Review: Super Sons #4

Kyle King Kyle King
Expert Contributor
May 21st, 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 #4
Comics
0
Review of: Super Sons #4
Price:
Phenomenal

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On May 21, 2017
Last modified:May 21, 2017

Summary:

A total team effort produced a pitch perfect issue.

Review of: Super Sons #4
Price:
Phenomenal

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On May 21, 2017
Last modified:May 21, 2017

Summary:

A total team effort produced a pitch perfect issue.

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Super Sons #4 concluded the opening arc of this charming series starring Jonathan (Superboy) Kent and Damian (Robin) Wayne. The winning combination of writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Jorge Jimenez came together once more to produce Son Day, Bloody Son Day! ComiConverse contributor and Kryptonian correspondent T. Kyle King is here to review the latest issue.

(Warning: Spoilers follow!)

Super Sons #4 Review:

Kid Amazo has captured Batman’s and Superman’s sons, enabling the villain to prepare himself to take down the Justice League. Can the headstrong youths count on Lex Luthor to save them… and does an even more daunting threat await them at home?

Super Sons #4 Synopsis:

In the wee hours of the morning in Gotham City and in Hamilton County, Alfred Pennyworth and Lois Lane respectively discover that the boys in their charge have flown the coop. Robin and Superboy are being held hostage by Kid Amazo, who now is able to use the Amazo Armor and Jon’s Kryptonian abilities to create a superpowered army. Emboldened by the sense of his own invincibility, the villain divulges his intention to kill his family members — the originals, not just their duplicates — and defeat the Justice League.

Summoned in secret by Robin, Luthor arrives to reclaim the Amazo Armor. The boys are freed in the melee, and they spirit the Duffy family away to shelter before returning to the scene of the battle, bringing with them Kid Amazo’s younger sister, Sara, and a plan. The youngsters taunt Reggie, driving him to draw all his metahuman doppelgängers back into himself. Once the Amazo Army is reunited with Reggie, Sara is able to use her power over machinery to rip the Amazo Armor off of her sadistic older brother. The authorities are summoned and Sara is safe, so Robin and Superboy make their getaway. They return to Hamilton County, squabbling yet seemingly triumphant, only to find Alfred and Lois angrily awaiting their arrival.

Story continues below

Super Sons #4 Analysis:

The previous issue, while complicated, nevertheless was delightful. Despite its ominous title and dire peril, Son Day, Bloody Son Day! eschews undue complexity and embraces the glorious craziness inherent in the concept of superhero comics. Reggie and Sara Duffy were given superpowers by the Amazo Virus, which Reggie has augmented using the stolen Amazo Armor and the extraordinary abilities of a Kryptonian-human hybrid? Well, what better way to combat that danger than by having Robin use the skills he learned from the League of Assassins to summon Luthor wearing a Warsuit that was conjured up using a Mother Box? Super Sons #4 simply and unapologetically accepts the wonderful absurdity of this endlessly inventive medium and rolls with it, superbly striking the balance between terrifying jeopardy and unrestrained originality to maintain a tone that is neither overly serious nor inordinately silly.

Jimenez’s graphics, as always, are essential to this endearing enterprise. By turns brightened and dimmed by colorist Alejandro Sanchez’s spectacular sense of theatrical lighting — complete with lens flares! — the artwork of Son Day, Bloody Son Day! is utterly marvelous. The layouts are carefully composed, depicting each sequence with appropriate degrees of airy openness or claustrophobic confinement. Each methodically crafted page suitably arranges the panels to match either the orderly obsessiveness of the villain’s singleminded scheming or the kinetic chaos of combating Kid Amazo on the fly. The meticulous use of shading amplifies a dynamic exaggerated photorealism reminiscent of Neal Adams’s classic Batman graphics, but with a stylized cartoonish whimsicality that steers Super Sons #4 unerringly on a middle course between the extremes of pure verisimilitude and extravagant caricature. Jimenez even succeeds in making Lois Lane look maternal without seeming at all matronly, which evidently is more difficult to do than it appears.

The core of this series’ success, of course, is the strained relationship shared by Damian and Jonathan. Each of these boys is very much his father’s son, and the youthful immaturity of the titular twosome brings to the fore the simmering differences distinguishing Batman from Superman, which make them both perfect partners and tempestuous teammates. Although many fans would argue otherwise, I believe this terrific take on these characters adds an element of depth that enables Damian and Jon to make one another the best versions of Robin and Superboy, respectively.

Tomasi’s appealing dialogue in Super Sons #4 illustrates this splendidly, beginning with the opening page when Alfred wearily remarks that Dick Grayson at least “had the decency to construct a pillow dummy” before sneaking out in the evening. The fractious banter passing constantly between the caped kids is always snappy, but Son Day, Bloody Son Day! augments the amusement by having Damian and Jon trade barbs while chained upside down, then adds to the laughter when Kid Amazo heaps insults upon them both. When thanking Robin and Superboy for providing his mechanized doubles with extra abilities, Reggie wryly remarks that one of them is “just flesh and blood… and can flip a lot.” Inside that funny line, we find the sincere expression of the essence of Super Sons #4: Damian, Jonathan, and Sara ultimately triumph because they share a fundamental humanity that Kid Amazo lacks and Lex demonstrates only intermittently. This issue has heart, which is why these kids are all right.

We invite you to ComiConverse with your fellow fans in the comments. Tell us what you thought of Son Day, Bloody Son Day!

T. Kyle King is an Expert Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TKyleKing.

Super Sons #4

  • 5

Phenomenal

A total team effort produced a pitch perfect issue.

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