Thursday, November 4, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superboy #1

Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciller: Pier Gallo
Colorist: Jaime Grant
Letterer: John J. Hill
Cover Art: Rafael Albuquerque
Editor: Matt Idelson

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
If you’ve been following Superman since the early 80’s or early 90’s, you’d know that the Superman family has gone through some drastic changes and heavy incarnations.  Supergirl and Superboy in particular have been met with numerous variations such as clones, rebirths, and alternate realities where the paradox of time and space collide with our own reality, making it impossible to know if we’ll ever have a permanent Superboy or Supergirl.  Jeff Lemire seems to have recognized this flaw within the DCU and has given us a Superboy that will forever remain as such……Until the next crisis of course.

A lot of material is thrown at us with this first issue; Superboy is met by the Phantom Stranger, a kid let’s Conner know his secret is not very well kept, the parasite goes on a rampage of Smallville, Poison Ivy makes a guest appearance, and the small, pleasant town seems to be undergoing some violent changes.  Could you ask for a more compact first issue?  (Grant Morrison, please don’t answer that.)  But with the amount of plot the issue carries, I personally never felt overwhelmed by it.

There’s always a lingering fear for me when it comes to the teenaged superhero books; being almost 29 years old, I’ve moved past the high school drama of old where I worried if I was going to get a date for the weekend, or if my peers would think me weird for the type of person I am.  Supergirl’s current run started out that way, and I hated it.  But this first issue presents Conner’s high school lifestyle as a fleeting after thought.  Yeah he’s still going to deal with these issues, but it won’t be at the heart of this title.  However it will be fun to see if anything does come of this obvious crush Lori Luthor has on Conner.  How else could we piss off ol’ Lexy huh?

The name “Superboy” shouldn’t deter you from actually picking up this book.  He may still be a boy, but the level of maturity Conner displays in dealing with life exceeds your typical high school graduate.  He seems to be a very humble and level headed individual whose only concern is to live his life in the best way possible and not dwell on the fact that he is a test tube lab experiment, birthed from the combined DNA of Metropolis’ two greatest foes.  It will be nice not to endure another 24 issues watching Conner Kent go on a journey of “self-discovery,” trying to find his place in the world in moody and unrelenting methods.  (No offense to you Sterling Gates, Supergirl is one of my favorite titles…please don’t leave!!!)

As well rounded as the writing is, I can’t say the same for Pier Gallo’s artwork.  I pride myself in my artistic abilities and I can say without a doubt that I would have been a better pick for the penciling.  There were moments of “above-averageness,” but overall I was not impressed and almost underwhelmed.  But not all of the blame should go to Gallo as the color scheme by Jaime Grant is even less appealing with the hint of yellowish tints flowing throughout everything that is white…even the character’s eye-whites and teeth.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
The story might just be the best start to a title I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.  This was simply a superhero story signifying a new chapter in the life of one of comic’s more underestimated character.  This will be a fine addition to the DC monthly line-up.  Let’s hope a new artist is found, and fast!

Rating: 6.66 out of 10
Writing: 8
Art: 3
Themes: 9

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Jimmy - The art was actually what stopped me ordering this book. I was all for it and the Phantom Stranger but then the preview hit... still glad to see the story still shone though!