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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superboy Comics

Superboy #31

Superboy #31

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 14, 2013

Cover date: July 2014


Writer: Aaron Kuder
Penciller: Jorge Jimenez
Inker: Jorge Jimenez
Cover: Karl Kerschl & Michael Atiyeh

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Dr. Grey is having a clandestine meeting with a man named Josiah who is clouded in shadows. Dr. Grey explains that this Superboy is a time displaced version with cellular degradation and that a patient being transferred to the STAR Labs facilities with similar defects was being transferred in immediately.

Armed guards collect a metallic sarcophagus from a disguised ambulance, inside the casing is a comatose mess of purple goop.

Superboy/Jon in the meantime awakens in a shower. Surrounded by the STAR team, Jon discovers he collapsed after seeing Kon-El's ghost. The scientists have Superboy in a Neutrino shower to help him absorb some energy that his cells are over actively exhausting. Dr. Grey presents Jon with a skin tight t-shirt covered in electrics - a 'back up battery' shirt to continue the process the shower has started, at least in theory, until they can fix the issues causing Jon to degrade.

The two guards bringing in the sarcophagus decide to have some fun taking selfies with the incapacitated prisoner and, despite the trouble they could get into with ARGUS and the NSA, they joke around and decide to open the sarcophagus to take mock photos fighting with the goop, stupidly unaware it is the villain Parasite. Inside the facility Superboy puts his suit back on to cover the battery tee. Dr Grey mentions that, as well as helping Superboy, one of the STAR Labs benefactors is scouting for metahuman talent. This strikes a cord with Superboy, as it is exactly what Harvest was doing, but before he can ask more the facility is under attack from a now supercharged Parasite.

Guardian suits up and gets ready to protect the laboratory, warning the team to get to safety. Niti begs Superboy to follow them but Superboy can't stay away especially if the attacker is a metahuman. Parasite makes short work of the outer defenses and arrives in the lab before they can act. Jon watches in awe as Guardian, a human, lays his life on the line to protect them. As brave as he is Guardian is crushed under Parasite's hand so Jon races forward to help but weak and sweating Parasite laughs him off. Dr. Grey is horrified and grabs Niti, trying to get her to safety in their panic room but something about Niti draws the villain away from Jon and towards the lab assistant.

Jon picks himself up and catches a glance of Kon-El. The reflection demands that he get up and do something and so Jon does, ready for an attack. Jon rescues Niti and a starving Parasite driven by hunger grabs Jon. The monster is taken aback that Jon has the same power he does - only more powerful. Where Parasite can mirror powers and manifest as globular mass, Jon is able to enhance his powers, strengthen himself and grow stronger from metahuman energy. To ensure Parasite is completely incapacitated, Jon rips his arms and legs off with his TTK but the rush of intense power, coupled with the Neutrino bath and the battery vest, have raised Jon's consciousness in the process.

Suddenly Jon is able to theorize his own cure. Kon isn't dead, the ghost he kept seeing was Kon trying to make a telepathic connection but because Jon was so weak he couldn't break through. Jon and Kon-El meeting once more is the answer, if they can find one another they can heal each other.

To be Continued...

4Story - 4: This issue was very fast paced and a joy to read!

I loved the character interaction, something sorely lacking in this book.

The only nagging problem so far is, and this is no fault of the writer, that he has to pick up the pieces of another writer who completely obliterated the character and try to make it all work again. There are so many issues still ongoing and threads that are lost. How does Harvest dying in Teen Titans factor into this book? How has Kon-El becoming a herald for the Oracle across space and time also make him a ghost? These issues aside, I am looking forward to how Aaron Kuder is going to fix these issues. Yes, the ending seemed a little forced but I'm forgiving it in light of the issues Kuder has had forced upon him. So far, so good!

4Art - 4: The art was a bit difficult to get to grips with this issue, the anime cartoon style blended with the character moments and the action were just brilliant but entirely unexpected. I hope this will be the signature style of the book from now on. It really needs a push to stand up by itself now that it has finally severed its Teen Titans ties.

4Cover Art - 4: I like the cover but I think perhaps it's just a bit Parasite heavy. I would like Superboy to have been the more dominant figure. It's brilliantly colored and inked well, but to me it's the composition that is a tad disappointing.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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