Friday, March 16, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on Superboy #7

I have something kind of dirty to admit this week... I actually kind of enjoyed reading “Superboy.” When I read the initial solicitations, I had a feeling like it might play out this way. I also think since this might be the only time such an event happens, I should probably review this issue.

When last we left The Superboy, he was barreling his way to a secret N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility. He beat the snot out of the new combined forces of the Teen Titans, then confronted Rose Wilson and a bunch of the agents on his way to deliver a smackdown to his current handlers slash creators. Why it has suddenly occurred to him to attack the evil organization, I can’t tell you. I think it would have been a better idea to trash the place when you first woke up or when you’re red headed doctor hottie became super strong and went berserk. But I guess The Superboy isn’t very bright. Or we can blame it on his newly cloned brain still learning how things work. I don’t really know (or care?) but Superboy’s motivations should be clearly established so we as readers can get behind him. It’s pretty hard to relate to a character who seems very resistant to establishing emotional connections and has no clearly established purpose. I feel a little bit like I’m reading about a teenage version of The Hulk who hasn’t turned green yet.

I’m getting off topic. Let’s talk about The Superboy’s progress. He’s finally inside the facility now. The director of security guy - he reminds me a lot of The Guardian from Project Cadmus from the “Death of Superman” era - tries to stop him with a crapload of security dudes. They have guns that can down a tank (really!? Because even in comic book terms, I kind of don’t believe them) and they have the element of surprise. They blast him, but Superboy tosses them around like ragdolls anyway. It’s interesting to note that he gets hurt here. He also doesn’t immediately recover; it seems to really have a negative impact on him. There’s also this really strange moment where reality shifts, I guess because another character is in N.O.W.H.E.R.E. either manipulating the enviornment or altering The Superboy’s perceptions. Still, it’s a weird few panels that don’t really go with the rest of the issues. Dear editors at DC Comics: If you’re not going to show this character who is doing this thing or explain why he’s doing, I don’t really care.

Superboy gets to a mainframe or power reactor or something that will cause mass amounts of damage. He makes a comment that he wants to get their attention. Um, done? Isn’t he where they direct a large amount of their resources to? I would guess making him cost the organization lots of money. They are probably following his activities pretty damn closely. Anyway, this is where Rose Wilson reemerges. You get the general sense that despite her not having flashy powers, she’s going to kick the snot out of Superboy. And she does. And it is righteous. She manages to distract him long enough for him to lower his automatic defenses; he basically keeps up a telekinetic shield most of them to deflect most attacks slash make him mostly invulnerable. During the fight, he drops that, Rose guesses he does, then throws a FRIGGING SWORD RIGHT THROUGH HIM! Superboy doesn’t even have time to quip. She killed you, dude.

But being a title that hasn’t been cancelled yet, he doesn’t die. N.O.W.H.E.R.E. scientists manage to revive him. They trap him in this wacky contraption that limits his telekinetic powers. He becomes conscious and they don’t realize it yet. I think they talk about killing or dissecting him? I got distracted at the end, because the Titans fight... it’s not over? There’s a certain girl with a golden lasso who just broke into the complex for a rematch. EXCITING!

The art flows much better in this issue. It looks a little less cartoonish, and I’m not a fan of the sort of Anime-like portrayal Superboy and some of the other characters have been getting in certain moments. The edges are just a little too soft sometimes, especially on all the characters faces. But action sequences are the thing I complain about the least in Superboy since it started, and this issue is just zip boom pop with action sequences. I’ve been like the title a lot more since Superboy went up against the Titans, so I’m glad the books are being tied into each other more.

In other news, I didn’t buy Wolverine and the X-Men this week. I am going to be cheap and not spend the extra dollar for nothing. I’m going to officially wait for trades now. I might start picking up Batwoman again. If you’re a fan, please talk me into it in the comments below.

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