Superboy has broken out of his solitary confinement and is ready to stop Rex Luthor and his growing army of super villain knock-offs. He may be outnumbered, however he’s got Robin, Joker Jr, and a Green Lantern cadet named Al-X by his side. Rex makes some big moves to take over the prison planet, Takron-Galtos, using this as a spring board for larger, deadlier plans of galaxy domination.
We have the makings of a pint-sized Justice League in Adventures of the Super Sons #8. Superboy and Robin are usually enough as the dynamic between the two is fun and friendly. Adding someone as naïve and innocent as Al-X into the mix makes them look like mature adults. Meanwhile, Joker Jr is the wild card as no one knows how much they can trust him. He’s already betrayed them all several times, however he’s in a desperate position as he just wants to get out of Rex’s crosshairs.
Artist Carlo Barberi’s work fits in this sweet spot between adventure and child-like wonder. This is a juvenile detention facility so the place is filled with kids. They look gangly and awkward, especially since many of them are playing at being villains thanks to Rex. It’s like a much more dangerous game of dress-up as they have powers too. The kids take this seriously, or as serious as a bunch of pre-teens can.
One detail I absolutely love is how big Jon’s hair is. It’s like it has a mind of its own in this constant storm on top of his head. There are people in the real world that pay ridiculous amounts of money to get their hair to look like that. It just comes naturally to him. Inker Matt Santorelli adds some touches of texture to it so it’s not just a big block of black.
Jon may lack the broad shoulders and muscles of his father, but he has his moral fiber. When Joker Jr talks about someone he killed, Jon is visibly upset. Letterer Rob Leigh highlights his outrage in bold word balloons and a font that practically breaks out of its container.
Colorist Protobunker works with the overall tone of Adventures of Super Sons, in that same mix of adventure and excitement. This is a prison so the walls are grey and metallic, however all the costumes bring a burst of color and energy. This also reinforces the alien setting.
Just when I think the idea of Rex Luthor is starting to get a little tiresome, writer Peter J. Tomasi takes some twists and turns to make him even more menacing. He does look a little silly with the gap between his teeth, but looks can be deceiving. He is a force to be reckoned with and the Super Sons are the only ones who can put a stop to his dastardly plans.