Zero Hour week continues as young Superboy takes to the skies to defend his world in the Arena… er… Countdown Battlefield!
Previously in Superboy: Conner Kent is a genetically engineered superhuman cloned from the DNA of Paul Westfield of Cadmus Labs. In the pre-Zero Hour universe, this kid is going to grow up to be one of the best, or one of the worst supers that ever was.
BIFF! BAM! POW!
I never really liked Kon-El. I thought his antics, need to be right all the time, and hot headedness were a real turn off in the early days of his series. I would take him over Cyborg Superman, but the whole Reign of the Supermen was an attempt to lead readers down a path only to return Superman to his rightful place months later. Kon-El would later grown on me when he toned his act down and got out of his teenage years – interestingly around the same time he became a member of the Teen Titans. Maybe he works better as a team player than a stand alone hero…
This issue finds Conner completely on his own under the dome, and though it has been a year, the ’90s angst is in full effect as he mopes about wanting to be like Superman, and getting irate when Cadmus Labs can’t figure out how to power him up. Then, when the dome does come down, he falls right into the Inexperienced Heroes Trap set up by a group of heroes who have decades more experience than he does; the Kingdom Come team of Superman, Flash, and Red Robin. Even when Superman tells Conner to stand down so both cities could survive, Conner is ready to throw down. It’s interesting that Superman would tell Conner to stand down as the other Kingdom Come heroes seem ready to kill everyone in the Justice League International.
I would really love to see the Convergence Bible for this series, because there seems to be so many events contradicting each other again and again through the individual books and the spine book. While I’m sure juggling a major project like this during the time of great turmoil in the company is a humongous task, and one I would not want to take on, I would love to discover the justifications for why Conner and the Justice League were never in contact with one another.
All story event mayhem aside, the story okay and save for the whole Convergence confusion, I wouldn’t mind reading a few more issues of this Superboy just to see how he has or has not been adjusting to the year under the dome.
IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE
I remember reading Superboy comics back in the day, and I don’t remember Conner looking so beef-cakey – a little too broad of shoulder and thick of neck if you ask me. The issue has more than a few issues with perspective being off for the sake of keeping symbols proportional. I know, I know, minor issues considering the art in the issue is alright overall. I do like that panels are crammed with “stuff”, whether it be urban decay and crowded streets or the tree filled groves of Metropolis Park.
BOTTOM LINE: SKIP IT
Unless you have a deep nostalgia for Conner Kent before Zero Hour, there isn’t really much in this issue that you can’t get from reading Convergence: Justice League International #1. The writing and art is fine, and really above average compared to other issues released this week. The element that makes this issue fall flat over all is that this issue doesn’t feel like anything has happened. It doesn’t feel like there has been a year of growth and change for any of the characters. It just feels like they’ve been spinning their wheels for nothing. I don’t see the “oh, look how they’ve adjusted or grown during the last year” moments that we have seen in other books. As a reader, I feel no sympathy for the characters, nor do I get overly excited when Superboy gets his powers back. Buy it if you must, but this is an issue that you could really skip.
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