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Super-Sons

The Super-Sons were a pair of fictional characters in an alternate version of the DC Comics universe.

The Super-Sons were Superman Jr. (Clark Kent Jr.) and Batman Jr. (Bruce Wayne Jr.), 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 by their husbands, but would appear to be Lois Lane and Talia respectively. (Interestingly, however, when Superman Jr. comes face-to-face with Lois Lane in Final Secret of the Super-Sons, he fails to recognize her, which implies that she may not be his mother after all.)

Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, makes brief appearances in three of the stories, namely "Saga of the Super Sons", "Cry Not For my Forsaken Son" and "Crown for a New Batman", Commissioner Gordon appears briefly in "Cry Not For my Forsaken Son", while the original Robin, Dick Grayson, plays a major part in "Crown for a New Batman". (It is interesting to note that like Bruce Jr. and Clark Jr., Dick is still a teenager in the story – which implies that, in this alternate DC Comics Universe, he and Bruce Jr. grew up together as brothers.) The Super-Sons also get to meet Superman Sr.'s old enemy, Lex Luthor, who appears in "The Angel With a Dirty Name".

The Super-Sons, tired of living in their fathers' shadows, were apparently intended by writer Bob Haney to represent the youth culture versions of Superman and Batman, not unlike his take on the Teen Titans. The Super-Sons debuted in World's Finest Comics #215 (1973), and had a sporadic run in that title through #242 (1976).

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., on the other hand, has inherited his father's powers. Since Superman Jr. is half-human, his powers are lesser than those of Superman, Sr. (but still developing), although it should be noted that the elder Superman's powers were almost limitless.

Although the very first Super-Sons Story insisted that the stories of the Super-Sons 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. Two decades later, a Super-Sons story by Bob Haney was published in the rare comic special Elseworlds 80-Page Giant (1999) which apparently disregarded the story in World's Finest #263.

Superman Jr. and Batman Jr. are later seen in Infinite Crisis #6 on Earth-154. Whether or not this connects with previous comics is unclear.

The Super-Sons Stories

Note: 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. However, Cry Not For my Forsaken Son bore only its story title and no series title was given at all.

Superman and Batman

  • Saga of the Super Sons

(World’s Finest #215)
Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and Henry Scarpelli.

Superman, Batman and their Super-Sons

  • Little Town With a Big Secret

(World’s Finest #216)

(Part One is untitled)
Part Two: "The People Without Shadows"
Part Three: Children of the Universe

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and Murphy Anderson.

  • Cry Not For my Forsaken Son

(World’s Finest #221)

Part 1: Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth
Part 2: Rendezvous on Massacre Island
Part 3: Just an Ordinary Hero

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and Murphy Anderson.

Superman Junior and Batman Junior

  • Evil in Paradise

(World’s Finest #222)

(Part 1 is untitled)
Part 2: The Human Test Tube
Part 3: Who the Killer, Who the Prey?

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and Vince Colletta.

Superman and Batman

  • The Shocking Switch of the Super Sons

(World’s Finest #224)

Part 1: A Chasm So Wide...!
Part 2: The Mighty Marauder
Part 3: The Breath of Death

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and Vince Colletta.

Superman, Batman and their Sons, co-starring Robin

  • Crown for a New Batman

(World’s Finest #228)

Part 1: Avenge Thy Father
Part 2: The Riddle of Smoke Island
Part 3: Tomb of Ice

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and Tex Blaisdell.

Superman and Batman and their Sons

  • The Girl Whom Time Forgot

(World’s Finest #230)

Part 1: What the Satellite Saw
Part 2: The Silent City
Part 3: Sins of the Fathers

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Curt Swan and Tex Blaisdell.

Superman, Batman and their Super Sons

  • Hero is a Dirty Name

(World’s Finest #231)

Part 1: Fathers on Trial
Part 2: Unwelcome Allies
Part 3: The Weather Bomb

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and Tex Blaisdell.

Superman & Batman and their Super-Sons

  • World Without Men

(World’s Finest #233)

Part 1: Big Sister is Watching You
Part 2: The Greatest Hate

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and John Calnan.

Superman, Batman and their Super Sons

  • The Angel With a Dirty Name

(World’s Finest #238)

Part One: Those Who Play the Puppets
Part Two: The Plague Giants
Part 3: Between Two Worlds

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Dick Dillin and John Calnan.

The Super Sons of Superman and Batman

  • Town of the Timeless Killers

(World’s Finest #242)

Part 1: Trio of Fear
Part 2: He Whom Evil Fights
Part 3: The Epitaph That Saved a Superman

Written by Bob Haney. Art by Ernie Chan and John Calnan.

Superman and Batman

  • Final Secret of the Super Sons

(World’s Finest #263)
Written by Dennis O'Neil (as Denny O’Neil). Art by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano.

  • Superman Jr. is No More!

(Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1)
Written by Bob Haney. Art by Kieron Dwyer.

Collection

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 1401215025

Batman Junior/John Vance

Batman Junior is a fictional character published by DC Comics. Had his first and only appearance in Detective Comics #231 In the year 1956, he is introduced as Batman's former sidekick. Batman Junior is John Vance, a boy who once helped Batman as sidekick long before Robin, Dick Grayson at the time, had arrived. In the story, John re-enters Batman's life to solve yet another case, making Robin feel that he is about to be replaced. John Vance seems to have disappeared after the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Batman Jones

Batman Jones was a young boy whose first and only appearance was in The Career of Batman Jones, originally published in Batman #108, June 1957. He had his own Batman costume, identical to the Caped Crusader's, he rode around on a Bat-Cycle (a customized bicycle) and even had a Bat-Signal, which his mother would use to call him back home. Some years previously, Batman had used the Batmobile to stop a runaway car when its brakes failed, saving the lives of its occupants, a Mr. and Mrs. Jones, who were bringing their baby son home from the hospital. So grateful were Mr. and Mrs. Jones that, believe it or not, they decided to name their son after the Caped Crusader. The press became interested and before long, the whole world knew about Batman Jones. Because Batman would never accept rewards for helping people out, those grateful folk instead repaid him through his namesake – thus Mr. and Mrs. Jones were constantly being showered with Batman-themed gifts for their son. With all these influences, Batman Jones grew up with a fascination for Batman and with only one goal in mind: to become a great detective like the Caped Crusader. The only trouble was, there was a lot to learn in order to do this! One night, Batman Jones invited himself along, having answered the Bat-Signal at Gotham City Police Headquarters, when Batman and Robin were investigating the theft of a silver statue from the mansion belonging to millionaire collector John Vantine. To keep Batman Jones, who was a bit of a smart-aleck, out of their hair, Batman sent him out to play with some other boys, but the young Caped Crusader ended up turning this to his advantage: he cleverly organized a game in which he, as Batman, hunted for the boys while they hid; as a result, because the boys knew the best hiding-places in the locality, the statue was found hidden in one of those very places. The thief later came back for the statue, only to find Batman – with his costume turned silver using aluminum powder, so that he would look like the statue – waiting for him! Unfortunately, Batman Jones's success in solving the case went to his head, and Batman became concerned that if Batman Jones kept following him and Robin on cases, the young Caped Crusader would end up putting himself in danger. Thus, to discourage Batman Jones, the Dynamic Duo took him to the Bat-Cave for a spot of 'training', setting him a series of physical tests which they hoped he would fail and thus be put off following them again. However, Batman Jones was smarter than Batman and Robin thought, and passed each test successfully. Eventually, Batman went to see Mrs. Jones to ask her to restrain her son's enthusiasm and she agreed – forbidding the young Caped Crusader to ever leave the house again in costume. However, when Batman Jones saw a newspaper article featuring a suspicious-looking picture taken of giant power-tools on display at the Downtown Hobby Show, he just had to investigate and so, to avoid disobeying his mom, he wore his Batman costume under his regular clothing. While waiting for his chance, Batman Jones decided to pass the time by looking over a nearby stamp display, where he found the stamp collection very interesting; while he was absorbed in the stamps, he was spotted by the Dynamic Duo in their everyday identities of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. That night, after the Hobby Show had closed, a gang of criminals began to use one of the giant power-tools, a drill, to cut through the wall into the bank next door. His suspicions having confirmed that the giant power-tools were real and not just display-dummies, Batman Jones, who had hidden and changed into costume, attempted to sneak out to fetch the police, but was spotted by the gang and captured. Thankfully, Bruce and Dick had also been hiding nearby and switched to Batman and Robin, rescuing Batman Jones and using another of the gang's own giant power-tools, a buffer, to overpower them. Concerned that because he had deduced the scheme and would now be more swell-headed than ever, Batman and Robin visited Batman Jones to again try to discourage him. However, when they arrived at the Jones's house, they discovered to their surprise that Batman Jones had cleared out all his Batman props and detective equipment, as he had now switched to a new and much more interesting hobby: stamp-collecting. And so ended the crime-fighting career of Batman Jones, much to the relief of Batman and Robin!

External links

  • Operation Super-Sons
  • Batman Junior's entry on Obscure Characters in the DC Universe
  • Detective Comics #231 on GCD
  • Detective Comics #231 Synopsis on DC Indexes

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