Okay, one changed more than the other, but the point is, the Super Sons team-ups that Peter Tomasi was writing for a while are a thing of the past...which makes Challenge of The Super Sons, which ignores all those changes for a story set well before they happened, so much fun. Beyond the normal pleasures that come from these two very different characters bouncing off one another, it also has the feeling of a sort of last hurrah, a one-more-time encore before we submit to the forces of change. And/or Brian Michael Bendis.
The story opens at the West-Reeve school, where the two are classmates—it's unfortunate that we didn't get to see more of the pair in school—and then has them suiting-up to go on patrol together, this time in Metropolis ("We have to patrol Metropolis tonight," Jon stipulates. "My mom is making chili!") There they eventually get wrapped up in a particularly weird case involving time travel.
They are shunted to the 16th century, where they encounter the immortal Vandal Savage and his new partner Felix Faust, as well as Faust's young apprentice, who they just met as an old lady in the present, mere panels before their leap back in time.
When they return to the present, it's with the "doom scroll" in hand; this is a blank parchment which shows the symbol of a Justice Leaguer on it and the means of that Leaguer's death an hour before that death is ordained; they must then prevent that death from happening without letting the Leaguer know about it, as foreknowledge will activate the spell trap that Faust laid for the League in the past.
That's the "challenge" part of the book.
While they're saving their dad's work friends in the present, they are trying to escape Savage and Faust in the past...of course, they will also have to deal with them in the future, given the villains' immortality.
As a plot goes, it's a bit on the complicated side, but as long as it keeps the two friends together and bickering, it will suffice. Oddly, each of the seven issues is broken into two chapters, with the second half of each issue marked "Chapter Two." When reading it in trade, these chapter notations are nonsensical, as there are seven chapter twos and no chapter ones, or chapter threes or any other chapters.
The artwork comes courtesy of Max Raynor, Jorge Corona and Evan Stanley, three different artists with three extremely different styles, particularly Stanley, whose work looks more appropriate for a kid-friendly DC original graphic novel—which, come to think of it, might be a better home for future Super Sons adventures—then the DC house style of Raynor and Corona.
At any rate, it's always fun to see Damian ranting and raving and the unflappable Jon, and as much as this feels like a last hurrah, I do hope it's not the last we've seen of Tomasi on the Super Sons
Oh, and the Supermobile is in this comic. I love the Supermobile.
The second, by Scott Kollins, is a Doctor Fate team-up in which the two heroes must fight a giant monster while trying to stave off an invasion of Lovecraftian space monster gods. It's laid out in such a way to suggest it was intended for an online comic...in fact, these might have all appeared online first for all I know. I don't really pay attention to comics that aren't printed on paper.
The third, by Stephanie Phillips, Alitha Martinez, Dexter Vines and Vincente Cifuentes, is a Freaky Friday-inspired story and thus the most high-concept of the lot: During a fight with Circe, the witch casts a spell which switches Wonder Woman's mind with that of a teenage girl who happened to be at the scene at the time, and Wonder Woman must try to make it through a day of high school in a teenager's body while a young, inexperienced girl pilots her body. Things end abruptly, given the strength of the concept, but it's pretty fun while it lasts.
The book naturally shipped with lots of covers. I got the "International Woman's Day" one by Maria Laura Sanapo, featuring a random assortment of five other superheroines rushing into action behind Wonder Woman.
BORROWED:recently re-read Batman event story "Contagion", I of course then felt the need to re-read its sequel story, "Legacy." I wasn't sure if I should include the trades collecting it in this column or in a separate, standalone post, but since I did borrow them from the library this month, then they technically qualify for inclusion in this feature, even if I am re-reading them.
The book must be nearing its finale, as there are precious few members of its cast still alive, and the new ones introduced in this volume specifically to take on Chainsaw Man, don't seem like they will last too long either. I'm still holding out hope for a happy ending for Denji but, if it's coming, it looks like there's going to be a whole lot of misery for the character before he reaches it.
See, Saku is loving and appreciative, but also something of a mess, and, try as she might, she can't seem to get or keep her act together for very long without the help of her house cat, who differs from most house cats in several respects.
First and most noticeably, he's huge, towering over Saku as he goes about on his hindlegs, and he is often mistaken for a bear when he's seen in public (That, or a person in a cat suit).
Secondly, while Yukichi can't talk, and his mind works a lot like that of an ordinary cat's, he takes care of all of the housework, functioning as something between a mom, a housewife and a butler for Saku.
After the main manga, there's a five-page short story narrated by Yukichi which basically explains things from his point of view, including the how and why of his becoming a masterful cat. He realized that humans work in order to get money in order to buy cat food, or, "To put it another ways, if you don't get your human to work...YOU'LL STARVE!!" And so he took it upon himself to keep Saku functioning, "to make sure the cat food keeps coming in!!" He seems to have grown in proportion to his "masterfulness," having been able to cook only the most simple of dishes when he was still a little kitten, but now being able to do the shopping (in an apron he made himself, no less), take out the garbage, cook and bake fancy meals and otherwise run Saku's apartment and life.
It's a pretty compelling situation for a comedy series, I just don't think "depressed" is quite the right word to describe the typically temperamental cat's mood.
The lines between owner and pet are thus quite blurry, but it's an odd and funny situation with