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Superman: Son of Kal-El #12

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 11 critic ratings.

Lex Luthor and President Bendix have joined forces to unleash the Gamorra Corps on Superman… and put a stop to the first son of the Last Son of Krypton once and for all.

But a new hero has joined the fight… and he’s going to use that tin-can suit like a chew toy if Luthor isn’t careful.

Welcome back, Krypto. Who’s a good boy?

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
30 pages
Amazon ASIN

11 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 95

    Fortress of Solitude

  • 91

    Comic Watch

    This issue was heavier on plot and action than it was on character development, and some of that action was definitely filler, but frankly it was a hell of a lot of fun and no weaker for it. Krypto was the focus of four out of twenty two pages (can we have more convincingly doggy superpowered pets, please?) and since his inclusion was the setup for the back half of the book his intro to this series worked marvelously well. Nightwing played the role of compassionate billionaire very well (as though that weren’t the least likely fiction in these pages. Seriously, it’s impossible to be both rich and good. If you want to prove me wrong, billionaires, give all of your money to poor people. I have an easier time swallowing the existence of giant squid monsters and eye lasers) infiltrating Lexcorp with his trademark mixture of skill and aplomb. The card house Taylor’s spent a year raising is almost fully erected. Now all that’s left is the gesture that’ll knock it all down. Personally, I can’t wait to witness the fallout. Cian Tormey and Ruairi Coleman both contributed excellent pencil work, but there are differences in their techniques and seams do show where pages have been joined together. This isn’t a bad thing, but I’d prefer to read a book that was composed by one or the other rather than a joint effort. They’re both artists of the first rank, I’d like to emphasize that. The fact that there were four inkers working on this book added to the slightly disjointed effect. They’re all great inkers, but it’s easy to tell where one started and the other stopped. Federico Blee’s color work tied everything together beautifully though. This was a fun issue, packed with action and a leaven of heart. I cannot recommend this series highly enough.
  • 90


    Superman: Son of Kal-El has been a shot in the arm that superhero comics have needed for some time. It offers a queer main character, a villain who is the embodiment of some of today’s greatest dangers (fake news), and it has a hell of a lot of heart, too. As its writer Tom Taylor told me last week, Jon Kent aka Superman didn’t even punch anyone in the first story arc. Danger looms over his mother and grandparents in this week’s Superman Son of Kal-El #12 though so some punching may be in order. (...) Superman: Son of Kal-El continues to be an excellent series up there with Taylor’s perfect series, Nightwing. It explores what it would be like if Superman was younger and newer to being a superhero, but also more adamant than ever to save everyone and everything without violence.
  • 90

    Geek Dad

    Tom Taylor wraps up Jon Kent’s first year as Superman with a bang, as he continues to battle to keep his friends and family safe from the powerful supervillain world leader he’s angered. It’s pretty impressive that Henry Bendix—a fairly obscure supervillain from a defunct 1990s comic universe—not only a legitimate threat but one with among the biggest reaches in the DCU. As the issue opens, he launches yet another assault on the Kents’ safehouse, one that is derailed before Jon can get there by the arrival of Krypto. Krypto’s now had key stories with all of Superman and just about every one of his teen sidekicks—that’s a really good boy. But now that it’s clear Bendix is escalating, Jon decides to call in his own support—in the form of humanitarian billionaire Dick Grayson, who is more than happy to put on a naive mask for a meeting with Lex Luthor where he bugs the office and finds out a little more about his master plan. (...) Soon it becomes clear that the plan goes even deeper as soon as Luthor utters two words—“The Senator.” Bendix may have agents inside the U.S. government, and that sends Jon and Jay to Washington to confront a corrupt politician in a scene that will no doubt have many people cheering. I know there are a lot of politicians we could shove a mike in front of as we expose their secrets, but of course this is a comic book—and this politician’s secret is a lot more grotesque than I was expecting. The visuals here are great, but I should say that this issue has several art teams that overall mesh well. However, the shift is pretty obvious at points. It looks good if not flawless, but the story is top-notch as always. Both this run and the Kal-El story being currently penned by Phillip Kennedy Johnson are driving home the defining element of Superman’s character no matter who’s wearing the “S”—no one gets left behind.
  • 80

    You Don't Read Comics

    Superman: Son Of Kal-El #12 builds the plot more, and its an entertaining read, but its not as great as it was in the beginning. Maybe Taylor is holding things off for the future, and the art is good, but compared to some of the other DC books coming out on a monthly basis, its par for the course.
  • 80

    Women Write About Comics - WWAC

  • 75

    Superman Homepage

  • 70

    Superman: Son of Kal-El continues to be an outstanding book and this week's #12 is pretty great as well. We finally get to Bendix making a big move in the issue and while the issue is fast-paced and largely set up for the next one, there's still a lot of good stuff here. Krypto is, of course, the main draw, though I feel like everyone's favorite Super Pup is a little underutilized. There also does feel to be a little bit of a sense of "filler" here because the next issue sees the introduction of Dreamer which is sure to be a big moment so this isn't exactly a series best, but we finally get to see things really ratchet up in a way that hasn't happened yet and there's a moment at the end with Jay that really raises the stakes. It's a pretty solid issue.
  • 70

    Lyles Movie Files

    A potentially concerning problem surfaced this issue — all of the best moments featured someone besides the title character. One moment it’s Krypto smashing through an elite set of defenses. The next it’s Dick Grayson having a billionaire discussion with Lex Luthor. And Jay ambushes a senator in bed with Bendix. Writer Tom Taylor set up some nice segments here, but Jon didn’t get to bask in any of the spotlight. As Jon becomes more prominent on Earth as Superman while the Justice League is dead (just play along and ignore the Batman cameo), he probably should be more of the focus. Bonding moments with Dick, Batman and Jay are fine, but Taylor might want to take the training wheels off Jon and let him handle a major situation without his vast network of allies. Bendix still hasn’t registered as much of a threat. Partnering with Luthor makes him come off even more of a pale impersonation of the final boss of powerless villains. Cian Tormey and Ruairi Coleman tag team on the art, which is adequate, but character details seem off with softer expressions and some flat poses. The superhero community embracing Jon as Superman has been a big part of what’s made the title so enjoyable. Now it’s time for Superman to reward that faith by facing down Bendix and finally getting a big win against his archenemy.
  • 60

    Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

    Superman Son of Kal-El #12 came out this week and was a quick read which only nudged things forward. This issue felt like we were treading water in some ways. I get it, President Bendix is a bad guy, turning people into super-human drone warriors, and blowing them up when they serve their purpose. I get it, Bendix is willing to go after the Kents. I know that Jon and Jay are a couple and are starting to team up. We just get that recapitulated this issue. Tom Taylor does a nice job linking this book with Nightwing again. Both books are socially progressive. Dick has decided to mentor Jon. It makes sense for them to help each other. But even this team-up has been done recently. Even the addition of Krypto, an element I usually love, felt a little forced. Almost like Taylor needed to add a cute dog in the mix. The art by Cian Tormey and Ruairi Coleman is solid throughout. There is a lot of zany action here. That includes a craziness with a sort of Cthulhu style monster battle in the Senate. It flows nicely. But I was hoping for something more here. This felt a bit like more of the same.
  • 58

    Weird Science DC Comics

    While I still like this series overall, the lack of progression is really starting to get to me, especially this issue in that it feels like everything that is done here is done in a way that isn't really thought out and makes everyone involved look pretty dumb. Yeah, the art is great throughout and we get to an interesting cliffhanger, but the majority of our story felt lacking the whole way through.

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