World's Smallest? The Boy Wonder and the Boy of Steel? How about...
The Super Sons!
Super Sons is a monthly comic series that began on February 15th, 2017 after months of delays and author changes. Written by Peter Tomasi, the brains behind Batman And Robin, and initially drawn by rising artist Jorge Jimenez, the comic stars Batman's youngest son Damian Wayne and Superman's son and the newest Superboy, Jonathan Kent. While their dads are off superheroing, the pair of "frenemies" will face harrowing perils of their own and might just save the day... if they don't kill each other first.
The series was announced to be cancelled in May 2018 solicitations, with the final issue being released in that month. However, Tomasi revealed that a 12-issue maxi-series, entitled Adventures of the Super Sons, will be launched in August, continuing the adventures of the sons.
This series provides examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: Subverted. Both of the boys know that their dads are more experienced and are generally able to take on threats that they can't. But the two would like to avoid having to ask them for help in order to gain more crime-fighting experience and prove their own merits. Future Tim's knowledge of this leads him to shoot Batman and incapacitate Superman with Red Kryptonite in order to keep them from interfering with his plan to assassinate Jon.
- Aesop Amnesia: The story tends to hit a reset button on Jon's and Damian's relationship whenever there needs to be conflict. Hence Damian can start warming up to Jon in one issue and go right back to being antagonistic and aloof in the next. This is most evident in #10 and #11, where the two are hanging out and testing the limits of Jon's powers in the former, and then have Damian lie to Jon about going on a mission with the Teen Titans for a grand total of three months without contact despite sharing a secret base and going to school together.
- Afraid of Their Own Strength: After using a Super Flare for the first time out of panic in Super Sons #11, Jon is stricken with grief and becomes terrified of the prospect that he could kill millions of innocent people if it happens again and begins thinking of isolating himself to prevent such an event from coming to pass. Thankfully, Damian talks him out of this for the most part.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Kid Amazo may have been powerful enough to restrain Damian and Jon (whose powers are still developing), but he's not quite strong enough to take on Lex Luthor's Superman Suit, which is powered by New God technology (i.e. the stuff Darkseid uses).
- Animesque: Jorge Jiminez's art style is clearly heavily influenced by manga, best exemplified by Robin's Anime Hair and some of the characters' more comedic expressions.
- Anti-Hero: Damian full-stop in the first few issues. While he is manipulating a younger, inexperienced superhero (to the point of dropping Jon off a building to distract Luthor) and is conducting his investigation for less than altruistic motives (mainly proving himself in the eyes of his father and out of spite for being left behind on patrol), he is investigating a murder that's leading to a much larger plot. He softens up over the course of the series, with his less heroic traits being played for laughs.
- Art Initiates Life: Kraklow's goons are actually recreations of previous DC Villains from the Post-Crisis continuity shaped by clay. But given Jon's comments at the end of Issue #7, that's not all they're made out of.
- Babies Ever After: The ending of Issue #16 reveals that the boy's adventures are being narrated by an old man with bright blue eyes referred to as "Pop-Pop" by a boy who heavily resembles Damian and a girl who is floating off the ground. It's uncertain whether Pop-Pop is supposed to be an aging Batman, Superman, or Jon, as they all have blue eyes.
- Badass Boast:
- Luthor gives several throughout the series, such as this one:Damian: Like I said in my message, this guy's stolen your Amazo Armor and he wants to take over the world.
Luthor: [Crushes a Superboy and Robin Android with one hand each] It won't be this world I assure you.
- Damian also gets one:Luthor: Who the hell do you think you are, commanding Superman, boy?
Damian: I'm Robin, old man. Batman's better half.
- Luthor gives several throughout the series, such as this one:
- Bad Liar: Jon's on-the-spot excuses for his and Damian's activities don't fool Lex in the slightest.
- Bash Brothers: When the boys stop arguing for thirty seconds, they can actually be a formidable team. This is best shown in Issue #8, where they subdue and deactivate a replication of Chun-Yull the Faceless Hunter in just a few moments to save a child, working with incredible synergy.Damian: [after binding Chun-Yull with a grapple gun] Superboy, give me some Big Bad Wolf action!Jon: [leaping into the fray] You got it! [proceeds to blow all of the magic off Chun-Yull, reducing it back to a statue]
- Bat Family Crossover: The "Super Sons of Tomorrow" arc is one, bringing Superman and the Teen Titans as well as a few appearances by Batman as they face off against Tim Drake, the Batman of Tomorrow, who is hellbent on assassinating Jon to prevent millions of deaths in the future.
- Batman Cold Open: After the seemingly unrelated sitcom-like opening pages, the next few pages show Damian and Jon fleeing from before ultimately confronting dozens of robotic duplicates of themselves.
- Battle in the Rain: The ending of Issue #1 and half of Issue #2 take place in the rain, along with Jon's arguments with Damian and their scuffle with Lex Luthor.
- Big Brother Mentor: Damian is trying to play this for Jon, giving him a lot of advice and occasionally even praising him when he thinks he's come up with a particuarly good idea. Jon is not having it.
- Big "NO!": Jon freaks out when he sees his father seemingly die from continued Red Kryptonite exposure, causing him to lose control his powers again, creating an energy super-storm that would have killed him and obliterated everything in his surroundings while leaving him in a trance that kept him from seeing that Aqualad had freed Superman just in time.
- Book-Ends: The first villain the boys faced in the series was Kid Amazo. Kid Amazo is also the last antagonist of the series before its end.
- Brains and Brawn: Most of the time, Damian is the Brains to Jon's Brawn, being the well-read and experienced Badass Normal to Jon's inexperienced Flying Brick Lightning Bruiser. But sometimes Jon proves to be the more level-headed and reasonable of the two, with Damian's recklessness and Control Freak tendencies leading him to "punch first and ask questions later" even when there's a simpler and less violent approach available.
- Breaking the Fellowship: Annual #1 reveals that there were a group of superhero pets known as the Super-Pets, comprised of Krypto, Titus, Bat-Cow, Streaky the Supercat, Flexi the Plastic Bird (a bird with Plastic Man's powers), Detective Chimp and Clay Critter (which may be a cast-off of Clayface). A battle with Dex-Starr of the Red Lantern Corps leads to the death of Clay Critter, which Streaky blamed Krypto for. A group of dog kidnappings convinces Krypto and Titus to start Putting the Band Back Together.
- Brick Joke: One in reverse: Damian refuses to take the easy route and simply piggy-back on Jon when they need to go somewhere. Chronologically later, we see Damian doing exactly this in the Batman Cold Open. Lampshaded in this fan comic.◊
- Breather Episode: Jon and Damian going around Metropolis stopping small-time crooks, getting cats out of trees, and replacing tires is a quick break from the drama preceding Issue #6 and the action that immediately follows it.
- Issue #10 is another one of these, consisting almost entirely of Jon and Damian hanging out together, Jon getting the hang of his newfound strength, speed, and flight from the Black Dawn arc, getting a new base, and the reveal that the two of them will be going to school together. Aside from the intermezzo which features a future version of Damian rising from the flaming ruins of Gotham, it's probably the sappiest issue yet.
- Annual #1 is this in every sense of the word. Other than the first few and the last few pages, Jon and Damian aren't even in the issue. Instead, the bulk of the issue is one gigantic loving Shout-Out to the Silver Age, as we see Krypto and Titus the Bat-Hound team up with Flexi the Plastic Bird, Streaky the Super-Cat and Bat-Cow to take down a pet kidnapper. Who's an alien. And they even meet up with Detective. Freakin.' Chimp.
- Bullying a Dragon:
- The strength difference between the two young heroes is clearly shown whenever Jon is pushed too far, with the latter lifting Damian by the collar and shoving him to the side like a ragdoll in the same issue. In the finale of Super Sons of Tomorrow, Jon casually knocks out Damian with a single punch at Starfire's suggestion.
- The League of Assassins is also happy to pick a fight with Jon... who is invulnerable to all of their weapons, can fly, and can knock any of them out with one punch, only lasting a little while by dog-piling him all at once. You can guess how well the rest of the fight went for them.
- The Bus Came Back: In DC Rebirth tradition, Super Sons is bringing back numerous villains that have fallen out of prominence since the New 52 reboot in Issue #6 and Issue #7, showcasing Kraklow, Chun-Yull the Faceless Hunter, Atom Master, and Time Commander - half the Forgotten Villains from DC Comics Presents. It's later revealed that the last three were recreations created by Rebirth's Kraklow, who was supplied clay from the Pre-Crisis continuity by his former self.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: A less than lethal example in that Damian sneaks into Jon's bedroom to talk to him just as the latter is about to head to bed.
- Captain Obvious: Jon tends to be this, much to Damian's frustration.Damian: Grab the girl. Leave the others. They'll be fine for now.Jon: But that's the way we came!Damian: Super-Breath and Super-Noticing the obvious, will your wonders ever cease?
- In Issue #14, Jon gets dog-piled by several members of the League of Assassins, prompting a nearby Gothamite to yell:Lady: Hey! Someone's beating up that kid!
- In Issue #14, Jon gets dog-piled by several members of the League of Assassins, prompting a nearby Gothamite to yell:
- Cassandra Truth: Lex Luthor doesn't buy the fact that Damian (who declared himself to be Robin in Lex's face) is actually Robin despite being a member of the Justice League.
- The Cavalry: Damian tore off the head of one of Kid Amazo's duplicates in order to hotwire it into becoming a beacon that would show up on Lex Luthor's radar and leave him a message informing him of what happened to the Amazo Armor. Cue the cueball himself coming in to outmuscle Kid Amazo with his New God-tech powered super suit. Sara is also vital in removing the Amazo Armor from Reggie, incapacitating him after he pushes himself too far.
- Character Development: Jon becomes much more confident in himself as the series goes on, going from worrying about getting in trouble with his parents to snarking and taunting assassins to try and attack him. Damian in turn softens as the two start to get along, going so far as to defy the other Titans in order to keep Jon safe and generally toning down the vitriol on their conversations.
- The first issue ends with Lex Luthor breathing down the boys' necks, the second ends with Superman (later revealed to be a robot duplicate) overlooking Robin while Batman (also revealed to be a robot duplicate) does the same for Superboy. The third has the both of them being overwhelmed by Kid Amazo's robots.
- Issue #15 also has one, with Jon and most of the Justice League at Kid Amazo's mercy.
- Comes Great Responsibility: Superman and Lois are actively teaching Jon this, with the latter avoiding the temptation to use his heat vision to punish the bullies who hit his friend with a rock-laced snowball. By contrast, Damian actively eschews this, skipping out on homework just to spy on Jon out of boredom while disguised as his substitute teacher and bus driver due to thinking so highly of himself that he doesn't believe he has to do menial chores.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like:
- Jon is so preoccupied with not getting in trouble with his parents that he doesn't bother thanking Lex for saving his life after Damian dropped him from an eighty story building.
- It's Damian's turn to do this after he chides Jon for helping out when he wasn't "officially" a part of the Teen Titans (over Starfire's previous statements) even while the Titans were being beaten back by a group of supervillains that were bent on assassinating the delegates of the United Nations.
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: As mentioned below, the fact that Damian is accustomed to scenes of murder while the younger, more innocent Jon isn't (and is therefore horrified at the sight) is a major point of contention between the two.Jon: [tears in his eyes] Dead... They're all dead... I'm calling my Dad! Th-This is— horrible...
Damian: [calmly] It is Jon, but you need to stay calm, we can figure this out.
- Conflict Ball: In Teen Titans #15, the Titans sans Damian argue about what to do with Jon's potentially lethal Super Flare. Raven and Beast Boy want to follow Savior's lead and hunt down Jon in order to strip him of his powers or otherwise neutralize him. They also have knowledge of the fact that Jon only lost control because he was being pushed to the emotional brink by the guy they want to help. That same guy also admitted to their faces that he's hellbent on murdering Jon and is fully willing to do the same to the Titans if they get in his way. Starfire, Aqualad, and Kid Flash want to find Jon first in order to protect him from them.
- Continuity Nod: Tons to other stories the duo have starred in as well as other stories for context.
- Lex Luthor confronts the boys in the same Super Armor he took up after the death of the New 52 Superman.
- Jon and Damian make multiple references to the Teen Titans, with Jon complaining that he wasn't invited to join.
- The Amazo Virus resurfaces as the reason for Kid Amazo's powers.
- The fact that Jon still can't fly despite being around for over a year along with the ending of Superman: Lois and Clark is gleefully lampshaded by Damian.Damian: I can't believe you still can't fly.
- Damian's mom and his past as the prince of the League of Assassins is mentioned in passing when Jon confronts Damian at school. This gets brought up again in Issue #13 when Damian's mom shows up to make him an assassin again.
- Damian reminisces about the time he had powers like Jon's while on the back of a pickup truck in Issue #10.
- Continuity Snarl:
- Alfred and Lois find out about the boys' encounter with Kid Amazo not long before they get home and thus punish them for it. But in Superman #20, Jon asks Damian if his mom found out about the incident.
- Superman is also at the point where Jon has fully discovered his ability to fly. Within this comic, Jon is still just leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Oddly, both series are written by Peter Tomasi. Corrected by Issue #7, which shows Jon flying along with Starfire, Beast Boy, and Raven, but once again gone by the next issue, since he's seen leaping around. Finally permanent by Issue #10.
- Covers Always Lie:
- Issue 2 suggests Jon and Damian are going to fight Lex Luthor and his robotic minions. They don't throw any punches at Luthor and they promptly flee from him once they get what they want.
- The third issue is the first one in the series to accurately depict what happens in the comic book, and even then it's a stretch as they're fighting robot duplicates of their dads rather than the real thing.
- A version◊ of issue four's cover has Damian and Jon in Amazo suits. At no point does this happen in-story.
- Issue #6's cover features Jon making a Dynamic Entry as part of Damian introducing him to the Titans. The most he gets in terms of acknowledgement in the actual issue is being called "Superkid" and "Robin's assistant" by Beast Boy and Robin's "friend" by Starfire before getting sent home.
- Issue #14's cover shows Damian standing beside Talia over Jon's body, implying that Damian is brought back under Talia's influence and has killed or at least pretended to kill his friend to prove his loyalty. The story itself shows that Damian completely rejects Talia's attempts at winning him back to her side and gets angry at the notion that Jon will eventually die at his hands.
- Crazy-Prepared: Since meeting him, Damian has concocted a gas specifically designed to knock Jon out.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In Super Sons #11, the Teen Titans are being overcome by a group of supervillains who want to assassinate the delegates of the United Nations. Then Jon shows up out of the blue and takes all of them down in one page before any of the Titans could react or realize what had happened until Damian put the pieces together.
- Cutting the Knot: Damian concocts a plan to use mini-acetyline to burn a hole in the roof of a warehouse until Jon points out that the front door is open.Jon: Hey genius, details.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Damian's is alluded to as early as the first issue when he offhandedly mentions that his mother killed his geology teacher and dumped the body into the ocean. It's also the focus of the "Mother's Day" arc, when Talia comes to bring her son back into the fold as Damian tries to preserve his friendship with Jon by continually downplaying and distancing himself the atrocities he committed as the prince of the League of Assassins while trying to stop Talia from doing more damage.
- A Day in the Limelight: The first annual focuses on a team-up between Krypto, Titus, and the Super-Pets.
- Declaration of Protection: To reassure Superman, Damian and Jon make one to each other at the end of the Super Sons of Tomorrow crossover.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In Issue #16, Jon and Damian defeat Kid Amazo, who had since defeated and absorbed the powers of the entire Justice League sans the Green Lanterns, including The Flash, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and Superman.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Damian scares the crap out of a guy for jaywalking.
- The Drag-Along: Jon keeps trying to bail out of the situation after being confronted by Luthor, but gets strung along by Damian for his troubles.
- The Dreaded: Nearly all of the League of Assassins members are scared of Damian. At least one ended up regretting picking a fight once he realized who he was dealing with.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Damian is frequently mocked for his lack of powers by friend and foe alike even when these people have knowledge of what he's capable of. In some cases, people who really should know who he is (like Lex Luthor) simply can't believe that he's actually Robin. Jon is also prone to this trope courtesy of Damian, who refuses to allow Jon onto the Teen Titans on account of Jon's age even though the young Superboy has repeatedly proven his mettle and is arguably more powerful than the entire team combined. On the other hand, the Titans themselves wholeheartedly respect and appreciate Jon's abilities, which adds more fuel to the fire when the boys butt heads. The events of Super Sons of Tomorrow ends up flipping their opinions, with Damian wholeheartedly advocating for Jon to be at least made a part-time member, but the rest of the Titans are too shaken and worried about their own teamwork to allow him to join.
- Evil Counterpart: Issue #8 reveals that the Kraklow of Eoroe was a well-known hero who worked wonders with his clay magic. This is a stark contrast to the Kraklow of the boys' world, a miserly old man desperate for attention and was willing to murder teenage heroes to get it and finally be acknowledged.
- Savior, an alternate future version of Tim Drake, is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who believes that the future is set in stone unless he kills off people in the past. In this case, he's after Jon for causing millions of deaths in the future with his Super Flare.
- Surprisingly enough subverted with Savior's allies, future versions of Connor Kent, Cassandra Sandsmark, and Bart Allen from the fascist Titans Tomorrow timeline, who quickly put aside their differences with the current Titans in order to save Jon's life.
- Evil Knockoff: The boys fight dozens of robotic duplicates of themselves in the first issue and it's later revealed that they were originally robotic duplicates of their fathers.
- Evil Matriarch: Talia al Ghul, Damian's mother is undoubtedly this. She cares for Damian as much as he conforms to her vision for him as the favored pick for the leader of the League of Assassins. She has no problems holding a sword to his throat and handing that same sword to him while casually revealing that she murdered three people with it that day.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Jon and Damian practically hate each other when they first met back in Superman #10, with Damian kidnapping and sedating Jon out of spite when Jon accidentally killed a red-tailed hawk and a cat with his Heat Vision. In the second issue, Damian outright says that he brought Jon along as a distraction for Lex Luthor instead of an actual crime-fighting partner, seeing the younger boy as a tool. But they warm up to each other as time goes on, with their vitriolic banter evolving into more playful dialogue as they begin to understand each other's quirks. By the twelfth issue, they're fully committed to being friends and crime-fighting partners even when outside forces try to drive them apart.
- Foil: The comic goes the extra mile to highlight the differences between the two boys. Case in point, when the pair come across a murdered family, Jon breaks into the tears at the sight and demands to let their fathers know about it before shoving Damian to the side and bailing out of disgust. Damian, who grew up surrounded by murder and other morally questionable acts, acknowledges the carnage, but more or less shrugs before continuing his own solo investigation, intent on solving the case without his father's intervention.
- Forgot About His Powers: Jon forgot to scan the girl he saved with X-Ray Vision for abnormalities, which would have saved him the surprise of discovering that she was a robot.
- Freudian Slip: While calming Jon down in Teen Titans #15, Damian finally admits that he sees Jon as a friend. Jon instantly picks up on this and lampshades it, prompting Damian to tell him to shut up.
- Gender Flip: In the Pre-Crisis Supergirl stories, Streaky the Supercat was a male tabby cat. In the Annual, Streaky is female.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Our heroes demonstrate this kind of relationship in Issue #6, with Damian haranguing a man walking his dog for jaywalking, calling it the first step towards becoming a petty crook. After letting Damian rant for a bit, Jon shoves him aside and tells the confused man to simply cross at the corners and be mindful of his dog.
- In the following issue, Damian name drops this dynamic with Raven, declaring her to be the good cop before he begins to terrorize Time Commander into surrendering.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Tim Drake, the Batman of Tomorrow, created a black slime to restrain Jon to dispose of him later. What he didn't account for was the fact that Jon is a ten-year old who is likely to panic when a black slime of unknown origin is seeping into his eyes, ears, and mouth after being told that he must die lest he cause millions of deaths in the future. His heat vision then bursts through the slime as Jon loses control of his solar energy levels, leading to a Super Flare like the one Tim saw in the future that takes a huge chunk of Titans Tower (while Future Tim is inside it) even after Jon tries to limit collateral damage by flying out of its vicinity.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!:
- Surprisingly enough averted. Despite being targeted at a younger audience, Damian is still allowed to say "hell" when arguing with Jon.Jon: No! It's over Damian!
Damian: Like hell it is— this is my case!
- Later on they use "crappy".
- Jon later plays this completely straight in Issue #7. The next issue has Damian lampshade this by pointing out Jon is free to swear now: his parents are in another dimension.Damian: Superboy, stay out of the way.
Jon: Like hell I will! [realizes what he said] Nn, I mean, like heck I will.
- Jon plays it straight again in Issue #8, which Damian lampshades:Jon: [after being saved from a giant mechanical tentacle] Who the H are they?
Damian: I have no idea. And your parents are a dimension away. You can curse here.
- Jon drops his politeness when Kid Amazo declares that Jon will be his host.Jon: [flies past Kid Amazo] Like hell!
- Surprisingly enough averted. Despite being targeted at a younger audience, Damian is still allowed to say "hell" when arguing with Jon.
- Headbutting Heroes: In the initial arc, "When I Grow Up..." Unlike the comics starring their fathers, Jon and Damian can not get along. Jon is an innocent, inexperienced, good little kid who would rather not get into trouble with his loving parents, while Damian is a brilliant, manipulative, cruel punk who keeps charging into danger to prove that he's superior to his father. They could be an effective fighting force, except for the fact that 90% of their relationship is petty arguments, and the other 10% is them doing their own thing without including the other in the plan. This simmering conflict explodes into open fighting during the final issue of the arc, where Jon and Damian take out their mutual frustrations on each other in a showdown. Eventually it cools off, and Alfred remarks that their fighting each other-to-friends relationship is Not So Different from that of their fathers. Character Development seems to be moving them past this, although Damian is showing signs of being a non-romantic Tsundere in denial of their budding friendship.
- Heel Realization: Savior spent most of his return trip back to the main timeline convinced that he was being a hero by going back in time to change the future by murdering Jon. Seeing his Titans, the Teen Titans, and Superman work together to try and save Jon, he realizes that he was in fact in the wrong and tells the others to direct the energy towards him so he can take it with him through hypertime, thus saving everyone.
- Hero Antagonist: Lex Luthor, surprisingly enough, due to his attempts to apprehend the pair being perfectly justified as they 1) Refused to identify themselves. 2) Were breaking into his personal property. 3) Were compromising his company's internal systems. It helps that he underwent a HeelFace Turn in previous comics.
- Heroic Sacrifice: After spending the last three issues of Super Sons of Tomorrow attempting to kill Jon, Savior ultimately uses a hypertime wormhole to suck away that energy that was consuming Jon, saving everyone in the process. Subverted somewhat in that he ends up not dying despite fully expecting to.
- Heroic Willpower: Jon gets a pretty spectacular showing when he breaks free of Time Commander's attempts to stop time through sheer force of will when none of the Teen Titans were able to do so.
- Home Base: The boys are rewarded for their hard work with an Underwater Base as a gift from their dads in Super Sons #10, on the condition that the boys also keep up with their schoolwork. Jon wants to name it the "Fortress of Attitude", but Damian immediately tries to shoot the suggestion down.
- In Medias Res: As mentioned under Batman Cold Open, the story begins with a strange sitcom-like section before cutting to Jon and Damian running from their robotic doubles, with the rest of the story up to the end of Issue 3 being one long flashback.
- Insane Troll Logic: Damian attempts to punish a jaywalker, arguing that his misdemeanor will inevitably lead to the guy holding up liquor stores and becoming a mook for a supervillain.
- Insult Backfire: Jon gives one to Damian out of frustration.Jon: You think you're so cool. But you're not even a half-decent Batman!
Damian: [holds up tablet computer that's downloading Lexcorp's complete security logs with a yawn] You're right, I'm better.
- Interspecies Romance: Krypto, a dog, and Streaky, a cat, apparently had a thing in the past. At one point Streaky looks longingly at Krypto and thinks about him in a heart-shaped thought bubble. There's also hints of an attraction between her and Titus.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Damian rarely hesitates to use Jon as a distraction or human shield (including, but not limited to, throwing him off of a skyscraper before he learned how to fly) because his half-Kryptonian biology makes him liable to survive most perils.
- I Warned You:Damian: [Being confronted by their robotic duplicates] I'll admit, maybe in retrospect we should have called our fathers.
- Jumped at the Call: Jon is initially reluctant to go out superheroing with his parents' permission, but Damian quickly manages to convince him to sneak out with him to Metropolis.
- Kid Hero: Duh. Damian is thirteen while Jon is ten.
- Kids Are Cruel: There's of course, Damian and his hellraising approach to crime-fighting and investigation. On a more sinister note, Kid Amazo, who murders his whole family in cold blood. Though it's later revealed that these were robotic duplicates and that he's been doing this in front of them for weeks. Jon, being the son of Superman, is obviously an aversion, being an incredibly sweet, naive, and sympathetic young boy.
- Kill It with Water: Kraklow's creations are made of clay, and will thus start turning to sludge upon being directly exposed to too much water, as seen in the middle of Issue #7.
- Kneel Before Zod: Luthor tells the boys to grovel at his feet so he can take them to the authorities. Naturally it doesn't quite work out that way.Luthor: As far as I'm considered you're ALL delinquents, so if you want to throw yourselves at my mercy... you have three minutes.
- Mundane Utility: Jon's Flying Brick power set is perfect for punching out superpowered crooks, stopping fleeing and falling vehicles dead in their tracks, and quickly hounding unsuspecting bank robbers. It's also great for getting cats out of trees and changing tires.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: The opinion of Future Tim, who now goes by "Savior". By killing Jon, he'll save million of lives in the future, and he refuses to provide or look for any non-lethal alternatives. According to the other future heroes, the time travel is implied to be screwing with Tim's mind, making him believe this trope to be the case.
- Mythology Gag: Being a spinoff starring two Legacy Characters, this was inevitable.
- Jon's relationship with the local bullies' spitballs is much like his father's relationship with bullets.
- On the same note, Jon's Bully Hunter moment is a call back to his father's personality during the Golden Age as a Wife-Basher Basher.
- Issue #10 sets up Damian and Jon attending the West-Reeve School.
- In Issue #14, Jon proudly declares that he's "faster than a speeding bullet", a reference to the classic Superman cartoon tagline, "Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!"
- Never Say "Die":
- Surprisingly enough, averted, with people being explicitly murdered on-screen as early as the second issue, with Jon of all people declaring them dead.
- Invoked in Teen Titans #15, where Tim Drake tries to soften the blow by using "terminate" instead of "kill." Starfire forces him to be honest and just say what he means.
- Oh, Crap!: The end of the first storyline has Damian and Jon returning to a very angry Lois and Alfred.Lois: You boys have better start talking...and quick!
Alfred: Yes. I believe 'ditto' is the operative word.
- Overprotective Dad: Superman as usual. In Issue #5 he acknowledges that he's been coddling Jon and preventing the young Superboy from gaining the experience he needs to head out into the world of superheroes. Thus he gives Jon the okay to go on adventures for as long as he's with Damian.
- Power Incontinence: Jon's is particularly pronounced as he can't break out of ordinary metal chains despite tearing Kid Amazo's duplicates in half only a few hours earlier. He's mostly gotten over it by the tenth issue though. But falls right back into this trope when Future Tim Drake continues to push Jon to the emotional brink, losing control of his stored solar energy.
- Power Walk: How the Teen Titans are introduced in Super Sons #6, with Beast Boy proudly announcing their entrance.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Kid Amazo suffers this at the end of Issue 4 from the combined stress of splitting his mind so many times, copying Jon's powers, attempting to remerge his mind all at once, and his sister Sara tearing off the Amazo Armor at the same time.
- Rapid Aging: Damian is the victim of this at the end of the sixth issue, having been affected by the Time Commander's powers.
- A Rare Sentence: "I cannot believe my life has come to a place where I have to say this...please step out of the dinosaur's...buttocks."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Optimistic, excitable Jon tends to act more on emotion (red), whilst Damian is calculated and cynical (blue).
- Reed Richards Is Useless: In Issue #8, Damian reveals that he pilfered a universal translator from the Justice League, using it to interpret languages from people living in entirely different dimensions. You know, something that might actually be useful for the world at large. They can't even use the excuse that it's hard to replicate, since Damian also managed to nab a spare for Jon.
- Running Gag:
- Damian is short. And he doesn't like that he's short.Damian: Why does everyone always assume if someone's taller they're older?Jon: And usually smarter.
- People keep confusing Jon and Damian for brothers. Primarily Jon as the older one.
- Damian refuses to give Jon top billing. So when they're announcing themselves, he always says "Robin" in big comic book title text first, while calling out "Superboy" second and sometimes in normal comic book text.
- Damian is short. And he doesn't like that he's short.
- Two of the posters in Jon's room feature characters who heavily resemble Naruto and Goku, with the Japanese-style influences showing up in Jon's expressions and Damian's Anime Hair.
- Issue 3 references Toddler Titans, the derogatory nickname given to Teen Titans Go!.
- After Damian is revealed to have been reduced to an old man by the Time Commander, the next issue is titled Old Man Robin.
- The second story arc is called "Planet of the Capes".
- Readers have compared the thumbs up and beaming smile Jon gave to a child he saved in Issue #8 to Naruto's own inspirational thumbs ups. Compare that to this.◊ note
- Sibling Team: Kid Amazo was once this with his siblings (and his parents), but his bad relationship with them led him to mistake Jon and Damian for one, which both boys quickly refute. It later becomes a Running Gag in the series, with Jon being mistaken for Damian's older brother simply because they have the same hair color and the fact that Jon is taller.Kid Amazo: So much anger, disappointment, and frustration... I can only assume you guys must be related. Family sucks, am I right?Jon and Damian: We aren't related, Kid!
- Slasher Smile: Damian flashes one as he informs Lex about eleven explosives he left around his lab (which were really just fakes to throw him off).
- Sleeping Dummy: Discussed when Alfred discovers Damian's empty bed."Hmm. At least when Master Richard snuck out, he had the decency to construct a pillow dummy."
- Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: Jon is an open and friendly Nice Guy while Damian is an Insufferable Genius. While they both hate school, Jon is more Book Dumb (but he isn't quite stupid and can sometimes be more reasonable than his partner) while Damian is bossy and constantly uppity towards others.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Jon and Damian really go at each other.Jon: Can you stop saying things like silence? It's annoying.Damian: Okay, shut up.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Damian, as usual.Damian: All that power and you still can't cure rampant alopecianote , Super-Lex?
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Jon and Damian pull a fast one on Luthor to avoid interrogation, twice.
- Super Dickery: Issue #14's cover depict's Damian standing alongside his mother with a bloodstained sword in hand while Jon lies fallen on the ground. Damian then declares, "It's done, Mother. Superboy is dead!" Of course, nothing like this happens in the story itself.
- Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Amusingly enough, an inversion in that Damian and Jon first visit Metropolis, Superman's traditional stomping ground.
- This Is Gonna Suck:
- Jon spends the first two issues muttering about how much trouble he's going to get into if he's caught. He's right.
- It's Damian's turn to start complaining when his dad sends him to the private school Jon is going to attend to learn some social skills. Jon is actually pretty excited about the idea though.
- Technician vs. Performer: The book loves to highlight Jon and Damian's advantages over each other. For instance, the inexperienced Jon's Super-Vision allows him to sift through enough visual data to occupy Damian for weeks in a few seconds while Damian's well-honed detective skills allow him to pick apart specific details and instantly identify the culprit Jon found with Batman's facial recognition database.
- Technopath: Sara along with all of her robotic duplicates.
- The Needs of the Many: Future Tim's motivation for assassinating Jon, who caused millions of deaths in Tim's timeline due to the future version of Jon losing control of his abilities and unleashing an uncontrollable Super Flare.
- Took a Level in Badass: Jon goes from barely being able to break metal chains and lift cars to slugging it out and wrestling Kid Amazo, who had since absorbed the powers of all of the League's heaviest hitters, including Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash.
- Underestimating Badassery: Both Jon and Damian are on the receiving ends of this trope due to their young age and Damian's lack of powers. One standout example is Issue #14, when Jon gets dog-piled by a bunch of assassins, prompting a nearby Gothamite, who thought he was simply a little boy in a costume, to try and help him before the assassins turned on her. Cut to Jon catching the sword, snapping it in half with little effort, and delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle to the remaining assassins.Lady: [to Jon] For a boy your age, the way you handled these guys was amazing!
Jon: Well, evil beware when your name's—
Lois: Superboy. [cue Oh, Crap! face from Jon]
- The Unsmile: Jon forces a really goofy grin while trying to pass off his and Damian's antics as fanboyism.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The "Planet of Capes" arc features the Teen Titans... who don't put two and two together and figure out that Jon is the son of Superman. As far as they're concerned, Jon is just some random kid with wearing a Kryptonian S and similar powers to Superman, but they quickly make the connection when Damian drags them up to Jon's apartment after being beaten by Kraklow's goons.
- Unwitting Pawn: Damian abuses Jon's naivete in the first two issues to get want he wants, using him as a distraction to get Lex Luthor off his back. Jon is not happy about this in the slightest.Damian: Well, I have to say, I was right about you. You make a terrific distraction.
Jon: [lifting Damian by the collar] You need to leave me alone! I should have never let my father start that training with you and Batman. You're just finding ways to use me!
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: In Issue #10, Damian is sent to the same school as Jon, since Damian's social skills and attitude are lacking to say the least.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Both boys are this due to the expectations piled upon them and their dad's statuses as heroic paragons.
- Wham Line: Super Sons of Tomorrow Part 4 has one that works based on who's saying it given that it was established in Detective Comics (Rebirth) that the present of the DCU doesn't lead to the Titans Tomorrow future.]Connor: Who's in there?
Superman: My ten year old son.
- Again in Issue #13 when Damian reveals that Talia al Ghul plans on assassinating Lois Lane.Damian: Oh no...
Jon: What— What is it?
Damian: Mother was sent here to find her targets. One of the people on the list she's been hired to kill is your— [spins the laptop around]
- Again in Issue #13 when Damian reveals that Talia al Ghul plans on assassinating Lois Lane.
- Younger Than They Look: People constantly assume that Jon is the older of the two based on his height. Damian doesn't like this.
- Zerg Rush: Kid Amazo's strategy against the Super Sons, swarming them with dozens of robotic duplicates of themselves. It works.