Saturday, February 5, 2011

Comic Book Review: Superboy #4

Written By: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Pier Gallo
Colorist: Jaime Grant
Cover Artist: Eddy Barrows, J.P. Mayer, & Jaime Grant
Letterer: John J. Hill
Editor: Matt Idelson

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
You have got to be kidding me!  You know I pride myself in being able to pick up on the clues giving by writers in stories.  Whether it be film, novels, comics, or whatever, I think I’m pretty darn good at it.  But even predictability doesn’t necessarily mean the story will be bad.  Neil Gaiman proved that with his phenomenal novel “Anansi Boys.”  Superboy started off with a bang, being predictable but still very good.  #4 seems to be a step backwards in the wrong direction.  And after I got done laughing at this issue, I sat back and found myself wondering if I should continue picking this series up.

So the story picks up where we left off last month.  A new character from the future, Psionic Lad, enters into Superboy’s time and life followed by a band of techno-cops ready to take the lad back into their custody.  Superboy, always quick to act and not to think, saves the day and brings our brain-wave kid to safety.  But, as is always with comics, we must always be wary of new people.

So first, let me say what I did like about this issue.  The side story with the Hallow Men, which began back in issue #1, is beginning to build up enough momentum to keep me interested.  And how Lemire has pulled Psionic Lad into the general framework of this story is a great way to keep continuity steady and strong; points to Lemire for that.

What I don’t like is how awfully predictable this issue feels.  When Psionic Lad made his appearance last month, my first thought was, “Oh man, he’s a bad guy!”  Of course I thought a monkey wrench would be thrown into the story and I would be taken by surprise at PL’s purpose.  Sadly, the final page confirmed I was right about who the bad guy is.  I’m sure many of you are saying, “well just be patient Jimmy, maybe he’s not actually the bad guy.”  Which, if this is true, would only mean that the heroes of the future wanted some aspect of their lives changed, and which could only occur through Superboy’s death; hence sending Psionic Lad to the future to complete the task.  Very predictable and annoying if you ask me.

But let’s address the high school drama motif permeating in this issue.  I like a good romance just as much as the next guy, (Do most guys like romance?) but Lemire is making this series out as some after-school special.  Superboy is too incredibly trusting and too much of a boy-scout for my tastes.  I can only hope that next month provides more substance to counter this issue’s poor progression.

Pier Gallo might be put on my “most hated comic book artists of all time” list.  The inconsistency in his artwork sends jolts up my spine.  In some cases, Gallo puts together some incredibly impressive pieces, while the majority of the time characters feel exceptionally wooden and dull.  But this isn’t helped by Jaime Grant’s poor coloring qualities as every page seems to have a blended look to it, making everything feel like it’s has a shade of yellow and tan. 

But if you’re one of those fans who loves collecting comic books because of the amazing covers, this book is a definite keeper.  In fact, I would say it’s the only redeeming factor of this issue.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but I hate seeing a series start off so well only to plummet so quickly.  I’m going to continue to pick this series up because the Hallow Men story line seems very interesting.  But if it doesn’t pick up after that…bye bye Superboy!

2 out of 10

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