With Damian turned into an old man, the Teen Titans need Superboy’s help to stop the monster maker Kraklow and turn the Boy Wonder back into a boy. They just have to track this guy down in between Damian’s many trips to the bathroom.
The plot of Super Sons #7 from DC Comics is a bit silly, but that’s what makes it work. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a sci-fi sitcom or a kids TV show, which is fitting as the stars of this series are two young boys. Fortunately, this gag is short lived and not played out. There could have been a lot more lame jokes so I admire writer Peter J. Tomasi’s restraint.
The elderly Damian Wayne is a sight to behold. He almost looks like a cartoon. Artist Jorge Jimenez captures the hard-nosed, direct nature of Damian and cram it into an octogenarian’s body. His hair is white and wispy. His ears and nose are enlarged and hanging low, like an aged elf. More than a few teeth are missing. I’m sure he’s in desperate need of a sponge bath.
Superboy fits right in with the Teen Titans, despite not being a teenager himself. His ingrained heroism and bright-eyed optimism gels perfectly with the likes of Starfire and Beast Boy. There’s a brief moment where Jon tries to maintain his secret identity and the Titans call him out on it. Jon’s costume is basically what most kids where to school. His only change is a pair of glasses, but they’re not fooling anyone, despite the fact that’s how his dad has stayed under the radar for seventy five years.
Jon has a brief hesitation about heading out to confront Kraklow and he looks to his father for advice. What would Superman do in a situation like this? It’s a touching sequence and shows the difference between his relationship with his father and that of Damian and Batman.
The shot of everyone jumping into action is breathtaking. Superboy is in the forefront with a look of total excitement on his face. This is what he’s always dreamed of. That image shows a group of heroes that can do anything and stand up to any obstacle, even if one of their members is now a geriatric.
Although the dynamic between the heroes is great and worth the price of admission, Kraklow and his machinations are rather heavy-handed. The villain could have been almost anyone. He’s given a quick backstory and a lame reason for targeting the Teen Titans in the first place. He was a failed artist lusting for fame when a portal to another earth literally opened up right in front of him and an alternate version of himself handed him magic clay. How very Deus Ex Machina of him. His whole quest is lackluster and uninspired. He’s one step above a bumbling villain in a Scooby Doo cartoon, especially since he would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.
The battle in the latter half of the issue is exciting and well done. This is how a good team book should read. Each character is given time to shine and show off their abilities. They work together as a team, complementing each other’s powers. Jimenez expresses the good nature and heart that the Teen Titans is known for. They can leap into battle against deadly obstacles, but they’ll have a smile on their faces while they do it.
Super Sons represents the fun and excitement that super heroes are capable of. The characters gel perfectly, providing a nice complement to one another. This is especially true of Damian and Jon who appear as best friends and rivals. If Superman and Batman are the World’s Finest, Superboy and Robin are something brighter and full of promise.