For the past few issues Jonathan Kent has dealt with many events, but this issue brings his greatest challenge yet. Lately, Jon has been coasting through space with his grandfather Jor-el, fighting aliens and learning how to use his powers. After the events of the last issue, Jon began to feel uncomfortable with his grandfather. The issue ended with Jonathan Kent and Jor-el getting sucked into a black hole. Jonathan suddenly wakes up and he is standing in front of the Crime Syndicate from Earth-3. What will happen to Jon now? Could this be the end of the road for Jonathan? These and more questions will be answered in this issue, let’s take a trip to Earth -3 in Superman #9.
Trapped On Another Earth
This issue begins with Clark fantasizing about a perfect future with his family on World Peace Day. Every DC hero is at the fortress of solitude to celebrate the occasion. This suddenly falls apart with shadowy figures destroying everything around Superman’s family. Clark suddenly stops daydreaming to hear the rest of Jon’s story. Jon resumes his story and explains that the Crime Syndicate was about to attack him.
Suddenly, Ultraman grabs him up and throws him into a volcano. Jon wakes up on a piece of land inside the volcano, Ultraman unexpectedly appears and begins to taunt him. Jon utters that he has no idea how long he was in the volcano, but Ultraman visits him constantly. After much struggle, Jon finally manages to escape and runs into a city nearby. He began to search the city for the Hall of Justice on this earth. Once he locates it he enters and is confronted by a Crime Syndicate member that will completely traumatize Jon.
Jon’s Suffering in Superman #9
Superman #9 is very hard to read for any fan of Jonathan Kent. In the last issue, there seemed to be a slight indication of mental abuse between Jon and Jor-el. As that plot wasn’t as noticeable. In this issue, the abuse became the main focus and it was unreadable at points. It’s unclear where Brian Michael Bendis is going with his character and story, but this seems a bit much. Throughout Superman #9 it felt like Bendis truly doesn’t like Jon as a character.
Jon is beaten, tortured and held captive by a man who looks identical to his father. It is horrible just to think of it, but seeing it visually is heartbreaking. If Jon was stuck there for a few days it might not be as horrific, but knowing he was there for a good while is a lot to take in. It seems a bit odd to focus the whole issue on Jon suffering so much — if Benis is a fan of the character he has an odd way of showing it. Sometimes experiences like this make people stronger, but it’s unexplainable how Jon is still okay to talk about all this.
The Real Ultraman Unleashed
Ultraman in this issue becomes a very interesting character. As he is supposed to be the villainous version of Superman, it is neat to see a slightly personal side of him. Jon explains that when Ultraman would visit him. Ultraman would sometimes sit in silence, cry, lie, or tell stories like he had no one else to talk to. Readers mainly see the evil side of Ultraman, but never an emotional side. This comic does the same but added something different.
Throughout the issue readers only see Ultraman’s evil side, and his emotional side is only mentioned in the narration. Reflecting on how hidden Ultraman keeps his emotional state from others, even readers don’t get a chance to see that side of him. It is a great way to express Ultraman, in this issue, and, hopefully, there are great moments like these to come.
Daydreaming A Bright New Age
At the beginning of Superman #9, Superman’s fantasy became an interesting spectacle. One thing that was a little odd was seeing that its World Peace Day and every hero is still in costume. Wouldn’t the point of World Peace Day mean heroes aren’t needed? Just thought that this scene was a bit entertaining for that reason. Either way, the scene is great because this is the future and readers see small easter eggs. There are so many, making the scene almost like a where’s Waldo search for the eyes.
Other than the Easter eggs, there is something huge on the first page. There is a woman wearing the Superman symbol on her outfit. As this woman looks like Talia al Ghul, it may confuse a lot of readers. As readers may be befuddled, everything changes when the girl says,
“Everybody’s waiting, Dad.”
Holy cow! Smallville is thinking of having another kid in the future. The moment is big for any Superman fan. That there could be another Superbaby girl in the future is pretty exciting. I have no idea why the artist went with this style choice of Talia al Ghul for Superman’s future daughter, but it’s awesome nonetheless.
Superman #9: Looking To The Future
Superman #9 was a hard comic to get through. As a fan of Jon Kent, it’s hurting me to see him go through misery. First, dealing with mental abuse from his grandfather was uncomfortable. Now he is getting taunted and constantly beaten by Ultraman. It was horrible seeing Ultraman grab Jon’s head and hurt him. I feel Bendis is trying to show that through all this pain Jon was able to grow stronger and be a better hero, but they’re better ways than that to hurt Jon this much. There is no way all of this abuse will not affect him fully, and if this Jon is revealed to be a clone and this is all a lie I would be so happy. I’d be happy that the real Jon didn’t have to go through all this.
Other than this, I do love the idea of Superman having another child. Clark is such a family man that it is not a surprise that he would want a bigger family. I hope there will be an arc soon mentioning Clark wanting more children or Lois being pregnant. The Superman series worked well with the Kents conjointly, and a new pregnancy could bring the original family dynamic back. Until then we will have to wait and see if any of that plays out.
Jon has been through many tribulations and with the new confrontation at the end of this issue it doesn’t seem like Jon’s space saga will end soon. Hopefully, though, there will be some lighter moments on the next issue so Jon and readers can get some relief from the dark themes throughout this arc.