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That, right there, was how to finish your first Superman story arc.
Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason put a fitting end to the first story arc of the Superman Rebirth title, Son of Superman, with the Eradicator beaten, Clark solidifying himself as the new Superman and a hint at what’s to come for Jon.
Heavily action packed, the issue still doesn’t falter in finishing off the story with a satisfying conclusion. After taking the remaining Kryptonian souls from the Eradicator, Superman proceeds to pummel him into the moon, knocking over the Lunar Space Module in the process and destroying Batman’s secret moon base. Superman, with the help of the Kryptonian souls and Krypto after releasing them all, makes one final attack on the Eradicator, incapacitating him for good.
I’ll admit, I’ve been on the line after finding out the Eradicator was housing all the lost souls of Krypton, and that he and Superman used them as power. However, the Krytonian souls bid Superman a fitting sendoff after beating Eradicator, forming into the House of El shield before dissipating into space.
This issue also gave us a look at classic Superman, mainly with the magnificent panel after he uprights the Lunar Space Module, standing in front of the American flag, hands on his hips. This is the Superman we all know and love, however, getting to see a new side with concern for his family’s safety brings a refreshing breath of air to the hero a lot call “boring”. It brings a new balance to Superman that hasn’t been done before, as he balances humanity, family and being a superhero; as well as a new meaning to the S-shield.
Although mainly focused on Superman this issue, we get to see the admiration Jon has for his father as Superman relentlessly thrashes the Eradicator into moon dust. Gleason and Mick Gray haven’t disappointed me with this run yet, showing how deeply the Kent’s family emotion flows for each member. You can almost feel the admiration Jon has for his Clark that you would expect from a young boy with Superman as his father.
Throughout the past five issues we’ve gotten a look at the new Clark Kent/ Superman and his new family, as Lois and Clark help their son Jon grow into his powers, the main premise of this first arc. A strong family bond has been present since the first issue, and Tomasi and Gleason never let that falter all the way to issue six.
The epilogue of this issue ties up well with Jon sharing a personal moment with each of his parents. Jon and Lois watch Superman get the key to Metropolis, discussing if Jon ever wearing the shield again and whether he’ll be like his father. Lois follows up by telling him no one can ever be like Superman, emphasizing the human side Lois brings to Jon’s life.
Jon and Clark’s epilogue is what truly shows us what’s in store for the Super family. Clark helps Jon prepare for his secret identity with new glasses and a hat. Gleason and Gray give Jon a fitting four-eyes, dumbfounded look with his new glasses as Clark makes the perfect dad remark, “Pretty cool, huh?”
Then the kicker, as we see Batman complaining about the damage Superman and the Eradicator did to his secret moon base, Superman emerges from the shadows, apologizing. The following moment had been foreshadowed since the first issue of the series, as Superman introduces the Justice League to the new Superboy.
From some of the promotional images going around, it seems like Jon, now Superboy, will be encountering the Son of the Bat, Damian Wayne, aka Robin, very shorty (hinted in the cover for Superman #10). Maybe Jon will even join the new Teen Titans alongside Damian and Kid Flash.
Tomasi, Gleason and Gray put a fitting end to the first story arc of Superman, giving us a look at what’s to come of the new super family. Out of the Rebirth gate Superman has been one of the more promising titles, and with the way Tomasi and Gleason have brought fresh air to Superman, I can see it continuing to thrive.
I give Superman #6 a 9/10.