Super Sons Annual is surprisingly interesting given the lack of proper dialogue through most of the issue. The writing for the characters within is fun and the artwork keeps that light, fun feeling.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“SUPER-PETS UNLEASHED”! The World’s Furriest team Krypto and Titus–together at last! Tired of the boys stealing the spotlight, the doggy duo lead the Super Sons on a canine-powered epic!
So, how’s the story?
Very little of the annual is about the titular characters; instead, it focuses on the exploits of the Super Pets, which include Krypto, Ace, Flexi the Plastic Bird, Streaky and Bat-Cow with appearances by the Super Sons and Detective Chimp. The powerful way that Tomasi is able to tell as story while the main characters can only communicate in animal noises is a testament to his story writing ability. Within one issue Tomasi is able to give a backstory for the Super Pets, establish dynamics between the characters and tell one full story that loops back from start to finish. He establishes that there was once another member of the Super Pets, Clay Critter, who died on a previous mission. He also establishes that they have regular adventures including one where they fought Dex-Starr, Harley’s hyenas Bud and Lou and an Owl. Team dynamics such as previous spat between Streaky and Krypto is also established and it’s later revealed to be a lovers’ quarrel. It’s amazing how much is set up using only one character, Detective Chimp, that can speak as well as visual storytelling, which not many writers tend to pull off.
The antagonist of the issue is an alien named The Stranger who is trying to free the dogs of Gotham and Metropolis from being pets, but in reality is just locking them up in his ship. His reasoning and plan isn’t really shown as he himself only appears on 2-3 pages towards the end of the issue. This doesn’t matter as much due to the issue’s focus on the dynamics of the Super Pets.
And the art?
The art by Paul Pelletier is outstanding. He’s able to convey the emotion between the Super Pets amazingly well to complement the writing by Tomasi and bring the story to life. He is complemented by the colors that also make the images pop out. His illustrations make each of the Super Pets look unique and similar to their owners and his drawing of the different forms of Flexi were great to see.