Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: DCNew52, RBSilva, RobLean, ScottLobdell, Superboy, Superman
Wow, Superboy is pretty damn good! Don’t just expect that because this isn’t Clark Kent that you can write this off as being a poor man’s Super comic, or even one aimed at kids, this is some seriously good stuff – and I totally wasn’t expecting it.
This #1 is taking us right back to the start of Superboy, which is good, because I didn’t really know much about him other than he was some kind of Superman clone (or at least that’s what DC eventually ended up with after a number of years saying it was “early” Superman stories). We’re given a taste of exactly how Superboy came to be, and in this case, a sense of how scary that is. Not knowing much about the previous Superboy, I can’t really compare and tell you if he’s any different, but I do certainly find him a little more dangerous than I had expected.
It’s this element of not quite knowing what he’s capable of (since he isn’t just all Superman) that makes this such an interesting read. Both the reader and the scientist that are prodding him get the impression that he’s got a lot going on that we don’t know yet, and we’re scared to push him too far in case it all goes wrong. There’s elements of this that remind me of the Project Superman tie-in from Flashpoint – it was one of the few tie-ins that I enjoyed, mainly because it wasn’t really about Superman saving the day, but instead the human race trying to get their heads around how this alien is different from us.
There’s a lot of questioning of morals throughout this book, and it’s made all the more creepy because it’s told from the mind of Superboy (or what ever it is he does his thinking with). His computer-like brain deals with everything in a very cold and logical fashion – and because we know what the other 50% of his DNA is made up of, we’re just waiting to see which path he takes. Of course, we know that he’s going to end up in the Teen Titans (both the issue itself and the cover to TT gives that away) but is he going to be the hero we think he is when he gets there? I’m curious how that Teen Titans book will work and whether the Superboy comic will be what Action Comics is to Superman – i.e. set at a much earlier time. I’d quite like it if the two titles were linked together and taking place at the same time, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Of course, the other reason I enjoyed this comic so much was it’s stunning artwork from R.B. Silva and Rob Lean. The thick black lines round everything gives it a very Manga feel to it. It’s quite cartoony, but not so much that you feel like you’re reading a kids book, especially with the kind of subject matter that’s being dealt with here. The N.O.W.H.E.R.E labs have a very cool look to them – it’s very futuristic and their scientists all wear hi-tech mechanical body armour suits. The brief interruption from inside the lab helps cement the Manga look and feel with it’s drawn in expressions of love (hearts) and surprise (lines) alongside its simple ‘boy like girl’ storyline.
I’ve got high hopes for this book now – my concerns of being too old to read the likes of this and Teen Titans have been washed away by this stunning first issue. It might be a little too early to call (having not read all 13 from this week) but so far this is my favourite of the bunch.
Now let’s go read some Batwoman.
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