Adventures of the Super-Sons #3 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Carlo Barbieri, Penciller; Art Thibert, Inker; Protobunker, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: I was hoping for more fun
Ray: Damian and Jon’s outer-space adventure continues in Adventures of the Super-Sons #3, a tribute to classic Silver Age stories. And in the tradition of the Silver Age, something absurd has happened to Jon. He’s been split into Superboy Red and Superboy Blue – and this would be double trouble for the villainous cosplaying alien kids who kidnapped them if it wasn’t for the fact that the two Superboys can’t stand each other!
Damian tries his best to keep them from attacking each other, while the kid villains make quick work of them in battle. As for Joker Jr, the one reluctant villain in the group, it seems his story is going to be a lot shorter than expected as he pays for his betrayal of Rex by being shot out of the sky – or so it seems. He’s actually rescued by a mysterious source, whose agenda we have yet to determine. The two Superboys can barely stay out of each others’ ways long enough to win the battle, but their luck isn’t holding out forever.
As the issue proceeds, things start to deteriorate on board the shuttle. The chaos damages the ship – for reasons including the two Superboys not being able or willing to control their powers. A nasty crash-landing on the alien homeworld critically injures Superboy Blue, which turns out to cause strange symptoms in his counterpart – indicating that they need each other to exist. Things are looking grim – if it wasn’t for the sudden arrival of Joker Jr. and his new ally, Space Cabbie. It’s a suitably absurd finish to an issue that embraces the campier elements of the series, but something is still missing. It feels like the bond Damian and Jon formed in the last series has regressed, and even Jon doesn’t seem much like the kid we saw grow up in Tomasi and Gleason’s Superman run. It’s fun and silly at times, but I wish it was more so – it feels afraid to embrace the tone where it works best.
Corrina: I like the idea of space adventures for this pair, especially ridiculous ones with alien kids cosplaying villains.
And, yet, the fun is somewhat spoiled by the bickering between Superboys Red and Blue. Damian is the snarky, angry one and to have two Superboys constantly arguing and insulting each other messes with the dynamic between the young World’s Finest duo.
I wasn’t sure what to think of the cosplaying aliens at first but they have the potential to be amusing as meta-commentary, though pairing up Joker Jr. with Space Cabbie is…okay. Ray said absurd. That works but, once again, I have to say that the Joker isn’t a character of comedy for me and I would have loved to have seen a younger/cosplaying version of literally any other villain. Even Black Mask.
But there are a ton of in-jokes for readers, starting with the whole Red/Blue thing. I suspect when the hinted-at angry young teen Jon Kent appears, I’m going to miss this Jon Kent more than ever.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.