As Super Sons comes to a close, it’s fitting that the final adventure features the duo’s first villain, Kid Amazo. Their secret underwater base is invaded and their defenses are destroyed in seconds as the pint-size bad guy swarms in. This is poised to be the most deadly battle Robin and Superboy have been through to date.
Things move pretty quickly in Super Sons #15. We find out in the opening pages that Kid Amazo has escaped from LexCorp and then moments later, he’s plowing through the kids’ base. This is filled with some fun dialogue from writer Peter J. Tomasi, including a few marriage proposals to noodles. Yes, you read that right. It’s this kind of balance that has made Super Sons such a great comic. Don’t worry, this review isn’t going to turn into a sob story about how sad I am that the series is ending.
The dynamic between Robin and Superboy continues to be such a driving force in this comic, as well as great storytelling in general. These are junior versions of Batman and Superman. If they grew up together instead of meeting as adults, this is what they might have been like. This is shown in a great sequence as Jon arrives at the base to see Damian lifting weights. As Robin throws out insults while struggling to lift a barbell, Superboy casually places a single finger on the side, using his immense strength to hold the bar in place, forcing his friend to struggle further. This is the kind of innocent ribbing best friends do to one another.
This moment of peace is immediately interrupted by Kid Amazo. He swoops in destroy everything and take out his enemies. The design for this character is creepy and we learn why he looks that way later in the issue. He’s too skinny and looks inhuman, like he’s a gross metallic skeleton come to life. The enlarged helmet gives him an alien feel.
The battle that ensues happens underwater, which has different attributes to one in the air or on land. Artist Carlo Barberi adds some nice effects to the characters as they throw each punch, particularly with Superboy’s hair. It flows in weird angles as the water keeps it up. You can see both he and Robin holding their breath, which adds to the tension of the scene. They were already in danger with the water coming into the base, but they also have to fight off their fiercest foe, which is no easy task.
The duo manages to break free and start to swim to the surface in a terrific sequence that highlights the dire situation they’re in, as well as the strength of their friendship. They are about a hundred feet below the surface and that feels like miles, especially when Superboy gets incapacitated. Kid Amazo’s tendrils swarm up, like a giant squid ready to pull them down into the depths. It makes for a very tense scene. Barberi and colorist Protobunker did some great work here. At times the surface feels like it’s just within their grasp and then it’s ripped away from them.
Super Sons #15 moves at an incredibly fast pace, but never feels rushed. It fits a ton of story into these pages without ever feeling like a history lesson, plus it sets up what looks to be an amazing finale to one of my favorite comics. If it has to end, it’s going out with a bang, pushing Robin and Superboy to the limit.