SUPER SONS ANNUAL #1
Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Paul Pelletier
Colors by: Hi-Fi
The story begins with a man walking his dog, “Cookie.” A stranger bump into him and his dog gets loose. Cookie is stolen and put in a van.
The scene transitions to Robin and Superboy facing off against a car of bank robbers. As expected, the friends barb between each other as they stop the villains. When onlookers congratulated Superboy, he tells one to call Damien “Batboy.” Loads of fun.
The story continues as Robin pilots the helicopter back to Superboy’s home where he’s dropped off. Superboy celebrates their accomplishment as a team, but Robin refuses to slap five or fist bump. Superboy says to himself as Robin flies away, “Quit drinking so much idiot juice.”
Krypto greets Jonathan as he steps into his house. Jonathan reminds himself of his objective, “do a little good every day. That’s my motto.” Later, Krypto flies to Wayne Manor. He lands on the grounds and opens a barn door. Inside we see a cow which Krypto greets with affection. Another dog arrives, Titus, and is shown entering the barn where he receives a warm welcome from Krypto.
Krypto, Titus, and the cow look at a newspaper. The headlines read, “Dog gone Gotham.” Krypto and Titus leave and land at DC investigations where they meet Detective Chimp. He’s lying on a bed with his left leg in a cast. He tells Krypto and Titus that he’s still a little messed up after last month’s fight against the Brotherhood of Evil. Detective Chimp asks how he could help.
Detective Chimp reads the newspaper clipping confirming that the article has most of the facts correct. He surmises that wherever the pets go they’re either captured or dead then states, “You want the Super-Pets back together for one more mission.” The Super-Pets consist of Flex, the plastic bird; Bat-hound; Clay Critter; Krypto; Bat-Cow; and Streaky.
The story transition as Krypto flies off with Titus to gather the Super-Pets together to start the mission. Krypto is confronted by Streaky, the Super-family’s cat. Krypto and Streaky tussle for a bit until Titus intervenes. Flex arrives, and the group “talks” some more.
The story transitions as Krypto, Titus, and Flex fly off. They find the missing pets penned in a spaceship-looking building. Krypto uses his heat-ray eyes to cut a hole in the roof for the team to enter. The captured animals run toward them as they enter. They engage the animals happy to see them. Meanwhile, an alien arrives in a van with Cookie safely inside. Krypto confronts the alien. The alien asserts that he’s spent his entire life freeing animals. Krypto flies away and returns with a cage which he puts the alien in. The alien yells at them stating, “All I want to do is help, and you’ve ruined everything! Stupid beasts!” The sequence ends with the animals all safe, including Cookie.
Later, Jon arrives at Damian’s home with Flex on his shoulder thinking Damian sent him. Damian brushes Flex off and redirects Jon to follow him. He takes Jon where all the animals Krypto saved are waiting. Damian insists, “mission accomplished.” Damian insists that it’s Jon’s job to return all the pets to their owners.
The art in this book was amazing. For example, Detective Chimp was drawn with detail especially in the face area and the colors were vivid. It would be nice to see him pop up again in the main story arc. However, outside of Detective Chimp, the other Super-Pets did not make a spectacular showing in this book.
While the two super-heroes share some moments while confronting some villains, the rest of the book follows the Super-Pets as they solve a crime. I didn’t like the large amount of time devoted to animals speaking in animal noises to each other because it didn’t advance the story for me. In addition, the story is by the numbers with no plot twists to speak of.
However, the dynamic between Damian and Jonathan remains energized and fun. If the story includes a meta-narrative, it’s the commentary it provides on the tendency for people to ignore the well-being of animals. However, this narrative is shown and not explicitly stated. I recommend this book to younger readers and to animal lovers due to the art and the Krypto-centered storyline.