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Cover date: May 2012
Writer: Scott Lobdell and Tom DeFalco
Penciller: R. B. Silva & Iban Coella
Inker: Iban Coella
Cover: Shane Davis with Sandra Hope and Barbara Ciardo
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Centerhall and his team of soldiers blindside the teenager with a deadly attack. Superboy shrugs it off (though more from bravado than ability) and shows them no mercy. Brushing the team aside the teen ends his retaliation by kicking Centerhall into a wall.
Somewhere in the facility a being named Danny The Street tries to warn Superboy to turn back but he shrugs off the illusions and the street scene he walked into morphs back into steel corridors. Superboy, unsure if Centerhall's attack has made him imagine things, stumbles into the lab he was born in and when he examines his birthing matrix he discovers the digits 02. Was he the second attempt to clone this Kal-El character?
Watching from CCTV an evil shadowy being watches from a throne and is surprised that it's taken Superboy seven months to get to his revelation. The shadowy villain's sidekick Fuji enquires whether he should intervene but is hushed as Rose reenters the fight.
Rose takes advantage of Kon-El's lack of concentration and kicks him hard in the lower back. Focus is the source of Superboy's power and when he loses it he is powerless. Swearing revenge for Caitlin's death Rose shoots Superboy in the face with a pulse pistol packing synthetic Kryptonite. Superboy doesn't have a chance to explain Caitlin is safe, alive and well before enduring the blow and crashing into the rubble.
The Kryptonite didn't work, at least not this strain and Superboy rises ready and cocky to take Rose on again. Again Rose takes advantage of Superboy's lack of focus plunging a sword right through his chest.
When he awakens he finds feigning unconsciousness an advantage as he is strapped to a table and listening in to a conversation between Director Templar and Centerhall. He learns his containment suit is indeed self repairing but also that he has severe internal injuries and worst of all no Tactile Telekinesis field and without it, none of his abilities and sensory capabilities that he's had since 'birth', literally crippling the teen.
With his field gone he is now vulnerable to the final clone stage - dissection. Zaniel is hopeful that whatever secrets reside in Kon-El's body could help him with his 'condition'. Activating some machines Centerhall and Templar prepare Superboy for dissection.
Elsewhere Caitlin wakes up with a start in Detective Jocelyn Lure's apartment. Dazed and disorientated Caitlin barrages her host with questions. Jocelyn tries to calm her explaining that she had befriended Superboy when he visited the public library and that he had asked her to watch over his friend. Caitlin is enraged, for two years she had planned and plotted within N.O.W.H.E.R.E and Superboy had ruined all of her plans.
Back in N.O.W.H.E.R.E Rose is packed and ready to sneak out. She hears Superboy's terrified screams as he is being ripped apart but turns her back. From the shadows Wonder Girl appears and smashes Rose in the face vowing to take Superboy with her - dead or alive.
To be Continued...
Story - 2: The scene with Caitlin and Jocelyn really pulled me out of the story. Why? When did Superboy meet her, decide Jocelyn above everyone else he had met EVER was trustworthy and then plot with her to care for Caitlin after liberating Red from the convoy? The answer is NEVER yet it's a specific part of the story relying on key scenes we never saw.
The rest of the book fares pretty poorly with lots of banging, crashing, fighting, lots and lots of robomen. Superman IV style power use of TTK, a pointless cameo only noticeable because the editor pointed it out and character development of the ensemble cast only. I'm sure the book was called Superboy maybe the mysteries and MUHAHA evilness of culling superteens for an evil hooded man on a throne will take a sidestep soon and we'll get to know Superboy as a person, hero and icon rather than a lab experiment with angst and a love of inner monologues.
I can appreciate Tom DeFalco has his work cut out for him but his rescue attempt last issue, though welcome, really needs to step up to make this title worth reading. All I see the book as right now is a tie in to Teen Titans and Ravagers not a book in its own right. DC is constantly pushing 'to be continued in a completely different book' on every final page so far and that's getting infuriating both as a reviewer and a consumer.
Art - 4: I like the art, I know some don't like the cartoony style but it's a genuine plus point. As time has gone on it's really become a comfort especially with the story being bad. I only knock a point off because of two things. One, the CGI coloring showing Superboy's powers, the lush artwork doesn't need it. Two, the switching between artists is noticeable and slightly jerky. I feel it would have been a more solid offering had it not been a shared effort.
Cover Art - 4: Another cool cover but maybe a better scene would be Superboy by his pod in shock that he is number two because Kon being beaten to a pulp has been done quite a bit already.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2012.