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...
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.