What is this about?
In this issue of Super Sons, the Teen Titans regroup after getting beaten handily by a trio of villains led by an elderly Magician name Kraklow. The Commander, Atom-Master, and Chun-Yull Faceless Hunter re-engage to finish the job. However, this time the Teen Titans bring Superboy along to evens the odds. This issue is about a group of young heroes becoming a team and an elderly Magician learning a timeless lesson about impure motives.
This issue provides a short backstory for Kraklow and his team of villains. Kraklow is an 18th-century sorcerer from Poland who can create monsters from lumps of clay and other magical acts. In this story, we learn how he obtained this power. Kraklow narrates that a magician who claimed to be a “centuries-old version of me” imparted on me “real magic.” Kraklow utilizes this gift to pursue his goal of being the greatest magician of all time. His motivation was not explored any further by the story. In addition, the backstory of Kraklow was not as compelling or interesting as other parts of the book. Specifically, the relationship issues between Jonathan and Damian.
The story depicts Kraklow bringing to life the three villains from another realm: The Time Commander, Atom-Master, and Chun-Yull Faceless Hunter. These villains have appeared in books over the years. However, in this story, they are not that interesting due to their limited role. Time Commander has some interesting abilities and utilizes them to age Damian and freeze the Teen Titans at the beginning of the story. However, he is neutralized easily by Raven later. Finally, all three villains are reduced to lumps of clay when Kraklow is defeated at the end of the story.
The issue begins with an aged-Damian having toileting issues while the Teen Titans are discussing a new strategy for engaging the trio. The team invites a reluctant Superboy to come along this time. They leave, with an aged, yet still determined, Robin to confront Kraklow and his team. As the Teen Titans arrive Kraklow and Time Commander leave due to the Time Commander’s diminishing capacity to use his powers. This, we are told, was the results of him aging Damian.
The Faceless Hunter and the Atom-Master stay back to confront the Teen Titans. They are very confident as demonstrated by Atom-Master’s statement, “Which one of them dies first?” However, with SuperBoy’s help, the Teen Titans easily defeat Faceless Hunter and Atom-Master. Elsewhere, Raven confronts Time Commander. Kraklow is easily subdued and escorted away.
The ease of the victory communicates the importance of having SuperBoy on the team. He is a team player, as demonstrated his being aware of teammates when they needed help. In addition, he is powerful and more able to take on stronger opponents.
Jonathan and Damian
This issue continues to investigate Superboy’s persona as the hesitant superhero. For example, The Teen Titans invite Jonathan to join their adventure and call him Superboy. Jonathan, the reluctant and shy super-hero, tries to deny it. Jonathan’s values are revealed, once again, during a short exchange with Damian. As the team gets ready to leave for the adventure Damian shouts, “Titans!” Jonathan whispers, “Together” to Damian. Jonathan’s values working together as a team.
The story continues to highlight the differences in opinion that Jonathan and Damian have about Damian’s role. For example, at the end of the battle, the victorious Teen Titans all want Superboy to attend the next team meeting and to join the team. Damian says, “not yet.” And again, while Damian and Jonathan are collecting samples of the disintegrated trio the conversation returns to Damian’s role. Damien insists that he’s not trained Jonathan yet. Jonathan confronts Damien on this statement, “You’re not training me.” This underlying and ongoing narrative adds depth and makes the story enjoyable. Their interactions are filled with emotion and the art is spot on.
The writer elevates the tension between Damian and Superboy yet maintains a lighthearted and fun tone. It will be interesting to see how the Teen Titans adjust as Damian as their leader. It will be even more interesting to see if Damian can adjust to Superboy being a huge influence on the team.
Reviewed by Tom Zimm
Super Sons # 7 Planet of the Capes part 2, The kids are all fight!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Jorge Jimenez; Colors by Alejandro Sanchez; Letters by Rob Leigh
Published by DC
Release Date: 8/16/2017