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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superboy Comics

Superboy #1

Superboy #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 12, 2011

Cover date: December 2011

"Superboys and Their Toys"

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciller: R. B. Silva
Inker: Rob Lean
Cover: Eric Canete with Nick Filardi

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

We go back one month to immediately after the massacre in the N.O.W.H.E.R.E lab. The Superboy feels guilt for the murders and Red tries her hardest to convince him it was a self defense mechanism because he felt threatened.

Colonel Maudlin and his security team arrive and attempt to take charge and contain the clone. Red comforts the clone and assures him he needn't worry about Maudlin. Superboy then does something unexpected... he smirks. His personality becomes quite cold and analytical. Tactile telekinesis in full force he levitates the armed troops in mid air and disassembles their armor to examine their offenses, defenses and physical attributes. Then, as before, he begins to damage them from the inside.

Unseen by Superboy and the armed force, Red grabs the clone from behind and knocks him unconscious. As the troops recover, Red mumbles that she'd forgotten how painful an act of force like that could be, lying to Maudlin that Superboy has a genetic 'circuit breaker' if he ever went overboard.

Now, in the present, Superboy is being prepped for a mission to capture the Teen Titans. Red is having a war of words with her boss, Zaniel Templar, who is sure Superboy is ready to go to work for them. Rose agrees, upon approaching she reminds Red that just because he wears the shield and shares part of the genetics - he isn't a Superboy, he's a product, a killer and property of N.O.W.H.E.R.E.

A dropship departs with the team aboard. PEN 51, an alien criminal holding facility has been breached, Superboy and Rose are charged with restoring order during a riot. Zaniel watches the frosty interaction between Rose and Superboy and points out to Caitlin/Red that Rose doesn't molly coddle the clone like Red does.

Superboy instructs Rose to stay aboard the dropship while he deals with the situation (though he knows Zaniel is lying). Rose informs him that she isn't their to hog the glory, instead, she is there to keep him in line. As the pair depart Zaniel reveals that PEN 51 and the riot was a falsity.

Rose and Superboy investigate the facility only to find everyone dead except for three "inmates". Superboy uses his TTK as a means to scan the facility with his mind and reads the trio heading right for them to attack!

Superboy admits to himself that he doesn't really understand the concept of a 'killer' despite Red's tutoring. If the inmates are killers they should be stopped, but Rose is a killer and she should not? Superboy resigns himself to following N.O.W.H.E.R.E's directives until he can gain his freedom.

The trio attack and Superboy slams one of the shark men into a wall. Rose attempts to help but is grabbed quickly and Superboy endures a beating. As he faces defeat Superboy begins to lose his analytics and screams internally in Kryptonian.

The shark that grabbed Rose is dispatched by some vicious headshots from Rose's handgun. But little victories on both sides are short lived. Superboy is unconscious, beaten to a pulp by a metal door. Instead of silence TTK suddenly spikes, the facility shudders and a black hole effect begins.

Zaniel orders Rose back to the dropship ignoring Red's protests.

PEN 51 is imploding and if they don't hurry the ship will be going with it.

3Story - 3: MEH. After such a strong start we're immediately slapped in the face with a crossover, (I DID read Teen Titans and it didn't really link with this book except for using the exact same climax) and the jumping about in the book is frustrating enough without going to another book too. Also, when the heck did the PEN 51 mission happen, before the match with the Teen Titans or after?

I like that the cast is expanding and that Zaniel is more of a team leader, I like the animosity with Rose, I even like the mystery of Caitlin/Red, Maudlin seemed interesting. I however was very surprised to find I really disliked Superboy. I liked the personality flips between his kryptonian and human side, however, Lobdell already established his human donor is someone not very nice (possibly Luthor, possibly not) but this cold, inhuman personality seems the most dominant and it makes Superboy come off as a bit of an ass.

Also don't play with readers with falsity. I saw the book cover and I expected that Nanuae, the King Shark - one of Superboy's deadliest enemies - was going to be in the story, but it was a bait and switch.

4Art - 4: Last issue felt far fresher, the scene with Superboy being flipped backwards was repeated, like bad stock footage. That could have been a creative decision but it just didn't sit right. I like seeing Superboy in his Tron suit, he looks pretty cool but there just seemed to be a lot going on and nothing Silva could really focus on. I'm used to him delivering much better but I don't lay the blame at his door.

3Cover Art - 3: A nice action shot but I never really pictured Hugo Weaving as Superboy. Joking aside, though I liked the cover I am a bit miffed that it evoked an excitement that King Shark was back in the book and then I read it.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2011

February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011

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