By T.A. Ewart
“Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons” has a few deliverables that have been absent from the DC Animated Universe thus far: optimism, exuberance, and light. All of that is thanks to the introduction of Jon Kent, Superboy. While Jon has hit come contentious and turbulent waters in his characterization, the last three years, “Super Sons” firmly displays that Jon works best as a kid. This shouldn’t be news, as DC Comics, for decades, was the home of the child superhero. Robin, Superboy, Speedy, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, even Super Baby and Wonder Tot. These aspects of DC’s history have been wilfully consigned to oblivion, but Jon reminds viewers of the potential that children present to storytelling, if handled like living, breathing people, and not saccharine annoyances.
“Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons” wisely uses Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run as its source and foundation, giving us a terse and cynical Damian Wayne, aligned with a spirited and naive Jon Kent. It works. This shouldn’t be surprising, but the balance that is struck in the comics is continues in the feature, where the expectation would be to give Damian, the established character, more play and light. Instead we’re given two young boys, different in every facet imaginable, from Damian’s conception, to Jon’s alien heritage, and their friendship surpasses it all. We are reminded of the importance for boys to have close friends at the formative time in their lives, which is remarkable, as in today’s age, boys seem to be an afterthought when it comes to the aforesaid, and “Super Sons” lets them be boys without qualification.
“Super Sons” has all of the staples of a strong animated feature. The action, all CG, is solid, and the voice work of the cast is directed very well. The biggest draw of the film is that it works for both the young and the young at heart. It’s the perfect gateway to the DC Universe that eludes young people, who are taken with manga and anime, but think superhero fare is something for them when they get older. “Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons” will be something that displays they can enjoy it now. Enjoy it on your own, with a friend, or with a kid, but regardless of the company, you’ll enjoy it!