The Tim Drake from the future has sacrificed himself by absorbing Superboy’s solar flare, saving the lives of Superman, the Teen Titans and the time-displaced Titans of Tomorrow. Now this group must figure out where to go from here with the knowledge that Jon may blow himself up one day and kill millions of people. “Super Sons of Tomorrow” comes to a close with Super Sons #12.
This story arc has been a roller coaster of emotion for me. I was critical of it at first because it seemed to be rehashing the same storyline we saw with Future Tim in Detective Comics. Then it shifted gears and got me pretty excited to see the Titans of Tomorrow as these are characters that are not currently within the DC Rebirth timeline. Now it’s all finished up and I’m not sure we really get much out of it. Let’s break it down.
First there’s Future Tim, now going by Savior. This arc gives him a bit of redemption by sacrificing himself. It also throws him into the timestream where he might pop up again to fix things. This sounds really cool for all of two seconds before we remember that there’s already someone else with that job. He’s Booster Gold and he’s awesome. Savior seems to know this and points out that he’ll be more “surgical” in nature, perhaps implying that his actions will be more subtle. As a quick reminder, his grand plans so far have amounted to killing people and he’s failed both times he’s tried it.
That being said, the double-page spread showing Savior falling through the timestream is a pretty cool shot. He’s surrounded by images from the past including the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Identity Crisis, Final Crisis, and Flashpoint. These panels are taken right from the original comics. While I don’t want Savior honing in on Booster Gold’s turf, I do like the idea of him doing the same thing, but through the multiverse. Maybe this is how we tap into these other timelines.
My excitement about the inclusion of the Titans of Tomorrow is short-lived as they immediately go back to their time. They recognize the danger they could cause to reality itself just by being there and do the responsible thing. We do get a nice shot of Superman shaking hands with Conner Kent who is also called Superman. Their presence is explained away in a single line from Conner, pointing out the dangers of time travel and the Titans and Superman handle this surprisingly well. You’d think they would have more questions about an alternate Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman showing up.
The real effect of “Super Sons of Tomorrow” is with the Teen Titans. Savior decimated this team, playing on their weaknesses, leading to the destruction of their base. This leads to a great scene in their interim headquarters, the Justice League Watchtower. Each of them are honored and humbled to sit in the seats of the League…except for Damian, who takes his father’s spot and puts his feet up on the table. You can see the hesitation on their faces as they approach the table. Then, in perhaps the most heartbreaking panel of the issue, Jon spins his dad’s chair around and turns away. He’s not a member of the team so he doesn’t get a say in this. You know he wants nothing more than to join them.
What is a little surprising is how Damian and Jon interact throughout Super Sons #12. They’ve always had a competitive relationship, trying to one up each other. This latest brush with death has brought them closer together which almost feels out of character for them. What made this adventure different than the three or four other that came before it? It’s probably that this one hit a little too close to home. Superboy’s potential future explosion is done as a result of something Robin does so the two of them swear to protect one another in a way that only kids would do. They don’t do a spit handshake or anything, but it’s pretty close.
“Super Sons of Tomorrow” was a challenging story arc. It was filled with some very cool elements, but I’m not certain it totally came together. We’ll see how this plays out for the Teen Titans and for Superboy and Robin as their adventures continue. If anything, it further solidified Jon and Damian as friends just as much as their fathers are. They’ve proven they will always have each other’s back, regardless of what dangers come their way.