Super Sons #16 review

And so, all good things must come to an end.  Not even our beloved Super Sons are immune to change, as their eponymous series reaches its end with its sixteenth issue.  With that, we say goodbye to Robin, Damian, and their Fortress of Attitude.

At least until they return in a few months, but whatever.  The sentiment still stands.

So the saga of the Super Sons, at least in its current iteration, comes full circle with its final issue, as Robin and Superboy fight to save the Justice League from Kid Amazo.  Will they succeed, or will they finally meet their match?

I’d venture to say that it’s no surprise that, yes, the boys win in the end.  It’s highly unlikely that any big names would be killed off in Super Sons, and a delightful footnote at the beginning of the issue drives that point home.

#trunkswatch2018.  How did this never trend?

Yet for all the exciting adventures the boys went on, this book hasn’t ever been about action.  Not really.  That’s not to say that the action is bad.  Not at all.  It’s just that first and foremost, Super Sons has been about Jon and Damian becoming a team.  Even more than that, it’s about them becoming friends, and based on Damian’s lines above, it looks like the book has succeeded.

It should come as no surprise, but the best thing about the finale here is the snappy dialogue and great character interactions.  From Superman to historical fiction like The Bridge, Peter Tomasi has a knack for telling optimistic stories with engaging characters.  While there are maybe a handful of instances where he has dipped a little too far into saccharine in the past, I’d much rather have too much hope and joy than too much cynicism.  That isn’t a problem here, though, as he highlights the boys’ individual personalities and makes them a believable two-man team.

They have a fairly oil and water dynamic, true, but they play well off of each other.  Jon’s innocence is balanced by Damian’s stubbornness, yet they aren’t as diametrically opposite as they were at the beginning: Jon can get a bit of a temper, for instance, and Damian will at least begrudgingly acknowledge when somebody does something well.  That dynamic is what makes this book worth reading.

Tomasi’s writing is definitely the highlight of the book, but the visual team puts in some great work too.  Carlo Barberi and Brent Peeples switch off on pencils, assisted by Art Thibert and Scott Hanna’s inks and colors from Protobunker, and it results in a good looking issue.  The different pencilers never becomes a distraction, which is always a plus, though there is a pretty obvious continuity error late in the book: Damian has Batman’s glove on his right hand, yet the first panel on the next page has it on his left hand and it stays there to the end.

Generally speaking, there’s some solid visual storytelling throughout.  There are a few points in the fight with Kid Amazo that are a tad unclear, with the visuals not quite matching up with the dialogue, so I had to backtrack once or twice to get my bearings.  Overall it looks quite nice, though, and there are points where the visual aesthetic is genuinely stunning.

I would frame this and hang it on my wall, it’s so beautiful.

Props to Rob Leigh’s letters, too, especially his use of sound effects.  There are some pretty fun effects he uses (I’m partial to TRAZZK myself), and the subtle “KNOK KNOK” as Robin taps Cyborg’s head is some great visual comedy.

Had this been the last we ever saw of the Super Sons together, it would have been a sad yet rewarding issue.  The series doesn’t end on the same high it began with, but this is still a great finale in its own right.  With the Dynomutt crossover out next week, the Adventures of the Super Sons series launching this August, and a surprising bookending scene here, it’s looking like the future is still bright for our boys.

BONUS: Another variant cover from Dustin Nguyen, who continues to prove he can do no wrong.


Seriously, if Nguyen and Doc Shaner could just alternate on drawing everything forever I would be a happy camper.

Recommended if:

  • You love Super Sons.
  • You enjoy snappy dialogue, great characters, and just an all around good time.

Overall: A fitting conclusion to a fun series.  The fact that we’re getting more of this duo so soon doesn’t make this feel anticlimactic in the least; instead, this feels like the end of one chapter before the beginning of the next.  Under the capable eye of Peter Tomasi, the boys have grown both individually and together, maturing as their own characters while also becoming a stronger duo.  Super Sons is a thrilling, enjoyable read that’s just as much about character as it is about heroics.  That’s what makes it stand apart, and that’s what makes it a success.

SCORE: 8.5/10