Friday, December 7, 2018

Review: Adventures Of Super Sons #5

Adventures of the Super Sons #5 came out this last week and was a fun interlude in this rather bonkers title. Changes are upcoming for Jon Kent so Peter Tomasi is taking advantage of this series to expose the fun-loving sons to all the madness the DCU can provide.

As I have said in prior reviews, Tomasi has been inserting nods to prior DC history events throughout this series. There is a 'plot' of sorts; a young version of the Injustice League, fanboys of criminals from an alien planet who are basically cosplaying the real baddies is after the sons. But mostly this seems like a madcap race. That thread might be weaving through the book. But mostly this feels episodic.

This issue wraps up a two part peek at the horror anthologies of the Bronze Age. Stuck on the Planet of Mystery and Secrets, the boys are stuck in a spooky house and faced with potential future versions of themselves. There will be Easter Eggs! But all in all, the boys both learn a lesson and inspire. Not bad for kid heroes.

The art by Carlo Barberi is still wonderful, cartoony and stylish enough to fit the material perfectly.

As I have said before, it'll be a shame when this version of the sons moves on. On to the book.

As I said, the Kid Injustice League is still out there.

Joker Jr. had broken ranks and was trying to raise an alarm with the Space Cab Authority.

But before he can bring any attention to the matters, Rex Luthor arrives and re-captures the traitor to the cause.

I suppose this was just to keep the League in the back of our minds as active parts of the title.

 The remainder of the story takes place in the House of Secrets and Mysteries. Last issue ended with the boys running into older versions of themselves. The older Robin has a rather Ra's Al Ghul look to his costume. And Super-Man looks rather portly.

While the Robins decide to try and puzzle this all out, the two Jons decide to delight each other by quizzing themselves. Favorite ice cream sundae? Favorite Western movie?

There is joy within Jon. Looking at covers of the upcoming Bendis stories, it doesn't look like that is going to last.

As if to snap Jon out of this introspective frivolity, Robin slaps him across the face. He's lucky Jon is so forgiving.

But look at that first panel. And think of memes.

It has to be a reference to the classic panel of Batman slapping Robin which has been meme'd to death.

Go ahead, google 'Batman slaps Robin' ... you'll see.

What is amusing is that the memes do seem to reverse the image above making the Barberi panel more an homage to the meme!

 But this is a House of Secrets and Mystery and the Robins want to escape.

They break through a doorway only to plummet in nothingness.

Nice splash selling the disorienting experience.

Love it.

 Meanwhile, the older Jon toys with the idea of telling the 'real' Jon about his first kiss.

Hmmm ... begins with an 'L'.

Any thoughts out there??

But the discussion comes to a crashing end when the two Robins fall from the ceiling. It looks like the house is basically a labyrinth.

 Finally the hosts of the House arrive, Kainn and Labell.

Get it! Cain and Abel, the hosts of the comics House of Mystery and House of Secrets!

They have the speech patterns, the visual regalia, and even the veiled threats of the original.

And they say they can help the boys get out.

 But the magic door they lead them through isn't the exit. It shows the future.

Jon and Superman have eradicated crime. Jon built a little Fortress near his old home in Hamilton. And he is married and a father (although we never see the face of his wife). We do see she has dark hair. (I will say, there is a chance that is Lois and Jon's baby brother. But I am pretty sure it is his wife.)

Damian has inherited the entirety of Batman's legacy. He has made an army of Robins. And he fights for justice.

It is hard to know if Kainn's aim was to have the boys basically "Black Mercy" it all and decide to live these perfect lives. Or if it was just to show them where they might be heading.

Either way, the boys fight to reject these images.

 We learn that the boys are actually hooked up to a Wonder Machine within the house. Their energies are feeding the machine. And this thrills Kainn. Although maybe Kainn is also a creation of the Machine.

I have to admit I was a little confused by this whole thing. The Wonder Machine creates these mind realities in order to feed?

 All that said, I like this moment. The older sons, the creations of the Wonder Machine built to lure the real sons, turn on their masters. They attack Kainn and Labell and free Jon and Damian.

These creatures were inspired by the real boys. Inspired!

That's pretty cool.

It does mean they are still trapped on the planet. But at least they know they will grow up on their terms.

And maybe Jon learned to hold back on Lois' cooking a bit.

This was just about as silly as you can get. And airy like cotton candy. But I am hoping for something fun and sweet when I read this book. So that worked out well.

Overall grade: B


Anonymous said...

Another delightfully funny issue.

Ah, emotion-eating machines. The tools of such fine fellows like Desaad or Mxyzptlk.

Lex Jr. carrying Joker Jr. in bridal position? Let the fanfiction begin.

Anonymous said...

Nice catch about the slap.

Love the book.

DC is now putting ads and quotes on the "a" covers?

This one has an ad for the Aquaman movie (and Martian Manhunter book has a quote from Tom King about how good the comic is, like on a book jacket). So strange.

Well, it's different, I'll give them that much.

Martin Gray said...

We’ve been getting ads for upcoming superhero films on covers since at least Superman: The Movie.

Another great issue though I’m sick of the Gang, they can go away now!

I don’t want this to end!