Last month we saw the Super Sons manage to escape Vandal Savage in the past only to run into him in the present again! Just what are they to do about that? Save the day of course!
We are officially at the halfway point of this series and I have to say this issue was a lot of fun, it breaks the pattern issue #2 and issue #3 followed of splitting the title between past and present to just focus on the present, and I really enjoyed that. As much as I love seeing the boy’s adventure happening in the past, I felt this issue did a lot to press the narrative forward both with Savage and with the Justice League.
The issue opens right where it left off previously with Rora being threatened by Savage and the boys facing off against him. Tomasi does a great job keeping the tension up through this whole encounter, even as the first half of it has no fighting at all, only threats. The boys are forced to try to figure out a way to save Rora and protect the doom scroll, and Jon is a real star as he tries a number of ways to save the day, including an attempt to talk Savage down in a very heroic moment representative of the son of both Superman and Lois Lane.
This section also includes a wonderful homage to Batman/Superman as Jon and Damian square up to take on Savage together. Max Raynor does a great job giving us a half page of Damian and Jon split evenly: Robin and Superboy contrasted, as they are both partners and separate in their consideration of the problem at hand. It works both in the narrative and visually as a wonderful way to show how different both boys think.
In addition to dealing with Savage, the boys also are sent on another adventure to save a JL member, this time Cyborg. Where the first half of the story is more serious and focused on the task at hand, this half takes the time to remind me what a joy it is to read this series –not that there weren’t moments of joy in the whole issue. Jon and Damian get to play make-believe and if their differences hadn’t already been clearly shown earlier, they are crystal clear here as we get to see Damian imagine himself some fancy armor, set with all the bells and whistles he’d need for battle while Jon picks a horse simply because he’s always wanted one. The differences are wonderful, as is the banter between Damian and Jon through the story. Honestly, this is the most fun I’ve had reading this series since issue #1. There was just something about how they clicked together this time that had me smiling throughout.
One thing I haven’t spent a lot of time considering is the reaction the League members would have to being saved by Jon and Damian. One of the rules of the Doom Scroll’s curse is that they can’t know they’re being saved, but let’s be honest the boys aren’t exactly subtle and the Justice League is well…the Justice League. Someone’s going to pick up on the shenanigans happening at some point. And this issue not only brings that question back into our minds, but begins addressing it as well. I think it’s a good spot to do so, Damian and Jon are used to saving the JL at this point and doing nothing to shake that up would leave the story feeling repetitive, even if every rescue is unique in its own way. It is also something I touched on briefly in my last review, the fear that the title might end up falling into a pattern that could make it feel a little boring. This keeps things fresh and allows for the stakes to be raised since their not knowing is key to their survival.
I’ve touched on some of the wonderful stuff Raynor has done on this issue already, overall his work is consistently strong, delightful, and just thoroughly enjoyable to view when reading this comic. But I really want to focus on Rob Leigh’s letters this time because they are really quite wonderful, especially in the second half while the boys are rescuing Cyborg. Both the text boxes and the font in this section is unique and different from the standard type, taking on a distinctly more computer-y feel to it. It is really appealing when paired with the techno-based adventure they’re on.
With the end of this issue the series is officially halfway through and I feel like it’s in a great place. This issue did a lot to make me feel like things are moving steadily towards the latter half of the story and its conclusion. Savage is back in the present and a threat, and the number of heroes the boys have to save is whittling down, while their ability to go unnoticed is getting harder. I can safely say I’m excited to see where things go from here.
- You can’t get enough of the Super Sons
- Consistent good storytelling is your thing
- Seriously, this story is just so much fun to read, if you need to smile pick it up
Challenge of the Super Sons is in a great place. The story is moving at a steady, interesting pace, and Tomasi is consistently keeping it fun and fresh by upping the tension in believable ways. This is a fun story featuring Damian and Jon at their very best: as best friends and getting into tons of trouble by saving the day. If you haven’t picked it up yet I’m seriously suggesting you do.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.