Superboy has shown just how dangerous he can be when pushed by the Batman of Tomorrow as he explodes in a large solar flare, destroying a big chunk of Titans Tower. Robin rushes to the rescue of his friend after making sure everyone was still alive. Meanwhile, the Tim Drake from the future pleads his case with the remaining Teen Titans to try to convince them that Superboy must be taken out before he leads to the deaths of millions.
Teen Titans #15 is further proof that Jon and Damian make a great team. Damian understands what’s going on and takes steps to immediately get Jon to safety. He’s familiar with all of Superman’s abilities so he recognizes the solar flare power in Jon. Meanwhile, Superboy is freaking out because he’s worried he’s hurt or killed the Titans until Robin can talk some sense into him. The Boy Wonder even lets the “F-word” slip at one point, pointing out that friends help each other.
The issue opens with the Batman of Tomorrow reeling from the explosion. That’s not all he’s fighting though as the timestream is trying to pull him back to where and when he came from. This is shown in some really great shots as the battle-weary Tim Drake is fading away. Parts of him are breaking, like a pixelated image being erased. It’s an awesome effect that shows just how desperate Tim is to endure such pain for the cause.
The time effects come back later on in the issue in an even more violent fashion. The panels get more erratic with unique shapes during this scene as Tim is literally getting pulled back to his time. This layout adds to the tension of the sequence.
As his costume is destroyed, Tim raids the Titans closets to create a new costume and identity as Savior. This is not a bad design, although it does look a bit like something out of the ’90s. He definitely has the look and feel of a villain, clad all in black with a long coat with a high collar. He’s sporting a pair of guns in an ultimate tough guy pose that takes up an entire page. Ed Benes and Jorge Jimenez contributed artwork for this issue and I’m not sure who did what as it’s not credited that way, however I believe Benes is responsible for this shot.
I’m starting to get tired of criticizing DC’s choice of including multiple artists in a single issue. It’s happening more and more frequently and it still creates a jarring reading experience. The two artists have different styles, so they don’t flow together well.
Since they’ve popped up in the previous two chapters of the “Super Sons of Tomorrow” storyline, I feel it’s safe to mention them now. The Titans of Tomorrow are watching Tim’s actions from their headquarters on a different world. They previously appeared in Teen Titans #17 in 2004 by Geoff Johns and Mike McKone, showing the darker, grown-up versions of the Teen Titans. What is notable here is that the three characters here have not yet appeared in the post-Rebirth timeline. These are Conner Kent, Cassie Sandsmark, and Bart Allen. Based on how they’re monitoring the situation, they’re concerned about Tim as he seems to have gone off the rails. I’m very excited to see how they may interact with the other characters in the rest of this storyline, especially if we can get a meeting between Conner and Jon. That would be awesome.
Jumping back to Savior for a moment, I thought it was a bit too easy to persuade some of the Teen Titans to go on the hunt for Superboy. This guy almost got them killed just a little while ago and he’s made it clear that he wants to kill this pre-teen boy, but a few of them decide he’s got a point and go along with his plan, although they make it clear they don’t want to kill Jon. This is a move that could split the team in half, particularly if Jon joins up. That’s not something you just forget and put past you. They’re joining forces with a man that’s tried to kill him!
The Teen Titans are fractured, Robin and Superboy are on the run, and the Titans of Tomorrow are looming on the horizon. “Super Sons of Tomorrow” is shaping up to be a pretty crazy crossover that’s bringing in some great elements from the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe. It’s still playing with the idea of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few as the heroes grapple with the idea that Superboy could be a weapon of mass destruction. This is an interesting path to pursue.