Super Sons has been one of my favorite titles from DC Comics since the second wave of Rebirth titles, which Super Sons was a part of. So when I heard that Super Sons was canceled it was I was disappointed. Luckily we won’t be without a Super Sons title for long as DC recently announced the title will be coming back in the form of a maxi-series with Peter Tomasi still writing it. Now before that happens Tomasi is going to wrap up this phase of Robin and Superboy’s adventures. Let’s see exactly how things end with Super Sons #16.
Writer: Peter J Tomasi
Artist: Carlo Barberi and Brent Peeples
Inker: Thibert and Scott Hanna
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Sometime in the future a grandfather tells a kid and his friend about the Super Sons battle with Kid Amazo when the villain captured the Justice League.
In the present Superboy is surprised that Amazo captured the Justice League. Kid Amazo says Superboy will now join him but Superboy says he won’t and goes to save the Justice League.
Nearby, riding an aircraft, Robin and Cyborg arrive where Kid Amazo has the rest of the Justice League captured. After setting their ship on autopilot Robin and Cyborg dive into Amazo’s base.
Inside the base Superboy is trying to free Superman but is captured by Kid Amazo. Cyborg and Robin show up and help Superboy free from Amazo’s grasp.
Robin then goes to work on the device that Amazo used to capture the Justice League while Superboy and Cyborg watch his back.
Cyborg starts having a hard time fighting Amazo as the kid has tapped into Flash’s powers. Robin tells Cyborg to stop fighting. Cyborg says that is not what they should do. Robin says his dad was right about the Justice League not taking orders well and ties Cyborg up.
This gives Amazo the opening to grab Cyborg and start take over his body. The process takes some time, which gives Superboy the chance to finish up helping Robin with their plan to grab Batman’s gauntlet.
Kid Amazo finishes taking over Cyborg and starts using him to attack Robin and Superboy. Robin tells Superboy to use his speed to distract Kid Amazo-Cyborg. Superboy does just that, using his cape to blind Amazo-Cyborg.
This gives Robin the chance to use Batman’s gauntlet to prepare a cable to stop Amazo-Cyborg. Robin then fires the cable at Superboy, who catches it and plugs it into Kid Amazo-Cyborg’s brain.
The neural pulse from the cable drives Kid Amazo out of Cyborg’s systems resets him. Robin compliments his father for having things prepared to take down each of the members of the Justice League. Robin then gets Cyborg back online and then explains what he did.
The rest of the Justice League are freed with Wonder Woman and Cyborg complimenting Robin and Superboy for saving the day.
Superman and Batman tell the boys they will fix their headquarters. Superman even jokes that he and Batman should start planning their retirements. Batman says that may be something for down the line. Robin smiles and says it is good to hear his dad say that.
Back in the future the grandfather, who turns out to be Bruce Wayne, finishes his story. The kids, who are Damian and Jon’s son and daughter, respectively, want another story from the Super Sons adventures. Bruce says he’ll tell one more story that their dads don’t want to be heard told again since it was one they weren’t ready for at the time. End of issue.
The Good: Super Sons #16 is a fun ending for that is built on the theme of Robin and Superboy gaining the respect of their parents. The respect that Robin and Superboy gain from their fathers by the end of this issue gives this volume of Super Sons a charming ending. It’s something that felt earned and gave the adventure the Super Sons were on greater sense of importance for the lead characters.
Beginning and ending Super Sons #16 with an older Bruce Wayne telling the children of Robin and Superboy stories of their adventures set a positive tone for this issue. Even though this, like any other look into the future of the DCU, is not set in stone it helped in establishing how both Damian and Jon’s friendship and superhero careers is still unwritten. These two are heroes who still have a long career ahead of them and will have things happen that change them over the years.
The opening also set up how Robin and Superboy are at their superhero best when they work together. That is something Peter Tomasi has established well during his time writing this series. The teamwork Robin and Superboy displayed while fighting Kid Amazo shows how far the two have come. Even while doing their typical banter with each other Robin and Superboy trust each other will do what is best to save the day.
That trust between the two kids was nicely balanced out by Cyborg being the third wheel in this adventure. Just like the other adults Cyborg couldn’t stop himself from seeing Robin and Superboy as kids. Because of that he didn’t take what they said seriously and only saw them as being over their heads. Robin’s frustration with this fact made the back and forth between the two made the comedy feel organic rather than forced it. This ended with a fun moment of Robin tying Cyborg up to accomplish his plan.
Speaking of which, Robin’s plan to use his father’s plans on how to defeat the Justice League was a great way for the Super Sons to defeat Kid Amazo. It once again highlights how Robin is always trying to outthink the room. At the same time, it shows that while Robin doesn’t want to say it, he is still learning from Batman. Using Batman’s contingency plans also shows how far Robin has come in his leadership ability. While he still needs to work on how to make others believe in his plans, as was the case with how he talked to Cyborg, he did a good job at directing Superboy in making sure they used the time they had appropriately.
Tomasi also did a good job with balancing Robin’s harsh personality with Superboy’s optimism. Superboy is that balance that Robin needs as he constantly keeps his friend in check when trying to take down Kid Amazo. Superboy’s surprise about learning about Batman’s Justice League contingency plans was also a solid bit of comedy that reminds you of how innocent the kid is compared to Robin.
Through all of this Tomasi gave this adventure some strong character work as Robin and Superboy were finally able to gain the approval of their fathers and the Justice League. It’s something that Tomasi has been building towards since Super Sons started. Throughout the series we have seen how Robin and Superboy have struggled to gain their respective father’s approval in continuing their superhero adventures. Showing them and the Justice League how good of a team they was a rewarding thing to see happen as a fan. It’s a big growth moment for both characters as they move on to the next phase of their young superhero careers.
While I’m not a fan of multiple artists working on the same comic Carlo Barberi and Brent Peeples did a good job in making it so you couldn’t tell that to be the case with Super Sons #16. The artwork flowed well enough so that you wouldn’t be able to know two artist worked on this issue. Barberi and Peeples delivered on the fun energy that fans have come to expect from this series. There was an animated aesthetic that carried on throughout the story’s action that kept Super Sons #16 pushing forward.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Super Sons #16 was fun way to end to this first volume of the series. Peter Tomasi delivered an ending that paid off on the growth Robin and Superboy have showed over the course of this series run. The ending with Superman and Batman praising their sons felt well-earned as it set up the next phase of Superboy and Robin’s adventures as a duo. If you are a Batman or Superman fan and you haven’t read Super Sons than I highly recommend fixing that right away. This is a fun series that will put a smile on your face.