Laser Beams

A few weeks ago Jon Kent left earth but now he’s back and he’s not the same boy he was (Superman #7 & #8). He is now a teenager and is seeking help from his parents to stop his grandfather Jor-el. We last left the Kent’s dealing with the reappearance of their son. He proceeded to tell them a story of what happened during his trip to space.

As the last issue was promoted as the lost year’s, readers only got a few days. Those focused on the days when Lois was up in space with Jor-el and John. Now in Superman #8, John is ready to tell the family what happened after Lois left. This issue explores the events of what occurred when Jon was alone with Jor-el and surprisingly there is a lot. Stap yourself into your spaceship and get ready for a long trip through the stars as we review Superman #8.

Superman #8: A Tale From Space

Superman #8 begins with a flashback of a young Jon in space with his grandfather. Jon is woken up by his grandfather speaking about their situation in space. Jor-el begins to wonder if they will ever find the answers they’re looking for in space. Jon mentions this is the moment he became suspicious of his grandpa. The issue cuts to the present day where Superman, Lois, and Jon are in the new fortress of solitude. They began scanning Jon’s body to make sure this teenage boy was their son. The scan confirms that this teen is Jon.

Superman #8
Credit: Superman #8, DC Comics 2019

With this confirmation, Superman steps out and blows some steam. When Clark comes back, Jon begins to tell another memory from his trip. After a huge space battle, he comes across two Green Lanterns Arisia and Kilowog. He asks them if they can give him a lift home, as they agree they are interrupted by Jor-el. Jor-el takes Jon back to the ship and begins to guilt trip him. Suddenly, they are alerted to an incoming blackhole. Everything goes black as Jon awakens in front of a terrible sight. This will not be spoiled here, but let’s just say he’s confronted by some terrifying people.

Blowing Off Steam

Superman has fought many aliens and criminals, but who would have known his greatest villain would be his father. Jor-El took years away from Clark and Lois to raise Jon. Since the last issue, Superman has been very calm about the situation and has not let any of his anger show. This issue, though, he finally shows how this whole event is affecting him, and it a wonderful scene for fans. As Lois and Clark hear the news that teen Jon is actually their son, Clark leaves to blow off some steam. As he flies away to calm down he has no luck.

Superman #8
Credit: Superman #8, DC Comics 2019

Suddenly, he finds Mongol at his old Fortress of Solitude and then proceeds to beat the heck out of him. Its a wonderful splash page in the book. It’s funny that Superman is second-guessing himself prior to the beating but then throws that out the window. His best buddy Batman is probably rubbing off on him because everyone knows this is how Batman would assess the same situation.

Always A Reporter

To make the scene even better, when he comes back Lois asks where he was. After he tells her she responds, “Anything we can use in the paper?” That line was so great and hilarious. They are all dealing with a family emergency and still, Lois asks for details for an article. Lois’s Journalism brain doesn’t turn off for anything. Superman could have argued with her, but he doesn’t. Just knowing his wife will always look for a story, he’s probably used to it and doesn’t acknowledge the oddity of the question at that moment. It’s just a panel but having this added moment just shows how great they are as a couple.

Jor-El The Abuser?

Reading Superman #8 it was surprising to find a hidden plot within. There is a slight indication of an abusive relationship between Jon and Jor-El in this comic. As it is not physical abuse there are some mental abuse signs shown. At the beginning of the book, it looks like Jor-El and Jon are having a heart to heart. Then, it all changes where Jor-El mentions everything is madness and that they are both accidents that never should have met. Jon asks if it was a happy accident that they met, but Jor-El begins to ramble and doesn’t respond to his question. This makes Jon feel worthless.

Credit: Superman #8, DC Comics 2019

Toward the end of the book, Jon asks the Green lanterns to take him home. Then, Jor-el interrupts with a depressed expression. He begins to guilt Jon to the point where Jon decides to stay with his grandfather instead of heading home. Abuse isn’t the focus of the book, but it is hard not to see the signs. Jor-El belittles and makes Jon feel worthless, but then when Jon wants to leave Jor-El begins to make himself look like the victim acting depressed over Jons decision.

As of now, the readers are only perceiving the beginning of the story of Jon’s trip in space. So there is no telling if Jor-El has become violent with Jon or if these are the only incidents. Jon is such an excellent character and it will be difficult to see him have to go through further abuse. Still, showing Jon abused by Jor-El could actually be a good thing because it can show readers that anyone can be an abuser. It can be a partner or a family member, and people do need to know that it does happen.

When There’s Trouble Call…

At the beginning of the comic Jon is shown asleep with the TV on. The screen shows a very familiar team that could have been. In an action pose, Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, and Red Robin are shown. These characters together are known as the Teen Titans and they are just missing Cyborg to be complete. There is just one thing that is odd in this scene. In DC Rebirth continuity this version of the team never existed.

Superman #8
Credit: Superman #8, DC Comics 2019

As there have been many incarnations of the Teen Titans these four have never been on a team together. Rebirth may have altered this, but not likely because they are in their modern outfits and not in their classic costumes. This leads to the question, is Jon watching another universe or a future event? There is some interesting technology in space so it could be either. Still, it was a nice nod to the classic team that everyone loves.

Final Reactions To Superman #8

When reading the last issue I was very annoyed that Jon was aged up. I thought that nothing good could come from this change. As I still strongly feel that way, I’m starting to warm up to the character. As the cover of Superman #8 is called The Son of Steel Unleashed, he is not the crazed psycho they show. The only thing unleashed is all his memories with a slightly abusive grandparent. The comic mainly focuses on Jon trying to figure everything out for himself. The only Kent that truly unleashes is Superman and it is wonderful.

Credit: Superman #8, DC Comics 2019

This series has been promoting that John has come back to earth as evil and is seeking revenge, and so far none of that has occurred. He’s the John everyone knows and loves but older. I do hope he doesn’t become evil at the end of this arc because that would ruin the character. I’m hoping if he’s evil he better be a clone because I will not be a happy camper.

The last issue had its moments, but it who knew there would be so much to unpack with this issue. With the cliffhanger at the end of this issue, it looks like the next one will be insane. I believe this next issue should have been titled the Son of Steel Unleashed because his powers will surely be unleashed fighting this group. Until the next issue, hold your super-capes tight because the best story from Jon’s trip through space is coming soon.