wo of my biggest worries when beginning a series are whether or not it can maintain the momentum of the first issue through to the end, and was the story able to come to a good solid and not rushed ending.
In the case of the final installment of the Super Sons trilogy by Ridley Pearson Super Sons Book 3: Escape to Landis, Pearson and illustrator Ile Gonzalez did a worthy job on both these fronts.
Escape to Landis continues the journey of Jon Kent (Superboy) and Damian “Ian” Wayne (Batkid). They began their story with The PolorShield Project, coming face to face with a global climate threat and conspiracy, while having to step into the roles of young heroes in place of their fathers. In the process, new friendships are created, including the mysterious Candace, who we later learn is heir to the throne of her homeland, Landis in the second book, The Foxglove Mission. They find themselves not only having to face climate disaster, but also a spreading virus (that is close to claiming the life of Jon’s mother, Lois Lane), corrupt world leaders, and a group of determined women from Landis set on disrupting Candace’s destiny, among other dangers.
In Escape to Landis, Jon, Ian, and their computer-savvy friend Tilly (Puppet Girl) pursue the evil controller of the gangs of the Coleumbra (the nation that now includes Gotham and Metropolis), while Superman himself is heading home with what may be way to solve the global warming crisis. These efforts do not go without conflict, as there are attempts to block Superman’s arrival by the corrupt Governor General Reed. While these situations are building, Jon is facing a race with time to save his mother, and Candace is desperately trying to get into Landis and claim the title that is rightfully hers.
As with the first two installments in the Super Sons trilogy, character development is a vital part of the story. The first installment, The PolarShield Project, sets up the crisis and gives us a look at the emerging friendship of the very different Jon and Ian as they not only grow as individuals, but as a team. The Foxglove Mission, readers were able to follow Candace her own adventure, where she has to confront legacy of her past with her own path for the future.
This third book progresses pretty fast, through secret tunnels, into the LexCorps Labs and beyond, and each of four main protagonists have to rely everything from their natural superpowers to technology, to plain old quick thinking and teamwork. The landscapes by Gonzalez are very impressive in this story, as the adventure travels through large cityscapes, outer space, and through more natural elements that highlight not only different cultures, but biodiversity.
Also, in this book, Gonzalez gets to really highlight her illustrative storytelling talents, as there are many pages of this book that rely strongly on visual narrative. She is able to keep the action going and let the story continue in an easy-to-follow manner. I appreciated the chance for both the author and illustrator to have their moments to shine, just as each of the main Super Sons protagonists had theirs.
While the four find themselves separated for some of the events, they must come together in the end to help save themselves, the ones they love, and the world. The story comes to a close on a satisfying, upbeat note, even with the introduction of one plot twist that comes to a shocking surprise to Ian (but you’’ll have to read the story to find out what…or who…it is). Most importantly, they showed they were able to take over where their own superhero fathers left off, should the need arise.
As the Super Sons bring their trilogy to a close, Pearson shows us the reader in order to make a difference; we have to be able to have confidence in ourselves. The path will not be easy, and sometimes it may take some unexpected turns, and hit some disappointing dead ends, but with the help of friends and family, as well as self-reliance, we can make that change. And, it will be, well super.
Super Sons Book 3: Escape from Landis, hit stores Oct. 6 from DC Comic’s DC Zoom imprint.
Lisa received a PDF copy of the comics for review purposes.