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.
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
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?
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.