Comic Book Review: Super Sons #3
One of the biggest voids in the Rebirth relaunch has been the lack of a core superhero title aimed at a younger audience. “Gotham Academy” fills the young adult spot but even something like “Super Powers” is outside of the core universe. “Super Sons” is exactly the kind of series DC needs. It’s aimed at a slightly younger audience and heavily features their biggest properties by focusing on Robin and Superboy while taking place within the main lineup of books. In just three issues it has become one of the more fun series DC is putting out and while “Super Sons” #3 is action heavy, it doesn’t lack a sense of humor.
“Super Sons” #3 picks up right where the second issue left off. Superboy and Robin have teamed up with Sara, a victim of the Amazo virus who still has her powers. They are simultaneously trying to save her and fight off robot versions of their fathers all while still sniping at each other.
“Super Sons” doesn’t exactly reinvent superhero stories but it does do a lot with the characters that it has to play with. Tomasi has taken the Batman/Superman relationship and aged it down but hasn’t forgotten what makes each of these kids unique. Damien is far more aggravated than his father and absolutely comes with a bigger superiority complex. Jon is probably a little too naive for his own good but he’s got a heart of gold and this leads to constant clashes. Tomasi’s character work in this issue in particular is really strong because for the first time the two of them are faced with actually saving someone. There’s no sneaking around, no intel gathering. They have to make the choice to save lives and each one has a very different idea of how that should be done. What isn’t different though is that they agree on doing this. It’s that focus on being superheroes that’s made “Super Sons” succeed so much. It doesn’t try to do too much in way of bigger ethical conversations but does focus on kid superheroes getting in way over their heads but still trying to do the right thing for everyone else. The constant back and forth bickering between the characters is also wickedly funny because any one who’s spent time around kids knows that this is how they can be. Tomasi’s dialogue doesn’t feel forced and like their fathers, this is a bond that really only they can have. The plot itself feels like something you would have seen in Teen Titans which means it can lean on the dark side a little bit but Tomasi eases off that when it’s right. This isn’t something for a very young kid but perfect for that 11 or 12 year old that loves what they see on screen from either DC or Marvel.
Jorge Jimenez’ art is, well, super. Like the rest of the current Superman line up, there’s fun oozing out of this. Jimenez really approaches Superboy and Robin in different ways that, like Tomasi, highlights what makes them different. Superboy’s suit is low maintenance and almost quickly throw together. It reflects his more humble and down to Earth personality and upbringing. Meanwhile Robin has the latest gear showing is reliance on that and how much of Batman’s money he can use. The real selling point of the art in “Super Sons” #3 however is the action. Jimenez creates fantastic battles that he perfectly accents with amazing expression from both Superboy and Robin. The speed lines he uses help create dynamic movement and every time something happens, you’re instantly pulled towards how these two kids react to it. They are both amazed and scared of what they do and what’s happening around them. There’s a touch of comedy in that because when they bicker, their expressions are heightened to something you’d see in a kids action cartoon. My biggest issue with the art however is the coloring by Alejandro Sanchez. The work he does is technically very good but I wish things were just a tiny bit lighter. Costumes and explosions pop but even with this taking place at night, things feel just a little too dark.
“Super Sons” continues to be exactly what I and (I assume) a lot of fans wanted. It’s got a great sense of humor, features a ton of action and really is just kid superheroes being kid superheroes.