Superboy and Robin have been captured by Rex Luthor, Joker Jr. and the other pint-size villains from the Cygnus System. Rex has big plans for his homeworld, but he needs a dead Kryptonian and a Hypercube to carry them out. Of course, the Super Sons aren’t going to let that stand.
Adventures of the Super Sons #2 fills in the background on these new bad guys and it’s a lot more chilling than you might think. When they burst onto the scene in the previous issue, they looked more silly and adorable than anything. We learn here that looks can definitely be deceiving, especially when it comes to Rex.
The opening pages take us back to Cygnus where we learn how he started out watching stories from Earth, including those featuring Robin and Superboy. He became obsessed with these tales and wanted to carry them out at home. This delusional quality could be seen as charming or fun up to a point, but Rex clearly went over the line. Much is implied as to what he actually did and I’m sure we’ll get some confirmation on these dastardly deeds in the coming issues.
In the meantime, he’s got a miniature version of the Legion of Doom on his hands. Artist Carlo Barberi does a great job with these designs, capturing the essence of each of the characters being mimicked, while adding a slightly new spin. He didn’t re-invent the wheel, but there are some unique qualities at work here. The villains look like kids and have the same kind of childlike mannerisms, but at a far more menacing level. They’re out for blood, after all.
Their look is also a little dated, which would make sense as they’re seeing videos from some time ago. Joker Jr is sporting an excessively baggy suit with an oversized tie. Deadshot has his old outfit. Rex is wearing a stylish white suit. It’s a bit like a ’90s throwback.
This also comes through in Protobunker’s colors. There’s a vibrant energy to these designs that really pops off the page, from Joker Jr’s electric green hair to Brainiac 6’s cool blue uniform. Joker Jr also stands out as his eyes are two different colors. This adds to his trouble nature.
Inker Art Thibert keeps the lines clear and concise. There is a lot of detail work in this issue, especially within Rex’s spaceship. Each intricate line is preserved.
There are some twists and turns throughout Adventures of the Super Sons #2 and Jon takes the bulk of the damage. Letterer Rob Leigh uses a more jagged word balloon for the particularly painful moments, showing how hard it is for the kid to talk, let alone stay conscious.
Adventures of the Super Sons #2 answers some of the questions raised from the first issue so it plays catch up. This doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book. Writer Peter J. Tomasi packs this comic with so much fun and excitement. You can’t help but get carried away with the lives of Robin and Superboy. The childlike awe and wonder, even in the face of such an imposing obstacle is infectious and will have you begging for more.