The Boy of Steel and the diminutive Dark Knight team up in this fun new book from DC…
As you’ll know if you have kept up with Superman’s recent comic books adventures, Clark and Lois now have a son – the preteen Jon Kent, who has inherited his father’s Kryptonian powers and goes by the name Super Boy. In this awesome new comic, Superman’s son comes together with Batman’s boy, Damien Wayne AKA Robin, to sneak out and fight crime.
First up, the heart of this book is just how well the boys bounce off each other as characters. Obviously, there are a lot of parallels with the relationship between Super-Pops and Bat-Dad but Jon and Damien aren’t just smaller versions of the fathers. Writer Peter J. Tomasi has written for these characters many times before so he does a terrific job at differentiating the personalities of these two very different boys, all while still keeping them feeling like believable kids.
Just like a chip off the old block, Jon and Damien are not natural friends but they still have a great partnership. Damien is wise beyond his years – he can even drive a school bus – but he’s also cocky. On the other hand, Jon is more naive and yet more responsible. He’s already developing a mini-version of his dad’s dual identity; superhero by night, elementary school nerd by day.
It’s not the focus of the book, but there is also an interesting comparison made about the different parenting styles of Clark and Bruce. While Clark is shown lovingly reassuring his son after a bad day, Bruce gives Damien the cold shoulder when he skips class. You wouldn’t want Supes and Bats to steal the book away from their kids, but seeing them through the lens of fatherhood is fascinating and we would like to see this explored further.
There is a lot of groundwork being laid for coming issues in this opener as well, as there are not one but two prologues which are left dangling – one involving Jon and Damien’s future and another a foe they will no doubt come to face. While it might mean this issue on its own suffers from not providing all the answers, it should pay off given time as Tomasi is clearly playing the long game. In the short term, the issue’s cliffhanger also promises a baptism of fire for the pair as they come up against a formidable opponent.
With some terrific expressive yet bold and colourful artwork from Jorge Jimenez – he even works in a welcome recreation of a famous image from The Dark Knight Returns – Super Sons #1 comes easily recommended. Hopefully the following issues will deliver on the promise shown here.