Monday, November 20, 2017

Review: Super Sons #10

Super Sons #10 came out last week and this book continues to be a hoot. Jon and Damian are clearly learning to be heroes, clearly come from different backgrounds, and are clearly being influenced by each other. Better yet, I can't help but think that their friendship is strengthening the Clark and Bruce one. This makes me happy.

This was something of a rest issue, setting up some new plotlines and new places for the boys and the book. Much like I feel that Supergirl underwent a new focus recently, I think this book is also heading off into a bold new-ish direction. We have established the boys friendship and their partnering. Now was the time to take this to the next level. No more ad hoc adventures. Let's make this a standing relationship.

Writer Peter Tomasi does his usual job of showcasing Jon and Damian's different outlooks on life. It is that friction that brings the juice to the proceedings. However, it is the times we see a little of the other in a character that shows growth. When Damian sounds a little like Jon it makes me happy.

The art on this issue is done by recent pinch hitter extraordinaire Jose Luis. And as this is mostly a non-adventure book, Luis does a great job of keeping my engaged with the story. Much of that has to do with the characters' body language.

On to the book.

The book opens with Jon discovering that he can now fly. No more leaping an 1/8 of a mile. He is straight up airborne like his dad. What I like is seeing some pride on Damian's face as he sees his buddy break through a limitation.

When Jon sees a crime happening in Gotham, Clark's reaction is priceless. First asking Bruce if Jon can do some super-stuff in Gotham. (After all, isn't there a whole family of Bats there.) And second, the little tutorial on stopping the guy. Clark is always teaching!

With the flying demonstration over, the families head back into town.

Again, we see some simple differences. Jon told Clark all about the Ygarrdis adventure. Damian didn't tell Bruce. Damian believes in keeping his cards close to the vest.

But Jon's retort is priceless. Lois is a super mind reader! Just brilliant.

And then we see that these young heroes are still just kids. Even Damian gets a little kick out of standing up in the back of a moving pick up truck and feeling like he's flying. (Of course, real kids shouldn't try that at home.)

As I said, part of this issue to set the stage for the upcoming arcs.

And so we see this vision of the Damian Batman from Grant Morrison's run.

Hmmm .... interesting ...

Will the Sons Damian be happy seeing this possible future? Or will he want to avoid becoming this sort of Batman?

Meanwhile, the dads have decided it is time for the boys to have something special. In the middle of the night, we see Clark and Bruce get their sons ready for a little trip.

Jon is sound asleep in his bed, not even stirring when Clark enters the room and throws clothes on the bed.

Contrast that to Damian who heard Bruce in the hallway and was already prepared to ambush. He can even isolate the heel strike which woke him.

It is these small differences played out in front of us that makes me love this book.

But then I love when I see their growing similarities.

In the Bat-Sub and heading to somewhere unknown, Damian has a million questions. Batman notices that is a very Jon-like quality.


And then we see the surprise! An underwater secret headquarters for the boys. It's a place to hang out, practice, prepare for missions, and generally escape.

Jon dubs it The Fortress of Attitude, a name Damian thinks is lame.

But no longer will this be secret trips to Metropolis or Gotham to rouse the other one. They'll have a home base. But my guess is it'll be like a clubhouse more than a Watchtower.

But there's more. They'll be schoolmates. Damian and Jon have been enrolled in the West-Reeve private school. (Love the homage of the school name!)

They won't be classmates given the age difference. But they'll be in the same halls. And this suddenly opens up all new avenues for Tomasi to exploit. We could get a new supporting cast! They might be in different cliques! Will they interact at all??

And their responses are also classic. Jon is tickled pink, jumping up and down, and talking about doing homework together. Damian is taken aback. He doesn't want school. He doesn't need school. He doesn't want to be in Jon's classes.

I can imagine how this is going to go in the classroom! Prepare for hijinks!

But everything seems to come together a bit more nicely when they see a threat to fight. Chemo is attacking! It is time for the new team to spring into action!

So we have a new school, a new fortress, a new goal for the team, and a new threat! Sounds like the next year's worth of stories are nicely queued up. Can't wait to read them.

I consider this almost like an appetizer. It was a story that didn't floor me. It was hardly there but it left me wanting more. And for that Tomasi and Luis deserve kudos!

Overall grade: B+


Anonymous said...

Entertaining. New powers, new status quo and Robin is becoming almost tolerable.

But a private school? What is Bruce thinking? Damian will kill everyone within one week!

West-Reeve private school. Absolutely brilliant. Can we have a Slater School and Linda Carter academy?

I laughed at the "Your father can't read minds" remark. How would you know that, Damian? Back in the Silver Age Superman could have said he could super-mind-read and people would have believed him. LEt's think of it, his cousin mind-read once.

Martin Gray said...

Another wonderful issue, I'm hoping a subsea base will lead to a Lagoon Boy team up... Damian would love him!

And maybe the FoA could team yup with Kara's watery HQ, if it returns!

Mela said...

"What is Bruce thinking? Damian will kill everyone within one week!"

Well, Damien did get expelled from Gotham Academy after a day or two, but he got along pretty well with Maps...

Yeah, the school setup holds a lot of promise. I just wish we weren't getting a crappy multi-month crossover about how one of the stars is destined to be a villain and instead an actual story in this new setup. But that would take effort, and while Tomasi seems willing to try, the rest of the Super book crew doesn't. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I’m enjoying this book a lot, the interplay between Jon and Damian is fun, and seeing Superman and Bruce have to relate to each other as adults is a pleasure. I’m liking the post-Rebirth Superman.

I also like the idea of an underwater base for a teen superhero, almost a Sanctuary of sorts. It gives them a place they can call their own, and a home base for story telling purposes. I wish Supergirl had something like that in her book, if you know what I mean. It’s a great idea.