Hello, my friends. While certain super figures will always remain iconic, there’s still room for them to grow in some way, shape and form. Not only that, but their own kin can come into their own light and get their own chance to shine. With that said, I once again welcome you to another entry of my review series called…
For this particular outing, the World’s Finest’s offspring will see themselves coming together in order to properly go up against an otherworldly foe. Serving as DC’s first-ever fully-computer animated movie, it’s time for a new generation of heroes to prove their own worth as I delve into a tale called…
Originally debuting at New York Comic Con on October 7, 2022, it would eventually get its home video release on October 18. With Matt Peters once again taking the director’s chair while Jeremy Adams pens the script, how will our youthful duo’s story play out? Let’s unite these heroic brothers and find out.
We open on Krypton during its final moments as Jor-El (voiced by Nolan North) preps a rocket while assuring his wife Lara (voiced by Myrna Velasco) that it’s the only way their baby boy can be saved. As they place their son Kal-El into the space craft, Jor-El tells him that he hopes that he’ll also have a joyful kid of his own. As the rocket prepares to launch, the planet’s destruction continues to draw near as Jor-El and Lara take their leave.
During the destructive quake, a piece of the building smashes into a nearby aquatic tank and shatters the glass, freeing a star-shaped creature in the process. It manages to climb onto the rocket unbeknownst to the Els just before it blasts off. As the spacecraft heads out, Jor-El and Lara share one final kiss before they’re consumed by the crumbling planet.
Meanwhile, Kal-El’s rocket manages to reach outer space just before Krypton explodes. As the radioactive remains of the planet flies past the spacecraft, the vehicle ultimately actives its trans-light engines and heads out into lightspeed. Due to the excessive speed, the star-shaped creature gets flung from the rocket just before it reaches Earth and enters its atmosphere.
From there, we have a series of comic book-esque pictures where Jonathan & Martha Kent discover the young boy and raise him as their own son. All-the-while, he manages to develop his powers as he grows up.
By the time that he reaches his young adulthood, his Earth-based parents ultimately passed away. He would move to Metropolis and become the signature superhero, even crossing paths with and befriending the Dark Knight.
Working as a reporter, he would meet, befriend, fall in love with, reveal his secret identity to and marry a familiar female reporter before they give birth to a son and raise him under their care.
Following the title card, we shift ahead by a few years as the young boy named Jonathan “Jon” Kent (voiced by Freddie Freeman himself, Jack Dylan Grazer) is reading his dad’s book on the Daily Planet. In particular, he reads a section where even during the Great Depression, it was vital for the newspaper company to properly inform its citizens. He asks his mother why she & his father are even reporters and not doing any other occupation, to which Lois Lane (voiced by Laura Bailey) tells him that reporting is essential towards having “a civilized society” With Jon not seeing the value of the “report on reporters”, Lois tells him that good reporters are the ones who make their stories compelling, especially since there’s a few traits that she already abides by. One of them is finding the right angle or hook to hone in on, similar to her son tackling a boss character in a violent video game that she doesn’t approve of. She goes on to tell him that while the readers will most likely know how the story will end, it’s important to have the interesting details that ultimately lead to its resolution. After accidentally acquiring her hairspray (yet still packing it), she heads out to go pick up her son’s birthday cake and makes him promise to not snoop around for his presents.
As she takes her leave (thus revealing that they’re living on the Kent Family Farm), Jon then heads up to his parents’ room in order to find his present. After a little investigation, he finds it in the closet and prepares to open it. Suddenly, he hears his father returning home as he hurriedly places his gift back inside and heads downstairs.
After sharing a quick hug, Clark Kent (voiced by Travis Willingham) tells his son about his recent reporting trip concerning some abnormal behavior from an ant colony. Afterwards, he and Jon proceed to take care of some farm chores before it culminates with the young boy playing around with his father.
With both the day & the chores all done, the two of them proceed to relax and watch some shooting stars streak throughout the nighttime sky. Jon then tells his dad that while he understands the importance of his parents’ job, he still misses having him around. Clark tells him that he’ll eventually know why his job is a major responsibility that comes with some personal sacrifice. Jon then asks him if he’ll be there for his upcoming ball game and for his birthday, to which Clark promises him. Just then, they notices a glowing streak across the sky, to which Clark uses his super-enhanced vision to notice that it’s a familiar structure entering the atmosphere. As such, he makes an excuse of having to deal with “a quick errand” in order to head out.
From there, he approaches the falling craft as Superman and pushes the massive station known as the Justice League Watchtower back into orbit above the planet. After an investigation, he notices some damage as he uses his strength and Heat Vision in order to fix it before he contacts the Watchtower. Inside the station, Oliver Queen a.k.a. Green Arrow (voiced by Tom Kenny) informs him that the station was hit by some space debris. With a tsunami approaching Japan, Superman reminds him to contact the Caped Crusader about the damage assessment before he heads out to deal with the storm.
Back inside the Watchtower, Green Arrow suddenly hears a noise as he heads out to investigate. After hearing another suspicious sound, he preps his bow-and-arrow before he heads inside a storage room. By the time that he finally notices the stealthy intruder, it’s already too late as it manages to sneak up and lunge at him.
We then shift to the next day as Jon takes part in a little league baseball game. As he heads to the plate, he notices that his dad isn’t there to cheer him on. Not only that, but a youthful goon named Melvin Masters (voiced by Zeno Robinson) is even taunting him with hurtful nicknames like “Can’t Hit Kent” and “Jonathan Can’t”. Ultimately, Jon strikes out as his team also loses the game. Afterwards, Lois offers to go celebrate his birthday, but Jon depressingly just wants to return home.
Later, Clark arrives home as he learns from Lois that their son is extremely bummed from him not attending his game. With their son getting another year older, they ultimately agree to give him “the talk”. Clark then tries to do so with his son, but Jon is mad at him for letting his job get in the way of his promise. Just as Clark finally lets himself into his son’s room in order for them to properly talk, he soon notices that his kid has escaped through the window.
From there, Jon tearfully runs out into a nearby field. Just then, he suddenly starts shooting some Heat Vision from his eyes as he damages a nearby storage unit before he runs back to the farm in surprised horror. He ultimately hides out in the barn before Clark calls out to his crying kid. Jon tells his dad that he wants to be left alone since he thinks that he’s becoming some kind of freak. Clark assures him that he isn’t and that he can relate to what he’s going through, even revealing his Superman persona to his son.
Back in the house, Jon is now excited over the fact that his own father is a well-known superhero. While the boy is running around the room, his parents discuss about their son’s current powers as Lois says that they must know the extent of the abilities that their kid could ultimately get. They also mention how their boy is acquiring his superhuman traits at a different rate than how Clark got them, to which he tells Lois that he’ll get their kid properly examined. Meanwhile, Jon gets further pumped at the notion of meeting other superheroes before he tries to fly from only a few steps above the main floor. Unfortunately for him, he slams onto the ground and discovers that he can’t even hover.
Later, Jon continues to get more out of his surprise birthday gift as his dad flies him around Smallville. Eventually, Superman soars with his son above the clouds as Jon takes in the gorgeous view. As night falls, they even fly past a passenger jet before they soar among a group of ducks as Jon continues to express his amazement over being a “half-alien” whose own father is a well-known superhero. Superman tells his son that while it was hard to keep his identity a secret from him, he did so in the name of protecting him & Lois, in addition to safeguarding Earth and its citizens. However, this job also has to take him away from his own family. Just as Jon starts to think of a codename for himself, they soon arrive at Gotham City as he’s surprised to see it as the grim municipality that it is, to which Superman assures him that someone is here to protect it.
As if on cue, they watch a rooftop chase as Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. Penguin (also voiced by Tom Kenny) and a pair of his henchmen are being chased by Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman (voiced by Troy Baker). He then proceeds to beat the goons up as Superman and Jon watch him from afar. Afterwards, he disarms Penguin before dropping him over the side of a building. Thankfully, he uses a grapple line to prevent Oswald from falling in order for the police to properly arrest him. From there, Superman allows his son to finally meet the Caped Crusader.
Later, the Dark Knight escorts them to the Bat Cave as Jon excitedly looks around the underground base. Soon enough, they’re met upon by Damian Wayne a.k.a. Robin (voiced by Max Thunderman himself, Jack Griffo) who acts arrogantly snarky and even wants to use the Kryptonite Ring from his dad’s utility belt. Fortunately, Bruce tells his own son to escort Jon to the Meta Analyzer. As the two young lads head out, Superman asks his longtime comrade how Damian is doing under his care, to which Batman says that while his son “wants to be good”, his initial upbringing from Ra’s al Ghul and Talia has made things difficult. From there, Kal-El tells him to be patient while being a parent.
Later, Jon gets examined within the Meta Analyzer. Afterwards, Batman tells Superman that from his findings, he’s unsure what other kinds of powers could possibly come about within the young boy. He then says that because Jon’s Heat Vision came about from a stressful moment, it’s possible that more could show up from other similar situations. Unbeknownst to them, Jon is looking over the cave while Damian overhears them and arrogantly decides to “test that theory” by intentionally bumping Kent off of the platform. Clark manages to save his boy before Jon rightfully calls him out for his action, to which Robin smugly says that he was only trying to test their theory out. After discreetly throwing and hitting Jon with a Batarang to his forehead, Batman tells his son to take his leave before apologizing for the whole ordeal. Afterwards, he sends Jon away in order to have a private conversation with his father. From there, he asks Superman if he’s recently heard from the Justice League Watchtower, to which Kal-El is surprised to hear that Green Arrow hasn’t contacted his comrade about the recent space-based event. Bruce then tells him that he hasn’t been able to contact their teammates up on the Watchtower, to which Clark tells him to try again.
Meanwhile, Jon reaches a lower part of the Bat Cave before he overhears Damian having a video chat with another teammate, particularly Cassandra “Cassie” Sandsmark a.k.a. Wonder Girl (also voiced by Myrna Velasco). She tells him that she and her fellow Teen Titans have been summoned to the Watchtower in order to deal with an emergency. Even though he’s not an official member of the team, Robin wants to join them on their space-based venture. However, Cassie tells him that the team has already taken a vote and have collectively decided to not include Damian onto their team, mainly due to him being “too violent” and being too difficult with others, with her even saying that he seems to only look out for himself. Despite putting on an act by saying that he didn’t even want to join the team anyway, he concludes the video call feeling disappointed.
Having he overhears all of this; Jon decides to head over and comfort him. Suddenly, a cow wanders out from behind the stairs as he’s stunned to learn that it actually belongs to Damian. After learning that Robin has never even milked his cow before, Jon offers to do it for him. However, Damian angrily tells him to refrain from doing so and to also leave his Bat-Cow alone before he storms off.
Back with the World’s Finest pair, Batman contacts Green Arrow as Oliver says that there’s been some “trouble with the comms” due to the transmitters getting disabled by the unknown object that hit the Watchtower. After Queen promises to update him on any further progress, the call gets concluded as both Batman and Superman realize that something felt off. As such, Clark says that he’ll drop his son off at home before joining his comrade in order to deal with the trouble brewing up in space. From there, Jon rejoins them and compliments Batman for his Bat Cave before presenting him with some milk that he got from the Bat-Cow.
Later, Superman and Jon arrive back at their Smallville-based farm house as they briefly tell Lois about their meet-up with the Dark Knight. Despite wanting to go with his father on patrol, Jon’s constant yawning shows that he’s getting tired and with him having to go to school the next day, he gets sent off to bed. As their boy gets tucked in, Kal-El places one last gift on his desk as a means to help him with his “first step to being a superhero”. Afterwards, Clark tells Lois that he has to go deal with an incident up on the Watchtower. On a similar note, she then informs him that she’s been getting contacts from both Central and South America on how their collective crime rates have fallen to a disturbing level where there’s been completely none at all.
From there, Superman meets up with Batman again as they venture up to the Watchtower. Once they arrive, they begin to investigate the eerily quiet space station. Clark proceeds to do a thorough look-over with his X-Ray Vision before he realizes something gravely within their presence and that they must leave. Suddenly, they’re met upon by Martian Manhunter as a similar star-shaped being emerges from his mouth and lunges at them.
We then shift to the next day as Jon arrives at Smallville Junior High wearing some new glasses that he got for his birthday. As he makes his way towards the school, he’s soon met upon by Melvin and a pair of his fellow goons as Masters calls him out for losing their little league baseball game, to which Jon tells him that he’s not even on the team. Melvin then makes up an excuse that only “nerds” are allowed to be on the squad. As such, he wants Jon to do his homework so that he can join. During the confrontation, Kent manages to shove Melvin with a strong enough force onto the nearby lawn as Jon discovers his burgeoning super strength. Melvin then gets up and demands an apology, but Kent refuses as Masters proceeds to throw a punch at him.
Back in the Bat Cave, Robin looks over the current Teen Titans line-up as he smugly decides to form his own team and get back at the group for not including him. During this, Batman quietly walks towards him while a familiar creature rests on his hand in preparation. Fortunately, Damian was able to notice in time as he uses a Batarang to slice said being up. He soon notices that his father isn’t acting like himself, to which a similar star-shaped creature emerges from Bruce’s body, places itself onto his face and proceeds to use its vessel in order to attack the Boy Wonder.
Robin tries to fight back, but he easily gets beaten up the being’s access to Batman’s skills and strength. Damian then tries to evade his foe, but the creature’s connection with Bruce’s might proves to be too much as Robin gets kicked into a nearby tube before being told that “it is time”. From there, Damian gets tossed off the side of a platform and seemingly falls to his death. Afterwards, the possessed Batman gets contacted by the equally possessed Superman and is informed that Earth’s Southern Hemisphere is now entirely under their control. Not only that, but Earth is getting ever-so closer to falling completely within their entire grasp. In addition, the remaining Justice League members and the entire Teen Titans have been dealt with.
Afterwards, the possessed Batman heads out in the Batmobile, unaware that Robin had managed to use a grapple line in order to save himself. After climbing back onto the platform, he’s met upon by his Bat-Cow before he discovers that every available superhero has been infected. To his fortunate chagrin, Jon is the only one left who hasn’t succumbed to said fate. As such, he decides to go save him.
Over at Smallville Junior High, Kent is being scolded by Principal Cunningham (also voiced by Tom Kenny) for not being sympathetic and patient with Melvin. While he mentions that he’s called up his mother about this, Jon notices the Batwing landing right in front of the school unbeknownst to him. As such, Kent pretends to have learned his lesson before he heads out.
Afterwards, he meets up with Damian who informs him that aliens are taking their planet over and that they must save their fathers. After Robin notices the black eye, Jon quickly mentions that he’s just acquired super strength, yet he’s not invulnerable to punches yet. From there, Damian shares his recent series of events with him before they’re met upon by Melvin. Robin tells him that they don’t have time to deal with him, but Melvin instead tries to attack them. However, Damian swiftly pokes Masters’ chest, causing the bully to suddenly lock up and fall over backwards. Afterwards, he then informs Jon that it’s a temporary “paralyzing technique” that he learned from his grandfather.
Just then, they’re met upon by Lois who’s arrived to take her son home. However, Robin tells Kent that his mother’s been compromised. Jon doesn’t believe him at first, to which Damian tells him to test her. As such, he asks his mother if he can play some video games and have some ice cream as well, to which she calmly allows him. On that note, Jon realizes that “she’s been taken over”, especially when she continually utters “It is time” before a star-shaped creature emerges from her mouth, attaches itself to her face and proceeds to chase after the boys.
Robin and Kent make a dash for the Batwing, with Damian even using some smoke pellets to slow the possessed Lois down. Despite the kids reaching the air craft, Jon’s possessed mother manages to grab on, climb towards the cock pit and begin to punch her way in. Because he’s too busy trying to fly them away, Robin wants Kent to zap her with his Heat Vision, but Jon refuses to kill his own mom. With the glass shattered just enough, she tries to reach in and grab them. Fortunately, Kent notices a nearby pond as Damian manages to fly towards it. From there, Jon zaps the star-creature attached to his mother, which causes it to retreat inside of her as she falls off and splashes down. While Robin finally manages to help him and Kent fly away, Lois emerges from the pond and pukes the damaged star-shaped parasite out of her body before she passes out in exhaustion.
Back on the Batwing, Damian says that they have to lay low for a while in order to look for any inherent weakness within the aliens. Jon asks him how they’re going to even examine one, to which Robin reveals that he has a piece of said being from his recent encounter. Kent points out to S.T.A.R. Labs and Kord Tech as possible places with examination facilities, but Damian says that they’re most likely under the control of compromised figures. Fortunately, he knows where they can conduct a peaceful examination.
Eventually, they arrive at the Fortress of Solitude as Jon uses his super-strength to lift the giant key and throw it into the keyhole. Ultimately, they unlock the front door and head inside. Suddenly, they hear an ominous growl before they’re met upon by the super dog itself: Krypto. Unfortunately, it mistakes them as intruders, forcing them to flee further into the base. Damian tries to use some smoke pellets against it, but Krypto easily zaps them with its Heat Vision. Robin then tries to use a Batarang, but he gets pounced before he has a chance to throw it. From there, Krypto begins to strangle him by his cape before Jon picks up the Batarang and throws it at the super dog. Krypto is able to catch it with its mouth right before it explodes onto its face, yet it’s able to easily withstand the blast right before it flies after the two boys.
They ultimately reach a massive cavern as Damian uses several distant slabs to hop across it. However, Krypto soon spots Jon and chases after him. Fortunately, Kent’s abilities continue to flourish as he manages to suddenly leap an incredible bound over to the opposite side before he and Robin smash their way into the central hub. Just then, Krypto flies in and tackles Jon. Fortunately, the “artificial embodiment” of Jor-El comes to life and tells the super dog to stand down. After he tells Krypto that he’s standing alongside Kal-El’s own son, it soon becomes very friendly and starts giving Jon several kisses.
Jon asks how he was able to recognize him, to which Jor-El explains that he made “a cursory glance” upon his DNA. From there, he explains that he and Krypto look over the fortress before he tells his grandson that both his family history along with several useful information about other worlds “spanning the 28 known galaxies” are within the informative crystals. Damian then cuts in and asks for a way to scan the alien piece in his possession. One scan later, Jor-El identifies it as a spore that originally came from an alien being called Starro. He explains that it’s a parasitic being capable of producing “millions of spores” that’re sent out onto a planet’s unsuspecting populace and taking control of them en route to conquering their world before draining their life into the Hive Mind. Jon then recalls his father’s story on the recently unusual ant behavior and that it’s most likely due to the Hive Mind’s presence. He then says that because it’s similar to a queen ant, they could stop the spores if they eradicate the Hive Mind. Robin then asks how they can exterminate it, but Jor-El says that it’s currently unknown since his biological self was only able to acquire a specimen prior to Krypton’s destruction. Not only that, but he doesn’t know where it is. Jon then remembers his mother’s talk about assembling a good story. As such, he starts from the beginning and asks when the spores first popped up. Damian tells him that after their first meet-up in the Bat Cave, their fathers went up to the Watchtower in order to deal with a problem concerning its damaged communications unit. They ultimately realized that it wasn’t space debris that hit it, but the Hive Mind itself. As such, they’ll be going into space in order to deal with it themselves.
We then shift over to the Daily Planet in Metropolis as Lois calmly acts like any of the other potentially possessed people in the building. She soon spots Jimmy Olsen (also voiced by Zeno Robinson) before she grabs some scissors and forces him into the copy room in order to make sure that he’s not under a spore’s control. One quick look inside his mouth later, she discovers that he’s under his own self-control before she tells him that there’s controlling aliens on their world. Because her son is out there going up against them, she wants to provide some help since she knows how to (at the very least) hurt their adversaries. She originally wanted to use the mid-day news program in order to warn the conscious populace, but she’s unsure who’s been compromised. He then tells her that the only person who has the power to instantly broadcast to everyone in the country is the U.S. President, to which she thanks him for his idea and immediately heads out.
Back in the Fortress of Solitude, Jon and Robin manage to barely fit themselves in baby Kal-El’s rocket. Before they blast off, Kent soon discovers his father’s baby blanket and decides to adopt it as his own cape. From there, Jor-El programs the rocket to launch as the two boys soar their way towards the Watchtower. Thanks to the rocket’s “built-in stealth function”, they’re able to reach the station before Damian uses some codes that he “hacked from the Bat-Computer” in order for them to get inside.
Once they land, they make their way towards the main entrance in order to deal with the Hive Mind. However, they’re soon met upon by the compromised super figures of Kid Flash, Martian Manhunter, Beast Boy, Wonder Girl and Green Arrow.
We then cut to the White House as Lois tells the President within the Oval Office that despite their differences, she wants him to make a public address in order to warn America’s citizens about a race of aliens that’re in the process of controlling their world. It’s then revealed that Lex Luthor (voiced by Darin De Paul) is the Commander-in-Chief before a Secret Service agent has just finished combing through her purse, taking note of a few items inside of it with one of them being a cigarette lighter. After she says that she only keeps it as a reminder of her former smoking habit, Lex reminds her of the several Opinion Editorials (or Op-Eds) that she’s written of his paranoid regards towards “extraterrestrials”. As such, he’ll only agree to address the public if she writes a front page apology and also willingly endorses him for the next election. From there, she agrees to his terms.
Back on the Watchtower, Jon and Robin find themselves captured by their mind-controlled comrades before they’re met upon by the main alien itself: Starro (also voiced by Darin De Paul). After telling them that his plans won’t be thwarted, Kent says that he’ll still lose as long as there’s still some “free human beings” around. Starro argues that he’s actually saving their world from the human race and has wiped out all crimes, poverty, social classes & even environmental destruction. However, Damian tells him that he’s doing so at the cost of humanity’s own free will and that he’s taking the planet’s life essence for himself. Starro confirms with him and says that once he’s done with Earth, he’ll take their accumulated technology in order to continue onto other planets and repeat the process there before he and his species achieve universal domination.
Robin then takes out a Batarang and lunges at Starro, but he’s easily stopped by the possessed Wonder Girl. He & Jon then learn that Starro has no plans of bringing them into his mind-controlled armada and will have them exterminated. As such, he takes his leave before he controls Green Arrow into taking them out with his bow-and-arrow. Despite staring his own death in the face, Damian demands for him to take his shot. The mind-controlled Oliver then proceeds to launch his arrow at him before Kent leaps in the way and takes the hit instead. Robin is then surprised by his teammate’s sacrificial act and even says that he was starting to like him. Suddenly, Jon responds to him and reveals that his invulnerability had finally kicked in since he withstood the arrow. With their newfound confidence, they then prepare to go up against their mind-controlled comrades.
From there, a fight breaks out as Damian immediately goes after Green Arrow while Kent tangles with Wonder Girl. Jon tries to uses his Heat Vision, but the spore uses Cassie’s bracelets to withstand the blast before tackling him. Fortunately, Kent kicks her off with enough force that she slams into the console, turning on the upcoming Presidential address. From there, Jon smacks a panel onto the spore as it and Wonder Girl wind up knocked out.
Afterwards, he watches Luthor addressing the American populace about the extraterrestrial being that’s currently attempting to conquer their planet. Unfortunately, he then tells the citizens to allow themselves to fall under Starro’s control before revealing that he’s also been possessed by a spore. Out amongst the populace, some of the citizens also reveal their own possessive spores. Even at the Daily Planet, Jimmy finds out that some of the staff has also been put under the spores’ control.
Back in the Oval Office, Lois confronts Lex’ spore by combining her hairspray and lighter into a makeshift flamethrower in order to damage the alien creature. She then says that she used her skills as an investigative reporter in order to realize that he was taken over due to him agreeing to meet with her. From there, she then addresses the camera in order to tell her son that the opposing aliens can be hurt by heat. Just then, the possessed Luthor rises up and approaches her as the transmission gets cut off.
Meanwhile, Robin is getting swiftly assaulted by the possessed Kid Flash. Fortunately, Damian is able to retaliate with a Flash Bomb before using some spikes to send the compromised speedster into the wall in defeat.
However, he’s then approached by a mind-controlled Beast Boy who attacks him in the form of a T-Rex. After some swift moves, Robin throws a explosive Batarang into the hero’s mouth and takes him down with a bang.
Unfortunately, he’s then met upon by Martian Manhunter who begins to strangle him. Fortunately, Jon blasts J’onzz’s spore with his Heat Vision and causes the comrade to collapse. Afterwards, he tells Damian that the Hive Mind is weak to extreme heat. Despite it being damaged, Jon is unable to pull the spore from Martian Manhunter’s face with his own super strength. Robin then realizes that they’ll have to incinerate the Hive Mind as they proceed to head out.
They then reach a storage unit before they’re met upon by their possessed fathers as they proceed to take part in another fight. While Jon mostly dodges his dad’s powerful strikes, Damian tries to tussle against his mind-controlled guardian. However, Jon gets overwhelmed by Superman’s vast strength while Robin’s own skills are unable to wear down the spore’s hold over Batman.
The two boys then meet up again as Damian says that they need a new angle, to which Kent remembers his mother’s speech about trying different angles and comes up with the idea for them to switch sparring partners. Robin agrees, but he’ll first need some help against Batman. As such, they hide up in the rafters before they get the drop on him. Just as the possessed Superman rejoins the battle, Damian reveals that he managed to get his father’s Kryptonite Ring from his utility belt. From there, he engages the mind-controlled Kal-El and begins to make some progress.
However, the compromised Batman has recovered and begins to fight Jon. Kent tries to blast the spore with his Heat Vision, but the alien uses the Dark Knight’s swiftness in order to avoid the beams and land several hits onto him. While Robin ultimately knocks the possessed Superman out, the mind-controlled Batman soon has Jon in submission. With his concentrated might, Kent manages to land a powerful uppercut onto the Caped Crusader and knock him out.
Suddenly, Starro bursts in and tells our young heroes that their world is now fully within his grasp. Jon tries to attack the massive being with his Heat Vision, but it blocks his beams with a tentacle. As such, Damian uses an explosive Batarang to disorient it long enough for them to retreat. Once they get some recovery time, they realize what they have to do first.
Later, they’ve placed their knocked out teammates and super fathers into some smaller spaceships (with Jon even placing the Kryptonite ring on his dad in order to keep him at bay) before they launch them to Earth. Afterwards, Robin says that they’ll need to reach the control center and force the Watchtower out of its orbit, with Kent adding the fact that they need to avoid “a malevolent Hive Mind” in the process. He then mentions that until this moment, he never fully grasped the notion of sacrifice as part of being a hero. Now, he realizes that the world needs their super fathers over “a farm boy from Kansas”, to which Damian even includes “an assassin with a cow”.
From there, they set their plan in motion as they reach the main control center and start pressing some buttons. Fortunately, it activated the station’s built-in thrusters as it begins to descend Earth’s atmosphere. Suddenly, a tentacle pops up through a floor panel and wraps onto Robin’s leg. Jon leaps down and grabs Damian’s hand while also holding onto the platform as Starro emerges. From there, Kent begins to shoot his Heat Vision at the creature. After a while, it grabs a panel and shields itself. As the Watchtower begins to reenter the atmosphere, the piece of the platform that Jon is holding onto starts to give way while his grip upon Robin also begins to falter.
Thankfully, the intense heat from the reentry begins to engulf Starro and severely weaken it. As a result on Earth, it loses its connection to its numerous spores as they end up dying off while their host bodies simply pass out. Over in the Oval Office, Lois is at the mercy of the possessed Lex as another spore slowly emerges from his mouth and tries to attach itself to her face. Thankfully, she manages to reach a miniature U.S. Flag stand and stab Luthor’s own spore, causing him to keel over.
Meanwhile, the super dads have landed back on Earth as Batman uses a heat beam to exit the spacecraft before pulling the weakened spore from his face. Afterwards, he throws the Kryptonite ring away before zapping the spore upon Superman’s face as Kal-El also manages to rip it off, throw it to the ground and incinerate it with his Heat Vision. They soon realize that the Hive Mind is getting weaker before they notice the plummeting Watchtower that still contains their boys.
Back aboard the weakening station, Damian and Kent manage to dash their way towards the center of the crumbling base. As for Starro, he plummets to the roaring fire down below before getting crushed by the falling debris.
Afterwards, the two boys calmly sit and watch the approaching planet while they await their grim fates with playful laughs. Suddenly, the Watchtower completely breaks up until only a small central hub remains, to which they share one last fist bump. Just then, Superman finally arrives and catches the remaining structure, saving our two youthful heroes as he gently floats them back down to Earth.
Once they land within the Smallville-based pond, the boys reunite with their dads. While Bruce hugs his son (who told him that he “learned from the best”), Kal-El praises his son for putting the entire world, his dad and his friend’s dad over himself.
Suddenly, Starro emerges from the pond having just survived the entire reentry process. From there, it attempts to attack our main heroes. After they all dodge its strike, Batman & Robin team-up and throw their own explosive Batarangs at it. Afterwards, Superman and Jon blast it with their Heat Visions before Kal-El flies in, grabs Starro by its tentacle and begins to swing the alien around while telling his son to get ready. After Jon uses his Heat Vision to acquire a tree and hold it like a baseball bat, his dad throws Starro at him before he hits it with enough force to send it back into the atmosphere where it properly gets incinerated to a crisp.
Later on back in the Bat Cave, Damian gets contacted by Wonder Girl as she informs him that the Teen Titans have taken another vote. Thanks to him saving them and the whole world, they’ve decided to let him join the team. However, he decides not to accept the offer right away as he concludes his video call in order to deal with “a prior engagement”. Shortly after Bruce approaches him, they head out in order to take in a baseball game.
Over in Smallville, Jon and his little league team are taking part in another game. As the bespectacled Kent steps up to the plate, Melvin tries to taunt him. However, Damian arrives and uses his paralyzing touch on him again. Shortly afterwards, he joins Bruce and Lois in the stands before Jon also spots his dad sitting with them as well. Clark explains to Lois that thanks to the Flash handling a key emergency, he’s able to attend his son’s game. From there, Jon is able to deal with the approaching pitch as he uses his super strength on a bunt to send the ball all the way to the backstop.
And so, the film ends at sunset as Jon and Damian observe the setting sun on top of the town’s water tower. Kent asks his comrade what they should do next as a crime-fighting duo, to which Damian says that he’s come up with a name for them to share: “Super Sons”. With him liking the name, Jon asks what they’re now going to do as the Super Sons. Damian says that he still owes him his “birthday present”, but it turns out that it’s him pushing Kent off of the water tower. With Jon smacking onto the ground, Damian discovers that his comrade hasn’t developed the ability to fly yet.
Now that this dual journey has come to a close, let’s briefly get to my character analysis. First up, let’s talk about our primary protagonist who’s also the youngest member of the House of El: Jon Kent. Between our two main characters, he’s the one who has the most growth in terms of power development and of becoming a hero in his own right. Because of his half-human status, he doesn’t get his super abilities until he’s well into his childhood years and is forced to discover each unique power under the duress of his current situation. Through his parents, their investigative skills provide him with the necessary tools that he’ll need to problem-solve his way past a difficult-looking obstacle. From the beginning, he’s good-natured and cares for his folks. Because of his youthful age, he has yet to fully grasp the complexities of real-world responsibilities coupled with having to approach peculiar problems in an effective way. Throughout his self-discovering journey, he’s forced to move past the local antagonistic bully in order to learn about his heritage, its connection to the main villain and how to ultimately discover a way for him and Damian to finally smite said foe. While he never finds himself in a tearful low point at some point during the narrative, the overall situation combined with Robin’s mentally-tough guidance allows Jon to grow in a reasonably paced fashion. Even though he doesn’t fully acquire all of his father’s powers by the end, the ones that he does get for this narrative serves him really well and he would most likely acquire his own means of self-flight as he continues to grow and mature. Jack Dylan Grazer turns in a humbly good performance, channeling some of the youthful energy, exuberance & charm that he brought to Freddie Freeman in the live-action Shazam movies, yet harnesses those personal skills to make his animated Superboy have loads of humble personality properly infused with noble charisma. All-in-all, he helps to make this version of Clark and Lois’ son leave enough of an effective mark.
Finally, we’ve reached our secondary protagonist in the form of the lethal kid assassin himself: Damian Wayne. Similar to the version of him from his early appearances within the DC Animated Movie Universe, he has a huge problem when he’s forced to work with anyone who’s not his father. His brutal ninja form of crime-fighting is too harsh for the Teen Titans’ standards of quality and he doesn’t take Jon too seriously due to the young Kent’s Midwestern humbleness, naivete and initial lack of powers. Once his dad gets taken over by one of Starro’s spores, he’s forced to put his reluctant difference with Jon aside in order to properly tackle the malevolent alien. Now of course, he’s more experienced in crime-fighting when compared to his fellow Super Son and has to guide his comrade in the right direction. Though he always maintains some level of snarky arrogance towards the young Kent, he slowly gains more respect for him when the inherited reporting lessons from Jon’s parents helps them figure out how to properly go up against Starro. He does steal some thunder away from Kent by being the one who ultimately defeats the school bully Melvin, but his tough love influence does pay off twice during a pair of confrontations up in the Watchtower since the forging of their partnership results in the young Kent saving him on both occasions. Even though his character arc falls in some familiar territory for anyone who’s been following the overall series for some time, it does work nicely within this standalone adventure. Jack Griffo brought a steely confidence to his performance that contains an inherent smugness, yet slowly transitions into some humbleness the further he gets along with both the mission and his partnership with Jon. While Grazer stands out a bit more due to him getting the cental role, Grizzo was also good as he compliments Jon while also letting Damian stand tall alongside him.
The story is a simple coming-of-age tale that sees both of our main characters dealing with a potential worldwide crisis on their hands. The events are straightforward and are presented within a relatively consistent tone, while the overall narrative is professionally paced to help maintain its balance of comedic moments, dramatic scenes and engaging action. For both of our main characters, the journey that they embark on together sees them finding their own places within the world. With Jon, his burgeoning powers and the resulting discovery of his dad being a superhero that he already admired (with him even mentioning that his Superman hoodie was a sign of him being a fan of said hero before making that particular revelation) lets him visit other heroic figures within his father’s world while also learning the absolute need to give himself towards the betterment of protecting mankind. Sure, he was never in any selfish state due to his parents’ upbringing, but he did figure out how to take his fan-like passion towards his dad and to begin carving a heroic name for himself. As for Damian, he could only work alongside his dad and no one else due to his father’s well-established crime-fighting venture and the fact that his vicious approach to defeating vicious adversaries turns other figures like the Teen Titans off. After serving as a mentor to Kent while also becoming appreciative of the value of his comrade’s help, he ultimately earns a spot on said youthful team. Sure, he doesn’t accept the offer right away, but that door is mostly likely still left open should he ultimately take it down the line. As for their fathers (whose names are graced upon the initial half of the title), they don’t unnecessarily keep their sons down due to their lack of trust or even some unaddressed uncertainy, especially since Damian has been the Boy Wonder for a while leading into this film while Jon has yet to get started on his superhero journey. Clark and Lois do show some more care for their kid while also keeping a potential eye over any sign of him developing powers of his own. As for Bruce, he does initially have some stern care for Damian, though there’s not much else of a starting point for him to go on, partially due to the fact that the Dynamic Duo are the only ones we see within the Bat Cave and neither Alfred or anyone else within the Bat-Family is present to expand on Batman’s initial approach to fatherhood for this movie. So while that aspect of the story could’ve been a bit more defined, it still serves the narrative we have nicely. At the very least, the World’s Finest are rightly sidelined by Starro in order for their sons to have the spotlight for themselves. While Lois also falls into that category for a little while, at least she gets freed by her son in order to contribute to the climax and help the Super Sons by sharing a key element that will help them smite the fiendish alien. Ultimately, family serves as a major theme within this movie. After all, it’s an important unit that has to work as a whole in order for everyone involved to help each other strive and survive. The parents care for their children before those same offspring return that love by developing their own skill sets and personalities to benefit their family & the world. While Starro does have spores, they don’t function too much as individuals and only exist to serve their original host by attaching themselves onto other people, which is the closest they’ll ever get with acquiring their own personalities, since they need to steal those traits for themselves in order to lull their victims into a false sense of security. As for the action, they’re nothing ground-breaking or utterly sprawling. However, it actually serves this story since the fights and chases presented here have a personal feel that helps our dual protagonists learn & grow along the way. By the time we get to the climax, the stakes are at their utmost high and the three-part struggle that our main boys go through on the Watchtower still feels thrilling when coupled with the chaos that’s stirring back down on Earth. By the time they reunite with their dads by the end, their fully-formed selves are developed and strong enough to finally best Starro by the end. As such, the action still provided the goods and will fulfill its viewers. Finally, let’s talk about the animation. After all, this entry is a change of pace from the regular 2D animation that’s been the dominant norm throughout the overall series. For the first-ever fully-3D animated piece within the vast line, it’s handled with as much professional care as it could be. Movements never seemed awkward or out of place, lip-movement mainly felt in line with the dialogue coming out of their mouths, body movement looked as natural as can be and there didn’t seem to be anything that stuttered or flowed in any awkward way. Combined with good performances from our main leads and their supporting players, these various characters are able to move to their own respective beats at a respective click in order to make this movie work as well as it does.
Overall, this is a dual coming-of-age story that delivers a tale that’s simple, yet entertainingly effective. The characters are likable, the vocal performances are packed with plenty of energy, the action gets more thrilling with each passing moment and the narrative is effective with its straight-forward approach. It properly introduces the newest Superboy to its newfound audience while having Damian serve somewhat as a streetwise mentor, resulting in them growing together in order to deal with a crisis amongst the stars. On that note, it’s worth giving a watch alongside your fellow fathers, mothers, sisters and especially, our physically & mentally strong brothers.
Next Time: We return to the TomorrowVerse as our Man of Tomorrow’s own cousin has shown up to fight crime, but she’s struggling to do so due to their home world’s destruction weighing heavily upon her. As such, she’ll get sent to the future in order to learn and grow alongside a youthful super-team, while also helping them stop a nefarious group who’s after something in their possession. As such, come back next time as the Maid of Might will help lead the charge alongside the “Legion Of Super-Heroes”
Jon Kent (created by Dan Jurgens), Damian Wayne (created by Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert) and all related characters are owned by DC Comics.