The Super Sons return from a bit of a summer vacation to… uh, go on summer vacation.
Yes, the boys are back with a new title and new adventures after their self-titled series came to a close just a few months ago. The ever-reliable writer Peter Tomasi is back, joined by the art team of Carlo Barberi, Art Thibert, Protobunker, and Rob Leigh, all for the purpose of giving us more time with our favorite junior Dynamic Duo.
The good news? This is the Super Sons you know and love, with some sharp dialogue, great interactions between the leads, and some truly exceptional action set pieces. That’s part of the problem, though: it’s more of the same. As good as it is, this issue never rises above anything that came before, to the point that it’s “just” another Super Sons adventure.
Then again, there are series out there that wish they could have the strengths that this single issue has, so I’ll take consistency if it means that it’s at least a good time.
If anything, this issue reads like the season premiere of an ongoing TV show, not the start of a brand new series. That’s perfectly fine, too, because that’s pretty much what it is: the ongoing adventures of Robin and Superboy. The opening scene reads like a great season opener: we’re thrown into the midst of the action, finding the boys engaged in a battle with a seemingly sentient statue of Superman. The scene works on two levels, in that existing fans can get reacquainted with the boys and new readers can get a good feel for their personalities. Superboy, for instance, stands on the sidelines, munching popcorn and making cheerful jabs at Robin. Robin, on the other hand, is fighting the living statue all on his own, his grumpy self-seriousness coming through in his mission focused determination.
The banter is a blast to read, and the playful rivalry between the boys is as strong as ever.
That’s a strength to be sure, but also a detriment: the book is consistent with the quality of the previous series, but it never exceeds that consistency. Not every book needs to reinvent the wheel, of course, and I’ll take consistently entertaining over disastrously terrible or disappointing. Still, considering the disappointment we had when Super Sons was canceled and the elation that came with the announcement of this title, it would have been nice to have this book kick off with a bigger bang.
Still, the writing is strong, and there are a few solid twists along the way. One of the things I love about DC Comics in particular is how so many of their villains are able to believably team up with one another and form their own supergroups. In that vein, the boys will have their hands full as they face off against not just one villain, but an entire team of them.
But they’re kids.
As solid and timeless a concept as any: “kid versions of established characters.” In the best way, this set-up reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon: junior versions of established characters having wacky adventures. Carlo Barberi , Art Thibert, and Protobunker’s work leading up to this point is strong, especially the opening fight scene, but it’s the character designs here that really shine. They’re all recognizable as the characters they’re supposed to be inspired by, so you look at kid Luthor there and know he’s supposed to be a version of Lex. It’s the little quirks they add to the designs that make them all the more memorable, though, like “Rex” Luthor’s gap tooth grin, Joker, Jr.’s baggy pants, and Kid Deadshot’s… let’s say heftiness.
For a book like this, the creative team that’s been lined up is absolutely perfect. You have Peter Tomasi’s confident scripting, always full of heart and humor, and then there’s the strong visual storytelling and great characters. It’s consistent with the previous series, but hey, if you’re going to be consistent, you may as well be consistently good.
BONUS: A variant cover from Jorge Jimenez. Who is The Dude™️.
- You were heartbroken that Super Sons ended.
- Because guess what?! This is more Super Sons.
Overall: The boys are back and their adventures are as fun as ever. This issue is effectively the season premiere of a beloved TV show, reintroducing us to the characters and their dynamics before throwing them into a new adventure. Tomasi’s script is as snappy and heartfelt as always, and the visual storytelling is a breeze. Adventures of the Super Sons may be “more of the same,” but when that applies to something good it’s never a bad thing.