Review: SUPER SONS Vol. 1: When I Grow Up...

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Jorge Jiménez
     Super Sons: Vol. 1 collects the first five issues of the Super Sons series and tells the story of Jonathan Kent A.K.A. Superboy and Damian Wayne A.K.A. Robin, the sons of Superman and Batman as they form a reluctant team to fight teenage supervillain Kid Amazo. Kid Amazo threatens the entire Justice League with his powers and the Super Sons wind up enlisting the help of an unlikely ally in their battle. Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne have the potential to save to world…provided that they don’t kill each other first.
     When I first heard that DC Comics decided to give Superman and Lois Lane a son, I was a bit skeptical with the direction they were taking. Was this just a temporary marketing ploy or did DC actually have long term plans in store for Superman’s offspring? The debut of Super Sons changed my opinion. The addition of Jonathan Kent has breathed new life into the Superman mythos and will provide new stories for years to come.

The banter between Jonathan and Damian is the backbone of Super Sons success.  

      Super Sons is everything superhero comics should be. It has a great sense of adventure, great action sequences, phenomenal artwork, and most importantly it’s absolutely fun. The comic book industry can take itself a bit too seriously at times and they forget that they are supposed to provide a sense of fun for the readers. I actually got excited as I turned the pages of this comic.
     The highlight of this comic book is the relationship between Jonathan and Damian. Jonathan Kent is ten years old and his powers are still developing. He’s a good kid that follows the rules, but the fact his parents refuse to let him use his powers publicly leaves him deeply conflicted about who he is. When Jonathan sees one of his classmates get bullied, Jonathan desperately wants to use his powers, but he knows that he cannot defend him. Damian Wayne is a thirteen-year-old who is too smart for his own good. Unlike Jonathan, Damian Wayne rebels against authority, is a bully, and has a high opinion of himself. However, Damian still wants his father to support him. This creates a great dynamic between the two. The older and smarter Damian tries to manipulate the younger, but more powerful Jonathan into doing his bidding. However, Damian constantly underestimates Jonathan’s intelligence. Despite the fact that Damian constantly picks on Jonathan, he still looks up to Damian and wants to be liked by him, even though Damian doesn’t seem to care. These two constantly bicker back and forth just like siblings do with each other. You can really tell that writer Peter J. Tomasi has young sons as they have no doubt influenced his writing on Super Sons. Writers tend to make child characters’ sound like adults when they talk, but this is something Tomasi avoids. Both Damian and Jonathan talk exactly like how ten and thirteen year old kids talk.

Jorge Jiménez's artwork is fun and lighthearted just like Jonathan and Damian.
     Jorge Jiménez’s artwork fits the tone of this series perfectly. His artwork is heavily influenced by manga and has progressed in quality very quickly since he first started out in the industry. One thing that I love about Jiménez’s artwork is that his drawings of kids actually look like kids. Many artists struggle with this for some reason and they wind up drawing kids like they are small adults. The facial expressions that Jiménez uses for the various characters in Super Sons are also great. The faces he draws are exaggerated and gives the art of Super Sons a cartoon vibe. Jorge Jiménez will be a major player in the comic book industry for years to come if he keeps churning out great art like this.
     Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne are characters that readers of all ages can connect with because of their human qualities. We either know kids like this or we were kids like this once upon a time. I wasn’t a fan of Damian Wayne when he first debuted, but this series has convinced me that he’s a great fit for the Robin mantle. Having a borderline evil genius as Robin can lead to many new storylines in the future. Jonathan Kent is also worthy of the Superboy moniker. Overall, Super Sons is a perfect comic book that readers of all ages can enjoy.

It's been hinted that DC Comics has big plans with Jonathan and Damian going forward.
     Unfortunately, Super Sons was canceled last week after sixteen issues to make room for writer Brian Michael Bendis, who will be writing Action Comics and Superman starting in May. The cancellation caused an uproar amongst fans when Peter J. Tomasi broke the news on Twitter. Tomasi would later tweet that Super Sons was not canceled due to low sales and that big plans were in store for Super Sons. Hopefully, Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez will be able to continue the story of Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne because there are so many more great stories that can be told with these characters.

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