Friday, June 7, 2019

Review: Adventures of the Super Sons #11

Adventures of the Super Sons #11 came out this week, the penultimate issue for this maxi-series and therefore the penultimate issue of the tween Jon Kent Superboy. In the main Superman books, Jon has been aged and is now a true teenager. So enjoy this romp while you can. We are about to see the end of this incarnation of the Sons and their fun escapades.

Writer Peter Tomasi has truly taken advantage of the space he's been given. He has given us a healthy dose of the Damian/Jon dynamic which is really the straw that stirs the drink of this series. But we also have seen a sort of warped buffet of the DC universe, sampling the Silver Age, horror comics, science fiction, and straight up super-heroics.

The book, and this issue, has been aided by the art of Carlo Barberi. This is a super-hero book, but it is also a fun super-hero book, light-hearted in a way you would expect the adventures of adolescents to be. And Barberi's dynamic style, the perfect mix if anime, cartoon, and standard comic art complements the story perfectly.

This book does just what it should do as the 11th chapter of a 12 chapter story. The boys are close to being back home. Most of the villains have been taken care of. We have a great cliffhanger. And we know that a final showdown with Rex Luthor is around the corner.

Hopefully, lots of people have been loving this book as much as I have.

On to the details!

 The book opens with a the promised throwdown from last issue.

Superboy, Robin, the older Superboy and Robin (born from their minds in the House Of Mystery homage iss) are back, Kid Joker, AI-X , and Tommy Tomorrow have teamed up to become a sort of team of heroes. And all the better as they face the massive Injustice Army created by Rex Luthor.

I have totally enjoyed seeing the young versions of super-villains born from Rex's mind. The initial Gang were pretty standard villain fare. But when you start seeing Baby Bane and Rainbow Raider, you have to grin.

Nice double splash here.

 And maybe as a reward to Barberi or maybe as a reward to the readers or maybe because this is the last crack at these two characters in these incarnations, the book gives us several splash pages in a row.

The text talks about how this adventure has felt like an endless summer of fun. And it has.

And the beauty of comics is that you can revisit them. I like these Sons books. I can always go back and reread their hijinks. It is an endless summer.

 But then Rex Luthor unleashes his big gun, a Kid Chemo.

Remember, the juice of this series is seeing the friction between Jon and Damian. They are different. They are friends. And unlike their dads, they are young enough to not be rigidly set in their ways.

So I love tiny moments like these when Jon says 'Great Scott'. And Damian is incredulous at that exclamation!

 And I like when the boys get to work together as a team, another way we see how they have grown.

Damian uses his grappling hook to wrap up Doomsdame and Baby Bane. And then Jon hammer throws them through Kid Chemo, popping the casing and draining Chemo away.

Barberi sells this. The top panel really suggest the strain and momentum. And then the second, with the villains flying way from us, after the top one having the villains approaching the camera, completes the revolution and sells the throw.

Love it.

 The rest of the heroes subdue the Injustice Gang. That leaves only Rex who decides that he can take his villainous act on the road as a solo artist. He flies through the portal he has opened to Earth.

The sons recognize that Earth is their world to defend and Rex is their enemy. Without hesitating, I suppose showing how much they have grown as characters, they launch themselves through the portal in pursuit.

It isn't without risk. For all they know, this opens up in space ...

 Or, in this instance, the dreaded 'White Space'.

Is this the Ghost Zone that Prometheus goes to? Or somewhere else?

Actually it looks like it a space within the tesseract of the Hypercube.

With the sons captured, Rex can move on to Earth to become king!


So the majority of the Gang are finished. Tommy Tomorrow, the older figments, and AI-X seem to be done in the story, left in space. And now all that is left is the World's Young Finest vs. Luthor. A nice finale seems to be in the works.

And check out that image.

As I mentioned, Tomasi has thrown in so many homages and Easter Eggs to this book that I keep my eyes peeled. An evil despot holding a powerful cube with heroes trapped inside.

If you aren't thinking Red Skull, you should be.

I'll miss this series when it is done. I'll reread their books whenever I need a laugh and a reminder that comics can be big, loud fun. And I thank Tomasi and Barberi.

Overall grade: B+


Anonymous said...

Carlo Barberi continues to do great work. I can see him taking over or filling in on Young Justice or Teen Titans at some point, since he does young teamups so well.

Now, as for what Rex and the magic cube are up to -- well, you suggest Rex flies through the portal to earth, though at the end it seems he's getting ready to invade. My impression is he tricked Damian and Jon into following him, but then he must have darted away at the last moment (somehow the boys didn't notice), and then he also found time to change the coordinates on them (to an address that happened to be located inside the cube itself). Or maybe that was never earth peeking through the far side of the portal, but only an illusion Rex conjured up. The cube apparently doubles as an overhead projector.

We then see Rex hanging out on a blue ledge just above the cube and its blue platform. So he hasn't travelled anywhere yet.

But - everyone else had yelled "Nooooo!", so whatever trick Rex pulled, it only fooled Damian and Jon? That's odd.

And then - I guess the cube is getting powered up by tapping the life forces of Jon and Damian, who are trapped inside? That can't be good!

Questions, questions.


Korbin said...

Great post.thank you so much.Love this blog.