Superman/Robin Special #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 25, 2022
Cover date: March 2022
“Magical Mystery Cube”
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Viktor Bogdanovic
Inkers: Daniel Henriques, Scott Hanna & Viktor Bogdanovik
Cover: Viktor Bogdanovik
Variant Covers: Jorge Jimenez and Rafa Sarmento
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
[Note: This story occurs immediately after “Superman: Son of Kal-El #1”]
The temporal cube Superman and son found during their adventures in time with Captain Storm (Superman #8-9, Superman Special and Adventures of the Super Sons) begins whirring to life creating havoc in the arctic Fortress.
Damian, alerted to the danger, races to Kansas to meet with Jonathan. Though the now much older Jon, is annoyed that Damian had hidden spy equipment in the Fortress, he agrees they need to reform their partnership for one last mission.
Damian dons the Hellbat suit and they discover the Fortress in disarray. The duo discover a creature has come through a portal the cube accidentally opened. Damian leaps into action, but Jon, pensive decides to take an alternate route to saving the day.
Through differing methods they try to deal with the creature but their every action causes bigger problems, that is, until they work together. Jon realizes the creature is pregnant and the only way to save it is to return it to the time stream.
The temporal cube bursts to life again and opens a portal to World War II bringing in a troop of Nazis into the mix.
Donning their battle suits the Super Sons fight back the Nazi soldiers and send them back into the portal before also activating a time portal for the displaced creature to return home too.
Damian apologizes to Jon. He felt the older Jon would not have time for his best friend now they have a wider age gap.
Jon says that regardless of the age difference they’ll always be SUPER SONS!
Story – 4: It was really good to have a story that spanned stories from the entire Superman and Jon Kent run with call backs to their time travels and bringing things up to date with the current status quo. The role reversal of Damian now being the youngest invites fun banter between the pair despite how odd their relationship is now. It would be fun to see them hang out using movie BIG as a trope and doing things they wouldn’t usually be allowed to if Jon were his natural age.
The story was a bit secondary to the familial bond, though it was a good way to connect things. I really enjoyed it and it was a good way to reconnect with readers that have had to endure things like “The Unity Saga”. I don’t think it needed to be a special issue, but it is still one I will enjoy rereading in the future.
Reviewers note: DC really needs to clarify character details. When Jon vanished he aged 7 years, while Damian remained the same age. The current “Titans” series has Damian aged 14 and Jon aged 17.
Art – 4: The art this issue is really fun. The layouts, action scenes and character moments are well done and though it is a little jarring where the inkers swap duties, it is still an enjoyable experience. I’d like to see more Super Son art by Bogdanovic.
Cover Art – 4: A cool cover though it is a little odd seeing their personalities reversed! I like the darker color palette but wonder why the character designs differ so much from the interior art, by the same artist. Damian looks a little more like a boy than a teen.
Variant Cover #1 Art – 5: This is a fun cover that I feel encapsulates the characters so well. The age gap between Jon and Damian doesn’t seem as drastic here. I feel this is closer to the characters actual ages and wish DC did a current style guide for interim artists to follow.
Variant Cover #2 Art – 4: Here we have a nicely rendered cover with some exquisite painting techniques. The point I drop is again because of the publisher/editors and not the artist. Damian isn’t even at Jon’s hip height here. I don’t fault Sarmento here, I think DC should confirm and stick to their choice.
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