier.

Jonathan Kent has experienced a lot in his young life. He's traveled the galaxies with his Kryptonian grandfather and lived in the future with the Legion of Super-Heroes, who were intent on training him for the day his father, Clark Kent, could no longer be Superman. There is a hole in the Legion's history that prevents Jon from knowing exactly when that will happen, but all signs point to it being very soon. It's time for the son to wear the cape of his father and bear the symbol of hope that has told the world who Superman really is.

The problem is that Jon doesn't know what kind of Superman he wants to be. Will he be the kind of hero that obeys the government, even when they tell him something wrong? Or will he do what he thinks is right, no matter the cost?

The series is set to end with issue #18, to be relaunched as Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent.

Tropes featured in this series:

  • Alien Invasion: As a result of DC's latest relaunch establishing a Soft Reboot of events for the entire universe, the canonical circumstance of Jon's birth has been significantly streamlined to being born during an attempted invasion of Earth that was successfully pushed back by the Justice League. However, the invasion is largely Played for Laughs as nobody besides Clark really perceives it as a genuine threat to Earth and are more concerned about making sure that Clark doesn't show up late to the birth of his son.
    Clark: Is no one worried about the alien invasion?
    Lois: There's an alien invasion?
    Diana: It's an attempted alien invasion.
  • Bad Future: Issue #13 has Dreamer show up in the Fortress of Solitude to warn Jon of one of these: Bendrix murders the Joker and unleashes a powerful Joker Gas bomb that takes out the Bat-Family and the Justice League before Jon perishes due to Kryptonite particles within the gas now in his lungs.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: In issue #15, Lex Luthor kills Bendix and and destroys his Kill Sat.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • Wally West, AKA The Flash, when he meets Jon, immediately gives him his real name and assuring him he's doing a great job. As he explains, Wally himself was once the Legacy Character to his own father figure, so he empathises with a lot of what Jon is going through, so he's quick to offer any help, support, or advice Jon might want.
    • Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing, is also this, as he's been helping Jon since he was a kid and Superman himself asked Dick to keep an eye on Jon while he was gone. To this end, he opts to use his newfound wealth to buy The Truth, Jay's newspaper group, in order to help counter the bad press pushed by Henry Bendix and Lex Luthor.
  • Canon Immigrant: Dreamer, who first appeared in Supergirl (2015), makes the hop to the mainstream DCU in issue #13. Helping out with this is the fact that her actress, Nicole Maines, co-writes the issue.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The Super Sons have a conversation while Damian fights off a group of ninjas. Jon pitches in here and there but leaves it largely up to Damian.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Unlike his father, Jon is unsure of himself and struggles to determine how far he should go in trying to save the world.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Jon's new Secret Identity as "Finn Connors" is blown before he makes it to his first class when he rushes to stop a school shooter. The second issue shows that he also goes to sleep in his costume because of how he's needed everywhere.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: For whatever reason, the ninjas after Damian try to take Jon, aka Superman, on. Jon doesn't even so much as flinch when they attack him and he effortlessly ties a lightpole around them once he and Damian are done.
    Ninja: [Jon casually catches a kick and holds the ninja up in the air] This hardly seems like a fair fight.
  • The Fundamentalist: Luis Rojas, the Red Sin, is this, as his parents worked at Lexcorp working on anti-Superman weaponry, believing the same things Lex Luthor did about Superman and his son. When his parents are killed trying to perfect their red solar radiation weapon, Luis takes it over and is able to perfect and refine it. It convinces Luthor to recruit him for Project Blackout.
  • Heroic Fatigue: Although he loves helping people as a superhero, the pressures of having to live up to his father's legacy and the loss of privacy that came with his father revealing his Secret Identity has left Jon wanting for normalcy and a life outside of superheroics. Following his trip to the future, Jon realizes that he has no friends his age outside of his superhero life and initially tried to become "Finn Connors" so he'd have some time away from the public eye.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Part of the reason why Jon tried to create a new Secret Identity for himself is to have an opportunity to get away from superheroics after all he's been through. As much as he loves helping people, being constantly scrutinized by the public is agonizing, especially when he's living in his shadow of his father, the superhero.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Jon and Damian's friendship is as strong as ever. Jon is able to track Damian by the sound of Damian's heartbeat alone because of how much time they've spent together.
  • Hot Drink Cure: Dick brings Jon a mug of tea. He says that Alfred believed tea could cure anything.
    Dick: It's not medically accurate, it's just British.
  • Intangibility: During an attempt to save him from the blast radius of an explosion, Jon discovers that Jay Nakamura is a post-human with the ability to phase through solid matter. This makes him, in Jay's own words, the one person on Earth he actually doesn't have to worry about saving from imminent danger.
  • In the Blood:
    • Damian suggests that Jon's desire to be more proactive than Clark comes from Lois, a crusading reporter who regularly disrupts the status quo by challenging the rich and powerful.
    • Jon's relationship with Jay Nakamura, a hard-hitting Intrepid Reporter who covers topics of corruption and injustice, is a direct mirror to his father's famous relationship with Lois Lane.
  • Living Lie Detector: Jon's Super-Hearing allows him to listen for minor fluctuations in someone's heartbeat to tell if they're lying or not. He admits that Bendix's fluctuation is subtle and hard to pick up, indicating how the dictator is a Consummate Liar.
  • Lonely at the Top: Jon may son of the world's greatest superhero and one of the most powerful people in the world, but a life of superheroics and having his Secret Identity unveiled has left him feeling largely lonely aside from his Best Friend Damian. He attempts to create another one in hopes of having some normalcy in his life, but that identity is quickly discarded once he's forced to reveal himself to stop a shooter.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Luis Rojas is this, outfitted with the ability to create and use red solar energy.
  • Martial Pacifist: Jon, already living up to the mantle, prefers to solve problems peacefully and only resorts to violence as a last resort. He disables the missiles sent to destroy an amnesiac man whose pyrokinetic abilities are torching a forest and pulls the man into a Cooldown Hug rather than trying to forcefully subdue him.
  • Nonconformist Dyed Hair: Jay Nakamura has dyed pink hair and is an activist of The Truth.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Jon's support of the Gamorran refugees quickly draws Henry Bendix's ire. Bendix responds to Jon's actions by completely destroying the Kent farm and attempting to murder Jonathan and Martha Kent.
  • No-Sell: The ninjas sent after Damian are a mere nuisance for Jon. Their weapons don't even make him flinch and he can casually catch one of their kicks because of how much faster he is.
  • Passing the Torch: Jon becomes Earth's Superman due to Clark deciding to direct his attention towards space.
  • Power Incontinence: Dreamer has terrible trouble using her powers as it showed up suddenly and she doesn't have many of her race around to help. Thankfully, Jon's prepared - a set of gloves given to him by her descendant Beautiful Dreamer that focuses her power.
  • Psycho Rangers: The Rising, a group of metahumans created by Bendix and Luthor to deal with others. They're also Hero Killers as they end up murdering a number of metas including former Teen Titan Risk.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Henry Bendix began as an enemy of Stormwatch and later The Authority, and he's been reintroduced as one of Jon's main antagonists.
  • Status Quo Is God: One of the central themes of the story is how prevalent this is. Damian tells Jon that he should start tackling the source of societies ills rather than punching the symptoms. Jon also asks his father why he doesn't do more to change things for the better.