Son of Kal-El Fixes Zack Snyder’s Biggest Man of Steel Criticism

Superman: Son of Kal-El #4 shows a striking contrast between Jon Kent and Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel film, answering a major criticism of the movie.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Superman: Son of Kal-El #4, on sale now from DC Comics.

In the eyes of many fans, Zack Snyder’s Superman (as played by Henry Cavill) didn’t start off on the right foot in the DC Extended Universe. It took a while for him to come into his own, moving from the violent rookie hero depicted in Man of Steel to the more compassionate hero he evolved into in Justice League. Some fans thought that Cavill’s Superman was too cold and detached while cutting his teeth, especially in comparison to Captain America and many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heroes. But now, as Superman: Son of Kal-El anoints a new Superman, the new comic book version of DC’s greatest hero once again answers Snyder’s biggest criticism.


In Man of Steel, Kal-El really didn’t know much about being a virtuous hero and public figure as he was far removed from his heritage and identity. In fact, he didn’t seem to want to be a savior, which culminated in people bashing him for destroying Metropolis in his battle against Zod, and then snapping his neck.

RELATED: Superman: Jon Kent Just Took on a Justice League Veteran – and Won

Things got worse in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice where a more experienced Kal-El was said to still display a lack of a personal touch. He came off as an aloof and almost god-like figure, as evidenced by the scene in which people he rescued surround him and attempt to touch him while he seems to have no further interest in them. Even when he rescued flood victims in the film, he hovered over them, again giving an ethereal appearance as people reached out to him. Scenes like these ran against the essence of what made the Man of Steel such a great and iconic DC hero in the eyes of many fans. It was not until Justice League that Superman even smiles and began to act in a way that is not completely alien.

Conversely, in the first four issues of the new Superman: Son of Kal-El comic, by Tom Taylor, John Timms Daniele Di Nicuolo, Gabe Etalb and Dave Sharpe, Jon Kent is quite the opposite. As he saves post-humans like a fire-starter and the quake-causing Faultline, Jon displays a much more caring attitude towards the people he saves. He even hugs the firestarter, cradling them securely in his arms.

RELATED: Superman’s Worst Kryptonite Is Back – Here’s Why It’s So Dangerous

Jon Kent is embodying "Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow" already

Thus far, the new Superman has faced his challenges with a refreshing amount of humanity, taking time to save animals from a falling building in Coast City, and having positive interactions with the people he saves. His care and compassion was further spotlighted when he rescues Gamorran refugees and refuses to simply leave them to the authorities.

This Superman shows love for the people he saves, even allowing himself to be arrested while actively participating in a protest. He doesn’t appear to have the ego generally associated with Snyder’s Superman and he comes across as less of a Man of Steel than a true Man of Tomorrow. This Superman has had a heart from the start, and he is not afraid to let it show.

KEEP READING: Superman: Arizona Senator Lambasted for Reaction to Jon Kent’s Coming Out

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