Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Review: Challenge Of The Super Sons #6

The Challenge of the Super Sons #6 came out this week, the penultimate issue of this fun mini-series. This is before Jon was aged. This is before Damian went even crazier. This is when two tween heroes could just have some silly fun. 

Writer Peter Tomasi has had a great understanding of these two boys, making me laugh as they bicker and joke their way through their adventures, inspiring each other along the way. This issue has all of that as our heroes escape from the distant path to get back to the 'present' day. I do think this mini-series could have easily been 6 issues, not seven, This side adventure in the past has gone on for maybe just a little too long.

Some of that feeling might come from the art in the last few chapters. Evan Stanley has a nice, fun, cartoony style. But it is hard to jump to that after getting more standard superhero fare from artists like Max Raynor. I wonder how I would feel if the whole book was done in this sort of style. 

Still, there are a couple of great moments in this issue that makes me once again know I will miss it when it is gone. I know I will definitely miss this Jon.

On to the book.  

The boys are safe in Rora's secret hideaway in the magic troll forest. Here Rora talks about how she has studied enough to send the boys back home to the present. We, of course, know that this happens because we have been following their adventures in the present after this temporal rescue.

But I like that Tomasi makes a point of showing how Rora has perfected this perpetual magic paper, a vehicle to have magic happen just from the paper itself. Knowing they boys are using the magic scroll Rora sent them with to stymie the Doomsday spells of Felix Faust makes more sense.

And it is pretty cool that Rora has perfected her own paper mill.

Of course this is a ridiculous story at times. 

Like here where Jon learns the tea he has been drinking is fermented troll urine.

I doubt we'll be seeing something like this in Jon's current book.

This is a good example of Stanley's style. 

Rora's lair is discovered by Vandal Savage and Felix Faust. Suddenly, a brawl is on.

As I said, Tomasi has such a great grasp of these characters. I love how Damian tells Rora that fighting the bad guys are what they do. Bur he also affirms her talents after the villains insulted her work. That is Jon rubbing off on them.

Eventually, Faust threatens to kill Rora if the boys don't surrender. Just like fighting is what they do, protecting the innocent is also what they do. They allow themselves to be captured.

Using his magic, Faust is able to see the future. By seeing those actions, he can plan traps in the future to thwart the Justice League and the Sons later in time.

I did like the sigils of the main League floating around Faust's sanctum.

But then a rescue is on.

Using her own peeks into Faust's thoughts of the future, Rora is able to send an ersatz League to fight Faust and Savage. It's actually just forest trolls under a glamour. But it works.

While the super-villainous duo wade in, Rora is able to sneak in and try to free her friends.

The look here by Stanley is pretty sharp, sort of medieval takes on the main League's look.

And so we reach the point we reached way back in the earliest issues, the boys returning to present day. 

We get some nice continuity, like the explanation of why they were wearing cloaks. 

But this last scene just great as we see just how taken with Jon Rora is. He call Damian 'Jon's assistant'. Fantastic.

And then she talks about what an inspiration he has been, teaching her lessons of heroism and hope.

Now that is pretty cool.

With that the boys enter the portal and get back to the present day where they begin their quest of saving the Justice League.

I still think that this side of the story could have been trimmed. We could have got to this point a bit faster. But Tomasi puts in enough fun moments like this one to make it more palatable.

Sounds like I am damning with faint praise. I don't mean to. While this chapter wasn't as whiz bang as others, it was still a blast.

I will miss this book.

Overall grade: B


Bostondreams said...

I honestly LOVE the art. It's a bit 'kiddie', but it's fun and attractive and suits this story well.

Martin Gray said...

I wonder if the Evan Stanley art would have worked better in the book had it been used solely for the medieval storyline… having two such distinct styles from issue to issue was jarring. I think it’s Stanley’s noses that are the problem for me, Rora looks like Jimmy Durante.

I hope we get more Super Sons, super soon, these are the cheery stories I need.

(And if anyone wants more pure fun, try last issue’s Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries!)

Anj said...

Boston - I honestly think it is the jump from one style to another that makes this feel off for me.

I agree if Stanley did all of it, or was teamed with someone like Agnes Garbowska who has a similar style, it might have flowed better for me.