Last month we saw Jon and Damian save another Justice League member and got a look at their first moments in the past where they stumbled into Felix Faust and Vandal Savage. With Savage and Faust eyeing them as their ticket to the future, just how will the Super Sons be able to get out of this one?
It’s no surprise that they do get out of the trouble they’re in. We know this from the fact that the boys make it back to the future to start saving the Justice League from the doom scroll. So, the real fun here is in answering the question of how. Once again, the story is split halfway between the past and present. With the narrative picking up right where it left off in the past last issue.
The first half works to fill in some of the questions of how the boys meet Rora and what exactly they’re doing in the past. It also starts to give us a more comprehensive look at who Rora is, and I really enjoy how Tomasi does it. Instead of having her be super front and center the whole time or by rushing to introduce herself she’s sidelined for quite a bit of the issue, as well as pushed around by both Faust and Savage. This makes her seem pretty quiet to start with. Still, even though she’s quiet she is very expressive. Jorge Corona really shows this through panels focused just on her, lingering to let her see the future in a tablet, and peek an eye open as the boys are escaping later on. This, and her actions towards the middle of the issue, all help paint a picture of her.
It’s not just Rora featured in the first half of the story, but Jon and Damian as well. The boys continue to work together well here as they try to figure out who sent them into the past, why, and just how they’ll go about stopping Faust and Savage. Another downside to knowing they make it to the future, is that situations like them escaping from Faust or fighting a giant monster lose a little of their tension. Tomasi does a good job balancing that by leaning into the fact that magic and Kryptonians really don’t mix well. And so we get some scenes where the boys are more than just out of their element, Jon’s powers are on the fritz too. It’s a good way of keeping the stakes high and keeping us from simply assuming how the Super Sons will sort out each problem they face.
Plus, I don’t think I’ll ever be tired of reading Jon and Damian interacting. I love how they butt heads, but also work together. Even as they argue here, they’re also a team. It’s a dynamic I cannot get enough of, and I’m so happy we’re getting it in this comic.
I’ve talked a lot about the past, and that’s because it’s the half of the story I enjoyed most. The half focused on the future –while full of some genuinely hilarious moments– was a little underwhelming. Damian and Jon have to save Hawkgirl, but by the time we see them, they’ve pretty much already solved the problem. It’s hard for me to complain about the choice to skip another rescue, because having half the story dedicated to just them rushing off to save each and every Justice League member can easily feel very repetitive, and finding ways to mix that up keeps the story feeling fresh. Even with this kind of fast-forward through the fight it’s already all feeling a little done. But I also really kind of wanted to see them fight Hawkgirl. The bits we do have of her reaction, and Jon’s desperate desire to explain why they just up and attacked her were hilarious and just the kind of thing I’d love to have seen a little bit more of.
Beyond Hawkgirl, the biggest problem I have with this half of the issue, is the roughly two pages of recap Damian gives us. Yes, his tone is amusing and it’s fun to read him claiming that Jon is his assistant, but I’m not sure we needed a full recap in the third issue. The story isn’t too hard to follow, and having Damian lay out the facts seems a little obvious, even in a book aimed a kids. It doesn’t help that many of the scenes that follow also feel like more summary. Damian explains why Jon is holding his breath, and they talk about how they were planning to meet back up with Rora before they got sidetracked, all of it in the past tense and very Telling over Showing. It makes this half of the story feel very much like filler content while we wait for the past to catch up to the present.
Grievances aside, as I said, there are some hilarious moments in the last half. Particularly the scene where Jon is trying to find a way to get rid of the poisonous gas he’d inhaled to save Hawkgirl. Max Raynor does a fantastic job with the physical humor here, as Jon has to mime what he wants to tell Damian, declaring he won’t just release the gas into the air because it could hurt birds. Then, as the answer literally walks past the boys in the form of a balloon, their faces are priceless.
In general, I love the way Raynor depicts the boys through his half of the issue. They’re highly expressive, with big exaggerated movements and facial expressions. It makes the comedy of the script shine all the better, and is the kind of art I want to show everyone around me and talk about, because it’s funny and I want others to laugh.
The story ends in a place that leaves me feeling like both past and present plots have moved forward, and in a way that promises some change of pace in both areas next month. As I said, some of the elements are feeling a little repetitive already so I’m really excited to see how things might be different next issue. I’m eager to see the plot move forward even more in both past and present since we’re close to the halfway mark for this series.
- You’ve been waiting to see more of Rora
- Magic messing with Kryptonian skills is a fun twist
- Jon yelling about Hawkgirl being the coolest is something you didn’t know you needed
Three issues in, and I’m still genuinely enjoying this story. It’s a ton of fun, and the highlight of my month is reading more of Jon and Damian’s adventures together. While part of the issue felt dragged down by a recap it didn’t necessarily need, there are still more than enough laughs and delightful moments that this story is easily recommendable. If you need something light and fun, this will be sure to put a smile on your face.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.