Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Review: Adventures of the Super Sons #12

Adventures of Super Sons #12 came out last week, the end of the maxi-series and the end of the sons as we have known them.

This is the end ...

Or is it?

Writer Peter Tomasi has been sending the boys through a warped tour of DC's Silver and Bronze ages in this book as Jon and Damien fight Rex Luthor and his Gang. And now that Jon is 17ish and presumably about to join the Legion of Super-Heroes, we won't be getting more tween adventures of this next gen World's Finest. And that makes me more than a little sad. The boys have brought a lot of joy into comics and heaven knows I need as much fun as possible.

Artist Carlo Barbieri has also brought a sort of whiz-bang quasi-anime feel to the book which has really given it a ton of energy.

But anytime a book or concept like this ends, I have to wonder why. Certainly there were more stories to tell. And while I know I only need go back to the longbox to reread these stories, I'll always wonder what might have been.

Still, there is a little bit of light peeking through the darkness of this ending. Maybe there is more?

Last issue, Rex tricked the sons into trapping themselves in the 'cosmic cube' Luthor has been using to power his scheme. Trapped in the white space of the cube, the sons try to figure out how to break free.

And then, something crazy happens. A personification of the Cube appears. The Cube has attained sentience. It has watched time pass. It has seen the events in the Fortress. And it wants to have a life of its own.

I love the 'cube' word balloons.

Wishing to make his own stories, the cube tapped into it's own power and created a sort of pocket universe/new world ... the home world of Rex and his gang. But then, Rex somehow usurped control, grabbing the Cube and wielding its power on his own. Rex the student became the master.

I love the little meta-commentary where Jon says the Cube created his own imaginary story. Aren't they all?

But as innocent as this Cube is, there have been real complications. The Puppeteer was killed by Rex.

Of course, the Cube has phenomenal cosmic power. At Jon's suggestion, the Cube brings the Puppeteer back to life. And in a few minutes, Robin is somehow able to retro-engineer the Puppeteer tech to take control of Rex in the real world.

There is something smug about Damien's assessment. And his expression is perfect.

These are tween boys.

So first Damien makes red shout a bunch of sophomoric self-insults. But then Rex is forced into releasing the boys. And they quickly smash him.

I'll miss these shots of the kids fighting together.

Part of this story has been the boys visiting horror worlds and sci-fi worlds. Now we know that these were manifestations of the Cube's desire for stories.

We have seen them inspire older versions of themselves.

Now they inspire the Cube. It is time for the Cube to take control back. And the boys inspire the Cube by bringing up all the stories they have gone through.

And just like that, it's over.

Now the Cube has an internal world filled with all these incredible characters. There are good guys and bad guys. There are wild locales.

This is the world where we saw those 'How I Met Your Mother' scenes were older Sons tell of their adventures to their kids.

So there is a world out there, inside the hypercube, where any story can happen. Maybe some sequel can happen?

With Rex captured and the Cube's powers harnessed, the boys find themselves back at home. Finally their summer can truly start.

But then we get a fun twist. This Gang adventure ate up the entire summer.

Today is the first day of school!

I have to admit. I chuckled out loud.

And so we come to the end of this run of the Adventures of the Super Sons.

But these are stories.

It is never the end.

I have said it before. I'll say it again. I'll miss these guys. I'll miss this dynamic. I'll miss seeing this relationship grow. We saw both kids pick up traits of the other. I loved how this was the palate cleanser to the sometimes bristly relationship between Clark and Bruce.

For now, no more.

At time like this, I remember a similar ending ... Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl #24.

It's only the end if you want it to be.

Thanks to Mr. Tomasi and Mr. Barbieri.

I'll miss these guys.

Overall grade: B+


Martin Gray said...

Amen and applause. I agree, there's an in-continuity opening here for more adventures of the young heroes. And yep, the ending also made me think of Brian Q Vaughan's final issue of possibilities for Batgirl. Let's hope we get to see some soon.

Anonymous said...

Excellent review, this series has been a fun light hearted romp across the DCU. I'm really going to miss the dynamic between Jon and Damian that Peter Tomasi nailed and their banter won't be the same under Bendis for sure. It's a sad swan song now that the announcements from DC today confirm 17 year old Jon will be joining the Legion in the future. I'm glad for any Legion fans who are happy to see this team return but it's a shame Jon was aged up by Bendis to fit in with his plans for the Legion. There were many more stories to be told with a 10 year old Jon who could be eventually aged up to 17 and join the Legion at a more natural pace. I'm not a fan of artificially aging characters in comics personally.