Readers of the 1970’s World’s Finest issues which featured alternative, teenaged sons of Batman and Superman looked at the announcement of a new Super Sons comic book with more than a hint of nostalgia. Although delayed for quite some time after that initial announcement Super Sons #1 has finally arrived and it is a near perfect comic book.
This time around the comic centers on an early teenaged Jonathan Kent, the current Superboy and son of Superman. Along with Damian Wayne, the current Robin and son of Batman, the first team-up was actually introduced in Superman #11. This gives the story in Super Sons #1 a running start forgoing the usual “origin issue” plot found in most first issues. As with all the DC Rebirth titles we are going back a bit to some classic themes and takes on the characters involved.
John Byrne’s 1980’s Superman is back, married to Lois and trying to teach his son Jon the responsibilities that come with being Superboy. When Jon confronts some bullying at his school his father’s words temper his actions to not expose his secret identity but to also be the hero “when it counts”. Damian Wayne is the brash son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. His exploits as Robin and attitude make him instantly unlikeable as a character but in the deft hands of the right writers his cocky demeanour is exposed as a bit of a front, displaying the vulnerable youth inside. Together you would expect Jon and Damian to mix like water and oil but those inner feelings of living up to their father’s expectations bond them together.
The issue opens with two pages that seem unrelated to the main story but I am sure this is a plot thread to be picked up later. With a quick nod to Archie’s Archie and Reggie characters we see a young boy being spoiled by a nervous and sweating family on what appears to be a TV show soundstage. This quickly pops into a chase scene with Damian and Jon fleeing with a host of robot versions of themselves chasing them. Two pages of that and we pop back “Two days earlier” with the story proper happening in Jon’s home town of Hamilton County hoping on the bus for school and that encounter with the bullies. A late-night visit later that day by Damian and the two head off to Metropolis to investigate a series of break-ins at Lexcorp. The issues ends with a surprise guest finding our young sleuths climbing the wall of a Lexcorp building.
Peter J. Tomasi has been writing the DC Rebirth Superman and really has a grasp of all the nostalgic character traits we expect from the Superman characters. He also wrote Damian’s adventures and his care of the characters shows. Both Jon and Damian are written pitch perfect with some funny moments mixed with more serious dialog. The art team of Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez, & Rob Leigh are doing a great job rendering each character with sufficient style idiosyncrasies that you can visually feel the different personalities of Jon and Damian. Highly detailed scenes, appropriate colouring that doesn’t wash out the night time panels … just a really good looking book.
I don’t really grade comics when doing a review but if I did Super Sons #1 would get a solid 10/10 being a fantastic first issue and if the team can keep the quality up I’m sure this comic will easily survive the upcoming price hike from $2.99 to $3.99. It was on my pull list at my local comic shop but if it wasn’t I’d be adding it immediately.
Issue: Super Sons #1 | Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi | Artists: Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez, & Rob Leigh