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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventure Comics #12 Adventure Comics #12

Adventure Comics #12

[Original Numbering: #515]

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 2, 2010

Cover date: August 2010

"Playing Hooky"

Writer: Paul Levitz
Penciller: Kevin Sharpe
Inker: Marlo Alquiza and Marc Deering

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Jonathan Kent asks his wife if she has seen Clark. Apparently Clark got his chores done early and didn't say good-bye before leaving. His costume is gone, so Jonathan thinks that his son is getting some practice in. Martha doesn't think so and shows Jonathan the note written by Clark saying that he is playing hooky.

In the Time Bubble bound for the 31st Century Brainiac is curious why Superboy would choose to play hooky instead of going to school to learn. Superboy explains that he doesn't like going to school because he has to hide who he really is. More than anything he wanted to avoid homecoming because as a freshmen he would be top on the list to be hazed but that doesn't matter. He has his own list anyway. Once in the future he has an awkward moment with Saturn Girl before she leads him on a tour of Metropolis, which was the first item on that list.

Meanwhile the rest of the Legion is dealing with a cruiser that has crashed. Apparently the cruiser was bound for the Science Police Academy on Mars where there is an attack of the Red Plague has broken out. It needs to get there as fast as possible and Colossal Boy believes that Superboy might be the answer to their problem. Coincidentally this coincides with the second item on Superboy's list, which is to test his powers. While he is initially concerned that he might not be able to survive in space once he escapes Earth's atmosphere Superboy not only feels more confident but also feels that the sunshine is stronger and better somehow. He gets the vaccine to the Academy much to the surprise of the doctors waiting for it.

Next on the list is to play a game of ball without holding back and the Legion is happy to help. At first Superboy is confident that he'll win but the Legion proves to be harder to beat than he thought. Phantom Girl even bets him a kiss that he can't beat them. In the middle of the game Superboy spots trouble at Legion headquarters and succeeds in putting out a fire started in a lab accident that was in danger of reaching the main reactor.

Later the Legion helps with the next item on the list, which was having fun at a party. Superboy is impressed with the party the Legion is able to put together but runs into trouble when the kiss Phantom Girl gives him causes his heat vision to kick in uncontrollably. The party is a success, though, and Saturn Girl "drives" Superboy back home with a Time Bubble. Clark is met by his father who asks if he had a good day. Clark replies that it was a perfect day and his father is happy for him but asks that Clark not make a habit of playing hooky. They head back to the house where Clark fulfills the final item on his list, which is, "Be myself."

4Story - 4: You know, I fully expected to dislike this issue based on the cover. I mean I liked the cover. I really did. I'm even giving it a good review but that part of me that "grew up" on a Superman that did not have a boyhood connection to the Legion of Super-Heroes had some problems. I am actively trying to fight this because it's not fair to hold such a thing against the creators of the book in question. I should judge a book based on the quality of art and writing not on preconceived notions of Superman's past.

Based on the quality of both this "Playing Hooky" was an enjoyable story. Levitz has been turning in some great stories lately and it is nice to see that his skills as a writer are still top notch. It is also very nice to see that he hasn't lost his touch with the Legion. He had a defining run with that group and even though I am still a little put off by DC turning back the clock when it comes to bringing back the elements of the universe (or I guess multi-verse) undone by the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Levitz makes it easier to take with stories like this.

My favorite aspect of this issue was the sheer delight Clark felt by going to the future. Levitz kept that list thing that Geoff Johns started but I enjoyed this version of a young Superboy visiting the 31st Century more than I did the one from SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #2. This Clark was a less whiny and while he had his share of alienation (no pun intended) it didn't make him obnoxious. It didn't overwhelm the story and we got to see Superboy having fun with kids around his own age who have special abilities.

This issue had some neat moments. I liked seeing Clark's first trip into space and how Levitz framed that with showing how back in his own time Clark wasn't even allowed to leave the county. I really liked the baseball scene, especially how his victory wasn't assured even though I think using invisibility is cheating. Then there was the question of Clark and the opposite sex. The scene where Clark was having...impure thoughts in front of Saturn Queen made me chuckle because it was very subtle. Then there was the blushing on Clark's part when Phantom Girl and Triplicate Girl being free with the public displays of affection. I thought this scene was smile worthy as well though I admit that I am still annoyed that the whole SMALLVILLE, heat vision kicking up when Clark gets all excited thing is still being used. Sure I was a little uncomfortable with every available female Legionnaire wanting to throw themselves at the Boy of Steel, but again it wasn't truly overt or as overt as it could have been, so I let it go.

Oh, and I found the whole cockroach thing kind of amusing as well. Hate those things.

This issue turned out to be a real treat to read. While I have had a number of problems with how DC has been handling Superman over the past few years I don't really have any issues with Superboy being introduced back into the mix and if you are going to bring back Superboy you might as well bring back his connection to the Legion. If this is how that "reunion" is going to be treated I won't have too much to complain about.

4Art - 4: The artwork in this issue was crisp and clean and felt modern while also having a classic feel to it though I am fairly sure that had a lot to do with the old-school Legion costumes. Part of me feels that the old outfits should get a revamp but I believe this is part of the whole wanting to bring back the iconic look of the old DC with a modern twist thing that the company has been doing lately. In any case I dug the art and thought that it added a lot to my enjoyment of the story.

4Cover Art - 4: This is a solid cover. Sure it's a group shot but it's a really good group shot and worthy of a poster or T-shirt. To me this is the best cover in months.

4Variant Cover Art - 4: This is a nice piece of art and I am guessing this is part of the whole 75th Anniversary celebration thing where the variant cover is a "cover" of previous, classic cover. I know what you are thinking. How many times can Mike write the word cover in a sentence? Apparently the answer to that question is three. In any case for once I really liked the variant cover and I am glad, at least for this month, that they went away from the grid format.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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