When you contemplate Superman’s biggest weaknesses you tend to think of kryptonite, magic, punches from Doomsday, and Darkseid’s Omega Beams. There have been others but they’re mostly lost to history.
DC Comics has typically left it up to whoever the writer is who comes along at the right time to conjure up new vulnerabilities and threats to the Man of Steel never seen before. And often, as noted, the idea is later nullified and later forgotten.
This applies also to quotidian nuisances that creep up, the things that bother Superman weigh heavily on his mind to the point he is compelled to crusade against them. Usually, we’re talking about injustice and corruption but sometimes those routine standbys just won’t do.
When dealing with the new Superman, Jonathan Kent, it’s particularly true that he puts his mind and effort into things of debatable importance. We’ve seen this in Tom Taylor’s Son of Kal-El book in which Jon is written as LGBT and became a climate activist.
In issue #9, Taylor gives Jonathan a new obstacle relevant to our times to sort out: misinformation, otherwise referred to as “fake news.”
Propaganda plagues Jonathan more than most heroes, theoretically, because the young and tech-savvy second-generation hero is more of a public figure than any other – or he is supposed to be.
He is left open then to half-truths and lies in negative press peddled by his enemies. Take Wildstorm villain Henry Bendix, for instance; in the issue, he manipulates footage to tarnish Jonathan’s image when he was only trying to do the right thing.
Bendix detonated a bomb to destroy a metahuman he didn’t want to fall into the hands of Jon and Nightwing, who Jon had to shield from the blast.
Capturing the event on video, Bendix edited it to make it look like Jon killed the meta and then released it to the Internet.
Comic industry pundit Yellow Flash caught wind of Superman: Son of Kal-El #9 and he isn’t buying its premise, believing Tom Taylor – whom Yellow Flash is no fan of – is inserting his own experience with social media and biases into the narrative.
“This makes me laugh because…a lot of people make fun of comic book pros for writing awful stories like this, particularly Tom Taylor, who has a lot of people making fun of his things he writes in his books because most of the time his writing is awful like this,” said Yellow Flash.
“This is just another example of how s–t American comics are,” he adds before postulating that Bendix and outlets who pick up his story are going to be caricatures of Fox News, Ben Shapiro, and similar center-right news networks.
Yellow Flash then recalled Taylor’s run on X-Men: Red where the big threat was “nano-machine” Prime Sentinels fraught with blind bigotry. They were defeated by a mutant who stored up “online hate” she released to kill them all.
Yellow Flash isn’t surprised by these kinds of stories from Taylor or DC Comics, calling them morons for their decision-making, and for him, Tom Taylor and his Son of Kal-El series are more evidence why Manga is trouncing American comics in the domestic market.
Superman: Son of Kal-El #9 went on sale this month.