The “Super Sons of Tomorrow” crossover kicked off with a hot start as the Future Tim Drake, who has become Batman in his timeline, has returned. Not only did he return but he quickly acted by taking out both Batman and Superman out of the equation of this crossover between Superman, Super Sons and Teen Titans. With two of the greatest superheroes taken out there may be no stopping Tim-Batman this time around. The question is why is he after the current Superboy and how did he even return after he was seemingly wiped out in his last appearance. Let’s find out if we get some answers with Super Sons #11.
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Artist: Ryan Benjamin
Inker: Richard Friend
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In Metropolis Tim-Batman is listening in on a phone conversation between Lois Lane and Kathy. Kathy wants to talk to Jon but Lois says that he has gone to bed after studying all night.
Tim-Batman suddenly feels hypertime pulling him back but he is able to overpower it for the time being.
Not looking to waste anymore time goes into the Kent’s apartment to capture Superboy. Tim-Batman finds out Superboy is not in his room. When Lois comes in to check on her son Tim-Batman quickly knocks her out with a tranquilizer.
At the United Nations building in New York City, the Teen Titans are battling a group called The Hangmen. The Hangmen are able to knock Robin, Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven and Aqualad down. Suddenly The Hangmen are knocked down by a blur.
A minute later the Teen Titans are able to round up The Hangmen and have the police arrest them. Beast Boy thanks Kid Flash for acting quickly in taking out the Hangmen. Kid Flash reveals that take out all of The Hangmen since he was also busy rounding up the smart bombs Killshot fired at them.
Starfire wonders who ended up helping the team. Robin fires a shot in the sky and shows the team that it was Superboy who helped them.
At Teen Titans Tower Robin reminds Superboy that he is not a Teen Titan yet. Superboy reminds Robin he promised to take him on one Teen Titan mission a month. Starfire and Beast Boy get on Robin’s case for not keeping to his promise.
As the Teen Titans argue about Robin’s lie Tim-Batman appears on screen and reveals he has taken control of the tower from the monitor room. Robin tells the team who Tim-Batman is, which the tower’s voice analyzer confirms. The Teen Titans are mad Robin never told them about Tim-Batman. Robin says it was a Bat-Family matter.
Tim-Batman reveals that he was able to take over the tower because Robin based the design on his original plans and the system recognized his DNA. He goes on to say he is there to stop the future he is from to happening and that he has set up the tower so no one can escape.
Tim-Batman then demands Raven to show the Teen Titans the future he comes from. While reluctant Raven shows the team what is inside Tim-Batman’s head.
In the images of the future where Damian, who is then Batman, forcing Superman, the future Jonathan, to make a choice and Tim-Batman in the middle of them. Something happens that forces Superman to make the choice of causing a massive explosion that kills millions.
The Teen Titans don’t believe it but Tim-Batman says that it is a definite future he is going to stop. Tim-Batman then uses the tower’s defenses to cover Superboy in a black substance. Superboy starts freaking out and is releasing wild energy from his eyes, much to Tim-Batman’s surprise.
Not wanting to hurt his friends Superboy quickly flies up as he is surrounded by energy. As he reaches higher into the sky Superboy explodes. The shockwaves of the explosion cause Teen Titans Tower to crumble. While Tim-Batman is blown away Raven is able to set up a barrier to protect her teammates.
In an unknown location it is shown that Superman (Conner Kent), Wonder Woman (Cassandra Sandsmark) and Flash (Bart Allen) see the destruction on a monitor and decide to track down Tim-Batman together. End of issue
The Good: How do you top the Future Tim Drake taking down both Batman and Superman in the same issue? Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s answer to it is by having the Titans of Tomorrow, fan favorite characters from Geoff Johns-Teen Titans-era, cap off the second part of the “Super Sons of Tomorrow” crossover. In doing so Tomasi and Gleason create plenty of questions that will have fans salivating for the rest of the chapters in this crossover.
Right away Tomasi and Gleason are able to create a sense of urgency by showing how Tim-Batman continues to be pulled into hypertime. In doing so Tomasi and Gleason are able to show why Tim-Batman is acting in a much more rushed manner than he did the last time he showed up in Detective Comics. That is a change that could have easily been seen as uncharacteristic for this version of Tim Drake. But by explaining the reckless, anger-induced actions Tim-Batman takes we do not have to question why he is acting in such a way.
This sense of urgency from Tim-Batman made his scene with the Teen Titans even more interesting. As with his last appearance, as much of an asshole as Tim-Batman is he continues to be filled with the conviction that what he is doing is the right thing. Tomasi and Gleason take that strong conviction from Tim-Batman to be the character’s greatest weakness as he is clearly blinded by it. By being blinded by his conviction we see Tim-Batman act in a way that he is someone you despise, especially with how he treats the Teen Titans by forcing Raven to show the others his future and then try to capture Superboy without warning.
It is also interesting to note that when Tim-Batman forces Raven to show the Teen Titans his future where Jonathan, at that point in the future already Superman, we only see parts of his story. By doing so Tomasi and Gleason are able to paint the picture that everything we see is only from Tim’s perspective and not the full picture. This all plays back to how Tim-Batman is acting in a way that he is so blinded by his mission that he is not seeing all angles of the situation. If that is the case then that will possibly be the key to taking down Tim-Batman, who up to this point has been shown to be overpowered thanks to his preparation.
Tim-Batman showing up in the present also helps to integrate some of the events in the Batman comics into the Teen Titans series where Robin is a big part of. It is especially compelling given that the present Tim Drake was at least on the team with Beast Boy and Raven in the past. Given that point it was good to see Beast Boy call Robin out for not telling them that their Tim was back or that there was a future version of him running around before.
This also plays in well on how Damian continues to act as “need-to-know” leader with the Teen Titans. That attitude is much different to how Dick Grayson or Tim Drake led the team when they were Robin. Damian acting this way made the Teen Titans being left in a state of shock at Tim-Batman’s future even more believable as they act in a way that they could believe that the future they saw could happen. It goes to further show how even though the Teen Titans have accepted Damian as Robin and their leader that he still has long way to go before becoming the leader Bruce or Dick are.
The future at that we see that this Tim-Batman came from also introduces an interesting addition to Superboy’s character that will be familiar to New 52 Superman fans. That is the fact that Superboy may at some point develop the Super Flare ability the New 52 Superman had. We see hints at that with when he was captured in the black goop that the energy in his body became uncontrollable and caused a similar Super Flare explosion. This new development adds to the narrative Tomasi and Gleason have created for Superboy as a superhero who is still in-training and why Robin is hesitant to put his friend on the Teen Titans.
All that said the biggest development in Super Sons #11 was the sudden appearance of the Titans of Tomorrow to end the issue on a cliffhanger. That is a massive development that could have severe ramifications on the rest of the DC Universe since we have not seen Conner Kent, Cassandra Sandsmark or Bart Allen since before DC Rebirth started. Given their MIA status quo in the Rebirth-era of the DCU this opens the possibility for their individual returns to the present timeline.
What will be interesting to see is how their presence relates to Tim-Batman’s actions given that in “A Lonely Place of Living” the present Tim Drake didn’t know who Conner was it may mean we are dealing with multiple timelines. That would present even bigger questions as to what exactly is going in with this “Super Sons of Tomorrow.” Given that the Future Conner, Cassie and Bart all had stone faced reactions to Tim-Batman’s actions it could mean anything.
For his part Ryan Benjamin provided plenty of solid artwork throughout Super Sons #11. Though not incredibly action heavy Benjamin did get to flex his action muscle with the Teen Titans vs The Hangmen. This action scene in particular showed how Benjamin would do a great job in a Flash title if DC ever gave him that assignment. He also did a good job in showing how destructive Superboy’s explosion was as the kid went more out of control.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Super Sons #11 did a fantastic job following up on the start of the “Super Sons of Tomorrow” with an even better issue. This chapter will especially have fans of Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans-era a big smile as we saw the return of the Titans of Tomorrow. That development along with the actions the Future Tim Drake takes against the Teen Titans and Superboy make this “Super Sons of Tomorrow” story a crossover that should not be missed by DC Comics fans.