Superman & Robin Special #1 review

The Super Sons are reunited again in this Superman & Robin special. I’ve missed these boys together, and I’m especially interested to see how their dynamic holds up now that Jon is older than Damian. We’ve had a couple brief meetings between them, but at last it’s time to see them take on another adventure of their own in a longer format. So let’s see how they do!

This issue focuses mostly on Jon and Damian trying to catch a creature that’s escaped a magic cube stored in the Fortress of Solitude. It’s the same cube Jon’s tangled with on a number of occasions, including his trip to Dinosaur Island and on a Super Sons adventure. This time, it’s released a strange creature that’s rapidly aging and causing chaos everywhere it goes.

After the introduction of that event, we see Lois and Jon together. Tomasi creates a nice scene here with Lois still upset over missing so much time with Jon, and Jon himself grappling with his own loss of childhood and kind of builds the idea for the whole book, which is capturing that childhood again. To highlight that, as soon as Lois is gone, Damian shows up informing Jon that something’s gone wrong at the Fortress. Together, the boys make their way there, Jon flying and Damian taking the Hell Bat Suit. I love Damian utilizing the suit, and I’m happy every time it shows up. He’s got good reasoning for its use too as he refuses to let Jon carry him all the way to the Fortress, but even if he didn’t I’d still accept it’s appearance simply because it’s fun.

From there the issue focuses almost entirely on the two boys trying to subdue a creature causing havoc in the Fortress. It takes them on a wild adventure through the Fortress as it continues to grow, and the boys bicker over the best way to take it down. It’s light and campy and fun. It’s got a little bit of everything from an almost Scooby Doo like chase scene, to the boys battling Nazi’s in giant suits of armor.

It’s a lot of fun to see this, and it feels a lot like the whole issue is striving to answer Lois’ own words from the start “Once in a while it’s better to zone out and let the little kid in us all come out to play.” Through the issue Damian is helping to bring that back out of Jon, something he’s had to shrug off since his speedy growth spurt and transition into Superman. And I love that about it. It does attempt to capture that vibrant childhood feeling from the original Super Sons series.

However, I do have some issues with it. It’s just the kind of story I would have showered with praise if it was tucked into the original Super Sons story, where this kind of adventure felt right. And I wanted it to feel right. I was so excited to see Tomasi on this issue because of his history with Jon and Damian. If anyone were to tackle Damian and Jon’s relationship post-Jon’s age up Tomasi is the guy to do it. It just doesn’t work here for me.

Part of my problem is the age dynamic and the characterization within that. As much as I hate the aging up of Jon, it happened and he’s got more responsibilities than ever as Superman now. So to see him and Damian gallivanting around the Fortress of Solitude, and have Damian tricking him with pranks makes Jon himself feel less in character. On the flip side, Damian feels younger than his now 14 years. He’s making faces in the glass of Kandor, and having cartoonish reactions to the creature they’re trying to subdue. While this more campy feeling read authentic in Super Sons here it throws the narrative off kilter a bit.

I think this dynamic could potentially work. It’s worked in the past, and there’s not too much to really have changed it beyond Jon’s aging up. However, to work, I feel like the boys need to work through Jon’s aging up. While they’ve interacted and talked a bit since Jon’s return I don’t feel like I’ve really seen a satisfying scene or two of them really reconnecting or talking in any serious way about Jon’s aging up or Damian’s own problems.

This special feels like an attempt at that, but it kind of jumps past having them talk to putting them on another adventure to force that bond back. There are moments where they do briefly catch up, like Damian giving Jon a rundown of his actions on Lazarus Island, but those moments are less like them discussing their lives and more like a catch up for readers just showing up for Super Sons content or behind on current events.


The art is just as dynamic and exciting as the adventure is. Viktor Bogdandvic is on pencils,  with Ivan Plascencia and Matt Herms tackling the colors, and Tom Napolitand on letters. Together they create a vibrant world full of adventure. Especially the chase scenes. Together the team does a great job really capturing the energy of the moments within them. There’s one particular moment where the creature’s latched on to Damian, and Jon’s trying to get it off that’s both hilarious and fun.

Napolitand’s letters only add to this, with a variety of onomatopoeia in smoke, or tucked behind characters, and even the delightful little fhutt noise Damian’s tranq gun makes when he fires it. There’s countless moments through the whole issue where the onomatopoeia’s only add to the whole of the narrative, and too many to point out.

Despite my issues with some of the characterization, and desire for more depth, this issue is quite a bit of fun. It’s a blast to see Damian and Jon run helter-skelter through the Fortress, with Damian exclaiming about various parts of it, and the creature itself changing constantly. The boys go from clumsily butting heads to figuring out a real way of solving the problem, and I love that. Generally it’s a delight, and I’m happy to have had the chance to read it.

Recommended If

  • You love the Hell Bat Suit!
  • The Super Sons fighting Nazi’s is a total delight
  • Even with a new age gap, Jon and Damian are still best friends


I enjoyed this issue quite a bit. It’s fun, it’s light, and it does what it sets out to do, which is to give Jon some of his childhood back. Through his and Damian’s team up, both boys get a reprieve from the more serious goings on in their lives right now and get to have a little fun, running around the Fortress of Solitude, trying to catch an aging creature, and battling Nazis. Really, what more could you ask for?

Score: 7/10

DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.