Review: Super Sons #3

Kyle King Kyle King
Expert Contributor
April 22nd, 2017

T. Kyle King is a lawyer, a former sports blogger, a panelist on the "Twin Peaks"-centric "Wrapped in Podcast", and a Superman guy.

Review: Super Sons #3
Comics
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Review of: Super Sons #3
Price:
Irresistible

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On April 22, 2017
Last modified:April 22, 2017

Summary:

This issue highlights how this series is made up of two winning combinations: Robin and Superboy, as characters in the story, and Peter J. Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez, as creators of the story.

Review of: Super Sons #3
Price:
Irresistible

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On April 22, 2017
Last modified:April 22, 2017

Summary:

This issue highlights how this series is made up of two winning combinations: Robin and Superboy, as characters in the story, and Peter J. Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez, as creators of the story.

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Super Sons #3 provided a brief break from the Superman: Reborn aftermath stories weaving their way through DC Comics’ Superbooks. Instead, readers were presented with the third installment of the series’ introductory When I Grow Up… arc, authored by Peter J. Tomasi with artwork by Jorge Jimenez. ComiConverse contributor T. Kyle King examines the tale subtitled Sibling Rivalry.

(Warning: Some spoilers follow!)

Super Sons #3 Review:

Robin and Superboy are on the trail of Kid Amazo, aided by the villain’s little sister, Sara Duffy. As the Super Sons creep closer to the dangerous Reggie Duffy, though, will they be up to the challenge of facing the sinister forces their antagonist is able to unleash?

Super Sons #3 Synopsis:

Shortly after discovering the warehouse in which the Super-Duffys of Providence, Rhode Island, were slain, Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne encounter what appear to be their respective fathers. The youthful heroes soon discern that these are android impostors, but this realization does little to aid their counterattack until Sara frees them using her power to control machinery.

The young girl explains that her family retained its superpowers even after being cured of the Amazo Virus, enabling her antisocial brother, Reggie, to carry out his sadistic schemes using his self-replicating ability in tandem with the Amazo armor he stole from LexCorp. Reggie — now calling himself “Kid Amazo” — can split into superpowered android duplicates who are able to mimic metahuman might. Kid Amazo has been using this talent to create doubles of his family, which he then can control and kill. Having gained a greater understanding of their adversary, will the boys find it is too late for them to put that knowledge to use?

Story continues below

Super Sons #3 Analysis:

There’s no getting around the fact that the plot of When I Grow Up… is complicated. Reggie, who is unseen in the flesh in this issue except in flashback, represents a sinister presence looming over Super Sons #3 with a genuine sense of menace, yet his plan is confusingly convoluted. The combination of an android virus reprogrammed to affect humans giving an individual the ability to produce multiple versions of himself that can interact with technology to produce mechanized doppelgängers of superheroes and family members for him to use to kill and to be killed makes Sibling Rivalry a little difficult to follow. Additional incongruities are contributed by the unexplained change of Reggie’s and Sara’s family name from Meyer to Duffy between issues and the existence of a previous Kid Amazo. This complexity prompts such realizations on the fly as Superboy’s surprised exclamation: “So I saved a girl who was really a super-powered robot but who was a real girl on the inside?!” Like Jon, though, the reader is too occupied to think it through, so the audience is better off just rolling with it.

While the story itself might be a bit of a challenge to wrap your head around, though, Super Sons #3 is a blast to read. The previous issue’s cliffhanger sincerely sold the notion that the boys had been discovered by their disappointed fathers, making the android reveal an effectively executed plot twist. Tomasi’s characterization of his mismatched lead duo remains spot on, as the boys’ divergent personalities invariably ring true. Damian and Jonathan truly are their fathers’ sons, and their adolescent immaturity brings the differences between Batman and Superman to the fore in an amusing and charming way that the boys put to good use in creating a distraction. The dialogue consistently sparkles, producing such delightful lines as Robin’s murmured aside: “And of course, let’s just trust the strange girl immediately.”

The unfailingly entertaining tone of Tomasi’s writing in Sibling Rivalry invariably is enhanced by the artwork. Pencilled and inked by Jimenez and colored by Alejandro Sanchez, the graphics are kinetic and expressive. The imagery makes excellent use of perspective and layouts, particularly when employing jagged and overlapping panel arrangements that lend a genuine sense of fluidity to the characters’ movements. Jimenez’s depiction of the stars of Super Sons #3 — filled with thin limbs, mussed hair, and emotive faces — really brings to life such wry exchanges as Robin’s grudging “I’ll admit, maybe in retrospect we should have called our fathers” and Superboy’s deadpan “That’s nice to hear. Thanks.”

Sara’s presence in When I Grow Up… — Part Three, though complicated by the android revelation, gives the proceedings a tangible feeling of urgency. The fact that there is a person to be saved turns the boys’ irresponsible romp into a more heroic endeavor because of the human consequences involved. However, Tomasi wisely refrains from casting the girl as a mere damsel in distress; Sara Duffy is determined and (literally) empowered, enabling her both to rescue her supposed saviors with a resolute flick of the finger and to battle back against her brother’s attempts to control her as they come closer to locating Kid Amazo. Super Sons #3 is another all-around outstanding effort for this appealing series.

Did Sibling Rivalry confuse or amuse you? ComiConverse with us in the comments, where you can share your thoughts on Super Sons #3!

Super Sons #3

  • 5

Irresistible

This issue highlights how this series is made up of two winning combinations: Robin and Superboy, as characters in the story, and Peter J. Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez, as creators of the story.

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