Warning! Spoilers ahead for Superman: Son of Kal-El #7
In the latest issue of DC’s Superman: Son of Kal-El, Jon Kent wants to be incredibly intentional with those he protects, going beyond simple inspiration through action and directly speaking into their lives (perhaps changing hearts and minds in the process). When a giant sea creature is unearthed from the depths of the ocean near Metropolis, Jon and the new Aquaman Jackson Hyde team up to make sure everyone stays safe (the leviathan included). However, Jon also takes the time to directly influence and encourage new perspectives for Metropolis’ citizens to adopt going forward.
In previous issues of Superman: Son of Kale-El, Jon Kent has created a new rival for himself in the form of Henry Bendix, the corrupt and powerful president of Gamorra and owner of a secret army of manufactured metahumans. Currently, the news of the leviathan in this new issue from writer Tom Taylor and artist Cian Tormey is a chance for Bendix to show off the superpowered puppets that are completely under his control. It’s also incredibly likely that it’s all part of his initiative he calls The Rising.
Despite Bendix looking to escalate the situation with the leviathan to his advantage, Superman and Aquaman work together to gently draw the confused creature away from Metropolis. Prior to this, the new Superman is in the city proper, saving a young boy from the feet of a frightened crowd. While the boy is scared of the leviathan and begins calling it a monster, Jon encourages the new perspective that something or someone that’s not immediately understood doesn’t make them a monster, motivating a lasting shift in the outlook of this young boy’s life where he might not be so quick to judge out of fear in the future.
Case in point, the true monster ends up being Bendix who forces one of his metahumans to freeze in the path of the leviathan after they attack it, making it look as though the sea creature has murdered him. Of course, this creates a mass public panic as a result, something Bendix must have been counting on. Regardless, Jon taking the extra few moments to influence that young boy’s life further proves his commitment to doing more than his father did, having more agency as a Superman born on Earth rather than Kal-El who was a refugee and therefore an outside influence from the planet Krypton.
While the issue sadly ends in disaster with Superman standing in between the leviathan and Bendix’s team of metas posing as heroes, Jon Kent still had his personal victory with the kid. Hopefully, the young boy will take Jon’s words to heart and live out his life accordingly, encouraged by Superman himself to not make snap judgments in regards to the things and people he might not understand right away. It certainly seems to be a big part of Jon’s mission now that he’s stepped into his father’s shoes, exceeding the role of Kal-El by being more direct beyond the visual inspiration of hope the original Superman represents.
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