This one was a genuinely pleasant surprise – I picked it up mostly thanks to Wolverina’s recent nostalgia fest on the How I Got My Boyfriend Into Comics podcast, because I haven’t read Superboy since his original 90’s reboot run. After a series of dull, by the numbers comics from DC this month I was delighted to find a dynamic story with a narrative that genuinely feels modern and fresh, despite starting the character from his origin point.
Who knew? It can be done!
Superboy himself is an intriguing central character considering that he doesn’t actually do anything much beyond hang around in his cloning vat for this issue. His voice comes through clearly, though, sardonic and quietly angry, observing the scientists who are making decisions about him, not for him. We also get some cool female characters – ‘Red,’ the scientist in charge of Superboy’s care, two versions of ‘Rose,’ the sarcastic indie teen girl designed to interest him, as well as the adult she is based on, and even in a few tantalising panels, a very sharp Lois Lane.
There are clever moments throughout the script which kept me very interested, particularly the implications that there is something very wrong with this Superboy when it comes to empathy (and I’m hoping that what is implied about his human donor is true). What’s the point of a superhero who doesn’t see the point of saving people? I guess we’ll find out!
Superboy #1 is shaping up to be a smart piece of YA SF with appropriate but not overwhelming angsty bits, and I’m genuinely excited about where it’s going. Hooray! Of course this does mean I’m going to have to pick up Teen Titans, too, but that was probably inevitable.
VERDICT: finally, a comic that doesn’t insult my intelligence, and knows how to make set up interesting. I’m on board!