Ever wonder how the sons of two of the greatest heroes in the DC Universe plan to spend their summer? Video games? Vacations? Discussing the gravimetric effects of a Dyson sphere on the surrounding environment as it travels through a solar system? Probably not. They spend it drinking sugary drinks and fighting crime! Adventures of the Super Sons #1 is out now from DC Comics, let’s check it out.
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Carlo Barberi
Inks: Art Thibert
Cover: Dan Mora
Variant Cover: Jorge Jimemez & Alejandro Sanche
Editor: Paul Kaminski
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Super Sons: We have witnessed the Super Son’s take on a variety of foes, from Kid Amazo to the malevolent monster maker Kraklow, to their own conceptions about each other. With so much going on, surely they can just find time to be regular kids? But, would you really want to read a book about Jon doing his chores and Damian rebelling against Alfred? Me either, luckily it looks like we won’t have to as we get ready to find out how Superboy and Robin spent their summer break!
SCHOOLS OUT, TIME TO DIE!
Most kids getting ready for their last day of school spend it procrastinating, begging their parents to let them out of going, and groaning about how “nobody will be there!” But not Jon Kent and Damian Wayne, they spent their morning fighting the giant gold memorial statue of Jon’s Dad! Yep, the son of Superman and the son of Batman fought the animated statue of Superboy’s dad, all the while knowing that they would have to get to school before the tardy bell. It seems that a villain named The Puppeteer (not that one) created a device which used anima-psytr… skip it, it turns inanimate objects into puppets. While Superboy fought the behemoth, Robin located the source and shut it down, but not before a couple of cheap shots to his friend. Seems the whole incident was an effort by the technology’s creator to get some publicity, but now he gets the added bonus of going to jail! Hadn’t he heard of Kickstarter?
Later, as the West-Reeve School in Metropolis lets out for school, we find Damian discussing his extra credit paragraph (which he turned into a thesis) with his teacher while Jon and their classmates flee the school in utter elation. The Summer of Super has officially started!
But it looks like there may be a snag in the super. A giant creature is tearing up the downtown area, and this time it’s not a publicity stunt, but the start of a targeted effort to take out the Super Sons. But by who? Can they really be what they appear, or are they something more? And did what I think happen actually just happen? Warning: CLIFFHANGER!
MORE THAN JUST MINI-SUPES AND MINI-BATS
It would be very easy to simply write the sons of Superman and Batman as miniature versions of their elders, but Peter J. Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps, Batman and Robin) has gone a different direction and made sure they each have their own voices. As you would expect, Superboy is the laid back one and Damian is the serious one, but the writing of the two goes further than that. Yes, Damian is still serious, his heritage and upbringing dictated that long before he ever had a chance to be a kid, but beneath the scowl his dialogue rings of a kid who has had a hard time but found someone he can be friends with, to let his guard down a little. Jon, on the other hand is pure sunshine, a ten year old with a bright outlook on life and an eagerness to share it, especially with his dower friend. Their dynamic is comforting, and it feels like it is based on experience.
Carlo Barberi (Outsiders, Justice League Unlimited) and Art Thibert (Outsiders, Trinity) are a spectacular visual team. It’s hard for some artist to get the proportions of children right, especially when they are at center stage. Often you come out with big head little body syndrome, and the feel is off, not here. Outside of the proportions, they are dynamic on the page, and there is a sense of movement that follows the images from panel to panel in a way only artists who are into their work can achieve. The colors by Protobunker add depth and a vividness that is sometimes missing from comics. The images jump off the page and into your imagination. NOTE: The images do not physically jump of the page; this is simply a metaphor for really enjoyable art.
BOTTOM LINE: THE SUMMER OF SUPER LOOKS AWESOME!
It is explicitly noted in the beginning of the story that The Adventures of the Super Sons takes place in the recent past. Seeing the direction that both characters have taken in recent DC Comic releases, this is worth noting. We are seeing them both before they made some hard choices, at what looks to be the prime of their friendship. They both have a devil may care attitude, and that is a refreshing take all things considered. This looks to be a title where the story and the art can all converge to make one hell of a title, assuming they aren’t grounded first.
Adventures of Super Sons #1 is a fun, satisfying book. It fills the hole left by Jon’s recent departure and from Damian’s controversial, but entertaining, choices. This is a book I’ll pick up again and so should you.