Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: Supersons #8

Supersons #8 came out last week and was a fun middle chapter in the Planet of the Capes story arc. The action is fun. The art is superior. The story ... well I think that I understand what is happening. Sometimes you just have to go for the ride. And I'm on board!

Of course, the juice of this book is the interaction between Damian and Jon. These are two different people with two very different upbringings, trying to get work together. This issue was perhaps the perfect blend. There is that friction. There are those highlighted differences. But most importantly, they work together in this issue. It is growing relationship and respect. They may not agree with each other's methods but they know how to get things done. Peter Tomasi has done a great job using this dissonance between the sons to energize the book.

As I have said before, Jorge Jimenez is the perfect artist for this book. There is this gangly, stylized anime-infused art that pushes everything forward and delightfully so! Some of the page layouts are gorgeous and innovative. This is that complement of art and story that makes comic wonderful 

On to the book!

Last issue ended with the two sons, shortly after defeating Kraklow and his clay forgotten villains, were dragged through a portal by tentacles. You may recall that the opening of the Kraklow story had the villain given his magical clay by another version from himself from another world. Now it looks like that villain wants it back.

This world they find themselves in is a jungle planet. And the evil Ygarddis has manifested himself from the soil itself to demand what has been taken from him.

Luckily for the two sons, who are initially stunned by transition to the planet, the two young adventurers Hard Line and Big Shot arrive. These two look like they aren't living the high life. Dressed in rags but armed to the teeth, they are able to free our heroes.

I'm glad they are of color bringing some diversity to the book. And how interesting they also seem to be the same age as our protagonists.

 Superboy is able to dissipate Ygarddis with his heat vision, freeing our heroes. The girls explain that Ygarddis is the planet they are living on. There is no escape. The only option is to hide.

Ygarddis sounds Norse, like Yggdrasil the tree of life. Although it sounds like Ygarddis is more of a death bringer.

But the best part of this exchange is Damian being called Jon's little brother all based on height. You can tell it is a sore point for Robin. And I love how Jon piles on saying he is smarter. It is this sort of abrasiveness that feels fresh. And me being me, I love it when it is Damian that gets zinged.

 In a makeshift village, that reminds me of the Ewoks tree homes, Hard Line and Big Shot describe what their world used to be like.

Is it just me or does this sound like the Legion? Children with super-powers and garish outfits defending the world from all sorts of villainy??

It only made me miss the Legion more. It also furthered my thoughts that Jimenez would be perfect on a Legion book. 

 And if that didn't remind you of the Legion enough, this picture of Ygarddis engulfing the world feels completely like the Suneater engulfing a star.  I just wonder if Tomasi was trying to riff on that in a way.

And I love that the panels where Hard Line is remembering this are within the outline of her hair. It is in her mind that she is remembering this. Cool stuff.

But seriously, that has to be an homage or a nod to the Suneater, right?

 The girls reveal that the biggest hero of their world was Kraklow the magician. It was Kraklow that was able to save the few people that still live. Now these survivors have to struggle against Ygarddis and hopefully repel him from the world.

I also love how Jon is trying to puzzle all this out. He's a kid. He hasn't had all the multidimensional adventures his father has. This might be the first time that he is dealing with dimensional doppelgangers with alternate personalities. They really are rookies. And I am a sucker for heroes at the beginning of the journey.

 The village is discovered. Ygarddis sends a clay-mation Faceless Hunter and the boys go on the offensive.

Robin deduces quickly they are made of the magic clay that Ygarddis craves and Kraklow was interdimensionally hiding. And knowing they are automatons, Superboy freezes it solid.

I love this page. I love Robin using his brains and telling Jon how to actualize the rescue.

But more, I love that last panel being in silhouette. That just works, a jarring contrast. It emphasizes the action of Jon's leap and Robin's hold. It just felt very cinematic to me. Powerful.

And then this moment of pure Clark.

When the Faceless Hunter attacked, a terrified young villager dove for cover. Afterwards, you can see him still unsure of who these new people are. Maybe he is just as afraid of them.

But there is Jon with a huge smile and a thumbs up. It is so clear Jon derives joy from doing good. And to see him pause to try to allay the fears of this kid, to interact was spot on.

Back in the village, the Sons try to figure out their next move. Jon just wants to get home. Damian spends the time to reconnoiter the village. He is always prepared.

But why would the good Kraklow give the clay, his primary weapon, to Earth's Kraklow. Is he trying to deny Ygddaris? It would appear so. But now what?

No time to discuss. Ygddaris has formed an army of this world's Legion to attack.

Nice cliffhanger.

I don't know if I quite follow the story. I don't know if I get the clay, the world eating, how the kids can be hiding from someone who is the whole planet, etc. But the heroes are fun. The art is spectacular. And this might be the closest we have gotten to the a Legion book fighting the Suneater in a long time. So I'll take it.

Overall grade: B


Anonymous said...

Two teen heroes are unexpectedly and suddenly thrown into another world where they have to help the local heroes overthrow a nearly omnipotent tyrant...

Has someone resurrected the old "Adventure Comics" magazine and we haven't been informed? Kara got into this kind of messes the whole time during her Adventure Comics days.

So... the story is maybe rushed but it takes me back to a time where comics were comics and anything could and often did happen. And that's a good sign.

Mela said...

"Is it just me or does this sound like the Legion? Children with super-powers and garish outfits defending the world from all sorts of villainy??

It only made me miss the Legion more. It also furthered my thoughts that Jimenez would be perfect on a Legion book."

And that Jon would do very, very well as a character in a book like that as opposed to November's yet-another-Jon-is-evil story. I want to like this book & buy it as it comes out, but Editorial's insistence on trying to villify their new Superboy (probably so they can justify killing him off down the line) instead of giving him more room to shine out on his own (no Bat-presence to piggyback on) is making it SO hard. I know I'm a broken record with this, but it's a serious sore spot for me to see them intro a wonderful character full of potential & constantly mishandle him.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

As far as the Legion is concerned, I am looking forward to seeing Saturn Girl on Supergirl. I would love to see Braniac 5 as well and not just for the romance with Supergirl. It would be great if the writers brought back Indigo and she and Braniac 5 went head to head in a clash of intellects.

Nobile said...

It took me a while to realize but (perhaps this has already been addressed) it suddenly came to my mind that "Planet of the Capes" was a completely bonkers Jimmy Olsen's story (#117) that started as a vague parody of "Planet of the Apes" to totally go into silver-age weirdness.
Besides the absurdity of a story about an alternate Earth where only cape-wearers are free, and others are treated as slaves, the final revelation of who was behind all this... Well I'm sure Geoff Johns and Dan Jurgens took some inspiration!! :-O