Adventures of the Super-Sons #4 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Carlo Barberi, Penciller; Matt Santorelli, Inker; Protobunker, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Corrina: Haunted House Seems…Random?
Ray: Pete Tomasi’s revival of the Super-Sons series so far has been an over-the-top cosmic adventure, but the problem is that it’s not nearly as much fun as it should be. While there’s a wacky silver age vibe to everything – kid-sized villains! Red Kryptonite! Space Cabbie! – the dialogue and tone of the series drag it down. When we last left off, Robin and Superboy – both of them, red and blue – had been saved from certain doom by Kid Joker, who arrived with Space Cabbie in tow. They beat a hasty escape, but there are still pressing problems – namely, the fact that the Red Kryptonite that split Superboy into two has begun affecting him in other ways. He’s sick and getting sicker, and the villains are still hot on their tail. While Robin tries to find a solution to Superboy’s condition, the side-effects of the illness soon backfire and cause the ship to plunge out of the sky, crashing on a nearby planet.
That planet seems mostly deserted, but it also has a creepy Victorian-style mansion on the grounds. While Space Cabbie tries to fix his cab and dragoons Kid Joker into helping, Robin decides to explore the grounds and see if he can find someone who can help Superboy. That turns out to be unnecessary, as soon as they set foot inside the mysterious mansion Superboy is one person again. Of course, that’s a good side-effect of a very bad place, as the two boys immediately find themselves besieged by a series of creepy visuals.
Kid Joker’s heel-face revolving door continues spinning as he betrays Space Cabbie, and Robin and Superboy come face to face with older versions of themselves for some reason. All the pieces are here for a fun comic, but this title seems to just throw them at us with little regard for logic. What’s left is a comic that should be whimsical silver age nostalgia but falls flat.
Corrina: I get the fun of tossing everything but the kitchen sink into a tale but, eventually,that stuff needs a purpose. This issue seems a random collection of events rather than an unspooling plot.
Dividing Superboy into Red and Blue is a fun nod to that era of Superman. But since it was there, I expected it to somehow be a problem to be solved. Instead, it’s more like “okay, that was fun, now done doing that” and a figurative finger-snap and it’s over.
Similarly, I thought Space Cabbie might be concerned with his fare, given that how he makes a living. But he’s just there, basically, to whisk our boys from one place to another. Not once do they really make an attempt to find out where they are. I mean, he’s Space Cabbie. He should be able to give them a clue.
Add in the Haunted House and….okay. I throw up my hands at that one.
The only explanation I can think of is that this isn’t a wacky space adventure at all but some dreamlike adventure Damian and Jon are having for an unknown reason. Maybe Damian’s doing simulations because he misses his friend. Maybe Jon’s doing it after being “hurt” (as teased by previews) to look back at his younger self.
That, at least, would explain the random stuff, though it would also harsh the mellow of what should be a fun all-ages comic.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.