Friday, September 16, 2011

Superboy #1

And here's my first look at the “new” Superboy as written by Scott Lobdell. Lobdell is probably best known in comic book circles as the writer of Uncanny X-Men for an extended amount of time, a run on X-Men and the first 30 or so issues of Generation X. The problem here is that all of that work took place in the mid-1990's. Since that time Lobdell really hasn't done anything of note in the mainstream comic industry, at least to my knowledge. If that's incorrect, I'm sure somebody will set me straight. Now Lobdell is writing three of DC's rebooted series, even though he hasn't been in the mainstream in a good 15 years. The moral of this story? It's nice to have friends in high places...

Superboy #1:

What Happened: A group called NOWHERE has managed to create a human/Kryptonian hybrid that they have named Superboy after the source of the Kryptonian DNA they used to create SB. We aren't told where the human DNA comes from, but since DC is under the impression that Geoff Johns shits gold, it's pretty obvious. Anyway, the doctor in charge of the SB project thinks he's failed since SB hasn't responded to anything(which is due to the fact that SB doesn't use his brain to think, but his entire body...) and decides to terminate SB, while one of the doctors, Red, strongly disagrees. Red is apparently a telepath and yells in SB's head to fight back before he dies, which he does, killing all of the doctors, except for Red, who had been outside the room when SB broke out. Fast forward a month and now Red is in charge of the experiment and is running SB through a virtual reality program to get him used to being around people. SB knows he's in a VR program and acts aloof and unsympathetic to the plight of others, which annoys Red since she couldn't understand why he wasn't more like Superman. Before Red can “fix” Superboy, her boss, some guy named Templar arrives at the base and wants SB released and put on the Teen Titans to presumably kill them all. SB seems fine with that idea since it means he'd finally have some freedom.

The Good: Rose Wilson was in this comic as a member of NOWHERE, as well as SB's friend in the VR program. SB himself is shown to be quite strong(well, his TK is), which is nice, since the pre-reboot SB was never quite as strong as you'd have expected. Templar seemed interesting.

The Bad: Pretty much everything else... SB was more Lex Luthor than Superman, and had none of the personality here that made him one of my favorite characters pre-reboot. We learn nothing about NOWHERE, except that they have a really big base, are into genetic experimentation and seem to listen to this Templar guy, who hates the Teen Titans for some reason... Which is a bit confusing since DC hasn't even released Teen Titans #1 yet! Shouldn't Teen Titans #1 have come out first, and then this series? And of course there's the whole, “Superboy doesn't need to think with his brain, he can think through his entire body!” thing. I can't even begin to explain how a being that's half human does THAT.

The Verdict: Well, Scott Lobdell is writing five of my favorite DC characters in the new DCU(Superboy, Red Robin, Kid Flash, Arsenal and Jason Todd), and I'd say his first shot with one of them as a swing and a miss. There just wasn't anything here that made me like or even care about Superboy. He just didn't come across as likable and he had zero personality. I guess he was a little bit flirty with Rose, but that was the extent of SB's personality. If this was almost any of other the rebooted DCU comic books, I'd definitely be dropping it after reading this. But since this IS Superboy(in a way...), I'll be sticking around, crossing my fingers and hoping things get better...

Score: 4 out of 10.It wouldn't be a Superboy comic if SB wasn't floating in a tube in his black briefs.


  1. Wow, I enjoyed this and you HATED it! Lol, I gotta say I'm shocked, but I'd attribute that more to you being set in your ways about how SB should be, as you mentioned. I see him more as a clone that will gain a personality, kinda how they portrayed him on the Young Justice cartoon, so for that reason alone I was able to overlook how cold he was here. Plus, he came off like a bad ass with all his powers instead of crying about WG and lusting after Tim for entire issues...

  2. JT, I was shocked after I read this! I was seriously expecting to enjoy it after what you told me! But yeah, for me it was that he wasn't the SB I knew and enjoyed, so that was pretty jarring to me. There were some flashes of the real SB here(flirting with Rose), but for the most part he was like a robot or something. When he came out of the lab the first time(after Supes death), he had more of a personality, and back then he was a brand new character... I'm just hoping that some interaction with the Teen Titans will fix him up. Hopefully...

    "instead of crying about WG and lusting after Tim for entire issues..." But that's the SB I like! :D

  3. Lol, I think that's what will happen actually, he'll get around the Titans and get humanized a bit and become more persona and less automaton or autonomotomoton as Dale says. But yeah, I enjoyed this, maybe it was the way he actually seemed intelligent instead of just a strong teenager, and I enjoyed that. Oh, and you do know Red is that chick from Gen13 right?

  4. He was too Lex and not enough Supes to me. Plus, like we both pretty much said, I've read a MESS of SB comics. The entire solo series(100 issues), the full YJ run(50-ish issues), the new SB series(12 issues), the full Teen Titans run(prob about 60 issues), Superboy and the Ravers(about 18 issues) plus guest appearances in Supes, Robin, events, etc. as well as the various annuals. So for me it's harder to accept a character named Superboy who is SO different than Superboy. But yeah, I'm def hoping he grows as a person and becomes more like the sarcastic, at times self-absorbed SB again soon.

    If you wouldn't have mentioned it to me yesterday, I'd have had no idea that's who she was. I guess it makes sense, since DC is trying to pull over the Wildstorm characters, it would have been nice if they actually came out and said it though since most DC fans would have no clue who she was or why they should care!


  6. hmmmmmmmm........ i just dont care about this a all i read it wasent bad to me but not even close to good enough to buy it....... (well very little is im only getting
    The Savage Hawkman
    Red hood and the outlaws
    Justice league (wasnt gonna get it but my comic shop owner kinda bribed me in to geting it... so ill be geting the first saga for jim lee's art if nothing else)
    thing is i hold comic art in a much higher place than i think u do and all thease books have incredible art had any of them (cept batwoman)have leser artist i probley wouldnt be geting them)
    back o superboy if u didnt know RED is in fact caitlin fairchild
    from gen 13 :O

  7. HA!!! That's no surprise to me! I think deep down we ALL knew the truth... :D I do have to say that that art was alarmingly good though...

    The fact that your comic shop owner basically bribed you into picking up JL kind of made me laugh, Movieartman. "Buy this comic... Or else!!" :D Aquaman, Hawkman and JL I could care less about, and I'm definitely going to be getting and sticking with Red Hood no matter how bad it is, but Batwoman is a series I'd be interested in hearing your take on if ya don't mind. I mean I've only ever heard good things about the Batwoman arc in Detective Comics pre-reboot, and I've always been intrigued by the character, so I'd be curious to hear what you thought about that one.