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Superboy #1
writer: Jeff Lemire
penciller:Pier Gallo

Reading Superboy #1 this week, I felt like I was discovering a brand-new character. That's not a bad thing, since it's a first issue. But at one point, it was hard to remind myself that this wasn't the first time Connor Kent had had a solo series, though he wasn't always known as Connor.

That's history for Zorlaks, as there have been a few Crises since that first series after "The Death of Superman," and the Superboy we have before us may share the origin of that brash child of the '90s, but he's something completely different - and far less annoying.

So, too, is writer Jeff Lemire's work on this. Superboy #1 does everything a first issue should do, especially when the character has a deep background. Without losing a growing sense of menace (Superboy eventually clashes with the Parasite), Lemire organically offers up the character's status quo, setting up a Who's Who that's important, and still shaking things up a little for those who had followed Superboy since his return in the pages of Adventure Comics.

Connor feels like a real teen gifted (or troubled) by special abilities yet trying to just fit in with high school life. Thanks to his "older brother's" intervention, he has a good mother figure in Martha Kent. And then there's that Parasite working its way toward him.

Artist Pier Gallo offers a disturbing yet not horrifying view of the Parasite's path. His teen characters look like realistic teens, not hyper-idealized or exaggerated. To me, he's new, but if his work stays consistent, he could and should become a fan favorite.

It's not just a clean rethinking of Superboy that works here; for me, it's a rethinking of Lemire. His take on The Atom felt just cookie-cutterish at best. With Superboy, things feel fresh, yet with just the right edge of comfortable recognizability.

So I didn't exactly discover a new character, but I did discover a new book that will stay on my pull list.

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think!

Derek McCaw


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