Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t been following Superman: Son of Kal-El on a monthly basis then you may not want to read this post until you catch up. I’m going to spoil things and not blur any of it out. You’ve been warned…
I’ve had this post in my back pocket for a while. Since it’s Pride Month, why not now? Basically, I’ve really liked what I’ve seen out of Jon Kent as Superman so far and it’s convinced me that he is the right person to have the mantle now. I think he’s the agent of change that I’ve wanted to see Superman become for over a decade.
First, I love his ability to stand up against authority when it’s in the wrong. In Son of Kal-El #2, he was willing to use his heat vision to stop the police from hand-cuffing Gamorran refugees as they entered Metropolis.
Then, in issue #3, he was willing to stand up to the police again when he joined a group of protestors trying to pressure the United States into accepting the refugees.
Jon was willing to get arrested for that one. This shows that he’s a Superman who is willing to speak truth to power despite the social consequences. That’s something that is likely to continue as he works with underground news source, The Truth, to uncover the human rights abuses in Gamorra and their links to Lex Luthor.
Jon is also able to show empathy for animal life. This was evident in Son of Kal-El issues #7 and 8 as he refused to kill a giant sea monster despite the threat it posed to Metropolis and human life. Jon recognized the creature was scared and saw it for the rare, beautiful animal it was. He decided to turn it away from the city rather than destroy it. To this Superman, animals have the right to live just like any human.
I was particularly impressed with Jon’s conversion with Lex Luthor in Son of Kal-El Annual #1. Without flat-out stating it, Jon confronted Lex with the fact that climate change is the real danger to the planet Earth, and challenged Lex to help him confront it. Jon is a Superman who understands the coming challenges of tomorrow and is willing to address it.
Finally, the elephant in the room: Jon came out as bisexual. By being true to himself in that regard, he has allowed an often overlooked segment of the populace to be represented and, further, to be represented by one of the most powerful superheroes on the planet. This also challenges long-held norms about who you can be attracted to or fall in love with.
Basically, Jon is the right person to be Superman because he is ready to be the man of tomorrow. He is not afraid to challenged authority when it’s wrong, he has empathy for all life, and he sees love as something greater than the bounds of traditionally defined gender and sexuality. He’s a Superman that I’m excited to go forward with, and, honestly, I’m proud of the kid. Let me know if you feel the same (or if you feel they should de-age him and bring back Supersons because… I know those comments are out there)!