Monday, May 6, 2019

Review: Adventures of the Super Sons #10

Adventures of the Super Sons #10 came out last week. We are officially entering the home stretch for this comic and I for one will miss it tremendously.

Much like the prior books, this issue showcases the differences and similarities between Damian and Jon. It also has given writer Peter Tomasi a chance to look at some of the Bronz-ier areas of the DCU and either lavish homage or poke fun. Sometimes it is a little bit of both.

I also like the 'How I Met Your Mother' opening, a motif Tomasi has used before in the prior monthly Sons series.

Truly, this issue was a ton of fun and I'll get you to my favorite moments in a second.

Carlo Barberi is on art again and brings that crazed energy to the proceedings. We border on anime here, His style really leaps off the page and has brought some youthful vim to the pages. Barberi is really the perfect choice for this book.

So here we go. Buckle up your chin straps. On to the story.

We start out with a super bombastic opening pages.

We hear in outrageous verbiage how Rex Luthor is aiming to bring out fall of civilization. "The hoofbeats of history crack the ground.' It is all so very Stan Lee and classic Marvel. No doubt this initial title of The Injustice War, a squint away from being The Infinite War, is intentionally Avenging.

But it turns out this is a story being read to some kids, one of whom spouts heat vision to toast a masrhmallow.

And the person reading the story is a very old Jon-like person. When he gets called out for the heavy handed prose, he says back in his day those stories happened every month. For an old-timer like me, they did!

Again, it is Tomasi looking at Bronze Age books with a nod of appreciation.

But then an old Damian pops in to disrupt.  It is time to tell the story as it happened.

The real title page has this tale called 'Gang War'.

Back on Cygnus, Rex Luthor has figured out how to tap into the Hypercube and open a portal to Earth. With the door open, he can bring his cube-powered army of young super-villains to Earth and take over.

But there are some people standing in his way! Superboy, Robin, robot Jonah Hex, and Teen Lantern are all trying to stop him. And what better way to arrive in style than on an out of control train careening into view!

I love how both heroes toss out a quip about how Luthor will soon be punched. But it is clear that Robin's banter game is stronger.

The sons split up.

Robin will head to the Hypercube set-up to try and shut to gate.

Jon will take on Rex.

During his battle, Superboy gets body slammed by Rex. In a nice classic super moment, Jon shakes off the dust and says that the attack only tickled.

I love hearing the super-families say an attack tickled.

And I don't know if intentional. But there is no denying that Jon's pose looks very much like the classic Henry Cavill Man of Steel promotional photo.

Another homage!

Meanwhile,  Damian is trying to get to the cube and fighting Doomsdame.

There is something perfect about him matter-of-factly stating that he is kicking a teenage female Doomsday in the face.

That is classic.

As for the train, it is careening out of control and aimed for Luthor's ship.

Another thing that I loved about this was BizarroKid's struggles with the backwards talk. He is trying but failing. I think all readers have struggled with the validity and consistency of backwards Bizarro talk. So why shouldn't someone trying to talk that way.

Here, he says that Hex is right that the train is out of control. The young Weather Wizard wonders if he means the opposite. Again, any time I grin while reading a comic has to be a win. I loved this moment.

At the very least, the train smashes into Rex's transport ship, in effect stopping the invasion momentarily.

To protect the heroes who need it, Hex shoots at Teen Lantern. It looks like Hex is intending to harm Lantern but it turns out that he is doing it to kick in the Lantern's emergency life support system. And that protects Robin as well.

Upset, Rex shoots the Hex robot with its own gun, destroying it.

Then it looks like the sons are in trouble. Remember there is an army of super-villains, a veritable gang, there.

But before an attack can happen, the cavalry arrives. Tommy Tomorrow, Joker Jr., and the older versions of the boys from the House of Mystery arrive. There's gonna be a showdown!

This was so much fun. My favorite moment was definitely Weather Wizard wondering if BizarroKid was being truthful. I also love that 'tickle' moment.

Two more issues. And we already have the older Jon in Superman.

Enjoy this dynamic while you can!

Overall grade: B+


Anonymous said...

"But it turns out this is a story being read to some kids, one of whom spouts heat vision to toast a masrhmallow."

I'm wondering if those panels where an old man is reading a tale to some kids isn't a stealth "Princess Bride" homage.

The book has full of very funny moments. I mean, Robin kicking a female Doomsday? Bizarrokid failing in Bizarro-speak?

Nonetheless, I wonder how Tomasi will fill the last two issues? I don't think the final battle should last two issues, unless it is very slow-paced.

Martin Gray said...

What a fantastic issue, that line about ‘every month’ was bittersweet - I took it as referring to the loss of the Super Sons’ regular title.

I mean, for goodness sake, this comic should be a leading title in the excellent Wonder Comics line, not a wonderful consolation prize.

Great review, Anj!

Anonymous said...

Among the other pleasures of the book, it was funny that there were two title pages.

There is a DC Zoom or DC Ink book out now -- the boys are both young, at least, but reviewers were dubious about the quality and characterizations.

Is it truly Bendis's thing that Jon got aged up? I thought I read that there was a hint or two in Metal that Jon was going to get older.


Anj said...

Thanks for comments!

Great point that the old Jon could have been talking about the Super Sons themselves!

Anonymous said...

"Is it truly Bendis's thing that Jon got aged up? I thought I read that there was a hint or two in Metal that Jon was going to get older."

It was Bendis. It was his book, and he just did an interview with CBR where he straight up said he did it because he didn't feel any good stories could be told with a child hero.

This title has proved that wrong from issue one. And now it's almost done. The Zoom book is an in-name-only affair; I was very disappointed in it, and my 8yo son found it downright confusing.

With teen!Jon appearing as one of the potential heroes-turned-villains in Year of the Villain, I don't think he has particularly nice plans for him, unfortunately.

(Bendis is also really dismissive towards people who liked this title in that, too. Not a great way to endear yourself to potential new readers but anymore I don't think new readers actually exist for monthly issues.)