Jonathan Kent develops a crush on a girl as his Super Sons ally, Damian Wayne, continues to fit in poorly at their Metropolis-based West-Reeve School. Plus, Jonathan is staying with the Waynes for the weekend!
However, Talia al Ghul is in town and wants to bring her son in for an assassination contract.
The odd couple friendship between Superboy and Robin really binds this comic together. Peter J. Tomasi gives the Super Sons a lot of charm despite the fact that one of them is a borderline sociopath who seems to actively hate the other. It’s almost like a child’s understanding of how Superman and Batman interact, which makes perfect sense considering these are their literal children.
Seeing Jon try to win a girl over with his “normal guy” routine is funny and endearing. Watching the other kids develop a grudge against Damian for his smug condescension is also hilarious, if for the opposite reason.
The friendship just works. Despite how much Robin picks at Superboy, Damian shows he does care about Jon in small ways. He’s just not adept at showing kindness or compassion.
The Talia threat ties into Damian’s personal deficiency very well too. Damian’s big problem at school is the fact that he thinks he’s truly better than everyone else. Meanwhile, Talia thinks Bruce is allowing their son to wilt by going to a school with other children. This sets Damian on an implicit path towards self-discovery by thwarting his mom whenever the story concludes. This ties the personal conflict to the exterior conflict and is a smart way to set up a story.
The shortcomings arrive in the pacing. The exterior conflict takes a while to come to a head. Even when the two face the exterior threat, it doesn’t develop much beyond a cliffhanger for the next issue. That being said, this does feel like a “whole part” of this arc. This issue actually feels like it has a conclusion.
Carlo Barberi’s artwork is high-energy and fitting for Super Sons. There is a lot of texture and detail while maintaining something of a cartoon-feel for the world around them. Art Thibert’s inking pulls it together well. Gabe Eltaeb’s color art is bright yet well-balanced, and his colors create an appropriately bright atmosphere for a book like this.
Super Sons #13 is a charming and absorbing tale depicting how the two children of the World’s Finest get along. The interactions entertain, the conflict is smartly constructed, and the art is great. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
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