Friday, April 5, 2019

Review: Adventures of the Super Sons #9

Adventures of Super Sons #9, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Scott Godlewski, came out this week and was another fun issue. As usual, writer Peter Tomasi uses this book to take a dive into the DCU as well as touch on some pop culture references. I am sure I sound like a broken record but the best part of this Sons pair is how they have played off on each other. They are clearly different. But they also have rubbed off on each other. It is the interaction between Jon and Damian that is the best part of the book.

This issue decides to dive into both the Westworld phenomenon as well as take a swipe at Jonah Hex. So suddenly the boys are on a world based on the Wild West, filled with cowboy robots with strict programming. But seeing our main characters adapting to this new environment is hysterical.

Scott Godlewski pitches in on art, as he has done earlier in the book. He doesn't bring quite the same zing that Carlo Barberi does. But the art is still slick. And certainly it is close enough to Barberi that the book has a consistent feel.

We only have three issues left. So buckle your seat belts!

The book opens with Jonah Hex about to be gunned down by some outlaws. They are demanding that Hex come back to the Planeteers and join their missions.

Before the group can start trading shots, Superboy, Robin, and Green Lantern Recruit Al-X all blipping in. The 'vroom tube' luckily had them blip in right on top of the gunmen.

Damian asks the same question I have. Why is there a world galaxies away based on Earth's wild west? Who was watching? Who funded the place? Or brought the culture here?

I suppose, given the quasi-humor nature of this book, I just have to roll with it.

Hex is a robot who thinks the better part of valor is to take off and find shelter far away. It is pretty cool to see the heroes riding horses!

 In the camp, Jon takes on the roll of chuck wagon cook, making a stew. Al-X pampers his horse who he has named Gardner after Guy.

And Damian? He is playing the harmonica by the fireside. He is proud how quickly he can master these things.

When you think about Damian, I doubt anyone thinks of him kicking back and playing the harmonica. The Damian from the earliest Sons issues would be in the trees skulking and reconnoitering. Jon has rubbed off on him, no doubt. It is this sort of interaction that makes me love this book and will make me miss it.

Jonah ends up giving us some back story. He was a soldier robot, working with Tommy Tomorrow on Planeteer missions. He was a killer and a good one. But in the end he 'couldn't take it' so Tommy allowed him to leave the Planeteers and hole up here.

But he isn't truly free. Tomorrow programmed him to stay on this planet, in case he needed to be recalled into service. Hex can't break that programming.

I don't quite get it. Hex can lose the nerve to kill, presumably against programming. But he can't break this programming?

It's okay. It is important for the story.

 Damian has another great moment.

He talks about how he also was programmed in his youth but was able to overcome it. It is perfect art. Look at Damian lounging, arms behind his head. That isn't the paranoid assassin we knew.

As it is, Al-X is a programmer and could remove Hex's programming allowing him to be truly free. But Hex keeps saying it is his will to stay, not something written into his code. He'll stay.

 To remind us of the real threat, Tomasi cuts to Rex Luthor, winging his way to Earth to try and take over.

And he isn't coming alone. And he no longer just has a gang. He has a whole injustice army.

I do love seeing all these tweens in costume. It is like kiddie cosplay. I love the skinny Bane!

The Sons know they need to get home. They also know they can't rely on their fathers to clean up this Rex mess. This is their problem. They need to get home to stop it.

Hex tells them of intergalactic trains that leave this planet and cruise around the cosmos. They could steal a train and head back home. But no one has ever been able to steal one. Suddenly we are in The Great Train Robbery, a classic Western trope.

I love how Jon starts talking 'cowboy', dropping his G's and talking with an accent.

 With the Sons out bashing robot security to grab the train, Green Lantern takes matters into his own hand. He doesn't understand why Hex won't let him alter his programming. But if Hex won't let him, he'll do it on his own.

He knocks out Hex with a pipe to the back of the head and removes all the compulsory programming Tommy Tomorrow put in.

Hmmm ... don't know what I think about this.

The book ends with the Sons' successful commandeering of a train.

Another nice moment is hearing which Western actor the boys' famous fathers like. I would have reversed these. Superman seems more like a Cooper fan than Eastwood. I guess my head canon is wrong.

Anyways, another fun issue with fun moments. Another dip into the depths of the DCU as well as a riff on the Westworld phenomenon. And we got to see Damian play a harmonica.

Nothing to complain about here.

Overall grade: B


Anonymous said...

Another funny issue. Jon wearing a cowboy hat is priceless.

Still I'm a bit tired of Rex and his copycat army.

Martin Gray said...

Best issue in ages, there was so much to enjoy in the characters and plot. I still don’t get the Planeteers as strongarm meanies, and yeah, I’m sick of Rex, but Damian and Jon remain a delight, and Al.X is growing on me... I’ve no problems with what he did to robo-Hex, he’s a space cowboy and so would understand that a man’s gotta do etc. Yes, our trainee GL went against Hex’s started wishes, but these were programmed into him. Had he decided to stay on the Wild West World AFTER that - as I suspected he would when Damian asked if he was coming, fine... he finally has free will.

I think Damian musing on who created the planets is setting up a reveal, this has to be lampshading with a purpose.

I notice Carlo Barberi on Avengers: No Surrender this week, I hope we haven’t lost him to Marvel. That said, I wasn’t at all disappointed by Scott G filling in again, I really enjoy the verve of his linework - that rootin’ tootin’ splash spread was especially fab. Anyone else want to see those ’four untold adventures’?

And that’s a great cover from Dan Mora!

Anj said...

Good pick up on that Damian line Mart. Any ideas of who could be the creator of worlds? Perhaps something goofy like The Shaper of Dreams or whatever that is!