Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett shares his thoughts on some of his favorite comics.
Currently one of my favorite comics is Superman: Son of Kal-El because of the excellent scripts and art, but also because it consistently takes standard stories in unexpected directions. I’ve been a lifelong classic Superman fan and totally agree with the post-modern incarnation of Tom Taylor’s character. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing missing to make it completely contemporary is to put it in therapy. And as writer Amer Sawan pointed out in a recent article, after spending the ages of 11 to 16 trapped in a living volcano where he was tormented by Earth-3’s ruthless Ultraman, a lookalike of his father, he has a lot of barely repressed trauma to unpack.
In fact, it’s been a while since I read online that anyone opposes this status quo, that is, until I came across a story on CBN about someone one that was reportedly “cancelled” for its comments on the character’s sexuality (see “Another DC Character Just Came Out as LGBTQ”). The story was about Sophia Nelson, who was a Scholar-in-Residence at Christopher Newport University and received ‘destructive attacks’ when she wrote in a tweet that she didn’t understand why there is ‘need’ to ‘focus’. on the gender of the comic book character”. guidance.” The article quotes her as saying, “What if Christian parents of kids who read comic books don’t want their kids exposed to bisexual characters. This is imposed on children. So the parents have to explain it. Most can’t!”
Superman: Son of Kal-El is rated 13+ and it says so, right on the cover. In fact, nearly all non-Black Label DC titles (which are aimed at readers 17+) are rated for 13+. I double checked to make sure and found that even looney tunes was (for some reason) rated for ages 13+. I’m a regular reader of the title and don’t recall seeing any content that would warrant this rating. The closest I’ve come to a DC All-Ages comic was scooby-doo which is rated for ages 8 and up.
Thus, although it is theoretically possible that a number of under-13s read Superman: Son of Kal-El, I don’t think it’s very likely, so imaginary problem solved. Now I just wish DC released more comics aimed at kids.
As I wrote in October 2013 (see “Something Other Than Else”), I am a big fan of the artist Jamal Igle and his creation Molly Danger. So I wasn’t surprised how much I enjoyed his latest co-creation with writer Scott Snyder, Dudley Datson and the Eternal Machine, a post-modern version of this staple of the golden age of comics, the “boy inventor” genre. It’s about a fifteen-year-old science student, Dudley Datson, who becomes the guardian of the titular Forever Machine and must keep it out of the hands of an evil organization. With beautiful art, this is a science-fantasy deeply rooted in reality that has a dizzying premise and larger-than-life characters and situations. At this time this is a comiXology Original, but when it is available in print it would be wise to order copies.
A few weeks ago (see “The Very Thing I Wanted”) I wrote about how sometimes the comics industry gives me, someone with particular tastes in comics, exactly what he wanted. This has never been truer than with the announcement of the new Marvel Infinity Comic Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal by Frank Tieri, John D. Cerilli and artist Jacob Chabot, the same creative team behind 2019 Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal comics a shot. Being a huge fan of the funny animal duo’s golden age comics, I’ve long advocated for their return to regular publication. Dreams can come true.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICv2.com editorial team.