Most DC Comics are rated T for Teen. Some are E for Everyone. After this issue of Superman, I suggest another, EBPL - Everyone But Pet Lovers...
For anyone who didn't read Superman: Rebirth, this issue begins with a superbly staged graveyard recap, showing that the New 52 Superman is dead and the older Superman from another Earth is going to fill his shoes. On the farm newly occupied by Clark, Lois and Jon Smith - previously White - 300 miles north of Metropolis, lightning strikes, wrecking the barn. Young Jon, who's just found out that his parents came from a parallel world, and that he's part-Kryptonian, is alarmed, then thrilled.
And when it's time to raise a new barn, the cute tyke is all prepared.
Soon, though, he finds that his own burgeoning, untrained powers can be a curse as much as a blessing. I'm not showing you the panel, but see that cute pussy back there? Suffice to say, you won't be seeing her again, and Jon, who was trying to save Goldie from a hungry eagle, is devastated. He's too shocked, and maybe embarrassed, to tell his parents what's happened, and instead gets angry.
It's a nice scene, full of truth - of course a bright kid constantly drilled with Ma and Pa Kent-style morality would be confused.
This issue also sees the introduction of someone who could become a good friend to Jon, addresses the Mr Oz mystery and features a wonderfully spooky visit from Batman and Wonder Woman.
Writer Peter Tomasi, penciller Patrick Gleason and Inker Mick Gray do a lovely job of showing us Jon's point of view - there's real wonder in this scene. Jon's whole world has been turned upside down and while super-powers are super-exciting, the new world he's been thrust into can also be super-scary.
I don't know why the Kents/Whites are now Smiths - good luck to Jon when he has to sign his name at his new school - but I do love this family unit. Tomasi is as good as fellow creator Dan Jurgens at capturing the rhythms of family life and I'm looking forward to lots more.
And Lois on writing is just gold.
Gleason and Gray's version of the Kents - well, that's who they are to me - is pretty darn adorable. Lois looks especially great with her new hairdo. The art is attractive throughout, Gleason and Gray are up there with the best when it comes to body language. Colourist John Kalisz brings the moodiness with the opening graveyard spread, ensuring the Technicolor montage that quickly follows really pops. And Rob Leigh does his usual top job with the lettering.
The main cover by the interior art team is a jolly preview of things to come, while the variant by onetime regular artist Kenneth Rocafort is, er, different.
Scenes of cat horror apart - the creators should have gone off-panel with that moment - my only problem with this well-done debut is that even at DC's commendable $2.99 pice point this is a really quick read. There are more spreads than necessary - do we really need Superman doing the shirt opening thing across two pages, for example? We don't. And the 'My dad is Superman' pic of Jon is charming, but a full page? Give us a little more story for our money, avoid Cats in Refrigerators and I'll be here every month.