Some time ago, Superman’s son, Jon, and his wife, Lois, decided to go on an adventure into the depths of space alongside Superman’s father, Jor-El. Since Jon and Lois embarked on this adventure through the cosmos, the Man of Steel has been dealing with a multitude of conflicts. From the wrath of Rogol Zaar to the volatility of the Phantom Zone, Superman has had plenty on his plate. Despite his busy schedule though, Superman has not escaped from the loneliness that came with the departure of his loved ones. Thus, in SUPERMAN #7, our titular hero gets his long-awaited reunion, with an unexpected twist.

Ambiguity marks Jon aka Superboy’s return home since he returns as a seventeen-year-old. Therefore, Superman and Lois find themselves wondering, what exactly happened to their son during his time in space? Ultimately, SUPERMAN #7 begins strongly, seemingly introducing an intriguing arc centralized on Jon himself. Unfortunately, though, that introduction falters as the issue’s the plot ends up in a muddle, leaving much to be desired.

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SUPERMAN #7 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Lost Years

SUPERMAN #7 begins with a heartfelt reunion between Superman and his son. Though, it is not long before Superman goes into total concerned-parent-mode, drilling Jon with questions regarding his rapid aging. Interestingly, Jon fervently claims that he did, in fact, spend seven years away from home, even though only three weeks passed on Earth. So, Jon begins giving his version of the events that transpired in recent weeks.

Unfortunately, nothing in regard to his rapid aging gets an explanation. Rather, Jon takes up much of the issue providing exposition that does not seem entirely significant at the moment. In fact, the climax of the issue comes with Jon’s claims that Jor-El is actually insane. The shortcomings of SUPERMAN #7 parallel those of previous issues. Previous installments and this one have laid out a solid foundation for the overarching narrative. With this though, little plot development actually takes place in regard to that foundation.

As a result, SUPERMAN #7 feels muddled. It appears as though the story deviates from its initial purpose. Yes, the revelation regarding Jor-El may play into what happened with Superboy in some time. Despite that, I do feel as though the issue detracts from its initial centralization on Jon as a narrator. Jon has been gone for quite some time. Thus, it would have been more beneficial to have a cohesive focus on his current characterization and newfound voice.

Therefore, SUPERMAN #7 is not as strong as it most definitely could have been since it falls short in establishing a substantial return of an important figure.

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SUPERMAN #7 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of SUPERMAN #7

As a whole, the artwork of SUPERMAN #7 is not as strong as its predecessors. This particular issue comprises a multitude of artists. Among those, Ivan Reis’ pencils stand out as he takes on the issue’s opening pages. I have always loved his attention to detail, blatantly depicted in the intricacies of the backgrounds he establishes. Therefore, the sequence in which Superman reunites with his son is particularly impressive.

Alex Sinclair’s warm color palette brings positive, light-hearted energy to the moment. These hues ultimately exemplify the tenderness of the sequence. Now, the rest of the issue struggles to hold onto the attention to detail, the vibrancy that the first few pages comprise. As a result, the majority of SUPERMAN #7’s artwork falls flat. The sequences that traverse Lois and Jon’s galactic adventures feel stagnant as they lack a robust depiction of space. Oftentimes, the implementation of multiple artists on one issue can be hard to engage with.

Consequently, SUPERMAN #7 proves why this happens since it maintains conflicting energies through the varying perspectives of each artist involved.

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SUPERMAN #7 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

SUPERMAN #7 brings back an incredibly significant character in the modern Superman mythos. So, it is quite disappointing that Jon’s return is handled with a little detachment. It will be interesting to see how he goes onto explain his current predicament. I hope that in that explanation we get more character development from his end. Thus, the foundation has been set for Superman, Jon, Lois, and even Jor-El. As a result, my main hope is that the plot follows through on that foundation in upcoming installments.

SUPERMAN #7 previews an interesting arc, but the issue's plot ultimately comprises a muddled, anticlimactic narrative.
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