Written by Ridley Pearson
Illustrated by Ile Gonzalez
Published by DC Comics
The world is in peril, not from a villain, but from our negligence.
Wyndemere is a fledgling city and lies at the heart of the story as citizens from Metropolis and Gotham have had to move there due to coastal flooding.
Wayne Enterprises has erected a wall around Gotham but they are struggling to cope. By night, Batman struggles to fight the thugs of the nefarious group, Project Noah and its mysterious leader, Arvrc, who want to tear the walls down.
When Superman arrives in Gotham, he is summoned for a special mission for Wayne Tech and the Government: Project Polarshield. The Polarshield is an orbiting satellite that sprays dust into space to filter the heat and radiation of the sun over the polar ice caps.
Only Superman can help with harvesting dust from Mars to amplify the shield but it will take months and mean leaving Lois & Jon behind.
Bruce also faces a dilemma. Damian is of the age where he wants to fight injustice as Batman’s sidekick, but with the current disaster, training is out of the question.
Bruce instructs his assistant, Patience, to take Damian to live in Wyndemere. Clark does the same for Lois and Jon and this is where the story really begins.
Four children find themselves out of their element but forced together by fate:
- Batkid/Damian “Ian” Wayne
Ian doesn’t know his mother and despite a strained relationship, dreams of being a sidekick to Batman. Spurned for training, Damian renounces his name taking the moniker “Ian” instead and takes his pug Taco to live with him in Wyndermere. Patience, Bruce’s personal assistant, keeps tabs on Ian during the day but is unaware he is fighting crime in Wyndermere as the spectacular Batkid.
A keen tech enthusiast and reader. Tilly is a loyal friend to Jon and gets roped into his missions frequently.
A youngster running from a legacy. Her mother was an Empress to the land of Landis and passed her title to Cadance. The young girl has visions that force her to cross paths with Batkid and Superboy. She also hopes they can help protect her from the evil forces of Landis that are hunting her down.
- Superboy/Jon Kent
Jon hates the fact he has had to relocate and blames the Wayne family. Despite the upheaval, Jon is still very much his father’s son and will fight injustice wherever he finds it. He is frustrated that he likes but still distrusts Ian.
When Lois is poisoned while investigating the Polarshield, the four children find themselves taking up her investigation and the rise in gang activity. They then discover the poisoning of Jon’s mother was not isolated and Tilly finds a pattern that leads directly to Avryc herself.
To be continued in: The Foxglove Mission!
First, to note, this is a reimagining of Jon and Ian.
Aside from the core aspects of both characters, no link to continuity exists and that leads to the books greatest strength. It is able to distil everything and even add a few touches that aren’t particularly necessary but serve to the overall feel of a ‘unique vision’.
Photographer Jimmy Olsen is replaced by P.A Jill Olsen, Perry is a black man, Alfred is replaced by Patience and the Wayne men have light brown hair.
The reinterpretation writes Superman and Batman out of the story very quickly but also establishes new towns and cities. Most notable amongst the changes is that Metropolis and Gotham are not in America but instead the country of Coleumbria. I had no problems with the changes as it steers the book away from any real world issues and diverts the focus onto the children and their adventures.
I like the children as individuals but by the end of the book I still didn’t buy their newfound friendships. Most of the story was focused on the investigations and not their relationships. Ian took a lion’s share of the book which was a little disappointing, especially as Tilly and Cadance are completely new characters and it would have been good to learn a little more about them.
At 150+ pages it is perhaps a tad overlong and some of the character names are a little ‘on the nose’ but there should be praise for the writer for tackling such issues as bullying & environmental issues.
I really enjoyed the book despite being well over the target audience age and would recommend it as a book to read with a youngster that wants to read about more three dimensional superheroes.
It is certainly a brave endeavour to take only the basic elements of Jon and Ian and write something completely new. Pearson has really created something special.
After years of ‘more lines and detail is better’ the resurgence of artistic style is more than welcome. Books like Wonder Twins, Cave Carson, Justice League vs Power Rangers, Superman: Rebirth and Trinity all lead with style and substance over the ‘more lines’ mantra and proved themselves very successful.
Until now I had not seen the art of Ile Gonzalez but what a pleasant surprise!
I really enjoyed the character work and the focus on them with the backgrounds phased out to give the figure work the focus. The technique gives the art a very animated feel very much in line with the look and feel of Into The Spider-Verse.
A really beautifully illustrated book.
I really like this cover as it doesn’t show you the costumes of the Super Sons but it’s really clear exactly who they are. The text is a little too heavy and wordy given who will be reading it (and who won’t care about credentials) but Rian Hughes did a great job revamping the Superman-Batman logo and it is instantly recognisable. The style of the logo compliments the cover art and together they really catch your eye.