One of the best titles to come out of the DC Rebirth Era was Super Sons. Peter Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez created something special with their run on Super Sons. They showed that there is a natural chemistry between Damian Wayne and Jonathan Kent that you can’t simply create. That chemistry is something that we lost due to Jonathan Kent being aged up to his late teens and becoming part of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Thankfully DC Comics has decided to bring back the Super Sons, with Damian and Jonathan going back to being the same age, with Peter Tomasi writing their new series. What new adventures await the Super Sons? Let’s find out with Challenge Of The Super Sons #1.
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Max Raynor
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the far off future the elderly Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne argue while playing a fighting game that features them as Superboy and Robin, respectively. As they play their fighting game Jonathan and Damian’s grandkids sneak into the library to grab another book about the adventures of the Super Sons.
In the past (said to be days after the events in Adventures of the Super Sons) Ms. Alvarado tells Damian Wayne to stop sleeping in the West-Reeve School Library.
Damian then asks Jonathan if he is done with his report. Jonathan says they can’t hurry a report like the cheating scandal going on in their school. Damian reveals he already solve it and gives Jonathan all the info he needs. Jonathan complains how much work he put into his report. Damian smugly asks if they can go now.
While walking out of the school Damian reminds Mr. Barkley, physics teacher, to correct the mistakes on his test much to Mr. Barkley’s annoyance.
As Jonathan drops off his report to the journalism teacher he and Damian continue to have their back-and-forth calling each other out on how they act.
Eventually Damian is able to convince Jonathan to be his ride. They then find an alley where they change into their Robin and Superboy costumes. Robin then rides on Superboy’s back like a surfboard as they head of on a new adventure.
After flying around the city for a while Robin and Superboy are unsuccessful in finding any crime. Superboy convinces Robin to provide other type of help.
Superboy and Robin then help a doctor with getting all her groceries into her place as she gets her kids in the house. After helping Robin convinces the doctor to give them a tip much to Superboy’s annoyance.
As they walk down the street Robin and Superboy are confronted by someone who says “The Doom Scroll! Death on Parhment!” The women starts releasing energy out of her body while saying “This is the story from the other side!” End of issue.
The Good: Challenge Of The Super Sons #1 is a welcome return to one of the best superhero pairs in the DC Universe. Peter Tomasi does not miss a beat showcasing the natural chemistry that Jonathan Kent’s Superboy and Damian Wayne’s Robin share with one another. These two balance each other so well that as soon as you see them together there is no questioning that they are best friends.
Opening up with the future where Jonathan and Damian are old grandparents was the perfect tone setter for Challenge Of The Super Sons #1. Yes, this connects this series with the previous Adventures of the Super Sons series. But what makes this work is that it immediately sets up this story as standing alone as we get into the same mindset as Jonathan and Damian’s grandkids that we are just reading another Super Sons adventure. So even if there is a tie to past continuity there is a jump in and just read quality to what Challenge Of The Super Sons #1 is.
And like the previous two series involving the Super Sons that Tomasi wrote what stood out most in this debut issue was the chemistry between Jonathan and Damian. They naturally work off one another that they do not miss a beat with how they fire comebacks at one another. Even when they say or do something that you know will annoy the other it is all done in a way that you know they are friends. This is only things you can say to your best friend, which Jonathan and Damian clearly are.
Most importantly Tomasi allows Jonathan and Damian to be kids throughout Challenge Of The Super Sons #1. With Jonathan we see how he is still has a naïve boy scout that is definitely Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s kid. Adding in how he works on an article like both his parents and gets annoyed with how Damian is able to scoop him added to how this version of Jonathan is able to have outburst like you expect a kid to have. At the same time, we see how Jonathan remembers what his parents tell him with how he carefully changes into his Superboy costume after being reprimanded for constantly ripping his clothes. Its all these little things that help bring a sense of youth to this series that we don’t see in other comics that feature kids.
The same goes for Damian as being around Jonathan is the only time we do see him able to act the young teen he is. We see a lot of Jonathan’s influence in how Damian acts. Even when we still get different examples of the jerk Damian can be because of his ego it is all done in a light hearted tone. Damian being more of a light hearted character because of Jonathan is well shown throughout Challenge Of The Super Sons #1. From how he does end up politely asking Jonathan for a ride to helping out the doctor with her groceries these are all things we don’t normally think of Damian as acting in and out of his Robin identity. But it is all comes across as still being Damian Wayne because of how the chemistry between the Super Sons work so well.
Ending things with a random old lady who has some form of super natural powers was a good way to end this issue on a note that leaves you wondering what is going on. We are as much in the dark about the whole Doom Scroll proclamation that the lady is making as Superboy and Robin are. What exactly is going on and how it leads to the next big adventure for the Super Sons should be fun to watch play out.
Max Raynor does a great job stepping in and carrying on the fun energetic art style that the Super Sons are known for since Jorge Jimenez work on the original ongoing series. Raynor captures how both Damian and Jonathan are kids through the way they react to what the other says. Even when they are in their Robin and Superboy identities we never lose the fact that they are still kids growing into their roles. These little touches helped add to the pure fun that Challenge Of The Super Sons #1 is.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: It is good to have Robin and Superboy back together again as the Super Sons! Peter Tomasi does not miss a beat delivering a fun start to the new Challenge Of The Super Sons series. As with previous comics involving the Super Sons the chemistry between Damian Wayne’s Robin and Jonathan Kent’s Superboy is a blast to read. Max Raynor energetic art style adds to how much fun Challenge Of The Super Sons #1 is. It is all a reminder that DC Comics publishing library is stronger when they can have Robin and Superboy together in a comic book.
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