Our Week In Review assesses ‘Super Sons’ #2 (yay!) and ‘Vampirella’ #1 (eh!)
By Courtney Ryan and Jarrod Jones. Our Week In Review sums up our weekly comic book coverage while taking time for a new review or two before it’s all over. Did we miss your favorite books this week? Well. This is where you need to be.
Written by Paul Cornell.
Art by Jimmy Broxton.
Letters by Travis Lanham.
CR: Some of us shun Daylight Savings and instead set our clocks forward based on the timing of the annual Vampirella reboot. Honestly, it’s probably more reliable.
A debut issue featuring the raven-haired vixen last hit the shelves less than a year ago, but this time Dynamite has dismissed the all-female creative team of 2016 and handed Vampirella to Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton. This reboot isn’t exactly revolutionary, but it does seem to be in potentially capable hands.
The story begins as Vampirella wakes after a thousand-year slumber in a world that’s not quite Earth but also not not Earth. She then launches an expedition across her new world in order to figure why she’s there, where she came from, and what she must become. Her journey leads to a bizarro Los Angeles where everyone is as sex obsessed and provocative (as earlier incarnations of Vampirella). Clad in classic skin-tight vampy-wear, she wanders her new world in search of something.
Perhaps this rendition of Vampirella wouldn’t suffer if we had any indication what the iconic heroine’s motives were this time around. Instead, all we understand is that she’s confused and therefore we are too. This might not be such a problem if there weren’t so many reboots for the iconic vamp, but there are. And this one isn’t moving the needle so far.
Broxton’s muted color pallette and the kooky expressions he paints on his characters’ faces lend a welcoming horror-comic vibe, but Vampirella’s overlapping internal narratives and the general lack of edge to a pretty riskless plot leave us with a mild flavor. Still, fans of the character will recognize her charm and the story is hardly written into a corner. So there’s room to grow from here.
6 out of 10
Super Sons #2
Written by Peter J. Tomasi.
Art by Jorge Jimenez.
Colors by Alejandro Sanchez.
Letters by Rob Leigh.
JJ: If you need further proof that Rebirth is the best thing that could have happened to DC Comics after the New 52, then allow me to introduce you to Super Sons.
One part team-up book, one part character-driven adventure, and one part the most fun you can have reading comics, Super Sons doesn’t just build upon the legend of Robin and Superboy, it wisely dwells on the growing pains of Damian Wayne and Jonathan Kent. It’s thoughtful and meditative, but it also kicks a whole bunch of butt. Loads of media attention gets thrown at high-profile DC books like All-Star Batman and the current output over at Young Animal, and I’m telling you that Super Sons deserves that much love and perhaps a little bit more. On a technical scale, Super Sons is already darn near the crown jewel of the Super/Bat books, and on a creative level it’s one of the more exciting DC books I’ve read in some time.
For Damian, who has been largely marginalized in the Batman books ever since Rebirth began — no more Batman and Robin, I fear — Super Sons is an opportunity for B&R vet Peter J. Tomasi to give the fifth Robin some much-needed post-Rebirth context. (Beyond “oh, he’s in the Teen Titans now” anyway.)
For Jonathan, who has flourished in Tomasi’s present Superman run, the new Superboy has an opportunity to carve out a section of the DCU for his very own. Sure, he has to share the space with Damian (a kid who isn’t exactly known for sharing), but this is Lois Lane’s son we’re talking about here. Jonathan can give as good as he gets, and Tomasi drafts the dichotomy between these boys with that firmly in mind.
Super Sons #2 furthers the “When I Grow Up…” arc with even more absolutely stunning artwork from Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez. Characterization in a book like this is key, and Jimenez doesn’t just tap into the spectrum of emotions between these two heroes, he broadens it considerably. (A moment where Superboy and Robin stumble across a crime scene is maximized for dramatic effect by Jimenez’s facial work and a color shift from Sanchez, from a shock of bright orange to a muted palette of reds and greens.)
Of course there are other things that make Super Sons #2 such a fun issue, but you’ll just have to read it to find out for yourself. But I will say this: there’s a certain amount of glee that comes with seeing Clark Kent’s little boy kick Lex Luthor right in the face.
9 out of 10
From earlier this week —
What books did YOU read this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.