Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review: Super Sons #11

Super Sons #11 came out last week, part two of Super Sons of Tomorrow, a story in which a possible future Tim Drake comes to the past to kill Superboy so some cataclysm will be averted. I wasn't as thrilled with the opening chapter as I hoped to be. This second chapter kicked things up a notch and definitely had a cliffhanger which thrilled me and had me heading to the back issue boxes. That's always a good sign.

Writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason bring a bit more whimsy to this chapter. There is a lot of fun Titans stuff in the middle which lightened the mood a little. Because the bookend Tim Drake moments are definitely a bit darker. This isn't the Tim I loved reading in Red Robin or even in the post-Rebirth early Detective. This is a driven killer. And that's a bummer.

The art is by Ryan Benjamin, a name I don't know. His art strikes me a little like Jonboy Meyers. That works with these characters, bringing just a hint of anime to the proceedings. And I definitely love this moody Dustin Nguyen cover. That's striking.

But once again, I am left feeling a little wanting. I am hoping the excitement I felt at the cliffhanger means this story is going to kick things up a notch.

On to the book.

We start in Metropolis where Tim breaks into the Kent apartment to try and apprehend Jon only to find his bed empty.

Meanwhile, Lois is on the phone with Kathy from Hamilton. Remember her! She was the super-powered crush Jon had in the pre-Reborn stories in Hamilton. I am glad that Tomasi and Gleason aren't forgetting about her. I'd love to see her be more of a part of Jon's life.

One tranq dart later, Lois is on the ground and Tim is gone.

Hey, is Superman still trapped in that red energy cage in the arctic?

We then switch coasts where the Titans are struggling fighting some super-powered thugs including an updated version of old Firestorm villain The Breathtaker. I had to smile at this. Nice call back.

The Titans seem to be struggling a bit too much with these D-listers until something streaks into the dray and decimates the villains with little fuss. At first the Titans think it was good teamwork on their part ... but it becomes clear they had nothing to do with it.

I don't read the Titans book. But shouldn't they be better than this? If they struggle with these baddies, who do they not struggle against?

Robin realizes it is a snooping Superboy who incapacitated all the villains.

Despite the recent help with Kraklow and his acceptance by the other Titans, Damian has been shutting Jon out of Titan missions. And that wasn't the deal they had.

I guess I can understand why Damian might want to have the Titans be a side thing. And you can see how having a Kryptonian on a team changes the dynamic. He ended the fight in 4 panels.

But I can also understand why Jon is so ticked off.

I fully understand that it is this friction between these two that drives the book.

Suddenly Tim appears on all the Titans monitors. He has trapped the team in this conference room. He has charged the air with molecules which suppresses their powers. And he gives a decent expository dump, telling everyone that at some point in the future Superboy becomes unhinged and literally explodes, killing millions.

I liked this page layout, showing how trapped the team feels while this story is played out in front of their eyes on giant monitors. Well rendered page.

But this veered pretty close to the 'Bat-God' mentality that the Bats can do anything, like completely strip this team of all their powers without a hitch.

Tim also has set-up his anti-Jon weapon in this room. Again, this is a lot of work that seems effortless for Jon.

A gun shoots a black tarry substance on Jon which slowly envelops him. I don't know what this was supposed to do. What it does do is make Jon's energy level go wonky. He begins to overload and finally violently explodes, destroying the Titans tower and possibly killing everyone.

It looks like Tim has somehow caused the very thing he was hoping to avoid. Is that possible?

We then hear voices talking about how they need to bring Tim in.

And pulling back we see it is Conner, Cassie, and Bart.

Oh my god!

Now this makes me happy. I loved these characters. They have been completely missing. And now we get them again, at least the future versions of them we have seen in some stories.

I might need to go back to the back issue box and pull out my Titans of Tomorrow storyline.

This was a better part for this arc. We learn what Tim wants to avoid. We get some Jon/Damian aggravation. We got the Breathtaker. And we got Cassie, Conner, and Bart.

If only Tim didn't seem too powerful and efficient.


Overall grade: B


Anonymous said...

Honestly... my interest is low.

Why? Because it's still another "Jon will go crazy and/or evil in the future?" story. I'm getting tired of it. Its' like DC doesn't know what else doing with the character.

And I agree with the "Batgod" comment. "I've shut everybody's powers' down with a poorly-explained deus ex machina! Fear my mind!" I long for the old good Pre-Crisis days where ridiculous-sounding science was funny.

At the very least the final appearance of Conner, Cass and Bart is enticing. Are they the Pre-Flashpoint versions? Or some alternate universe counterparts?

Mela said...

"Why? Because it's still another "Jon will go crazy and/or evil in the future?" story. I'm getting tired of it. Its' like DC doesn't know what else doing with the character."

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! I'm so sick of it, it's actually making me angry that DC is so determined to torpedo Jon's possibilities for this same tired, need-to-justify-disposing-of-him-like-DC-does-with-all-its-heroes'-kids BS. And having the evil Titans East (which those versions of Connor, Cassie, & Bart are from Johns' Titans run) is just the extra-disgusting icing on a garbage cake. The only thing I'm more sick of than "Jon is eeeevil" storylines are the people who constantly fall over themselves to defend them.

I want a Super Sons book I can give to the kids in my family, not one where two characters who can't stand each other butt heads constantly while the plots constantly remind us that the nicer & more likable one is ~destined~ to be evil with every other damn plot. But DC would rather desperately hammer everything back to Byrne's Man of Steel than actually realize what they have & use it well. And too many Comics Dudes are good with this, for a list of really icky reasons they probably don't even realize themselves.

Dr. Anj, you're a stronger man than me for putting yourself through these month after month.

Martin Gray said...

'And too many Comics Dudes are good with this, for a list of really icky reasons they probably don't even realize themselves.'

Mela, what are these ' really icky reasons they probably don't even realize themselves'? Your comment comes across as condescending. People liking something you don't doesn't make them bad, or stupid, and who knows, if you gave these comics to members of your family they might actually enjoy them.

I much prefer bright heroes doing good things - I'm always going on about wanting to just see characters go on holiday, test their abilities, have fun without an apocalypse - but doom-laden prophecies are a superhero trope, with the point almost always being that, nope, no one is 'destined' to go bad. Light beats darkness. I'd be delighted not to see any more visitors from the future out to kill someone in the past, but good creators can transcend a cliched starting point.

Guess I'm just a Comics Dude.

Anonymous said...

“I long for the old good Pre-Crisis days where ridiculous-sounding science was funny.”

I long for the old good Pre-Crisis days when heroes literally could time travel but couldn’t change the past. These tail-chasing multi-part exercises in resetting everything back to zero are getting very annoying.

Anonymous said...

I guess I was the opposite to you on these two issues of the Super Sons of Tomorrow crossover. I preferred the first issue over the second one, mainly due to the fast paced action and Jorge Jiminez's art. This part was still solid though, Jon helping out the Teen Titans and Kathy's guest appearance was a nice throwback to Tomasi and Gleason's earlier run. If you haven't read DC's March solicits, Kathy is appearing in the Bizarro story arc. Loved seeing Conner, Bart and Cassie at the end, hopefully they get reintroduced to the DCU after this crossover.