Superman Vol 2. Trials of the Super Son

Spoiler: Goliath is not a Bat.


In these tales from SUPERMAN #7-13, Superman and Jon Kent are transported to Dinosaur Island to find the last of the Losers! Then, after a quick trip to the county fair, Jon meets his match in Damian Wayne—and the Super Sons’ fathers soon put the two young heroes through their paces as a new crime-fighting team is forged! – DC Comics

Peter J. Tomasi (Writer), Patrick Gleason (Writer, Penciler), Jorge Jimenez (Artist), Alejandro Sanchez (Colourist), Rob Leigh (Letterer), Doug Mahnke (Penciler), Jaime Mendoza (Inker), Wil Quintana (Colourist) ,Trevor Scott (Inker), John Kalisz (Colourist), Mick Gray(Inker), Christian Alamy (Inker), Mark Morales (Inker)

Wasn’t too sure what to make of Volume 2, but no truer words were ever spoken: You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

While the Action Comics Rebirth narrative focuses more on Pre-Flashpoint Superman assuming the role of his deceased counterpart as Metropolis’ new protector, the Superman narrative differs by exploring the Man of Steel’s balancing act as husband and family man alongside heroic duties, which inevitably overlap with each other in this second volume.

Issues #7 – for example, features the Kents at the fair in Hamilton County, where Clark is forced to dispatch potential terrorists while not compromising a night out with the family. Issues #8-9 have Superman, Superboy, and Krypto transported to a WWII era, King Kong esque Dinosaur Island. The emphasis on the family relation, mainly father/son, is quite obvious in these issues, as is the marital undertones in Issue #12-13,  when Superman goes toe-to-toe against an intergalactic fugitive with the aid of Frankenstein.

As the cover makes plain, The Dark Knight and his son Damian Wayne/Robin make an appearance (Superman Vol.4 #10-11),  and reading the clash and forced cooperation between Damian Wayne and Jonathan Kent/Superboy in these issues was an acquired state. The last time I touched a Batman comic, Timothy Drake was Robin, and Damian seemed like a compound throwback of the least tolerable characteristics of his predecessors.  On one hand, he embodies the eye-rolling childlike quirks of Dick Grayson, which may seem campy to some, but with the somewhat violent nature of Jason Todd.

However, Tomasi and Gleason succeed in taking my least favorite member of the Batman family and creating an enjoyable two-part story that forces Robin and Superboy to work together, thus setting aside their differences and confronting undesirable and unheroic character flaws (Superboy’s recklessness vs. Damien’s violent stubbornness and arrogance). Add to that the artwork of Patrick Gleason, which I was admittedly a bit too dismissive towards in my review of Volume 1; his art style captures the childlike nature of the two protagonists.

The family theme is played out well, thanks largely to Tomasi and Gleason, and Mahnke, Mendoza, and Quintana continue to impress with their Grade A level artwork. I would definitely recommend this.



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