WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Adventures of the Super Sons #1
Damien Wayne and Jonathan Kent have met their match in Adventures of the Super Sons #1 with in pint-sized versions of some of the DC Universe's most dangerous villains. In the newest miniseries about Robin and Superboy, the young heroes are being hunted by the likes of Joker Jr., Kid Deadshot, Brainiac 6 and, weirdest of all, Rex Luthor.
As Robin and Superboy, Damien and Jon are the second generation of their super fathers, Batman and Superman. Yet these newest villains have no (biological) relationship to their more grown-up counterparts. Even so, the new "cutesy" baddies might take out the super sons before their newest adventure has even really begun.
Adventures of the Super Sons #1 starts off innocently enough. It's set a little bit before the current continuity of the DC Universe. Damien and Jon are getting ready to spend their summer vacation away from The West-Reeve School in Metropolis by superhero-ing together. As per usual, Superboy is far more excited for their adventures than Robin. While Jon calls it "The Summer of Super," Damien offers to pay Jon literally billions of dollars to stop calling it that.
It turns out Robin's usual sullenness is justified. Jon and Damien's superhero adventures come to a crashing halt due to the new supervillain group, known as The Gang. After defeating (a statue of) Superman, Damien and Jon come face to face with The Gang, discovering they have been spying on the pair from outer space. Oh, and they're also de-aged doppelgangers of some of their fathers' greatest enemies.
Rex Luthor, Joker Jr, Briainiac 6 and Kid Deadshot have all been mentioned, but The Gang also consists of Shaggy Boy (a take-off on an obscure villain Shaggy Man) and Ice Princess (a female Captain Cold). Rex is the leader of The Gang, of course, just as Lex Luthor is to the Legion of Doom.
Rex Luthor explains that The Gang is from "light-years away" and they're just admirers of the super community, heroes and villains alike. They've come to Prime Earth on a hunting trip for Robin and Superboy. It's more likely that The Gang is from an alternate universe rather than outer space, as Rex implies, but the basic gist is clear: The Gang is not the young Legion of Doom as much as they might look and act like them.
After "unmasking" to Robin and Superboy, Rex pulls out his big weapon: a chunk of gold kryptonite. One of the lesser known forms of kryptonite, gold kyrptonite can strip Superman of his powers - permanently. Without much warning, Rex uses the kyptonite on Jonathan, with the issue ending on nothing but Superboy's screams. Obviously the consequences won't be fatal, since Jon still has his powers since in Brian Michael Bendis' Superman series, which takes place after Adventures of the Super Sons. But it would certainly spice up this story if Robin and Superboy were put on an equal playing field, power-wise, while facing The Gang.
A baby Legion of Doom is a wonderfully weird idea, and fits Adventures of the Super Sons' overall goofy tone, but it's outlandish enough to turn even some lighthearted readers off. Although... more about Rex Luthor's backstory, and how he became a bald and violent egomaniac before puberty might be welcome.
Adventures of the Super Sons #1 is available now from DC Comics.