Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Review: Challenge Of The Super-Sons #1

While it has been out digitally for some time, Challenge of the Super Sons #1 came out as a true issue last week and I was eager to pick it up. From the initial monthly to the 'Adventures of ...' mini series, writer Peter Tomasi has always swung for the fences with high energy, amusing, and often touching stories of Jon and Damian. And Tomasi has had the luck of being teamed with some of the best artists in the business on these books.

Challenge of the Super Sons #1 maintains that vibe, a perfect palate cleanser from the dark and 'true to life' comics of the modern age. I always smile when I read this book and goodness knows we need more smiles in this world.

For me the juice of the book is the interaction of the characters. Damian is young, vicious, jaded 'son of assassins' who is just starting to soften at the edges. Jon is high energy, brash, good to a fault, and sort of naive. Seeing these two pick up each others better traits and learn to be friends has always been special. This time they are caught up in some crazy super-heroic hijinks that make no sense other than to be fun. I'm all in.

This time the art is by Max Raynor who I recently praised for doing a spectacular arc in Batman/Superman. His art has a little more whimsy to it this time. 

I'll say it again, I miss these guys. I am glad DC is letting Tomasi tell us 'lost stories'.

We open with standard school silliness.

Jon has been working hard as an investigative journalist for the school newspaper, uncovering a cheating scheme. Alas, despite all his hard work, Damian spoils the surprise. He has already done some sleuthing and has discovered the real villain.

It irks Jon for a bit. But then Damian allows Jon to captain their weekend adventures. It is a decent trade.

So off they go.

I simply love this moment where after Damian does a classic shirt rip, Jon carefully unbuttons his shirt.

After circling the skies, Jon finally finds a true emergency!

A family who needs help with a massive grocery shopping trip. Jon sees the mother is a medical professional and wants to give back to a first provider.

I don't think this was the sort of mission Damian would have chosen.

But it is this difference in the characters which fuels the book.

The end of that mission is interrupted by the actual major plot of the book.

A woman shows up saying she has the Doom Scroll. And that 'this is the story from the other side'.

I had to mull that line over.

Story from the other side? Other side of what? Or is this some meta-comment by Tomasi as he has had to go back before the aging up of Jon, on that side of the timeline.

We then get some major exposition.

The Doom Scroll shows a hero who will day in one hour. 

If the hero learns about their impending death or the scroll, they automatically die.

And so the Super Sons have to sneakily go and save these heroes.

Who knows if what this woman is saying is true. But I have to laugh at all the caveats and quid pro quos around the rules of the Scroll. But who cares? It makes it a hoot!

One hour to get from Metropolis to Central City is too tall an order for Damian who couldn't survive the high-speed flight if Jon carried him.

And so we get an actual Supermobile sighting!!

I love ... and I mean LOOOVVVVEEE ... the Supermobile!

Sure enough, the boys get there just in time for Jon to jump in the way of a mystic lightning bolt which would have fried the Flash. 

Great panel by Raynor. You feel the strike here!

Good thing Damian is here to use the giant mitts of the Supermobile to catch Jon.

The 'it tickles ... actually it doesn't' bit is a great gag! I laughed out loud.

So we have the set up. Our heroes have to be ninja-like in saving their heroes. And next up is Wonder Woman.

Yes!!!! A fun comic to read!!!

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

I said you’d like this lots! I’ve been wanting you to see that Supermobile appearance for months.

Things only get crazier from here...

Bostondreams said...

Unrelated to this review, I saw this tweet from Tom King and I personally love how this looks. I know there are concerns, but to me, this is Kara, protecting the endangered as best she can with all she has. https://twitter.com/TomKingTK/status/1384502427441901569