[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Carlo Barberi, Matt Santorelli
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Jon Kent learns it’s better to be dead than red…Kryptonite, that is! Traveling the cosmos to get home and escape the intergalactic teen baddies known as the Gang, Superboy and Robin wind up on the so-called “Planet of Mystery.” There, Superboy deals with Red Kryptonite exposure, which throws his powers out of whack, while the planet haunts and taunts them both with nightmare creatures. They’ll need to wrap up this rest stop ASAP though, as the Gang is hot on their tails looking for a pound of flesh—which is a lethal amount when you’re a tween!
I love how Tomasi throws in nods to DC history, such as the Kid of Steel being split into Superboy Red and Superboy Blue. Also, the pair (or is that trio) of Super Sons enlist the help of the Space Cabbie. But the strangest nod yet happens when his Space Taxi breaks down on a planet that, oddly enough, has a Victorian mansion.
Damian and the two Jons check out the mansion, finding themselves trapped inside, where the house itself as the House of Secret Mysteries. Is this a meant merely as a reference to the House of Mystery and the House of Secrets (currently appearing in The Dreaming), or is it connected to those houses? Might caretakers Cain and Abel be making an appearance next issue?
But instead of the storytelling brothers, Jon and Damian encounter what appears to be older versions of themselves. It will be interesting to seeing if these are doppelgangers from a parallel world, or something weirder. Perhaps time works strangely in the House, and the older pair are future versions that have been trapped in the house for years. It is an intriguing Mystery to ponder until next month’s issue reveals the Secret.
We obviously haven’t seen the last of Rex and the Gang, as Rex reveals his master plan: he will use the Hypercube to conquer Earth and its heroes, and then will take his inspiration, Lex Luthor as his sidekick. Rex definitely has the arrogance of a Luthor. I would love to see Rex and Lex actually meet, so that we might witness two monumental egos clash over which one should be sidekick to the other.
Once again, I find no fault in the story itself, but a number of upcoming developments in DC’s books have me doubting the future of the team and the book. In Bendis’ Superman books (which is set in this title’s near future), Jon is about to return to Earth, and will be adopting a new look. And also, with Conner Kent apparently returning to the DCU, it is unclear who will bear the name Superboy.
I hope that whatever changes lay ahead for the characters, that the two can still keep adventuring as the Super Sons, preferably written by Tomasi – or at least someone who can capture the same spirit that Tomasi has established in the Super Sons titles.
Whatever the future of the title, the book is a delight that readers can enjoy while it lasts. With the serious and tragic events unfolding in Heroes In Crisis, it provides a welcome light-heart dose of fun to lift a comic reader’s spirits.