A Superboy review? In The Batman Universe? Have we stumbled back into the Silver Age? Nope, this month Poison Ivy has a cameo in Superboy’s new, ongoing series; and where she goes I will follow. So buckle up Gothamites, because we are Smallville bound!
For those of you who weren’t tuned in last month, Conner Kent had just finished up his battle with the Parasite when the local flora started acting out of control and Poison Ivy appeared on the scene. She denies having anything to do with the matter, and insists that Superboy must help her find the source of the disturbance. So, in the grand tradition of superhero-supervillain team ups, Conner and Ivy join forces and dig into Smallville’s growing mysteries. At least until Poison Ivy betrays Superboy, which we all should have seen coming.
Jeff Lemire continues to be a solid writer, though I don’t always love the dialogue he gives to Superboy. Which is odd because I really liked the lines Poison Ivy and Simon (Conner’s friend/self declared teammate) get throughout the issue. Poison Ivy is seductive without being trashy and Simon is energetic and quirky without being a pain to read. Simon’s actually proven to be one of my favorite parts of Superboy’s new adventures, so it was nice to see him and his home-made super weapons steal the show for a little while.
I also appreciate how Lemire is creating a myth arc for Superboy that is free from Superman’s history and rogue’s gallery. It really feels like he’s coming into his own as a hero, and not just struggling under the shadow of the men he was cloned from (yes, Superboy has two daddies, just roll with it).
I think if there’s one thing I don’t like about Pier Gallo’s art it’s his expressions. A lot of the time Superboy’s face looks a little frozen, which undercuts the strength of Gallo’s otherwise good work. I really get a good sense of Smallville when I look at his drawings, and the fine details that appear in certain panels are fantastic. I was also pleasantly surprised by the more retro look he gave to Poison Ivy’s outfit. Instead of having her form leaves into coverings, it looks like she’s wearing actual clothes. It was nice to go back to an older take on the character, made me think harder about what I was reading.
This is probably the last time you’ll see a review of Superboy on this website, but I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoys the fun side of superheroes. Come for the flying teenagers, stay for the remote-controlled frogs.
Reviewed by Erik