Or – “Kryptonian Powers And Mental Issues?  That’ll Work Out…”


Connor Kent’s return from the dead has not been without it’s complications.  Last issue, we saw his attempts to get back to normal and figure out the Superman side of his genetic makeup.  Problem is, he’s also trying to figure out his other genetic donor, one Lex Luthor.  Kon-El is headed down a slippery slope, and the return of Cassandra Sandsmark to his life ain’t gonna make things any less confusing…

Adv2.jpgPreviously, on Adventure Comics:  Kon-El, returned to life and once again in action under his original superhero monicker through the combination of the brilliance of Querl Dox (better known as Brainiac 5) and the DC/Warner Brothers legal team, has returned to the closest thing he has to a home.  Going to school in Smallville, living with Martha Kent, maintaining a secret identity, he has done everything he can to try and be more like Superman.  Unfortunatley, his to-do list contains both “What Would Superman Do?” and “What Would Lex Luthor do?” columns, causing the Teen of Steel to have a slightly unbalanced approach to life.  As for the Legion of Super-Heroes, they’re recovering from the damage caused by Tom Welling Prime and his uber-evil Legion of Super-Villains during the Legion of 3 Worlds miniseries.  Team members Tellus (somewhere, Rodrigo says “YAY!”) and Starman are still hanging out in the 20th Century, though, and for some reason Tellus is hiding in a lake outside of Smallville.  Whatever the heck is going on, there’s a good chance that it relates to the kid with the Big Red S on his chest…  And how will Kon deal with the return of his first love, the Teen Titan called Wonder Girl?

This issue opens with some bad news…  Seems that Lex Luthor AND Brainiac have busted out of prison together, and the baldies intend to renew their old-school partnership.  Lex is impresses with Big Green’s new power-levels (and also the fact that he finally got a decent pair of pants) and remarks that the Brainiac is now like a god of knowledge.  “Gods do not exist, Lex Luthor,”  says Brainiac (and for some reason he sounds like Frylocke from Aqua Teen Hunger Force in my head.)  The twosome has something in mind for Lex’s cloned son, involvin something humanoid that floats in a tank like the one that birthed Connor himself in 1993.  But that’s not quite as ominous as Connor adding to his list of Lex Luthor things to do.  When Ma Kent assures him that he’s not going bald, he responds, “You can’t see it, Ma.  You don’t have microscopic vision!”  When she reminds him that he doesn’t either, Connor adds “Develop microscopic vision” to his ‘Superman’ list.  Heh.  Good to see that Connor hasn’t COMPLETELY popped his cork yet.  This goofiness is interrupted by the arrival of Wonder Girl, and the sweethearts go for a walk together.  The scene that follows is wonderful in it’s subtlety, with awkward pauses, revelations (Cassie kissed Robin), and a picnic supper catered by Krypto.  Connor comes to a moment of truth, when his Superman checklist reads “Tells the truth,” and his Luthor checklist reads “Lies to his friends and family…  They talk in circles for a moment, but his better nature wins out and he tells her that he loves her, and he’s sorry that he hurt her.  She tearfully explains about frenching Red Robin (which sounds much naughtier than it probably should) but Connor forgives her with a wonderful rationale.  “I was under the GROUND.  I was dead.”  They kiss and make up as Krypto lifts the picnic table up into the air… 

Back in the 30th century, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl argue over whether or not to “tell him” something obviously important.  Lightning Lad arrives just in time to overhear a part of the discussion, and the founders have an interesting (and kind of funny) dispute over the recent shorting out of the anti-Legion President’s com-link.  Lightning Lad makes no apologies, but says he sent flowers to the President.  His wife tells him he didn’t, and he replies that it’s the thought that counts.  “You didn’t THINK about it,” she replies, and once again I muse on how terrible it would be to be married to a telepath.  Turns out that LL’s big brother Mekt, the Lightning Lord of the LSV, wants to talk to him about something important.  After a brief run-in with Storm Boy (who reinforces the anti-alien sentiment of Earth) Garth confronts his big brother.  Two lightning-wielders in the same room makes for interesting discussion, and the Ranzz siblings quickly ends up airing old grievances.  “I tried to be a brother to you,” accuses Garth, “but you NEVER looked at me as an equal.”  “That’s because you’re not,” snots Mekt.  Ouchie.  Mekt tells his little brother the real reason why he’s so hateful:  “I remember the day when mom and dad explained to me that I was born alone.  THEY LIED.”  Mekt claims that he DOES have a twin, and insists that Garth find their long-lost sibling for him.  Foolish, foolish Lightning Lad starts off for Earth, then suddenly sets a course for Winath. 

The Smallville half of this issue is very nicely handled, showing Kon’s search for identity very neatly, and giving us a deeper glimpse into the relationship between Connor and Cassie.  I especially like the fact that she sees right through his recent actions, telling him that he’s obviously trying to grow up just like Superman.  Ma Kent’s sadness about the loss of her beloved husband as she watches the kids kiss is beautiful as well, making the first half of the issue pretty bittersweet.  As always, Geoff Johns has a wonderful ear for dialogue, and Francis Manapul makes Wonder Girl so beautiful and expressive that the reader half falls for her as well.  The Legion story is a bit more problematic, though, as it’s almost entirely about Lightning Lad.  That’s not inherently a bad thing, but with this incarnation of the Legion just relaunching, it seems questionable to spend a whole story on ONE member of a team of 24, ESPECIALLY when a good portion of that team is missing.  Even so, the story works on the strength of the characterization, regardless of how wise the idea is…  This is a strong issue, though a little bit more impressive in the first half than in the Legion half.  Adventure Comics #2 (or possibly #505) earns 4 out of 5 stars, an entertaining outing that makes me want to know more about both stories and angry that I have to wait a month to find out what’s next…


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Kirby
    September 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm — Reply

    Is there any word if DC is going to continue the shadow Numbering?

  2. September 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm — Reply

    I’ve not heard any… But as far as I’m concerned, this is one case where the stupid renumbering craze at least makes sense. Essentially, they’ve just picked up where the original run of Adventure ended back in 80-something.

  3. Mijder
    September 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm — Reply

    Matthew, oh lazy man’s wikpedia, who was starring in Adventure at the time of its demise?

  4. September 17, 2009 at 8:26 pm — Reply

    Legion of Super-Heroes reprints… The book had been “demoted” to digest-size, actually, and consist of some of the earliest Legion tales I ever read. My cousin Elwood had a copy of the Wedding Tabloid, but these reprints (from the 1960 to 1963 run) were my first interactions with the LSH.

    This would have been AFTER it’s incarnation as a Dollar Comic, during which it served as home to Plastic Man, the JSA, Aquaman, Deadman and others.

  5. September 18, 2009 at 8:52 am — Reply

    When did Garth and Mekt start over-using the Thigh Master? They look massive! DC might have to pay Suzanne Somers royalties!

    One of the debates I’ve seen elsewhere is whether Mekt is being truthful, is lying, or has deluded himself. What do you think?

  6. September 18, 2009 at 8:56 am — Reply

    Maybe if the pouches were in black, so they weren’t so obvious…. Right now the second utility “belt” is more of a utility garter!

    • September 18, 2009 at 8:57 am — Reply

      OOPS — posted in the wrong window — that was clearly meant for the Batgirl thread. Can someone delete this for me? Please???

      • September 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm — Reply

        OOPS — posted in the wrong window — that was clearly meant for the Batgirl thread. Can someone delete this for me? Please???

        I CAN, but in the interests of posterity, I’m not gonna. :)

        • September 19, 2009 at 10:54 am — Reply

          Well then I’ll just say that it’s a good thing Thigh-masters Mekt and Garth don’t wear utility garters — that would just make their thighs look even bigger!

          I fully expect Dionysos and Athena to spring fully-formed from those legs. Maybe that’s where Validus is hiding???

  7. Kirby
    September 23, 2009 at 9:03 pm — Reply

    Just read the issue today, and noticed that Ayla was mentioned being with Timber Wolf. Kinda disappointed they took out her relationship with Shrinking Violet. Tom-Welling PUnch?

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