In Superman: Son of Kal-El #4, an emergency situation makes it necessary for Jon Kent to counter the power of a veteran member of the Justice League.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Superman: Son of Kal-El #4, on sale now from DC Comics.
As long as they’ve both existed in the same universe, there has been speculation about who was truly the fastest man alive: Superman or the Flash. The pair have had plenty of races over the years, with the winner fluctuating depending on the story, but it now turns out that there’s another Kryptonian who has the potential to overstep those limits that have previously been established.
In Superman: Son of Kal-El #4 (by Tom Taylor, Daniele Di Nicuolo, Gabe Eltaeb, Hi-Fi, and Dave Sharpe), Jon Kent is forced into a desperate split-second race with the Flash in the ruins of the Kent farm… and the son of Superman actually wins.
Jon Kent, like his father, has been granted amazing powers due to his Kryptonian biology and the energy of Earth’s sun, including being able to reach almost impossible speeds. In fact, Batman’s research into his power levels suggests that he could eventually even overcome his father’s nearly limitless potential and become even more powerful. Jon’s been trying to use that capability for good, taking over as the Man of Steel while his father is off-planet and trying to save Kryptonians who may be trapped on Warworld. During dinner with his grandparents on their farm (and with his upcoming love interest, Jay), Jon is quick to act when an attack is made against the family.
Jon is able to rescue his grandparents (and discover Jay’s ability to phase through objects) and turns back to watch as the Kent Farm is destroyed as the Justice League arrives on the scene. Recognizing Faultline — a woman who has been given uncontrollable powers and who he tried to help recently alongside his father — Jon realizes that the Flash is running straight into danger. Seeing Wally West approaching her, Jon moves as fast as he can — and actually beats the Flash to her. Jon stands his ground and quenches the potential conflict, revealing to the League that Faultline is being used and isn’t responsible for the attack that was carried out.
Afterward, Jon is shown to have quietly gained the respect of Wally West (who knows a little something about stepping into the heroic shoes of a mentor). The Flash offers to always help or lend an empathetic ear to the young hero if he ever needs it. But more than proving himself as a heroic figure to the League, Jon just proved he can move as fast as the Flash, which is staggering. Wally is considered one of the fastest speedsters in the DC Universe, and Jon was able to see him coming and react fast enough to stop a potentially dangerous encounter from escalating. Jon’s speed in that moment is remarkable, allowing him to overcome someone tied directly to the Speed Force with just sheer momentum.
If Jon does continue to grow more powerful as he gets older, he could eventually prove fast enough to outpace speedsters, or at least operate at their level. It’s a very impressive feat from Jon, and another indicator that he’s ready to step into the role of Superman. But all that power can potentially be used against him, and it will be the responsibility of this new Man of Steel to discover how to best balance his amazing powers with restraint.
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