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 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 fan of classic Superman and am totally on board with Tom Taylor’s relatable post-modern incarnation of the character.  As far as I’m concerned, the only thing missing that would make him completely contemporary is to put him in therapy.  And as writer Amer Sawan pointed out in a recent piece, having spent the ages of 11 to 16 trapped in a live volcano where he was tormented by Earth-3’s merciless Ultraman, a doppelganger of his father, he has plenty of barely repressed trauma to unpack.

It’s actually been a while since I read online about anyone being opposed to this status quo, that is until I came across a story on CBN about someone who supposedly got "canceled" for her comments on the character’s sexuality (see "Another DC Character Comes Out as LGBTQ").  The story concerned 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 it’s "necessary" to "focus on the comic book character’s sexual orientation."  The piece quotes her as saying, "What if Christian parents of children reading comic books don't want their kids exposed to bisexual characters.  This is being pushed on kids.  Then parents have to explain it.  Most cannot!"

Superman: Son of Kal-El is rated Ages 13+ and it says so, right on the cover.  In fact, almost all DC titles that aren’t Black Label (which are intended for readers 17+) are rated for Ages 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 can’t remember seeing any content that would justify that rating.  The closest I came to a DC All-Ages comic was Scooby-Doo which is rated for Ages 8+.

So, while it’s theoretically possible a number of under-13s are reading Superman: Son of Kal-El, I don’t think it’s very likely, so imaginary problem solved.  Now I just wish DC would publish some more comics actually intended for kids.

As I wrote back in October 2013 (see "Something Other Than Else"), I'm a big fan of artist Jamal Igle and his creation Molly Danger.  So I wasn't surprised by how much I enjoyed his latest co-creation with writer Scott Snyder, Dudley Datson and the Forever Machine, a post-modern take on that Golden Age of Comics staple, the "boy inventor" genre.  It concerns fifteen-year-old student scientist Dudley Datson who becomes the guardian of the titular Forever Machine and has to keep it out of the hands of an evil organization.  With beautiful art, this is a deeply rooted in reality science-fantasy that has a sky-high premise and relatable larger-than-life characters and situations.  Right now it’s a comiXology Original, but when it does become available in print, you’d be wise to order copies.

A couple of weeks ago (see "The Very Thing I Wanted") I wrote about how sometimes the comic book industry gives me, someone with some peculiar tastes when it comes to  comics, the very thing they wanted. That 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’s Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal Comics one-shot.  Being a big fan of the funny animal duo’s Golden Age comics, I have long advocated for their return to regular publication.  Dreams can come true.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of