Written by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Art by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz, & Rob Leigh
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: November 2, 2016
Superman and Batman take a back seat to the next arc that proudly star the Super Sons! Jon Kent and Damian Wayne and everything about the opening issue clicks into place.
Tomasi and Gleason are right at home writing both the Super and Bat Families, (including a surprising guest star from Robin Son of Batman!) with the focus being on the next generation of Superman and Batman for the story…hilarious hi-jinks, action, and interactions aplenty ensue. The aim on the youth injects the usual of what DC Rebirth has been about: Characters going back to their roots while exploring new corners of both themselves and the universe reborn slightly askew. We get some of that in this opener to great effect.
Jon abruptly starts the journey by meeting Maya (or “Nobody”) and Goliath at the request of Damian Wayne although it doesn’t go as planned thanks to the timely emergence of a new power of Jon’s. It’s here Damian indulges in some of his father’s best and worst qualities of being completely not welcoming to another alien type and an undocumented one with powers slowly rising to the surface given an emotional trigger at that? Damian is his father’s son. It’s seconds after Batman arrives that Father of the Year aka Superman crashes the scene with all manner of heat vision eyes and strength to find out what’s happening here. Both parties go through a “ice breaker” of sorts to calm down and take stock of the situation and it’s then we get into the character driven dialogue and interaction that makes this issue a highlight for everyone involved.
Jon, Maya, and Damian lower their guards to finally be seen as children in a very strange world. Damian sizing the young Superboy is reminiscent of any kid that doesn’t like the new “boy scout” on the block and he’ll do whatever to get under his skin and isolate him to see what makes him tick. (He finds out later in this issue, don’t worry.) Not to be forgotten…the two, really three parents in the issue Kal, Bruce, and Alfred all talk and the dialogue should satisfy both long term and newcomers. Superman is not of this world and is a father in a place that’s both familiar and not in the same breathe. Batman is a father in both literal terms and to those he takes under his wings in some cases. Two-thirds of the DCU Trinity are Parental figures and Tomasi and Gleason give both Kal and Bruce time to reflect and sit on this knowledge. Both of the parents teaching methods even shine through when Alfred remarks about Batman’s “Boot camp” and that’s when the saying “Boys will be boys” comes into play.
Jon and Damian get solo time with the Bat-Pets and suffice it to say…Damian knows how to make people snap. The action packed fight between Superboy and Robin close out the issue to one gigantic “uh-oh” from both of the boys and clearly this is just the start for the aptly named “World’s Smallest” Duo.
From top to bottom the art team of Gleason, Gray, and Kalisz make this book pop in all the right places. The colors are astounding in all of the characters and that goes double for the sound effects that blast off of the page. Maya and her Nobody outfit remains a stark contrast to the bombastic red’s and blacks on the pages with her tan skin, black hair, and purple hues of her suit. The visual cues of certain things like Jon’s new power emerging, seeing Kal’s use of seeing beyond Maya’s cloaking tech, and Titus joining in on attacking Jon are appreciated. The usage of blacks on singular colors like with Superman’s red drum up the affect of Kal coming off scarier and definitely more pissed off than he normally is. Even when Gleason and Mick have various characters on a page your eyes are drawn to each one of them and they don’t take away from what’s happening plot wise.
Everything clicks together for the Creative Team in their new arc for Superman.
The Verdict: 9.5/10