Written by: M.J. Rawls
One of the joys of this Superman run is that after a big event occurs, the setting gets reined in and made to look intimate again. The reader really feels the love between Superman, Jon, and Lois. Look at the beauty of the first few pages of Superman #20. Throughout the mediums, whether it be movies, comics, or television, not only is sunlight a conduit for Superman’s power – it also gives off a sense of hope. As Jon plays with his friend Cathy and Superman flies around Hamilton, John Kalisz illustrates the yellow of the sunlight so well that you feel the happiness that the townspeople feel once they get a glimpse of the Man of Steel. Everything just feels like home.
This starts off as a day-in-the-life in the Kent family, until Bruce and Damian Wayne show up to the barn. Before you get into the meat of the plot, one of the great things that Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi can do is interject subtle amounts of humor. The sight of Batman with his trademark cowl sitting at the dinner table as Lois served them pie was hilarious. The major plot point is built around Jon Kent. Batman in all his detective flair discovers that while Jon is extremely healthy, there is something that is keeping his powers at bay.
Now, where Superman has a certain naivety when it comes to his heart and to see the good in everything. It’s both a gift and a curse. In the Justice League, Batman’s apparent cynicism serves as a balance for that. Something is stunting Jon’s powers from reaching their full potential, but rather to find out, Superman is interested in keeping his happy family the way that they are. Batman teeters on the edge of thinking that Jon is a threat, but also wants to get the bottom of the power intrusion As Batman asserts his theories into the mix, the comic, color wise, gets progressively darker. The fact that both the dialogue and the tones both meld together as Batman starts to dig into the possible cause which leads him to the local dairy farm.
The pacing throughout the comic was fantastic as it was a slow build into a two-part arch. Who would have thought that a local cow could be so much trouble?