Super Sons #1 is exactly the kind of light-hearted book you expect when teaming up Superboy and Robin. Being the first issue, there is a certain amount of setup that will pay off down the line, but this first installment does a great job setting up the oil-water relationship between Jon Kent and Damian Wayne that mirrors their parents’, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Super Sons #1 (DC Comics)
The main action in this issue takes place at school during a snowball fight Jon initiates to get back at some bullies who were picking on his friend. During the fight, he briefly contemplates putting the bullies in their place with his powers, like any young superhero would. But being Superman’s son, he decides to keep his abilities secret and prepare for the worst. Right as the bullies are closing in, Damian (in disguise) finishes them off with a well-placed dump of snow.
This kind of scene isn’t revolutionary, and the stakes aren’t life-or-death, but it does a nice job setting up Jon’s conflict about his powers. And sure, a young hero fighting control of their powers has been done to death, but then again, not every hero has the big blue boyscout as a dad. Even a really nice Kent family scene after the fight reassuring Jon he did the right thing kind of heaped the expectations on him. Oh, and after their talk Clark flew off to help the Justice League. No big deal.
I’d say this book was tipped more in Jon’s favor, but man, the Damian we did get was totally on point. His independent, know-it-all, confident jerk attitude and morally questionable outlook on life is in stark contrast Jon’s boyscout-y-ness, clearly making him the cooler of the two. But then at the same time, scenes with him at home with Bruce and Alfred are kind of cold and sad, making you feel bad for the kid and realizing his attitude is largely a front. Damian has got to be a tricky character to get right, but man, Peter Tomasi totally nails it.
On the art front, Jorge Jimenez’s style is a perfect fit for Tomasi’s script; a bit cartoony and exaggerated, with bold, bright colors that help keep the story light. He does a great job capturing the action, but is equally competent with closeups and dialogue panels. Also, the reference to The Dark Knight during their midnight escapade is a pretty nice touch.
The issue ends with Damian dropping in on Jon before bed for a bit of an adventure, attempting to break into Lexcorp until Luthor ominously catches them in the act. It’s a pretty solid cliffhanger, albeit one that doesn’t tie into the issue’s robot-fighting prologue, but I’m looking forward to the next issue. Between the team-up, the family dynamics, and the internal conflicts, there is a surprising amount of groundwork laid with a relatively fun, small story.
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