Review : Super Sons #1
After originally being solicited for release back in September, one of the most-eagerly-anticipated DC Rebirth titles is finally here — Peter J. Tomasi, Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez‘ “kid-friendly” Super Sons #1. Methinks the delay, while admittedly somewhat aggravating, makes sense — after all, Jon “Superboy” Kent and Damian “Robin” Wayne needed to be teamed up elsewhere first to establish some sort of prior relationship, and a recently-concluded two-parter over in the pages of Superman managed that task of “groundwork-laying” quite successfully indeed. With all pretext and preamble out of the way, then, now is as good a time as any to strike while the iron is hot and turn things over to the next generation of heroes who are about to embark on what promises to be a decade or more of being stuck at right around 12 years old. Sigh, if only the real world worked like comics, lemme tell ya —
Light-hearted action and adventure — a Tomasi specialty — are clearly the order of the day here, or rather, they will be, but the debut issue issue of this series is more concerned with establishing the particulars of these youngsters’ character interaction, and I can’t fault that decision in the least : Jon is the bright, perhaps naive, eternally optimistic one, while Damian is the overly-serious, “all-business,” self-appointed “leader” of the duo, and simple as that may be, it really does work — they play off each others’ strengths and foibles in equal measure, and both clearly like each other far more than either (especially Damian) is willing to admit. Jon’s powers are still developing, and are far from a consistent presence in his life, so that gives Damian the chance to play, at least in his mind, both mentor and protector, and during a snowball fight with school bullies, this actually does come in handy — during a bus ride where a disguised Damian inserts himself as driver, though, his presence is a potentially dangerous one.
It all works out in the end, though, and that’s probably going to be the usual order of business for this series — and why not? “Outreach” titles aimed at cultivating a more youthful readership are a standard fixture over at Marvel these days, but DC is just sort of starting to get in on the act; fortunately for us all, they’ve chosen a pitch-perfect creative team to begin their efforts. Tomasi writes children extremely well — something we knew already — and Jimenez has a high-energy, easy-on-the-eyes art style that conveys both character expression and action equally nicely. Nothing about Sanchez’ colors especially stands out, per se, but they’re vibrant and smartly-chosen, so they do what they need to do. The kids are in good hands, and should be placed in exciting situations (as they are in this issue’s cliffhanger, when their first “case” leads them directly into the lion’s den facing the ultimate “baddie”) that fall short of being directly life-threatening a la too many Spielberg productions to mention.This is wholesome entertainment minus any unpleasant and ethically/morally questionable undertones, which isn’t exactly the easiest thing to pull off when you’re talking about something that screams “call child protective services!” as loudly and clearly as the idea of children going into battle against super-powered villains.
All in all, I have no problem putting my cynicism — and $2.99 of my money every month (for the record, I purchased this issue) — aside to enjoy material this lovingly-crafted. Super Sons is hardly revolutionary stuff by any stretch, but that’s not its intention. It’s a comic you can read with your kids that you’ll enjoy every bit as much as they do. Not only is there “nothing wrong with that,” there’s a whole heck of a lot right with it.
Story: Peter J. Tomasi Art: Jorge Jimenez
Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy