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  1. #1
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Default Jon Kent's new power (possibly) revealed

    Overview

    So, most of us who are reading Superman right now remember the image of Jon Kent using some sort of purple construct around his arm. We haven't gotten any word on what exactly that was, but given the fact that no one else in that image seems to be doing anything remotely similar to Jon's construct, I feel it's fair to say that it's mostly likely a new power.

    History

    Two CBR posters, Toreador and Jon Clark over in the "SUPERMAN’S ABILITIES UNDER DIFFERENT STAR SYSTEMS AND STAR FORMATIONS" tipped me off to a back-up story in a bronze age story from May 1982, Superman issue #371, where Clark gains a new temporary super power. Basically, he goes near a purple sun on his way home from space, and it ends up giving him the ability to create temporary Green Lantern style constructs.

    Bendis is pretty clearly a fan of bronze age Superman, and he's been known to make allusions to both the bronze and silver age. Rose and Thorn are even coming back in a big way, and the way he teased that on his Instagram was with a bronze age cover of her.

    Continuity link

    So, I'm thinking maybe Bendis has reimagined this one-off power into something the differentiates Jon from other kryptonians. And if Bendis decides to make the obvious link, we might get this to sort of tangentially relate back to Lantern lore, thus allowing him to give a nod to Johns' Lantern mega run.

    Implications

    Is the kid somehow tapping into the emotional electromagnetic spectrum naturally because of his particular genetics? If we work on that assumption then purple construct would indicate "one with great compassion for other beings." Funny enough, Jon is using this (alleged) compassion construct while he and his grandfather are on a mission of peace stopping conflicts across the galaxy. What better color to correspond with not just the son of Superman, but also a character who was essentially acting as a galactic humanitarian?

    Precedent

    It's no secret that, on some level, some aspect of Jon's powers are linked to his emotional state. This is fairly well documented, and came to a head with Jon's solar flare ability being uncontrollable because of his genetics. In Sons of Tomorrow Jon's solar flare actually has it described as Jon "creating some sort of emotional super storm." There's also been other characters with the power to naturally tap into powers similar to a lantern like Argent, Jade, and Barry and Jessica's kids from an alternate future.

    Thoughts? Agree/disagree? If true, what do you think of it going forward?
    Last edited by Kuwagaton; 04-15-2019 at 07:10 PM.
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  2. #2
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Ahhh Superman #371. The one I deliberately skipped for the lousy cover, haha. Apparently it wasn't energy constructs but creating matter. Not to say that this rules out Jon finding a different use or having a different reaction to the same energy. Bendis is quite free to take that liberty but... I'm doubtful of that intention. He's much more likely to confirm something like that after being asked directly instead of directly mentioning it as a reference.

    But it raises a few questions. Is Jor El familiar with the power and fulfilling of the old master trope? It's a pretty sophisticated looking power and generally Clark isn't aware of radiation effects before seeing them firsthand. Since those effects normally wear off, is there any chance it could come up again?
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  3. #3
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Link to the image isn't working for me.

    This was what, in the early days of Jon's trip right? I think I recall what you're talking about. I just assumed it was some sort of force field provided by Jor-El (plenty of stuff in space can hurt Kryptonians, it'd be foolish not to prepare accordingly). Or maybe an artist mistake of some kind? I dont remember how much detail was included.

    Anyway, the precedent does fit, and tapping into the Indigo light of compassion would be an interesting spin; ignoring the more obvious Blue light of hope. And the history of the Indigo Tribe fits well with the notion that Jon might not grow up to be the best person around (how many evil Jons have we seen now?). It also plays up the Space Prince elements Bendis is building by connecting Jon to the Lanterns, even tangentially. And we know Bendis loves the Lanterns, they've shown up a lot.

    The question then becomes whether Jon can tap into the entire spectrum, or just the single Indigo/compassion part of it. The "emotional super storm" you reference could easily be translated into Jon tapping into Red/rage, for example.

    It would also be a good way to differentiate Jon from the other Supers.

    If its true.....eh, okay? I dont think we really need to separate the Supers with unique powers in the first place. We don't have many of them to begin with and it's a pretty robust powerset with a lot of different options. Rather than giving Jon (or any Super) a unique ability, just let them solve problems differently. And I dunno if Jon needs any more "special snowflake" efforts. He's already the son of Superman, that's special enough for anyone.

    But they could definitely spin it in a way I could get behind. In the same way Conner has/had limited Kryptonian powers but balances it out with TTK, I could be down with Jon using some emotional spectrum powers to make up for being physically weaker than a full-blooded Kryptonian. I would also accept the idea that Jon is a Kryptonian metahuman, and thus has additional powers. But I'll only accept that if the books use it and explore what being a meta-kryptonian is like. I think (?maybe?) they did this a little during World of New Krypton with Nightwing and Flamebird but that's just stuff I heard online, I didnt finish WONK so maybe that was just fan theory at the time?

    I dunno if this really would tie into the emotional spectrum though. We've seen Kryptonian powers altered by different conditions before. Clark's genetics got screwed up and he ended up with electric powers. He learned to expand and control his bio field in All-Star. If this really is Jon showing different powers it could have nothing to do with the emotional spectrum. Hell, given that they were in deep space, it might just be natural abilities under that particular mix of solar radiation.
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  4. #4
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Here is the scene:



    Rare, but I must admit still a time where I forgot to check the link provided up top. Not a good one, please be careful with those.
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  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Here is the scene:



    Rare, but I must admit still a time where I forgot to check the link provided up top. Not a good one, please be careful with those.
    Thanks.

    Definitely not an artist mistake.

    Could still just be some Jor-El tech.

    Or new powers.

    One of the main problems with the "new power" theory is that it hasn't been mentioned at all. Jon's been gone for years, if he had started manifesting new powers that early in his journey, even sporadically, you'd expect him to have mentioned it to his parents by now, in the process of telling the story.

    Of course, Bendis hasn't exactly hit the pacing or plot structure straight on during his run (some of which might be due to Clock restraints, much of which is likely just Bendis) so your theory might still hold, Superlad.
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  6. #6
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Rare, but I must admit still a time where I forgot to check the link provided up top. Not a good one, please be careful with those.
    Thanks for fixing that for me, man. I really should've checked the link again. Sloppy on my part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    (how many evil Jons have we seen now?).
    I think that's just two, and both are kind of suspect in terms of "evil." One of the (Sons of Tomorrow) seemed to have accidentally killed himself and a bunch of people when his emotions got out of hand (implied to be possibly due to Damian). Jon Lane Kent is the only other, and he had a full on redemption arc just before he died, and I don't think he's even in continuity anymore. So, technically just a really soft "one."

    And I dunno if Jon needs any more "special snowflake" efforts. He's already the son of Superman, that's special enough for anyone.
    And I'd agree with you if Bendis via Jor-El didn't harp on the fact that Jon being born is a mathematical miracle. In Man of Steel issue 5 Jor-El's on calculations say that Jon shouldn't even be possible. Jor-El then flat out calls him unique. Then in issue 8 of Superman Jor-El again hints at the impossible nature of the situation where he survives Krypton's end and meets his grandson who is a half human/half kryptonian who shouldn't even be possible. Ultraman, in his own twisted way, even thought there's some big cosmic reason why Jon ended up on Earth-3 to reach his potential

    Bendis is basically screaming the word special into a megaphone when it comes to Jon. Plus, ya know, it's Bendis writing a young and stumbling legacy/counterpart to an older established hero. That means he's 100% giving that some sort of ability that their older counterpart doesn't have. We've seen this most famously with Miles and his venom stings and camouflage. But we've also seen it with young Jean Grey and her pink psychic super form. I think chances are high this is a power.

    I would also accept the idea that Jon is a Kryptonian metahuman, and thus has additional powers.
    I'd say given his sensibilities, and the fact that he's referencing a Super Sons crossover that had shades of Dark Phoenix saga in there, there's a good shot he's thinking along the lines of "Kryptonian mutant."
    He even had a post on twitter that characterized Jon's time with Jor-El as "Mr Oz's School for Gifted Youngsters."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    One of the main problems with the "new power" theory is that it hasn't been mentioned at all. Jon's been gone for years, if he had started manifesting new powers that early in his journey, even sporadically, you'd expect him to have mentioned it to his parents by now, in the process of telling the story.
    Ah, see but the thing is why would he mention it really? His story seemed to focus primarily on "grandpa always meant well, but there's totally something wrong with him", "we helped a lot of people and had a lot of adventures out there in space" and "I got out of Earth-3." Jon clearly glossed over details that didn't play into any of that. But I think we see it so that we ask the question "what the heck is that thing?" I'm guessing Bendis wants to have Jon give a full on demonstration during the big space battle they're about to have, so Clark can have that "whoa" moment.

    Remember how Miles' venom blast were show the first time in issue 2 of Ultimate Comics Ultimate Spider-Man? He hit a bunch of legos, and they flew everywhere. If you didn't already know Miles before going in, you'd have thought that was just super strength. And it wasn't shown again till issue 5 where he uses it in the heat of the moment to take down Electro.
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  7. #7
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Just saw the new preview for Naomi, and I noticed that Bendis saw fit to add in a nod to the Lanterns. Not the biggest deal in the world, no. But then I got me thinking that Bendis would have to have done a lot of GL research and sort of entrenched himself in that world before coming to DC because he and Didio had the sit down that lead to Wonder Comics and YJ. He's also looking at less conventional ways of approaching a Green Lantern with Teen Lantern apparently "hacking a power battery" in an unconventional way.

    I think that's something to add to the precedent section if I have the time. Deconstructing the concept of the emotional electromagnetic spectrum in such a way as to allow a person to "hack" it may have yielded inspiration for another book he was working on aka Superman? Plus, he's cross pollinating the hell out of all of the books he's writing in the DCU. Adam Strange apparently knows something about Zaar, and no we see a connection with the Naomi book. The same hawk people vs Rannians war we're seeing in Bendis' Superman, we're also seeing in Naomi now. The STAR labs stuff laced throughout his books.

    His DC stuff is interlinked, so I think him tangentially linking a Superman character to his Teen Lantern/Green Lantern stuff is totally in the cards, if not directly what we're seeing in the form of that possible power.
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  8. #8
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    If I were to ever make more time for Spider-Man it'd have to be miles, because that sounds cool. And it goes along with my thoughts where a Kara or random Captain Justice type are perfectly fine with the same powers as Superman, but a character in such close proximity with a different genetic make up being identical sounds like a waste.

    And it's funny that on my way to this thread I saw that this particular story is being collected, but as far as precedent goes there is Torquasm Vo:



    Which admittedly is less likely than the other Superman comic mentioned, but it's perfectly right there on the table. Especially if this version Jor El has an affinity for cultural history as well.
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  9. #9
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    If I were to ever make more time for Spider-Man it'd have to be miles, because that sounds cool. And it goes along with my thoughts where a Kara or random Captain Justice type are perfectly fine with the same powers as Superman, but a character in such close proximity with a different genetic make up being identical sounds like a waste.
    I totally agree. It just seems like why wouldn't you take advantage of that situation? That's why I was particularly happy to hear Bendis took a shine to Jon because he's the guy that'll make it a point to make that distinction. Miles again being a great example because he was bitten by a spider too, but said spider was simply just a different spider, thus Peter's power and additional ones.

    Also, I'd recommend reading Miles' stuff. Lots of heart.

    as far as precedent goes there is Torquasm Vo: Especially if this version Jor El has an affinity for cultural history as well.
    Damn, good point. Haven't come across any evidence for it specifically, but in his most recent Word Balloon interview he said that he sort of has a 'take the best bits from everything' style to Superman where 'everything' is fair game to bring up. I'd love, love, love Bendis to mix emotional electromagnetic spectrum stuff with Torquasm Vo.

    I'm sure Bendis had Jon and Jor-El go over the out of control emotions triggering the solar flare that killed millions stuff because so far MOS (2018) has been almost a road map/thesis statement. Jon's growth spurt that made his old costume too small to fit and "join the Legion of kids who are old enough to fix their own problems" from issue one are clearly a hint at Jon's age up and possibly the Legion. Lois even mentions STAR labs in that same issue. Clark even uses the solar flare again for the first time since the new 52 to show us that it's still a thing. And Jon brings up the "why do I grow up to kill millions" stuff from Sons of Tomorrow, and in big bold letters Bendis writes "out-of-control solar flare power." So I have to imagine that has a pay off like the growth spurt and "the Legion", and I think this is it.

    And it speaks to Jon's considerable well of mental fortitude he's displayed. Thanks for bringing it up.
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  10. #10
    Fantastic Member MeGrimlock420's Avatar
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    You forgot we already talked about this a while back.

    https://community.cbr.com/showthread...ptonians/page2
    Last edited by MeGrimlock420; 04-16-2019 at 09:03 AM.

  11. #11
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Haha I remember. I just created a more focused thread specifically for the power.
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    Fantastic Member MeGrimlock420's Avatar
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    If I had a twitter account, I would ask Bendis about the construct and see if it's tech from Jor-El or new powers that he going to elaborate on in the future.

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlad93 View Post
    I think that's just two, and both are kind of suspect in terms of "evil." One of the (Sons of Tomorrow) seemed to have accidentally killed himself and a bunch of people when his emotions got out of hand (implied to be possibly due to Damian). Jon Lane Kent is the only other, and he had a full on redemption arc just before he died, and I don't think he's even in continuity anymore. So, technically just a really soft "one."
    And a Bizarro version too, I believe. Perhaps not "evil" but still a Bizarro. And Manchester Black mind controlling him, which isn't an alternate evil Jon, nor Jon's fault, but still another "evil" Jon we've seen on panel. True, we haven't seen *dozens* of evil Jons like we've seen dozens of evil Clarks, but Jon hasn't been around too long either.

    And I'd agree with you if Bendis via Jor-El didn't harp on the fact that Jon being born is a mathematical miracle.
    Right, but all of that is "son of Superman." A new power or two? That's to make Jon stand out, when he already does. Like I said, Im not against the idea, I just dont think it's something Jon needs.

    I think chances are high this is a power.
    Agreed. Im just not sure if its necessary. Its hard to improve on the kryptonian powerset in a way that truly adds anything.

    I'd say given his sensibilities, and the fact that he's referencing a Super Sons crossover that had shades of Dark Phoenix saga in there, there's a good shot he's thinking along the lines of "Kryptonian mutant."
    He even had a post on twitter that characterized Jon's time with Jor-El as "Mr Oz's School for Gifted Youngsters."
    There's definitely a chunk of X-Men in there, agreed. Which isn't a bad thing, as Jon actually has quite a lot in common with your average mutant (or at least your average Gray/Summers family member); strange genetics no one quite understands, a daunting family legacy, strange, unsure powers (though he seems to have finally gotten a handle on them), etc. Which is my point, with all that going for him, new powers just seem....arbitrary.

    Ah, see but the thing is why would he mention it really?
    I dunno, I think the development of new abilities would warrant a mention. Have there been examples in the past where Jon omitted a big fact or detail like that?

    It just rings off to me. "Mom, dad! I had this crazy adventure! Grandpa is mentally ill! I fought aliens in space! I got trapped on earth 3! And while all that was happening I got new powers too!" Its not a big complaint, and maybe Im just putting more importance on it than Jon would. Maybe from his perspective its like saying he got a new baseball card, he's got so many already what's one more? It just seems like something he'd have mentioned by now.

    Remember how Miles' venom blast were show the first time in issue 2 of Ultimate Comics Ultimate Spider-Man? He hit a bunch of legos, and they flew everywhere. If you didn't already know Miles before going in, you'd have thought that was just super strength. And it wasn't shown again till issue 5 where he uses it in the heat of the moment to take down Electro.
    The difference though, is Jon is explaining to his parents what has happened to him. And he seems to be really calm about it, explaining everything one step at a time, as it happened to him. Leaving out a big development like new powers seems off to me. "And while we were fighting the aliens I developed new powers. They're fun. Spent some time figuring those out. Then we got sucked into this black hole...."

    Again, minor nitpicks all around from me here. Your theory is sound and it seems likely something along these lines is playing out. Im not even against the idea of Jon having new powers, just wary of the execution.
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  14. #14
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    And a Bizarro version too, I believe. Perhaps not "evil" but still a Bizarro. And Manchester Black mind controlling him, which isn't an alternate evil Jon, nor Jon's fault, but still another "evil" Jon we've seen on panel. True, we haven't seen *dozens* of evil Jons like we've seen dozens of evil Clarks, but Jon hasn't been around too long either.
    Boyzarro was actually the only one of his family that was good, and I didn't know you meant "evil" to also include an instance where Jon where he was being mind controlled, but I understand what you're saying. "Will he go bad" seemed to be a thing that Tomasi and Jurgens were really, really dangling that, but Bendis seems dead set on not even entertaining the idea. He unambiguously says "no Jon's not going evil." And he puts him through one of the greatest tests of will I've seen in a Superman comic to prove to Jon and us that he's made of the good stuff.

    Like I said, Im not against the idea, I just dont think it's something Jon needs.
    I'll disagree with that actually. Yeah, he'd be a more than effective hero without an new power, but from a purely storytelling standpoint it's just far more effective and impactful in my opinion. Him having a style that he uses his standard powers gets lost in the sauce of flying brick-itice for most writers and readers not hip to it the subtle change.

    Which is my point, with all that going for him, new powers just seem....arbitrary.
    Depends on your view, I suppose. I think quickly and effectively personifying what a new generation adds is just effective storytelling. If Jon's power really is using some innate ability to tap into the emotional electromagnetic spectrum, then he adds an great and direct expression of pure imagination.

    The difference though, is Jon is explaining to his parents what has happened to him. And he seems to be really calm about it, explaining everything one step at a time, as it happened to him. Leaving out a big development like new powers seems off to me. "And while we were fighting the aliens I developed new powers. They're fun. Spent some time figuring those out. Then we got sucked into this black hole...."
    That just doesn't leap out to me as anything though. He only makes mention of his powers when it's relevant to the major points of the story (when he explains why he couldn't get out of the volcano). It's been several years for him, so it slipping his mind while his trying to tell his parents about what they need to do about grandpa seems right to me. He may not be in a frantic hurry, but there's a focused nature to his story that doesn't have a lot of fat on it at all. At the end of the first issue where he starts his story, he tells his dad that they "need" to do something about grandpa.

    Im not even against the idea of Jon having new powers, just wary of the execution.
    That's an interesting thought. What are your fears on it?
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    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Today's issue of Naomi gives us another Lantern themed connection that Bendis seems to be spreading around. Not to spoil to much, but there's a White Lantern insignia in this issue, and it's give quite the special moment. Naomi being a Lantern herself seems unlikely given we've seen her suit already, but this is just more pointing at the fact that Bendis seems quite interested in the mythology, and interested in linking it to other continuity.

    Once again, this makes me feel the emotional electromagnetic spectrum being used outside of a ring by Jon seems like a very real possibility.
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