The boys get a new HQ and spend time away their usual brawling.
Super Sons #10 takes a break from the usual action to introduce a new headquarters and spend time focusing on the two leads and their fathers. So, is it good?
This issue, titled “One Fine Day,” feels very transitional. Not a single punch gets thrown on panel, and the potential antagonist only receives a two page intermission, in which they do not interact with the main characters. This break from constant combat is a nice change of pace. This series’ main selling point is the relationship between Damian and Jon, so it’s nice to see what their bond is like outside of mid-fight scene banter. We even get a short moment of kindness from Damian to Jon here, which is a major breath of fresh air given how rarely Damian has done anything that wasn’t antagonistic or sarcastic in this book. Damian and Jon’s bickering rivalry is fun of course, but it can get old without any breaks, so this issue’s more upbeat mood is much appreciated. We also get to see cute interactions between both Jon and Clark and Damian and Bruce, further cementing this issue’s status as a feel-good character-based issue.
Unfortunately, the issue isn’t as “feel-good” of an experience as it could be. The second half contains a quick return to Damian’s usual complaining and snark, with little of the first half’s charm. I don’t need this series to be as emotionally charged and serious as writer Peter J. Tomasi’s previous run on Batman and Robin, but it would be nice to see more character development than we’ve gotten thus far. Either that, or perhaps an injection of stronger zaniness could be nice, but the current tone isn’t totally working for me. As far as the introduction of the boys’ new headquarters (dubbed the “Fortress of Attitude” by Jon), goes, it feels kind of unneeded. The more significant feeling reveal is the fact that Jon and Damian will soon be attending the same private school. The idea is promising, and hopefully the addition of a new regular setting will continue this issue’s trend of getting the boys away from battle sometimes in order to focus more on dialogue and friendship.
Art-wise, this issue is decent. Jose Luis is on pencils, with Scott Hanna on inks. When at their best, their work here really fits the tone and helps to enhance the sense of fun. A lot of the facial expressions are quite emotive, and there are multiple scenes with impressively detailed backgrounds. On the downside, there are also panels where the characters look as if they were drawn in a bit of a rush. Their proportions vary a bit, with heads that are particularly wonky and large on occasion. Outside of some great facial expressions, the visuals are never really enthralling. The style throughout feels very familiar and cookie-cutter, so even though there’s a lot of skill evident the art doesn’t actually excite much.
Overall, Super Sons #10 is a good issue. The change of setting and pace is much needed, and future plot points are introduced quite well. The boys and their fathers all have some nice bonding moments, and the art is mostly solid. With all of that said, this issue doesn’t feel like a must-read. There’s nothing emotionally potent or unique enough here to make it likely that readers will remember the issue’s events very long after reading it. If you’ve been a fan of the series thus far then I’d recommend picking this up, but otherwise it’s probably one to skip.