Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Review: Super Sons #16

Super Sons #16 came out this week, the last issue in this series, canceled in the wake of the Bendis soft reboot/redirection of the super-titles. There was quite a clamor from fans questioning the decision behind ending this book (and Supergirl) when both titles were selling well and had passionate fans. In a move that shows they were listening, DC quickly put versions of both books back on the shelves in August. So while Super Sons is ending, the Adventures of the Super Sons, a maxi-series, is going to happen soon.

I don't know when writer Peter Tomasi knew about the new book but it must have been prior to writing this issue as there is a framework story of two kids listening to an old man tell this story. It has a very 'How I Met Your Mother' feel to it.

As for the end of this particular tale of the sons fighting Kid Amazo, it all ends rather quickly. I have to assume the imposed timing of this meant Tomasi couldn't tell the story the way he wanted to originally and had to truncate things. I don't know if I quite understand how this ended but it did.

Still, the best part of this book has been the interaction between Jon and Damian and this issue sends the book off well in that regard. There are some great moments here that show how far they have come as friends.

Carlo Barberi and Art Thibert bring their usual elan to the proceedings, giving this just enough of a playful feel to remind us this is a book about kid super-heroes. And Brent Peeples chips in as well.

I am sad it is ending.

Kid Amazo has the Justice League comatose and in chains, draining them of their powers. Superboy has been brought to this hideout by Amazo because the armor needs something organic to channel the energy through and Jon's hybrid physiology makes him perfect.

In comes Cyborg and Damian to the rescue.

You may recall that earlier in this series Damian belittled Jon. You also might remember that Damian considered the Titans his team. Jon was a side project.

So seeing him leap into battle saying that his 'team' was in danger shows just how close these two have become. This growth and friendship is really the draw of the book for me.

While Cyborg fights with Amazo, the sons try to free the Leaguers or at least destroy the battery unit Amazo is using to drain them.

Here Robin has no worries that Superboy will protect him from beams. He has 'super' in his name.

Again, I don't think Damian would have this degree of confidence in Jon earlier in the series.

Amazo will be just as happy linking to Cyborg as to Jon as Vic's body also will allow energy to be efficiently processed.

When breaking the battery pack doesn't work, Damian comes up with a new idea. But it requires Cyborg being taken over by the Amazo armor. If you're Vic do you trust Damian enough to do this?

I wonder what the hero population thinks of Damian overall. Might be worth exploring ...

And then with Vic taken over, Damian enacts his plan.

But this panel embodies the whole series. Damian standing defiantly. Jon ready for action. A villain with the powers of the whole League before them. The bad guy doesn't stand a chance.

That is just awesome.

Love it.

Jon does a matador's work, dodging a charging Cyborg and wrapping Vic in the cape. Damian triggers his father's emergency 'stop Cyborg' plan which was hard-wired into the Batman suit. The resulting assault gives Vic a TIA, causing the armor to detach. Once off Cyborg, Superboy is able to punch it into submission.

This whole thing seems a bit too fast. Does Batman really carry his paranoid 'anti-JLA' kits with him at all times?? And defeating the bodiless armor so quickly seemed off given it was bodiless most of last issue.

But okay. The series is ending. Comic book science!

And then some fun wrap-up.

Cyborg thinks these two will eventually be even better than their dads. Maybe because they actually are friends without reservations?

That last panel of Jon tousling Damian's hair is precious. No way that happens in the first issue.

And then a perfect capstone for the series. Yes, eventually the sons will surpass their fathers. But that is down the road. For now, they can just be sons.

Sunset, shadows and iconic poses ... perfect.

But then we get the epilogue of the narrator telling the kids listening to him that a second book of Adventures is happening. A bit too meta? I don't know. It fits with the fun nature of the book.

It is just a shame the book needs to end. The next book is an adventure 'from the past' meaning the Bendis-era can proceed without a hitch.

I am happy this book happened. I am sure I'll revisit it a lot. We need joy in this comic world and this gave it to me.

Thanks to all the creators on the book but especially Peter Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez.

Overall grade: B+


Martin Gray said...

What a terrific series, and yeah, this did have a truncated feel. We could have done without the framing sequence, although I am a sucker for future superkids.

So bring on Adventures, and hopefully a present moment-set book.

Anonymous said...

A little rushed, but a decent ending to a very entertaining run.

"Does Batman really carry his paranoid 'anti-JLA' kits with him at all times??"

Insert "Because he is Batmaaaaaaaan!!!!!" here.

Anonymous said...

I freaking love this series and I'm sad to see it end. I wasn't entirely a fan of the whole grandpa "well kids, let me tell you a story!" framing bit and has lead my sister and I keep puzzling over who these kids and old man are now. Headcannon it's Batman reading to his grandkids while Damian and Jon (the parents) are off saving the world.

Anonymous said...

I love rhis book and the fact they’re letting Jon and Damian actually have a friendship. It’s really helped develop the characters and let them stand out.