Super Sons #8 review

Join Metropolis’ favorite son and Gotham’s… Robin as they traverse a dangerous new world.  Can Superboy and the Boy Wonder make their way back to Earth?  Just where in the universe did Kraklow send them?  Are they even in the same dimension anymore?

All of this and more in this issue of Super Sons, which finds Superboy and Robin on a strange new world.

A world that is also alive.

Like, literally alive.  His name is Ygarddis.  He’s kind of a huge jerk.

While on the run in this strange new place, the boys meet another young duo named Hard Line and Big Shot.  Though largely serving the purpose of exposition, these two girls have a pretty interesting story: they’re from a planet named Eoroe, which was enslaved and destroyed by Ygarddis.  Robin, being the little butt that he is, wants to leave them to their own devices so he can find a way home, but Superboy manages to talk him into helping out.

It’s a pretty straightforward story, to be honest.  It’s fun enough, just nothing amazing.  The characteristic charm of Tomasi’s writing is still there (I love that, even an entire dimension removed from his parents, Jon still won’t say bad words), and the boys have their usual fun rapport.  There just isn’t much here that really grabbed me, though.  It’s kind of a strange transitional issue, made even stranger by its odd placement: the previous two issues of the arc almost feel like their own story, which was one of the things I brought up in my previous review, yet this is part three of a continuing story.

There’s a common thread in the narrative, with Kraklow’s influence stretching much farther than you’d think, and there’s an interesting twist put on his character with the citizens of Eoroe.  Eoroe is an intriguing idea, too, in that it’s an entire world with its own superheroes and history.  Too often you see tons of heroes coming from Earth and then one or two heroes from other planets.  Eoroe, though, had a “golden age” of heroism, with its own legions of superpowered characters.  It’s what inspired Hard Line and Big Shot to take action and make a difference, after all.  Hopefully this is explored in the upcoming installments, as I’m really curious how Eoroe stacks up against Earth with its heroes.

Still, intriguing ideas and standard fun aside, this definitely feels like a “middle chapter” issue.  Nothing’s outright bad in any way, but the story never really achieves greatness either.

The art, on the other hand, is fantastic.  I love Jorge Jimenez, guys.  His style is just so, so good.  Look at his use of negative space above.  The boys aren’t just black figures against a white background; they actually have a haze and glow about them, as if they’re truly against a brightly lit background.  It’s a simple artistic trick that successfully conveys the illusion of light.

The design of the night sky of Ygarddis is quite stunning as well, serving as the backdrop for one of Jimenez’s more creative layouts.  I love the detail of the stars and hints of galaxies in there.  Alejandro Sanchez takes what could have been a throwaway background and makes it feel like a real alien sky through his use of color and different techniques.  Really, it’s beautiful work.

So the art is great, the dialogue is fun, and there are some pretty interesting themes to explore here.  Super Sons started incredibly strong early this year and has slowly settled at “really good.”  I never dread reading this book and always find plenty to like, I’m just hoping it will get kicked up a few notches as it approaches its one year anniversary.  Tomasi’s laid some great ground in this story to end on a high note, and the rivalry and brotherly chemistry between the boys practically writes itself, so here’s hoping they achieve greatness again before heading back home.

Recommended if:

  • You like the adventures of Robin and Superboy.
  • You want to see some truly magnificent art, with a team that’s truly at the top of their game.

Overall: Even a pretty ok issue of Super Sons is still really good.  The stunning visuals complement an intriguing if incomplete story, with lots of great ideas laid out without being fully explored.  This book is primarily about the relationship between Robin and Superboy, though, and while there’s maybe a tad less of it than in previous issues, Tomasi still delivers in spades.

SCORE: 7/10