Super-Sons Annual #1 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Paul Pelletier, Penciller; Cam Smith, Inker; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!!
Ray: Some annuals provide major plot advancements, some go back to a different era for the characters, while others just tell stand-alone stories that can be forgettable. And then there’s those that just decide to do something completely bonkers, like this one. It starts off as a fairly standard Super-Sons issue, with Jon and Damian foiling a minor crime, being rewarded by a grateful civilian, and mocking each other a good bit along the way. But in the background, there’s a subplot about dogs being stolen, and when Jon gets home, he promises to investigate it the next day. But someone else isn’t willing to wait – Krypto, who reads up on the case and decides to put together a team of his own. He starts by heading to Wayne Manor and recruiting Titus and Bat-cow. As these are animals, large segments of the issue don’t have any dialogue.
From there, the three pets head to their old leader in the Super-Pets, Detective Chimp. Currently laid up with an injury, Chimp is still useful for letting us in on the history of the Super-Pets, which included Streaky (still new to Rebirth, origin not explained, but she seems to have a troubled history with Krypto) and Flexi the Plastic Bird, an original Plastic Man sidekick who is easily the funniest and most absurd thing this issue. However, the team broke up when they lost their sixth member, Clay Critter, in the final battle. There’s been particularly bad blood between Krypto and Streaky since. It’s exactly as ridiculous as it sounds, and yet Tomasi manages to give these pets a strong team dynamic, and the villain an interesting motivation. They’re even hinted to have fought Dex-Starr at one point! By the morning, Damian gets a wild surprise in his backyard, and the oddest and most purely fun issue of the week comes to a satisfying close.
Corrina: It’s completely bonkers and all in a good way!
What’s not to love about a team-up with the Legion of Super-Pets that also includes Bat-Cow and a visit to Detective Chimp? Nothing. There is nothing not to love about this ridiculous story. This would be a great comic to put in any kid’s stocking.
Plus, Flexi the Plastic Bird is awesome and now I insist he becomes a permanent sidekick in this title.
But, mostly, this is a tale about animals watching out for each other and there is a small plea in there to pay attention to your pets, lest someone else decides you’re a bad pet parent.
I admit, however, to being glad that Comet the Super-Horse was not included in this team-up, due to his unfortunate history. (What were those Silver Age Supergirl writers smoking back then??
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.