The cover of this glorious trade paperback tells you everything you need to know about this collection. It’s energetic, bright, youthful, and has a smattering of the old guard in the background. It’s like a melodic punk song. I enjoyed this collection because it was fun and sweet and there wasn’t an ounce of grimdark to be found. Perfect bedtime reading.
The story begins with Superboy, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. He’s at school, stepping up for a bullied kid. (Of course he is!) At dinner time, his parents let him know he did the right thing:
You did exactly what your mom and I expected of you, Jonno. You saw something unfair and you tried to stop it. We’re proud of you. And guess what? Someday one of your school friends who saw you stand up for Alan is going to stand up for someone else. Then it just keeps going until the bullies realize no one’s going to turn a blind eye anymore.
If that’s not perfect super behavior, I don’t know what is.
Damian Wayne, on the other hand, is bored and shows up at Superboy’s school in disguise. He brings in Superboy’s skillset to figure out a mystery at Lexcorp. Damian is a cocky, gifted, aggressive rule breaker. Jon Kent plays things by the book. Their push-pull as they fight bad guys and solve mysteries is a classic dynamic that feel fresh.
As an adult and parent, I also liked how Lois, Clark, and Bruce were included in the stories minimally but still had a great impact on their respective kids. Their shadows and influence loom large on the kids, guiding their amateur but well-intentioned behavior. There’s also some great comic exchanges between the old heroes that demonstrates their camaraderie and friendship.
This is a fun book.