This is part 4 of the Super Sons of Tomorrow crossover with Super Sons and Teen Titans. Parts 1 and 2 both released 2 weeks ago. Part 3 came out last week – the week that my local shop’s shipment was delayed by several days. I only picked up Teen Titans 15 today, and yes, I read it ahead of Superman 38 just to catch up. But I’m not reviewing that – I’m just reviewing Superman 38. Although by necessity, I’ll be talking a little about Teen Titans 15’s events.
Co-written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, this comic picks up where the last left off. After future Tim Drake partially convinced two of the Teen Titans to join his efforts against Superboy in the previous issue, Robin took Superboy to their new underwater base. The other Teen Titans, including Kid Flash, Sunfire and … I’m not entirely sure who the third is, are able to track them down into the underwater base. Right away there’s a huge misunderstanding, leading to a fight scene. Given the circumstances, it’s understandable. Normally it’s fun to see Jon Kent and Damien Wayne bickering a bit, but in this issue (and the previous), they’re not arguing one bit. They’re clearly taking this situation seriously, and they don’t even hesitate to defend their base against those they normally consider friends. That’s not to say they there aren’t any amusing moments.
As the comic goes on, more characters join the already complex situation, including the previously revealed Titans of Tomorrow. That, along with Jon finding his father trapped in a Red Kryptonite cell (that future Drake sprang in Superman 37), causes Jon to start going supernova in an uncontrolled demonstration of power. To say anything more would be to spoil too much, but it leads to a dramatically intense moment, questions on whether or not future Tim Drake has a point, and a surprising sacrifice at the end.
Sergio Davila’s art is great. The opening page of a coral reef is brilliant, with fish, plant life and bubbles that vary from panel to panel, until you see one of the Teen Titans slowly swim into frame. Superboy and Robin’s underground base is also visible in the background of the last panel, acting as the source of the bubbles. Nice touch. There are several spreads in the comic with characters being sucked through time, with the backgrounds consisting of panels from different points in this crossover or different points in DC history, obscured by energy and motion blurs. The detail is impressive throughout, whether it’s Jon’s wrinkles in his Superboy outfit, Starfire’s long hair waving more and more towards the end or all the various energy powers flying around at the end of the comic. Facial expressions do a brilliant job at conveying emotion all-round. Gabe Eltaeb’s colouring is also great. Everything is bright and colourful, and there’s brilliant use of shadows and energy glares.
This is a great comic. It’s intense. It’s entertaining. There’s still room for heart in a fairly busy story. There are several surprising moments towards the end, involving which sides certain characters end up on. Best of all, pretty much every character from each series involved in this crossover gets involved in this issue one way or another. Future Tim Drake is a fantastic villain, partly because events in this issue suggest that he might not be entirely wrong. If the idea of a future Tim Drake arriving to kill Superman’s son terminator style sounds interesting, you should pick up this crossover. You most likely won’t be disappointed.