Rora stands revealed, but that giant monster is more pressing at the moment. The next generation of the World’s Finest continue to try and figure things out in this gorgeous digital-first issue.
Dora, a mysterious woman with magical powers, transported Superboy and Robin away in Challenge of the Super Sons #1, sending them on a mission to save the Justice League from the Doom Scroll. Just who is Dora and what is she up to? We go back to the past to find that out and fight some monsters along the way.
Although we’re all over the map in terms of timelines for Challenge of the Super Sons, things are really coming together. I have to remind myself that each of these is like half of a regular issue so we’re really only 2.5 issues in. We’ve now met Rora in two different time periods. She’s an adult in the present and a child in the distant past. Her adult self sent the Super Sons back to meet her child self so let’s see how writer Peter J. Tomasi connects them.
Much of Challenge of the Super Sons #5 has Jon and Damian trying to escape from Faust and Vandal Savage. They encounter a huge multi-limbed creature, expertly illustrated by Jorge Corona. This thing is terrifying. What seals the deal here is its mouth which has rows upon rows of teeth. It’s super creepy.
When this thing debuts, it does so with a powerful scream. Letterer Rob Leigh makes the font appear offset and in a roughly-shaped word balloon to add to the monstrous nature. I love how its scream is the same sound made by Jon and Damian as they are caught off guard by this beast. There words are more traditional in appearance, but still popping out of their balloons.
Corona leans into the fact that these heroes are just kids. Damian’s costume looks a little big on him, particularly with the hood, making him look more child-like. Meanwhile, Jon is a big ball of awkward. Despite being the strongest one out here, he is still not comfortable in his own skin.
Challenge of the Super Sons #5 is set in the evening and colorist Luis Guerrero gives it a calm, serene tone. My favorite panel comes when Jon is flying through the air, carrying Robin and crossing in front of the full moon. The glow from the moon is perfect and serves as a quiet moment before that monster shows up and disrupts everything.
Challenge of the Super Sons presents another fun, adventure-filled chapter in the lives of Superboy and Robin. There’s an innocence to them that only comes from childhood. That’s part of what makes this such a joy to read. This next generation of the World’s Finest is still figuring things out and that’s part of the fun.