Review: Superman #38

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason

Artists: Sergio Davila, Vicente Cifuentes



“SUPER SONS OF TOMORROW” finale! With no other choice left, the Batman of Tomorrow brings in the Titans of Tomorrow to take on today’s Teen Titans—as the life of Superman’s son hangs in the balance! See the return of future Superman Conner Kent, Wonder Woman Cassie Sandsmark and Bart Allen Flash in the final battle of this epic crossover.



The “Super Sons of Tomorrow” reaches its climax in this issue. Superboy has inherited Superman’s “solar flare” power introduced in the New 52 era. But unlike his father, Jon’s half-human DNA causes him to have less control over this power’s effects.

The Conner Kent, along with Cassie Sandsmark and Bart Allen, have come from an alternate Hypertime future, but Conner indicates that he remembers Jon Kent. If Jon Kent existed in his past, does that mean that it’s still possible that Conner Kent might have existed in the current continuity, even if he isn’t currently remembered by anyone? And does this extend to Bart Allen? Could it be that we might see Young Justice re-inserted into DC canon?

As antagonistic as the relationship is between Superboy and Robin is, this storyline demonstrates how deep the friendship between them is developing. Damian is willing to fight to the end, even against his own Teen Titans teammates. Although Damian will likely never admit it verbally, his actions show how deeply he cares for Jon.



I still find it hard to accept that Tim Drake could ever reach the point where he would consider killing a child – even to save millions of lives. Tim would find some other way to save them without resorting to murder. However, it was good to see that in the end, Tim was able to avoid killing Jon by sacrificing himself.

However, the method of how this was accomplished is confusing. The “solar flare” power became a separate entity from Jon that could be banished into Hypertime? I can see that the solar energy could be drained out of Jon, but how can a super power itself become a distinct being? Anyways, it serves to explain why Jon wouldn’t become a threat as soon as he replenished the solar radiation lost in the flare.

Although it is a common trope in fiction for a strong blow to the head to induce unconsciousness, this isn’t how head trauma works in the real world, and loss of consciousness is usually an indicator that severe damage might have been done. Even given that in a fictional universe, a blow to the head is a ‘safe’ way to render someone unconscious, it still seems risky to do so by means of a super-powered punch – especially to someone like Damian that doesn’t have superhuman invulnerability. However, I supposed I can stretch my willing suspension of disbelief enough to let this pass.



Despite these issues, it still is an amazing story that further cements Jon’s place in the wider DCU. It also gives some hints at mysteries of the DC continuity that have yet to be explored, such as Hypertime. Plus, it was great to see Conner and Bart again.

Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.