Super-Sons

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Super Sons
SupermanJR HCV.jpg
Cover of World's Finest #215 (January 1973)
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance World's Finest Comics #215
(January 1973)
Created by Bob Haney
Dick Dillin
In-story information
Alter ego Clark Kent Jr.
Bruce Wayne Jr.
Species Human/Kryptonian
Human
Place of origin Earth-One (Pre-Crisis Computer Simulation)
Earth-216
Earth-154 (Infinite Crisis)
Earth-16 (Post-Infinite Crisis)
Abilities Clark Kent Jr.:
Abilities equivalent to those of Superman, but at half the power level.
Bruce Wayne Jr.:
No superhuman powers; highly trained fighter and athlete, armed with Batman-type gadgets.

The Super-Sons is a pair of fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The characters were created by Bob Haney and Dick Dillin and first appeared in World's Finest Comics #215 (January 1973).[1] They were based on imaginary tales about the sons of Superman and Batman with Superman's dark-haired wife and Batman's red-haired wife.

In 2017, DC Comics launched a Super Sons monthly comic book series featuring new versions of the characters, who are the biological sons of Superman and Lois Lane, and Batman and Talia al Ghul. The Super Sons series features the duo as Superboy and Robin (Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne).

Publication history[edit]

The Super-Sons first appeared together in World's Finest Comics Vol 1 #154 (December 1965). Batman's imaginary son was seen first in Batman #131 (April 1960), Batman #145 (February 1962), and Batman #163 (May 1964). The Super-Sons, Superman Jr. (Clark Kent Jr.) and Batman Jr. (Bruce Wayne Jr.), were college-aged versions of their superhero fathers. Their mothers are never fully shown (their faces either being hidden or turned away from the reader) and are never referred to by name. The Super-Sons look almost exactly like their fathers and wear identical costumes. The characters spoke with a slightly exaggerated version of the slang popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They regard each other as brothers since both understand the pressures involved in being the son of a living legend. Like his father, Batman Jr. has no superhuman powers and relies on athletic prowess and gadgets. Superman Jr., only half-Kryptonian, has powers levels of only half that of Superman, Sr.

Although the very first Super-Sons appearance stated that these were actual stories in the lives of Superman and Batman, the final story in World's Finest #263, "Final Secret of the Super-Sons", written by Dennis O'Neil, revealed that the Sons had never really existed — they were merely computer simulations of what might have been, created by Superman and Batman on the Man of Steel's computer in his Fortress of Solitude.

They later inspired the characters Joel Kent and Bruce Wayne Jr. in Superman & Batman: Generations (January - March 1999).

Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths[edit]

It was thought that the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series had erased Superman Jr. and Batman Jr. from DC continuity but this assumption was later shown to be incorrect.[2]

A Super-Sons story by Bob Haney was published in the rare comic special Elseworlds 80-Page Giant (1999). In "Elseworlds" tales, "heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places -- some that have existed, and others that can't, couldn't or shouldn't exist." Eventually, the Super-Sons reality would be named Earth-216 and designated a hypertime reality unaffected by the Crisis.[3]

The Earth-154 variant of the Super-Sons (and their fathers) appear briefly during the Infinite Crisis limited series, during which time Alexander Luthor, Jr. of Earth-Three warps reality in an attempt to restore the multiverse. Their planet and countless other Earths later contract into a single "New Earth".[4] In the limited series 52, it is revealed that 52 identical parallel universes were created. During his subsequent attempt to consume the multiverse, the worm-like villain Mister Mind altered each of the parallel worlds, creating distinct histories for each.[5] According to DC Nation #89, one of those worlds is Earth-16, home of the Super-Sons.[6]

Following DC's The New 52 Multiverse reboot, the Super-Sons (Chris Kent as Superman and Damian Wayne as Batman) reside on Earth-16 as members of the Just—the sons and daughters of the classic JLA, who have inherited a crimeless, utopian universe, and so live as idle celebrities.[7]

The Super-Sons stories[edit]

The titles of the individual 'Parts' of the stories are presented here as they were in the comic books. In other words, that of Part Two of Little Town With a Big Secret was actually shown in quotation marks, and the number of The Angel With a Dirty Name Part 3 was in numerical form rather than being spelled out as were the previous two parts. These variations have thus been reflected below, and are not mistakes.

Unlike the other stories, Saga of the Super Sons and Final Secret of the Super Sons were not divided into parts.

It should also be pointed out that 'Super Sons' was spelled both on the story titles and on the cover of DC Comics' trade-paperback collection without a hyphen, as here.

In World's Finest, the title of the series as given on the stories themselves tended to vary from issue to issue, i.e. Superman and Batman, Superman, Batman and their Super-Sons etc. These variations have been mentioned where they occur. Cry Not For my Forsaken Son bore only its story title and no series title was given at all.

Title Issue Date Writer Artist(s)
Superman and Batman:
Saga of the Super Sons
World’s Finest #215 January, 1973 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
Henry Scarpelli
Superman, Batman and their Super-Sons:
Little Town With a Big Secret
World’s Finest #216 March, 1973 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
Murphy Anderson
(Part One is untitled)
Part Two: "The People Without Shadows"
Part Three: Children of the Universe
Cry Not For my Forsaken Son World’s Finest #221 February, 1974 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
Murphy Anderson
Part 1: Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth
Part 2: Rendezvous on Massacre Island
Part 3: Just an Ordinary Hero
Superman Junior and Batman Junior:
Evil in Paradise
World’s Finest #222 April, 1974 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
Vince Colletta
(Part 1 is untitled)
Part 2: The Human Test Tube
Part 3: Who the Killer, Who the Prey?
Superman and Batman:
The Shocking Switch of the Super Sons
World’s Finest #224 June/July, 1974 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
Vince Colletta
Part 1: A Chasm So Wide...!
Part 2: The Mighty Marauder
Part 3: The Breath of Death
Superman, Batman and their Sons, co-starring Robin:
Crown for a New Batman
World’s Finest #228 March, 1975 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
Tex Blaisdell
Part 1: Avenge Thy Father
Part 2: The Riddle of Smoke Island
Part 3: Tomb of Ice
Superman and Batman and their Sons:
The Girl Whom Time Forgot
World’s Finest #230 May, 1975 Bob Haney Curt Swan,
Tex Blaisdell
Part 1: What the Satellite Saw
Part 2: The Silent City
Part 3: Sins of the Fathers
Superman, Batman and their Super Sons:
Hero is a Dirty Name
World’s Finest #231 July, 1975 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
Tex Blaisdell
Part 1: Fathers on Trial
Part 2: Unwelcome Allies
Part 3: The Weather Bomb
Superman & Batman and their Super-Sons:
World Without Men
World’s Finest #233 October, 1975 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
John Calnan
Part 1: Big Sister is Watching You
Part 2: The Greatest Hate
Superman, Batman and their Super Sons:
The Angel With a Dirty Name
World’s Finest #238 June, 1976 Bob Haney Dick Dillin,
John Calnan
Part One: Those Who Play the Puppets
Part Two: The Plague Giants
Part 3: Between Two Worlds
The Super Sons of Superman and Batman:
Town of the Timeless Killers
World’s Finest #242 December, 1976 Bob Haney Ernie Chan,
John Calnan
Part 1: Trio of Fear
Part 2: He Whom Evil Fights
Part 3: The Epitaph That Saved a Superman
Superman and Batman:
Final Secret of the Super Sons
World’s Finest #263 July, 1980 Dennis O'Neil Rich Buckler,
Dick Giordano
Superman Jr. is No More! Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1 June, 1999 Bob Haney Kieron Dwyer

Collected Edition[edit]

In December 2007, DC Comics published a trade-paperback collection of the series entitled Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons. It collects the stories from: World's Finest #215-216, 221-222, 224, 228, 230, 231, 233, 238, 242, and 263; and Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1. The story in World's Finest #263 is written by Dennis O'Neil, all the others by Bob Haney. ISBN 1-4012-1502-5

Super Sons (2017)[edit]

In 2016, DC Comics announced a new version of the Super Sons to appear in 2017. The two new super-kids are Jonathan Kent, son of Superman and Lois Lane, and Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. The former is ten years of age in this version, while the latter is thirteen years old (as of the 80-page DC Universe Rebirth special). The advance releases describe them as "best frenemies forever" who will save the world together, "if they don't kill each other first."[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Scribe Bob Haney and artist Dick Dillin introduced the DC Universe to an alternate timeline starring the World's Finest offspring in January's World's Finest Comics #215. 
  2. ^ The Kingdom #2
  3. ^ Crisis On Infinite Earths: Absolute Edition
  4. ^ Infinite Crisis #6 (May 2006)
  5. ^ 52 #52 (May 2, 2007)
  6. ^ DC Nation #89 appears in comics published on November 28, 2007, such as Countdown to Final Crisis #22.
  7. ^ The Multiversity #3
  8. ^ Johnston, Rich (April 11, 2016). "Jorge Jimenez’ Sketches For Super Sons – Damian Wayne And Jonathan Kent". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 

External links[edit]