Super Sons: The Fortress of Attitude Changes the Duo's Status Quo


If you haven’t been reading Peter J. Tomasi’s Super Sons, you’ve been missing out on the most delightful team-up in DC’s post-Rebirth universe. The story of thirteen year-old Damian Wayne, aka Robin, and ten-year old Jonathan Kent, the current Superboy, has proven to be a goldmine of action and comedy. The ever-optimistic son of Superman is the perfect foil for the far-too-cynical spawn of Batman. Factor in that Jonathan is in the process of discovering his powers, whereas Damian is already an old hand at being a super-hero, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a classic coming-of-age story about a mismatched pair of buddies.

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Super Sons #10 moves the boys’ partnership to the next level, much to Jon’s contentment and Damian’s consternation. The pair is woken up in the middle of the night, and gifted an underwater headquarters by their fathers. The high-tech hideout in Morrison Bay is linked up to the Batcave’s mainframe and the Justice League’s lunar server. The setup also includes a pair of two-person pods—courtesy of Cyborg—that can reach either Metropolis or Gotham City in roughly 100 seconds. Jon boasts to Jonathan that he’s already done it in 45, but had to get wet in order to do so.

Their fathers also officially put the boys to work as superheroes, and inform them that henceforth the Justice League will be rerouting level 4 and below threats to their underwater HQ.

This is a major change in Damian and Jon’s status quo. They have repeatedly been disciplined for their shenanigans, and have had to dodge their parents and Alfred as they explored their burgeoning friendship, and fought various villains along the way.

Now, the the duo is legit -- at least in their parents’ eyes.

A lot of the story so far has explored Jonathan’s adjustment to his new life. As we’ve seen across the Super titles, the Kents have gone from being multiversal refugees living under assumed names in Hamilton County, to living openly in Metropolis. Ever since he freed his parents from the clutches of Mr. Mxyzptlk, by convincing their New 52 counterparts to merge with them (Action Comics #976), Jon has been growing as a boy, and as a hero.

As we see at the beginning of this issue, Jon has not only matured beyond really long leaps to full-fledged flying, but he is almost as fast as his father. Although this new development fills poppa Clark with pride, the jaded -- perhaps jealous -- Damien is unimpressed.

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In a private moment, he then asks Jon if he told his parents about their recent adventure with the Teen Titans that led them to another dimension. The truthful Jon admits having done so, and asked whether his friend did likewise. “I do everything on a need-to-know basis,” replies Damien, who seems less apt to trust his father, or to disclose his activities.

The boys then share a joyous moment on the roof of a vintage pickup truck, lying on their stomachs with their arms stretched forward so that Damian can also feel what it’s like to fly. Robin reminds his friend that for a brief time, after his father brought him back from Apokalips, he too could fly. This moment of connection reminds us that, as different as the two boys may be, they share a lot of common ground.

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