Superman (vol.4) #3 (2016)
“Son of Superman, Part Three”
Story – Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Art – Jorge Jimenez
Colorist – Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor – Andrew Marino
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99
Last issue we caught our first glimpse of a familiar fella in the Eradicator. Let’s see what’s what…
We open with the Smiths approaching the Fortress of Solitude. Lois mentions that she feels as though they are trespassing on the old (New-52) Superman’s turf… and, she’s kinda right. As they enter they find a visor-wearing fella giving Krypto a belly-scratch. That panel is making me giggle a bit more than it ought to.
|Who’s a good boy? That’s right, Krypto’s a good boy!
You’re so cute I could just eat you u… er…
Superman immediately recognizes the interloper as the Eradicator. An Eradicator who looks amazingly similar to the one he once knew (and the one who tried to pass himself off as the real-steel-deal once upon a time). Clark’s papa-bear mentality kicks in… and a fight is on! They rumble around the Fortress and the walls begin to give way. As a large chunk of rock is about to crush Lois and Jon… the Eradicator saves them, without as much as a second thought.
Superman… now with more questions than before, decides to trust the Eradicator… for now, and he loads his son into the diagnostic hot-seat. The Smiths are trying to find some measure of consistency in Jon’s budding superpowers. The results show that Jon is still in something of a flux insofar as his powers are concerned. He’s still adapting… and it kinda feels like there’s a bit of a Bruce Banner-Hulk dynamic for now.
With that mystery (sort of) solved… Superman turns his attention back to the man in the shiny glasses. (Then Superman gives Doomsday a Snickers bar… ugh…) The Eradicator shares his origin… Christened by General Zod, takes care of lawbreakers… scoured the galaxy seeking the one rocket that escaped the doomed planet of Krypton… to Earth.
He wishes to restart Krypton with Kal-El… and his son… if only he didn’t have that pesky human impurity inside him!
The Eradicator intends to wipe out the impure half of young Jon… by ingesting him! As he turns on his vacuum mouth, noble Krypto leaps into the suction vortex… and gets swallowed.
What follows is an amazingly choreographed scene. Superman flies off the handle and… well, pummels the living hell out of the Eradicator. All the while, Jon is holding Krypto’s cape… with tears in his eyes. As the beating continues, we see Jon’s brows furrow a bit…
… and the his eyes go red. Don’t mess with a kid’s dog, Eradicator. In two-weeks, you’re gonna get your butt whupped by a pre-teen.
Wow, you do not wanna be a domesticated animal in this book! First we lose poor Goldie, and now Krypto? Our boy Jon’s having to grow up real fast here!
General Zod is one of those characters I’d never really glommed on to… he always seemed pretty boring to me. May have something to do with my never having seen the Christopher Reeve films. Or maybe it’s because so many internetters feel the phrase “Kneel before Zod” is the height of hilarious references, that I’d manufactured a subconscious bias against him.
I liked the gotcha with the Eradicator… he is one of those characters that you really should never feel too comfortable around. His constitution is really hard to get a read on. One second he’s saving your family… the next, attempting to eradicate it. I think we all have or had somebody in our lives who is Eradicator-like in one way or another… where your really never quite know where you stand with them. This evokes a weird, almost personal reaction to watching his antics and observing his behavior. Really good stuff.
That ending… man that was something. So well crafted… so well (as I mentioned above) choreographed. Draws an almost guttural reaction from the reader. After that page-long trouncing… Jon’s gonna get him some too. Truly amazing work here.
When DC first announced the biweekly schedule for many of their line, I became worried that we’d get like… noticeable fill-in artists every few issues. I’m happy to report that, while we do get a non-Gleason artist, it’s not the severe decline in quality I’d feared. Jimenez’ art is very nice, and almost evokes a similar feel to Gleason… this will not be too jarring a transition if you’re a trade-waiter. If I gotta pick nits… and I do, I’d say Lois is a bit off model. Somewhere between the Farm and the Fortress, her hair grew an unnatural amount.
Another nit to pick… but one that has nothing to do with the story. That Snickers ad… yeesh… Hostess Ad, this is not! I’ll admit it isn’t nearly as intrusive as it was during the Action Comics issue… ya know, during a scene where Superman was fighting Doomsday… but it’s still pretty obnoxious. I guess I should be thankful this isn’t in a Marvel book, otherwise it’d have a page and a half of creator credits attached to it! For posterity, it is attached below.
Overall, another great issue. Perhaps a touch on the fighty-fight side, but ya need that every now and again. It also sets the table for what’s to come. If you’re a DC person and you’re not reading Superman… ya should be!