The Tim Drake from the Future, recently seen in Detective Comics returns with another mission to save his world by killing people. This time his target is Superboy. Before he can fulfill his mission, he must first take out Superman and Batman. Superman #37 kicks off the four-part crossover “Super Sons of Tomorrow” and it begins with a pretty brutal takedown of the World’s Finest.
I’m a sucker for alternate reality and future versions of characters, especially those that I really care about, like Tim Drake. His appearance in Detective Comics was interesting and nuanced, revealing the pre-Flashpoint timeline is still alive somewhere and referencing the existence of Conner Kent, the last Superboy. Superman #37 lacks much of that depth, instead focusing on an unrelenting killing machine that’s like the Terminator in a Batman costume.
While Tim Drake has proven himself time and time again as one of the smartest folks in the DC Universe, he accomplishes his goals a little too conveniently here. I mean, he takes down Batman in hand-to-hand combat, albeit with the help of a few items laying around Wayne Manor. Granted, Tim has probably been training night and day since he’s picked up the cape and cowl, but I didn’t think he’d be able to take out his mentor.
To Bruce’s credit, he doesn’t go down without a fight. This is a rough battle from beginning to end. The first few moments mirror Batman’s origin when the bat flies through the window and he figures out what he wants to dress up as to fight bad guys. This time, it’s Tim in the Batman costume, bursting through the glass in menacing fashion. Artist Jorge Jimenez creates a very exciting fight scene that is expertly choreographed. When the punches are being thrown, the panels are more dynamic with unique shapes that add to the flow of the scene. This contrasts with the brief moments where the two men catch their breath where the panels are more structured.
This entire issue consists of two fight scenes, one with Batman and one with Superman. Both are very exciting and filled with action. Jimenez’s choreography extends to the Superman battle at the Fortress of Solitude where the Batman from the future is forced to utilize a number of tricks and gadgets to take down his foe.
Alejandro Sanchez’s colors work to amplify both of the fight scenes. He uses shadow and silhouette effectively in the fight with Batman, while the Superman battle is bright and vibrant. That one is at the top of the world, after all, covered in snow and ice. Darkness creeps into the Fortress of Solitude when Tim shows up, like a shifting shadow ready to strike.
I think what bothered me most about this wasn’t necessarily how quickly Tim dispatched his foes. It was how emotionless he was in doing it and how the same exact plot device is being used just a couple months after we saw it in Detective Comics. If writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason mean to bring Conner Kent into the fray between Superman and Super Sons, it would make for a very interesting dynamic. It’s unclear that’s the case just yet as it seems like the future Tim Drake just wants to murder a twelve year old boy.
Superman #37 jumps right into this crossover event that will play out in Super Sons and Teen Titans. Future Tim Drake’s plan seems pretty straightforward and unoriginal, but I’m going to give it time to play out. If this is all it is, then I’ll be a little disappointed, however I’m still curious enough to follow it into the next chapter.