T. Kyle King’s published work ranges from newspaper columns to film reviews and from short stories to law review articles. Most notably, he served as a site manager and staff writer at DawgSports.com, a daily weblog devoted to University of Georgia athletics, from 2006 to 2013, and he is the author of a book about the history of the college football rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers published by Clemson University Digital Press in 2013. Kyle is a lifelong comic book fan whose thoughts on comic books previously have appeared at ComicsVerse, Progressive Boink, and the Superman Homepage. Kyle is a Superman guy.
MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB
Super Sons #2 arrived this week, bringing readers the second installment of writer Peter J. Tomasi’s and artist Jorge Jimenez’s When I Grow Up… Superboy Jonathan Kent and Robin Damian Wayne are in Metropolis on their first excursion together as teammates, and ComiConverse’s Superman family correspondent, T. Kyle King, brings you the following review.
(Warning: Some spoilers follow!)
Super Sons #2 Review:
The uneasy initial collaboration between Batman’s and Superman’s respective sons has led them to LexCorp as part of an ongoing investigation. What troubles are in store for the diminutive duo when they cross paths with Lex Luthor in his armor from The Darkseid War and a family of victims from The Amazo Virus?
Super Sons #2 Synopsis:
Caught breaking into the LexCorp Tower by Luthor himself, Robin uses Superboy as an inadvertent distraction to buy time, allowing Damian to gain access to the building’s security log. Robin’s detective skills and Superboy’s Kryptonian powers allow the lads to determine that Providence teen Reggie Meyer sneaked into LexCorp in search of an android… and appeared on security monitors in four separate parts of the corporate headquarters simultaneously.
Upon learning that Reggie and his entire dysfunctional family retained the metahuman abilities they acquired from the Amazo Virus outbreak, Damian and Jonathan track the Meyer clan to the warehouse in which they had been living on some sort of soundstage. There, they discover that Reggie has used his duplicate selves to hunt down and slaughter his parents and older brother. Superboy leaves to get help from his father while Robin remains at the scene. Jon comes across Reggie’s surviving younger sister, Sara, in the woods nearby, but neither Super Son realizes that he is being watched.
Super Sons #2 Analysis:
As was the case with the previous issue, Tomasi wrote When I Grow Up… — Part Two well enough to warrant being given pride of place, but the graphics of Super Sons #2 are just too good not to discuss up front. Jimenez evidently inked his own pencils, to which Alejandro Sanchez then added the colors, and the result is another great-looking book. The series’ co-stars are gangly, angular, and awkward, and the exaggeratedly scrappy youthfulness of the titular tweens’ appearance lends the entire enterprise a charming lightheartedness even in the midst of spooky scenarios. In that respect, the visual vibe of the first couple of issues is akin to Stranger Things, only with comic book characters rather than comic book readers.
Sanchez gives Super Sons #2 a bright and luminous look, sneaking bursts of illumination even into the heart of darkness using lightning bolts, flashlights, and crescent moons. If When I Grow Up… — Part Two was a movie, film critics would laud it for its lighting, as the interplay of radiance and shadow does much to track the movements of both the story and the individuals in it. With the winning impishness of the bright and likable title characters establishing an upbeat tone in primary colors in the foreground, the colorist is free to create a suitably spooky mood through the judicious use of backlighting, from the opening splash page to the Jeph Loeb-esque split-screen ending. Everything about the artwork in this issue simply sparkles.
Obviously, Tomasi is no slouch in the story department, either. His current work in Superman: Reborn necessarily has been serious, so it is good to see him interject a little more humor here, even in a tale that has its fair share of intense moments. Damian’s and Jonathan’s conflicting personalities and complementary abilities are put effectively to use in an issue that balances both boys’ contributions to the banter and to the task at hand. The Wayne and Kent heirs unmistakably are their fathers’ sons, allowing the author to replicate in microcosm the occasionally shaky relationship between Batman and Superman. The Caped Crusader and the Action Ace are friends who sometimes fight, but their wary partnership based on grudging respect ultimately ends with them as trusting teammates who share a common hope for humanity. Tomasi has the stars of Super Sons #2 retracing their famous fathers’ footsteps with one another as each figures out who he is, in part by defining himself against the other.
Reggie’s menacing presence in the series — after the harrowing prologue, he is only seen on screens, heightening the feeling of foreboding — ensures that not all things are sweetness and light, and there remains a significant sense of mystery surrounding the Amazo Virus-infected family. It is clearly established, both in the opening roll call and in a newspaper photograph, that there are five members of the Meyer family, yet Robin and Superboy find four bodies. Three of the victims are Mr. and Mrs. Meyer and their older son, Archie; the other corpse isn’t Sara, who escaped to safety in the forest. Whose body, then, is the fourth one, and what role does the LexCorp android that attracted Reggie’s attention play in this family drama that appears to have played out on an actual stage?
Since Reggie invokes his name in a context that isn’t entirely clear, what connection, if any, does the Meyer family have to Kid Amazo, the supposed cyborg who also was tied to a young woman named Sara? While we’re on the subject of mathematical oddities, after the triplicate Reggie slays his father, his mother, and his brother, he remarks that his macabre game of hide and seek is unfair “just ‘cause you’re outnumbered” — only their numbers ostensibly are even, three against three. (Although we see three Reggies in the warehouse, however, we know there were four of him at LexCorp.) When he wonders what his sister will think of Kid Amazo, is Reggie referring to himself (or to one of his selves) by that moniker, or to someone else (or, since his father’s last words mention an influential “device”, to something else)? In any case, the numbers don’t add up unless When I Grow Up… — Part Two has not accounted for at least one victim and at least one villain.
Those answers, naturally, are for a later day, but, after another successful installment in the new series, Super Sons #2 should have fans eagerly awaiting the next issue.
Feel free to join the ComiConversation in the comments!
Source: DC Comics
Superboy and Robin may be off to a shaky start as partners, but their series has made a successful beginning with a second issue that looks great and balances the humorous with the horrific.