Written by JEFF LEMIRE;
Art by PIER GALLO;
Cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
1:10 Variant cover by JOHN CASSADAY
On Sale November 3, 2010
DC Comics, 32pg., Color, $2.99 US
I really wish I had better news. When I saw the cover of this comic, I really thought I might like it. After reading Superman: Earth One, the first issue of the newly relaunched Superboy pales in comparison.
This reboot of the Superboy series will most likely confuse the uneducated or casual comic book reader. Heck, it even tricked me. I was thinking this was going to be the adventures of Clark Kent when he was a kid. Sort of like Smallville but with the suit. Well, it isn’t. This is a new take on on the Connor Kent / Kon-El / Superboy tale that we were first exposed to in 1994.
Connor was cloned from the DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor. He lives with Martha Kent on the family farm in Smallville. If you find it hard to believe that people can’t tell Clark Kent is Superman when he changes from wearing glasses and a business suit into his superhero costume, then you’re going to have serious issues with how Connor changes his appearance. He goes from wearing an opened button-down shirt and light yellow t-shirt to a black t-shirt with a red “S” symbol on it and no glasses. He even keeps on his same pants and brown boots. Honestly, I find it ridiculous. His partner-in-crimefighting is Krypto the Superdog. Isn’t that exciting?
The story for this flagship issue of Superboy is pretty lackluster. The villain is Parasite who (although I know he first appeared in the 1960s) to me resembles a big purple monster that is a cross between Doomsday (sans all the cool spikes) colored purple and wearing a diaper and the Abomination from The Incredible Hulk. This beast just walks around Smallville knocking stuff about and sucking the life out of farm animals. Now for the educated and up-to-date Superboy fans out there maybe the acceptance of Parasite just appearing out of nowhere is alright. However, for new fans who are younger or maybe just being exposed to the Superboy lore there is no explanation given as to where this giant bulk has come from or why. The climax of the book comes when the creature runs into Connor (in the middle of downtown Smallville, of course) and they battle it out. The ending is even more ludicrous than the whole story sounds.
If what was trying to be accomplished with this relaunch or reboot of Superboy was making the characters act and appear more relevant or hip to appeal to the youth of today, then it’s an absolute failure in my book. The clothing definitely doesn’t look trendy or contemporary. As a matter of fact, Clark wears his jeans with a belt pulled up to his bellybutton and tucks in his t-shirt in and out of “costume.” Not cool at all. I mean, at least make Superboy cool, right?
The art for Superboy #1 is what I would call adequate for the project. It looks good but isn’t anything award-winning. The drawing gets the job done and the coloring is competent.
Personally, Superboy #1 doesn’t cut it for me. There’s nothing about this premiere issue that makes me want to pick up the next one. The whole concept and idea behind this relaunch just seems unnecessary and uninspired.