I’m reviewing these comics together because they are part 1 and 2 of a crossover, called Super Sons of Tomorrow. Let’s get started.
Both issues are co-written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, and they are both heavily influenced by a recent story arc in Detective Comics where a dark future version of Tim Drake arrives to the present to kill someone terminator style. Last time he tried to kill Batwoman. This time, it’s Superboy.
The first issue is the more intense of the two, with Tim Drake first attacking Batman to acquire what he needs. It’s a brutal fight scene that’s a close match. That is until Tim pulls out a gun. The second fight is even more intense, with Tim showing off his preparation skills and tactical genius as he takes on Superman, with the intention to take him out of the fight without killing him. It’s a great setup issue that shows how big of a threat future Tim Drake is, while giving us some fantastic action scenes.
Super Sons is far more lighthearted for the most part. It starts with the Teen Titans struggling against a villain group, until Superboy arrives and saves everyone. To no regular reader’s surprise, Robin (Damian Wayne) isn’t all too happy about this. The debate between the team and Superboy does a good job at showing some of the tensions between team members while still keeping the comic relatively light, at least until Tim Drake hacks their base’s systems. To tell you anything else about the story would spoil it, but the comic does explain why Future Tim Drake is so motivated to kill Superboy. The only problem I can think of is that there’s a grammar mistake on the first panel where Tim Drake shows himself. “I’m now in full control the tower from the inside.” For a super genius, he somehow forgot the word “of”.
Jorge Jimenez is on art with Alejandro Sanchez colouring in Superman 37, with Ryan Benjamin on art and Gabe Elaeb on colours in Super Sons 11. The art in both comics are good. Superman’s art is generally more realistic looking, with highly detailed environments and characters and the right level of blood to help show how brutal the Batman vs. Batman fight is. Wayne Manor is appropriately dark with great use of shadows, while the fortress of solitude is bright and colourful. The art in Super Sons is a touch more cartoony, but not so much that it doesn’t match the darker tone once Tim Drake shows up. The exaggerated facial expressions do a brilliant job at conveying emotions, like Starfire’s confused look when she’s trying to figure out who took out all the bad guys, Damian’s annoyed stare when he figures out Superboy got involved, and the cold determination on Tim Drake’s face that even shows through his mask. The colouring is also great.
These two comics give us a great start for this crossover. It’s striking a good balance between a darker, more intense story than usual for Tomasi and Gleason’s Superman run, and the fun tone that Super Sons usually enjoys. Even though it hasn’t been long since the Tim Drake story arc ended in Detective Comics, I have no problem with him showing up this soon. He’s a very compelling villain for several reasons, and part of the fun of this crossover will be to see how they can possibly stop Terminator Batman from killing Superboy. If the idea of this crossover interests you, then you should pick these issues up.
I’m giving Superman 37 an 8.5, and Super Sons 11 a 7.5 (full point deduction for the grammar mistake in a professional release).