Picking up from Superman #37, “Super Sons of Tomorrow” continues as the Batman of Tomorrow (Tim Drake from the future) is on the hunt for Superboy, determined to kill him before he destroys Metropolis in a huge explosion. Unfortunately for Tim, Jon is out following the Teen Titans on a mission, so the hunt goes on.
I criticized Tim’s actions in the first chapter of this storyline as it seemed like a rehashing of the same storyline we saw in his last appearance in Detective Comics. Super Sons #11 expands upon that a bit, especially with the final few pages. It raises some questions as to how this all connects in terms of continuity, but they’re all good and very exciting as they tie into one of my favorite storylines in the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe.
Super Sons #11 opens with Tim lurking in the shadows above the Kent apartment in Metropolis. It’s a very eerie scene as he’s literally a murderer stalking his prey. This is like something out of a horror movie, albeit instead of a crazy man with a machete, we’re dealing with a crazy man armed with a utility belt and all the training and intelligence of Batman. Artist Ryan Benjamin and colorist Gabe Eltaeb create a moody atmosphere with the shadows surrounding Tim contrasting with the bright lights of the big city all around him.
There’s a small touch to Tim’s look that makes him look so much more sinister than Bruce Wayne in the Batsuit. It’s the eyes. Tim’s eyes are colored red. He may have a slimmer stature than Bruce, but those eyes make him look absolutely evil. As a reminder, he’s trying to kill a child here, even if he thinks it will help save millions of lives. This is like that time travel question. If you had the chance to go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it? Tim is faced with that very situation, although we don’t know if Jon blew up on purpose.
Although this is a Super Sons comic, the Teen Titans are featured prominently. This is no surprise as “Super Sons of Tomorrow” continues in Teen Titans #15. The team may be a central part of this story, but Damian and Jon steal the show. They argue like an old married couple and the rest of the Titans chime in awkwardly around them, contributing to the fun of the conversation before things take a dire turn.
We go from the quiet stalking in the night to all-out action when we check in with the Titans as they’re in the midst of a battle against the Hangmen. It’s a frenzy with each team member squaring off against a different challenging foe. Every one gets some time to shine as Benjamin showcases all of their abilities and personalities. There’s a nice group shot just after the fight as Beast Boy and Kid Flash trade compliments with suave bravado, as Starfire and Aqualad have a quiet moment of reflection. Robin is in the background with a grimace as he realizes who really helped them win against the Hangmen and quickly shoots into the air to humiliate Jon.
The dynamic between Damian and Jon continues to pay dividends. Jon is stronger and has more abilities than Damian, but he’s still so green that he doesn’t know all the ins and outs of heroics just yet. Conversely, Damian is over-confident and cocky about everything, including his friendship with Superboy. At times you wonder why they’re still friends if all they do is argue. If you look past that, you’ll see there is a mutual admiration there and they are having a positive effect on on another.
When Tim’s plan begins to move forward, fear sweeps through everyone involved. There’s this moment of sheer terror as we see the sheer power that Jon is capable of as he wrestles with restraints, pleading with the others for help. It’s heartbreaking to witness because he’s just a kid.
I judged “Super Sons of Tomorrow” too harshly and too quickly after reading Superman #37. After the second chapter played out in Super Sons #11, we have a better idea of where this is going and it has some great potential. I am being a little vague as I don’t want to spoil the final pages of this issue. We’ll talk about that after Teen Titans #15 comes out. Suffice it to say, long time fans of the Titans will be excited for what’s to come. Writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are on to something.