Written by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Art by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz, & Rob Leigh
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: September 7, 2016
Now THAT is a Superman story.
Deeply embroiled in the ongoing fight with the Eradicator, Clark makes a final stand for his family while empowered by the souls of Krypton. Someone once thought lost makes a resurgence in helping the Big Blue Boy Scout protect the Earth and his family. Once all is said and done, the Clark is honored as a hero, while Jon and Lois discuss what it means to be part of the House of Kent, marking the beginning of their life among other people.
Over the course of the Rebirth banner, Superman has given us a reintroduction to a new Kent family and their most recent addition, Jon. This series was a chance to re-establish who Clark is after five years since Flashpoint. If there ever was a seminal issue within the new series, this would be it. I love the connections to the first issue and the overall theme of the arc, which is family.
Here, we have a wonderful exploration of the adoration that Jon holds for his father, the strength Lois holds as the family’s linchpin, and Clark’s devotion to those he loves. Even though most of this issue involved punches and Kryptonian souls, I feel like it gets the mission of the current House of El within the DC universe.
Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason go back to the story’s roots in that this issue is a testament to the spectacle of Clark the human, the father, and the superhero. He’s someone who fights for those he loves, and he would do anything to protect them. This complex interplay between hero and family man is rather new, though exciting in that it allows us to explore Clark as a hero who has a moral leaning that is strongly affected by his desire to protect Lois and Jon. Each of these characters adds to an already compelling story, and I like that Tomasi and Gleason give readers a glimpse into their personalities.
This issue is the kind that helps Patrick Gleason excel. Gleason’s skills are definitely lent to portraying emotion and sentimentality, so every image helped to bring home the feelings and motivations of each character. I love the sense of adventure and joy, even as the stakes are high, and they are part of what makes this chapter and arc ones to remember.
When it comes to depth, Mick Gray’s inks are awesome. I like that it’s hard to escape the gravity of the Kent family’s circumstances, and I feel that Gray’s dense outlines help to evoke all the right feelings throughout the issue. John Kalisz’s colorwork captures the explosive conclusion to the fight with the Eradicator and the small-town feel of Smallville life. In some ways, Kalisz invokes the classic Superman image and feels while also using modern schemes and dark shades to emphasize the dire straits of the Kent family.
Superman #6 is one of the most important for the carriers of the S-shield and I feel it helps cement them as vital fixtures in the DC Universe. This story set up Jon’s future role within the world, but also took time to look at him as a child whose responses to a dangerous world were wrought with confusion, anger, frustration, and loneliness.
The fight with the Eradicator is over for now, and what’s left is a world that has a new Superman, a new Superboy, and that dares to uncover the emotional underpinnings of both. I definitely recommend this issue.
The Verdict: 9.0/10