SUPER SONS #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez, & Rob Leigh
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: February 15, 2017
Keep your word and be a hero when it counts.
Jon finds it hard to not use his powers when he sees bullies in action, and Damian finds it hard not to violate people’s boundaries. Under the cover of night, Damian convinces Jon to do some detective work in Metropolis, though their adventure may come to an end upon their discovery.
The parallels in Super Sons are rife for exploration. Parenting, childhood, and other factors differ for the children of Batman and Superman. This storytelling holds sides which are as disparate as night and day, and I’d like to see where they meet in the middle. Where Jon practices deference to authority, Damian quickly eschews it. Jon’s lesson involves aspirational heroism and humanity, while Damian’s is borne from control and order. Just like many parents’ own experiences inform how they interact with their children, so are Jon and Damian.
I like that Peter J. Tomasi sets up the story through the protagonists’ parallel worlds. There are actually some apropos nods to developmental theory, temperament, and parenting through Jon and Damian’s stories. This tale of two young boys gives us a glimpse into their differing lives, which will hopefully create a foundation to explore each of them in relation to the other. Getting a firm hold of a kid’s mind is truly a difficult task, yet Tomasi does so through two different lenses with a startling realism.
Jorge Jimenez portrays the dualism of the Super Sons through their visual differences. Damian’s look is much more narrow and sharp than Jon’s, and many of his poses are angular and rigid. His counterpart, though, is drawn with an openness and fluidity, except in the moments where he stands tall against whatever he is about to face. Jimenez’s artistic juxtaposition of these characters is similar to that of their fathers’ relationship, but adds a layer to the story that visually encompasses Jon’s optimism and compassion as compared to Damian’s dark guardedness.
Alejandro Sanchez keeps this issue from diving too deeply into something inappropriately grim. While there are darker elements to the story, such as bullies and childhood isolation, Sanchez’ bright pallet maintains the young vivacity that this series needs to set it apart from other titles. In dark moments, whether through themes or settings, there is still a lightness which I feel balances Damian’s gruff nature and Jon’s hope.
Super Sons #1 takes the meaning behind the bat and the s-shield and puts them in a childlike context. The main character’s lives, interactions, and conflicts fit squarely in the experiences of young children, rather than forcing them into adult contexts. If this first issue is any indication, there will be plenty of laughs and action infused with a necessary levity in the future. Super Sons has the makings of an unbridled and fun comic without forsaking the core of the cape genre.
The Verdict: 10/10