Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #4 Review

Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Darick Robertson, Norm Rapmund
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover art by: Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: June 6, 2023

Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #4 drops the scales from Jon Kent's eyes when he learns how terrible an Injustice world can be from the lips of the people he trusts the most. Unfortunately, not everyone is trusting enough to let Jon roam as he pleases.
Is It Good?

After four issues, the "goodbye arc" from Tom Taylor is finally taking on a loose shape as Jon Kent hears both sides of the story about how the Injustice world came to be and where the assorted heroes stand. Taylor appears to be setting up a scenario where Jon Kent "saves" the Injustice Earth, but with two issues left to go in the mini, it's anyone's guess how Taylor can pull a cohesive plot together in time. At the very least, Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #4 moves in the right direction.

When last we left Jon Kent, he was given free rein to roam the Injustice Earth to learn how quiet Superman's brand of authority made everyone. Jon quickly learns that the misguided lectures he gave his own father, when played out by a Superman who followed Jon's ideas, results in a world governed by fear.

Now, Jon encounters Injustice Batman and his allies when they recover the body of Ultraman and his device to weaken Kal Els across the multiverse. When Jon confronts the rebels, he learns about the terrible events that led Superman down a dark path. Unsure who to believe, Jon seeks out the only source he can trust to give him the truth - Injustice Earth's Jay Nakamura.

Typical for a modern Tom Taylor comic, there's a whole lot of talking and a small but obligatory amount of action. You learn a lot along with Jon to set up Injustice Earth from Jon's point of view, presumably in anticipation of some conflict to come that sees Jon shaking up Injustice Earth's status quo or setting up another story elsewhere. In either case, Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #4 reads like a lot of world-building and setup.

Is setup a good thing? Well, that depends. If you're already familiar with the Injustice stories that put Tom Taylor on the map as a writer, you don't get anything new here. From a certain point of view, this issue only works to hold the attention of new readers unfamiliar with the Injustice storylines because Jon Kent acts as the reader surrogate and listens to one recap after another. In fact, you could replace Jon Kent with any other DC character, and the change wouldn't make any significant difference to the plot. So, for new readers unfamiliar with Injustice, Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #4 is a good primer. For readers knowledgeable on Injustice, you get almost nothing out of this issue other than Batman and his allies acquiring Ultraman's Kal-El-weakening tech.

How's the art? Robertson and Rapmund deliver a nice set of visuals, doing their best to make a dialog-heavy issue interesting. That said, there are some weird-looking faces in close-ups in this issue, especially at the beginning of the scene where Jon arrives to confront Batman, so prepare yourself.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #4 serves as an excellent primer that explains to Jon Kent how Injustice Earth came to be in its current state. That said, this issue is almost all exposition, the plot hasn't quite come together, Jon Kent is barely a participant in his own min-series, and the information only holds your attention if you know nothing about the previous Injustice stories. With two issues left, it's hard to imagine this mini will end well when it hasn't even started.


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