Review: Superman: Son of Kal-El #9 – “World’s Finest Sons” Part Two

“World’s Finest Sons” – Part Two
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Bruno Redondo and Wade Von Grawbadger
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Review by Steve J. Ray

Superman: Son of Kal-El #9 delivers the final chapter of “World’s Finest Sons”, a truly wonderful crossover between both Tom Taylor’s terrific ongoing DC Comics series. How great is this story? Well, when do you ever see a review for a Superman book on a website dedicated to the Batman family of characters?

Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have proven themselves as forces to be reckoned with in the comics industry for years, moreso than ever since taking over the creative reins on Nightwing. The fact that both gentlemen and their collaborators Adriano Lucas and Wes Abbott have completed the two-part tale together for this second chapter makes the story look and feel more cohesive. Nice work, troops!

Reading the book I have to admit that another aspect that really stood out was the stellar ink work by veteran Wade Von Grawbadger, as I felt a different texture on these pages than when Mr. Redondo inks his own pencils. What’s great here is that, even though we can see Von Grawbadger’s own stellar talent, this is clearly a book that was drawn by Bruno Redondo. Inkers, like color artists and letterers, are frequently forgotten about. A great inker, in my opinion, puts his own stamp on the art, but doesn’t swamp the penciller’s work and make it unrecognizable. Wade Von Grawbadger is a great inker.

I’m not going to say a word about the always exemplary work we get from Adriano Lucas and Wes Abbott, instead, I’ll just ask you to look at, absorb, and drool over the beautiful pages attached above and below this paragraph. We get lens flares, the sun rising, baddies getting hit in the face, and the sound of a line retracting into Nightwing’s grapple/trapeze/escrima stick. All of it is truly gorgeous.

Speaking of gorgeous, what other word can be used to describe Bruno Redondo’s wonderful way of creating movement and making the eye follow the action on the page, regardless of which way we may normally read it. This man is one of the very best storytellers in the business, and when his art is lovingly enhanced by Von Grawbadger and Lucas, and lettered by Wes Abbott what we get is 24 karat comic book gold.

Now… let’s talk about Tom Taylor a little bit. This guy’s clever. This issue gives us the second half of what’s been touted as a two-part crossover, but the villains “The Rising” and Dick Grayson’s crusade for “The Truth” have developed inextricable links between the Superman: Son of Kal-El and Nightwing titles. This wasn’t just a great crossover, this is Tom Taylor and DC working some true marketing genius, as readers of the latter title will definitely be tempted to read what comes next in the former series.

What Tom doesn’t know is that I was reading both books anyway! M’Wah-Hah-Hah! Take that Taylor! I buy everything you write, so you can’t get me with your tricks. Except, wait… I buy everything you write. Aaarrrggghhh! Taylor, you’re an evil genius of Bendix-level proportions! (Hang on. Bendix sounds like… bald villain out to destroy Jon Kent… No. Ignore me. I’m reading way too much into this. This villain’s been around for a couple of decades, after all).

Conclusion

Superman: Son of Kal-El #9 is brilliant. I loved the first eight issues, and after this crossover I know I’ll love all that follows even more. From the wonderful dialogue, characterization, action, t-shirts, nightwear, mugs, and background gags (check out the blurb on the hoodlums’ lorry, and Dick Grayson’s attire for a couple of great examples) and the phenomenal supporting characters, both this book and Nightwing stand shoulder to shoulder at the very top of any list of best mainstream comics money can buy.

Pick up these titles if you want to experience this medium at its very best.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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