From the young Clark Kent, to the clone Connor Kent, to the other universe Superboy-Prime we’ve had a large number of characters with the title. Which bits and pieces are we being granted with here? Find some insight after the jump.

SUPERBOY #1
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: R. B. Silva
Inker: Rob Lean
Colorist: The Hories
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Artist: Eric Canete with Guy Major
Editor: Chris Conroy
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Previously in Superboy Connor Kent, a.k.a. Kon-El, a.k.a. Superboy, was the clone of the world’s greatest hero, Superman, and the world’s worst (greatest) villain, Lex Luthor. He was a member of the Teen Titans and very much becoming a great hero in his own right. So, what’s to become of him now?

FOR SCIENCE!!!

We open on Superboy floating in a vat of Neonatal Amniotic Solution. We know this because he tells us. Within the first few pages we find out he’s been “alive for a little over three and a half months, as well as that he is a combination of Kryptonian and Human DNA. He’s being held in a lab by a group/company/organization (some guys?) called N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and their tests are not recognizing him as being alive so they are here to shut him down. Why don’t they think he’s alive, you ask? Well, that’s because one of Superboy’s new powers is that his consciousness is spread throughout his body instead of being in his “cerebral organ” which is kinda cool.
Anyhow, while they start to pump cyanide into him, one of the doctors, who is only referred to as “Red,” starts thinking at him “Please” and “Fight,” implying that Superboy may be telepathic. He does and in the process kills off everyone left in the lab. One of the dieing scientists does try to tell Red who the human donor was, but “splats” in and explosion before getting it out (Cool little cliffhanger-y thing, but Splat, for and explosion?). Red rushes in there as Superboy starts to freak out a bit with the new found sensations of air, breathing, and freedom.
Flash forward a month and Superboy is sitting in Kansas high school classroom as the new student. Not only this, but he’s answering questions that he has no idea how he would know the answer to. Enter Rose Wilson, the “Hot chick he gets to walk home from school.” She starts a discussion about his past, in which he tells her he doesn’t remember, then a discussion about morality while the walk right past a burning building with a lady trapped inside. Superboy doesn’t react. The discussion is actually quite interesting, but should really be read for itself and then debated with whatever philosophy professor you can get a hold of.
We then meet the family he is staying with only to find out that it is a VR situation that, while he is playing along, Superboy is fully aware of. Outside of the VR, Red is the scientist in charge now. We find out that Rose Wilson is a mercenary hired to kill Superboy if he ever goes crazy again, that Superboy always knows when Red is there, and that Superboy isn’t the telepath, Red is. Also, Lois Lane has a spy inside of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. The issue ends with the upper-management coming to take Superboy out on a test run as the WMD he was built to be.

EXPRESSIVE, YET SCRAWNY

Silva does a fantastic job. He draws great people, has a really good use of detail when needed and negative space where warranted. His characters are easy to recognize and look great throughout. The best part was some of what he’s able to say with Red’s character without the words. Each time she’s pressed by authority to do something she doesn’t want, she is nervously chewing her lip and usually gripping something to her, be it clipboard or just a self hug. I have a small number of complaints visually; first, Superboy in school is just freaking scrawny. There is nothing to him whatsoever, even when we see him just out of the tube he’s at least built like the Boy of Steel. In School he’s just a narrow string-bean with know muscle at all. Then, on the final page, we see the Titans in the background and Kid Flash’s leg is perfectly straight and it just looks weird, almost painful. My last complaint is lettering. Never have I actually been distracted by it, but the Splat sound when the guy blows up (seriously, why splat?) is wonky and jarring, though part of that may be do to the “noise” itself, but the lettering for the credits is almost impossible to read as well, so. . .

BOTTOM LINE: Definitely Worth It.

There is some great development, a good introduction to who the players are going to be and a great bit of mystery around each person so as no one is dull. Superboy’s new power set, extreme self awareness and straight up full telekinesis, are intriguing to say the least. Funnily enough though, I’m more curious about who Red is than anything else right now. The artwork here is, as I said, amazing and did I mention the costume redesign? Right, I didn’t, because it’s on the last panel, but it looks awesome. I especially like the touch of the empty S-Shields on the back of the gloves. Anyhow, Superboy #1 earns itself a very well deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★½

The Author

Rob Rasmussen

Rob Rasmussen

I'm Rob. Gamer, geek, student, friend. I'm Trebor Srarcinth, Blazankar Mristari, and Bor, Immortal. You know one, but do you know the rest?

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15 Comments

  1. September 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm — Reply

    “Red” is indeed Caitlin Fairchild of Gen13

    • September 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm — Reply

      Does she have her…um…transformation powers as well?

    • Damascus
      September 21, 2011 at 4:33 am — Reply

      That makes sense since she did start to type her password in to open the door and it said Dr. Cait-

      I’ve never read Gen 13, so hopefully that’s a good thing.

  2. Kent Nelson
    September 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm — Reply

    Great review, Rob! And I cannot agree with you more. Superboy is how a reboot/relaunch (I think those are interchangeable, although DC’s website is calling it a “renumbering”. Whatever…) is supposed to be. The direction this took was fantastic!

  3. TaZ
    September 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    I believe that “Splat” was the sound of mashed human flesh and fluids hitting the clear doorway surface. In that case, “splat” would be pretty close to the sound (and, please, don’t ask me how I know and it’s not funny details).

    The first issue was interesting and seemed to be a mix of Superboy’s CADMUS origin, plus the Flashpoint “Subject 1” Superman with the “Young Justice” animated series mixed in (with references to the Teen Titans right off the bat). It was interested that Rose Wilson is in this series since the last pre-Flashpoint issue of Teen Titans showed Conner Kent giving her a kryptonite spike and telling her that if he ever went rouge again to killl him. “Red” is all new to me because I didn’t follow the Wildstorm titles like Gen-13, W.I.L.Dcats and Stormwatch when they first ran.

    I am glad that they kept the telekenetic powers that were unique to Conner Kent in this version, hopefully to be backed up by the development of more kryptonian powers as this clone gets exposed to yellow sunlight. Having this twist makes sense because if not a half-kryptonian, half-human clone would never be much more than “Superman, Jr.” from the old “Super-Sons” series.

    It will be interesting in seeing how this character progresses. He seems to be more pragmatic, more “Luthor-like” and mature in his thoughts than the annoying first portrayal of Conner Kent or the “pissed-off butt-hole” of the Young Justice Animated Series. So far Superboy, Detective Comics and Animal Man have been the “relaunches” that have interested me the most. The least appealing have been Green Lantern (Hal Jordan is now Peter Parker), Red Lanterns (WHHAAA????RRRRAGG???) and Deadpool…I mean Deathstroke.

  4. September 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm — Reply

    You misspelled “Tom Welling.”

  5. Jeff
    September 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm — Reply

    So, Superboy’s debut consists of killing a room full of people?

    Meh. Not very super, certainly not very Superboy.

  6. Armaan
    September 20, 2011 at 2:19 am — Reply

    As a story, this is fascinating. Heck, it didn’t have to even be Superboy and have a Teen Titans tie in for me to fascinated with, but it does, and I can’t wait to see how the books run, side by side.

  7. Shane
    September 20, 2011 at 3:29 am — Reply

    Sooo many comics and stories my brain hurts :/ Now another one I want to read. Yay for onomatopoeias!… I’d have to see it to understand what you are talking about, but I like that you give an overview and analyze it from there.

  8. Damascus
    September 21, 2011 at 4:39 am — Reply

    I like Rose’s big bucket boots, the Ravager model in a fashionable grey. Also, what’s the deal with the Penguin sized guy when Red’s adressing the troops? Like he’d seriously be let in looking like Mr. Branch from 100 Bullets (in size only, didn’t get a look at his face).

  9. The Great NateO
    September 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm — Reply

    Is it me or is the human DNA from Mr. Luthor? The way he is talking and holding himself. And I’m sure that he looked just like a Lex when everything went “Splat”

  10. Grotesk
    September 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm — Reply

    So when does HimSuperboy go off into spacethe multiverse and end up on Counter-EarthEarth-whatever where he takes the name Adam WarlockSuperman and start collecting Soul GemsPower Rings?

    • Damascus
      September 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm — Reply

      What?

  11. brenton8090
    September 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm — Reply

    Loved this issue. I’ve been a superboy fan since I was a kid reading “Life and Death of Superman” and thinking, “Cool! I want a leather jacket!” I’ve been around for several Superboy #1’s, and this is easily my favorite. Haven’t had this much fun reading the character since the original Young Justice comic. The human DNA (from a pathological narcissus with no sense of empathy) clearly comes from Luthor. Maybe S-boy’s scrawny in the VR because his BRAIN is still scrawny, not his body. Just a thought. But this is one of my favorites this week.

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