Like scores of other superheroes, Superboy was stripped of his powers when his city was put under the dome. Unlike other superheroes, he was just growing into his when they were ripped away. After struggling to earn mastery of his powers and the trust of his city, Superboy finds himself useless in the city’s time of need. Of course, when the dome lifts and he gets his Kryptonian abilities back, it’s only fair that he gets to take them on a joyride–even if an older, wiser Kryptonian gets in his way!
A familiar name in the worlds of Gotham and Metropolis, writer Fabian Nicieza knows that you don’t need frills or fanfare to make an enjoyable story. He keeps Superboy real: petulant but relatable, sore but hopeful, obnoxious but earnest. The sensitivity Nicieza writes with doesn’t whine or monologue; it’s simply honest. The match-up between Superboy and the Superman of Kingdom Come is a particularly interesting choice, given that most incarnations of Clark Kent that ever brush edges with Superboy have been more brotherly, warm figures. Nicieza’s imposing, demanding Superman poses an idealized, almost warped version of the man Superboy could be, and the difference between the boy and the man has never been greater. It’s a basic story in concept, and basic storytelling in practice, but Nicieza’s sincere writing style makes it shine.
Artist Karl Moline and Jose Marzan, Jr., follow the same brisk, sincere model. The characters are no more and no less dramatically drawn than necessary. Everything is clean, clear, and detailed. Hi-Fi’s colors lace the story with nostalgia, making easy color choices to amplify the easiness of the story as a whole. Put the good guy in bright blue and red. Keep his city clean. When the bad guys show up, more brown. More yellow, more tertiary choices. Very elementary and very effective.
Convergence: Superboy is simple. It’s a t-shirt with your favorite logo on it. It’s the danish that you grab at the register without thinking. It’s your plain-colored sneakers. It just is what it is: a mopey teenager stops moping and kicks ass. Next issue, hopefully we’ll get all that and a titanic showdown between two Kryptonians! Emotional baggage makes for emotional brawls, and that’s the kind of smash-em-up I’m here for.
Convergence: Superboy #1
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Karl Moline and Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colors by Hi Fi
Upstate New York writer, reviewer and comics creator. For dates for “crying about robots”, “crying about Batman”, or “crying about jean jackets”, please check your local venue for the show near you!