Monday, July 19, 2021

Review: Challenge Of The Super Sons #4

Challenge of the Super Sons #4 came out last week and I continue to be tickled by this book. 

Writer Peter Tomasi has a good handle on these young characters, having written them so long. As always it is their interactions, showcasing how they are different but can still work together, that brings the juice. 

The overall story is a hoot too. Superboy and Robin have to secretly save Justice Leaguers from a cursed magic scroll. So they have to put one over on their elders ... all for a good cause. That adds a little extra wrinkle of fun to the proceedings. On top of that, the scroll was activated by Felix Faust and Vandal Savage who are hunting the boys through time. That is a solid foundation.

Now some of the details are a bit preposterous. But this is a book that wants the reader to remember thrilling comic adventures of yesteryear and smile. So I don't mind a little zaniness.

Max Raynor is on both parts of the issue and I have become a big fan of his work. Our heroes look like kids. And the action looks great. I love his Jon, a mix of earnestness and anxiousness to get down to it.

On to the book.

Last issue, Vandal Savage appeared in the present (or the 'present' of this story when Jon is still young) and threatened Rora, the mystical woman helping our heroes through the ages.

I say it every issue but it is the difference between the boys, how they contrast from each other that really is the straw that stirs the drink.

Nothing says it better than this panel. Robin talks about needing to save Rora by himself. Jon talks about how he is thrilled to have his friend fighting next to them.

They are very different. But somehow it works. 

Savage makes a standard villain demand. The two are to hand over the scroll or he will kill Rora.

I love Jon's impassioned speech. He has learned from the best.

But Robin shuts him up. Per Damian, there isn't time for 'theatrics'. But Jon screams that he was being serious! Best moment in the issue.

And that panel with Jon pointing to the camera is the best panel in the book. Great stuff by Raynor showing that Jon truly looks like he means business.

Luckily, Damian is setting a trap. Savage gets a face full of last issue's nerve gas balloon. And with that, Jon leaps into action.

Another great panel by Raynor. I am always a fan of after-images to denote speed. Jon is really hammering away here.

Who'd believe a nerve-gas filled balloon would be a comic plot point. 

When Savage gets the upper hand, gruesomely promising to peel the skin of Jon, Damian steps in.

Now we get Savage getting a beatdown from the Supermobile.

In case I haven't said it enough, I love the Supermobile.

This is my second favorite panel of the book. Glorious.

Savage gets away and before the heroes can track him the Doom Scroll says Cyborg is under attack.

Now we get to the 'what the ?' portion of the book. 

Damian is somehow able to make a cloaking program so the boys can VR their way into Cyborg's brain unnoticed. It's like they are in the Matrix of Vic's mind where the only limit is imagination.

Now that is a lot of tech to talk about in a couple of panels, explained with a simple 'I'm a genius so I can do this' by Robin.

But the fact that with the entirety of his imagination at his disposal, Jon creates a horse is just classic.

Inside Cyborg's mind, the two have to fight off Grid.

Luckily Damian Ex Machina has another trick up his sleeve, a Super Son Virus.

Okay, this is my third favorite panel of the book. I love the Chibi sons! Brilliant. And Jon looks like he is throwing a pokeball. 

Too much fun. I am much more apt to swallow this foolishness in this book than in something more mainstream. But frankly, I could use a little fun.

As I said, I don't know how these two work together. I just now they do.

Love this panel, smug Robin gloating over his killer virus. Jon smiling broadly about how they rid the real world of evil two. They look like partners here.

So another fantastic issue that had me grinning. How can you not smile at the Supermobile trouncing Vandal Savage?

I'll be sad when the mini-series ends. Just like I was when the last one ended.

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

Well, let’s demand a third mini-series! Reviews like this can only help.

‘Damian Ex Machina’! Jealous!

I agree, Mas R’s work is great, it’s a rotten shame we don’t have him for this entire ride.

Anj said...

Hoping Raynor gets a regular title.