What's the deal with Superboy's tattoo? Well, I have the answers.

There has been some confusion surrounding an early image of Superboy from the new teen titans. As you can see from the image below, Superboy appears to be sporting a tattoo! 
 

 
How could a being that is indestructible possibly get a tattoo? Judging by the cover of the new Superboy #1, it has been deduced that the tat may in fact be a bar code. To get to the bottom of the quandary I decided to go to the source. I hit up the artist, Brett Booth, at his blog to get the low down. Here is our conversation;  
 
me: " There is some debate to whether it is a tattoo or bar code?"  
 
Brett: " Yes it IS a barcode. These are just some preliminary sketches." 
 
Another person asked: " Hey brett did the idea for the barcode come from watching dark angel,cause they had barcodes on the back of their necks? I think the barcode is cool,I like that it symbolizes that he is a "super",but also that he was created,not born,like a product at the store." 
 
Brett replied: " Not that I know of. I misread an email about a tattoo, everyone seemed to like it and then either Bobbie or Katie suggested the bar code. 

I never watched Dark Angel (our cable provider stopped carrying it for a bit.)" 
 
Well, there you have it folks, it's a bar code. The most interesting thing to me is that it came about as a sort of accident. I am really looking forward to the books. It will be fun to see how the tattoo is written in. be sure to swing by Brett's blog to check out some more of his sketches and character designs. http://demonpuppy.blogspot.com/2011/08/send-in-clone-superboy-designs.html
32 Comments
32 Comments
Posted by sesquipedalophobe

Also, Superboy's powers shouldn't manifest so incredibly fast that they couldn't code him during his proverbial infancy.

Edited by steelhorseclub
@sesquipedalophobe: Judging by the cover of Superboy #1 he seems to be under control. It doesn't look like we will have a Weapon X situation. Although, i could be wrong. 
 
Posted by sesquipedalophobe

It's just making me wonder if this retcon will orphan people to years of his history for the sake of pandering to the followers of the cartoon. All of the earlier development after Doomsday was vital to who fans thought Superboy was, which also makes me wonder if this new Superboy will have any dealings with Superboy Prime in the future. I don't believe several flashback issues will allow readers to catch up unless it dealt with no major events and tie-ins to other heroes.

Posted by steelhorseclub
@sesquipedalophobe: It seems that they are completely rebooting the Superman universe. Considering Superboy #1 is an origin story and the teen titans are just getting together, it seems as though doomsday never happened. Check out Supergirl #1, Action #1, etc., It's the same story.
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@steelhorseclub said:
@sesquipedalophobe: It seems that they are completely rebooting the Superman universe. Considering Superboy #1 is an origin story and the teen titans are just getting together, it seems as though doomsday never happened. Check out Supergirl #1, Action #1, etc., It's the same story.
superman #1 is not an origin story action #1 is because its set 5 years in the past
Posted by steelhorseclub
@spiderbat87: Which is super strange considering the Batman books are keeping most of its story lines. Its all very confusing. I hope DC has planned all this out because the mixed time lines could get jumbled up quickly. 
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@steelhorseclub said:
@spiderbat87: Which is super strange considering the Batman books are keeping most of its story lines. Its all very confusing. I hope DC has planned all this out because the mixed time lines could get jumbled up quickly. 
I know, if everybody is 5 years in to there superhero career that's a sh!t load of stuff to happen to bats in a short length of time.
Posted by teoP_ehT

cool.

Posted by Aiden Cross

Very nice, I figured it was a barcode. 
 
Although i think this blog should be in general or superboy forum since only staff are allowed to make threads here. =)
Posted by fodigg
@steelhorseclub said:
@spiderbat87: Which is super strange considering the Batman books are keeping most of its story lines. Its all very confusing. I hope DC has planned all this out because the mixed time lines could get jumbled up quickly. 
The Bat history must have either become 1) incredibly compressed, or 2) incredibly secretive, with everything happening behind closed doors. Including all of Dick's, Jason's, and Tim's tenures as Robin.  
 
--- 
I get that it's a barcode, it's always looked like one, but did they actually start with it looking like a Superman symbol or did Kon modify it from a typical block of barcode to look like it?
Posted by MrUnknown

Nice that you were able to get more insight. But maybe we won't see it in the actual comic since it was just a "preliminary sketch"?

Posted by ReVamp
@MrUnknown said:
Nice that you were able to get more insight. But maybe we won't see it in the actual comic since it was just a "preliminary sketch"?
I thought he mentioned they were keeping it? O.o
Posted by MrUnknown
@ReVamp: Isn't that only an inference? It didn't have much clarity so I thought he was just stating his preference. But the way they have been posting conflicting covers with Wonder Woman's pants and underwear, Superman's two looks, and Superboy's different appearance in his own series from his' in Teen Titans. etc. its hard to know what is what these days with DC.
Posted by ReVamp
@MrUnknown said:
@ReVamp: Isn't that only an inference? It didn't have much clarity so I thought he was just stating his preference. But the way they have been posting conflicting covers with Wonder Woman's pants and underwear, Superman's two looks, and Superboy's different appearance in his own series from his' in Teen Titans. etc. its hard to know what is what these days with DC.
Well, when he mentioned "Everyone" liked it, I assumed its staying... Might be wrong lol. 
1. Wonder Woman's pants appear to be retractable... IKR? (Don't quote me though, might be wrong, though I'm confident it isn't)
2. I don't know what you're talking about but apparently Action Comics takes place 5 years ago and Superman takes place present day. Action Comics is supposed to show the reaction to the first public superhero I guess. 
3. I think that in Superboy's series he's still under control by that organisation. Here he isn't (in the cover, I believe he starts the series still under their control, again, don't quote me)
Posted by Primmaster64

Why is Superboy under control?

Posted by MrUnknown
@ReVamp said:
@MrUnknown said:
@ReVamp: Isn't that only an inference? It didn't have much clarity so I thought he was just stating his preference. But the way they have been posting conflicting covers with Wonder Woman's pants and underwear, Superman's two looks, and Superboy's different appearance in his own series from his' in Teen Titans. etc. its hard to know what is what these days with DC.
Well, when he mentioned "Everyone" liked it, I assumed its staying... Might be wrong lol.  1. Wonder Woman's pants appear to be retractable... IKR? (Don't quote me though, might be wrong, though I'm confident it isn't) 2. I don't know what you're talking about but apparently Action Comics takes place 5 years ago and Superman takes place present day. Action Comics is supposed to show the reaction to the first public superhero I guess.  3. I think that in Superboy's series he's still under control by that organisation. Here he isn't (in the cover, I believe he starts the series still under their control, again, don't quote me)
It's still a maybe then XD
1. I really doubt that lol
2. That makes a lot of sense
3. So there is also a time difference between Teen Titans and Superboy?
Posted by ReVamp
@MrUnknown said:
@ReVamp said:
@MrUnknown said:
@ReVamp: Isn't that only an inference? It didn't have much clarity so I thought he was just stating his preference. But the way they have been posting conflicting covers with Wonder Woman's pants and underwear, Superman's two looks, and Superboy's different appearance in his own series from his' in Teen Titans. etc. its hard to know what is what these days with DC.
Well, when he mentioned "Everyone" liked it, I assumed its staying... Might be wrong lol.  1. Wonder Woman's pants appear to be retractable... IKR? (Don't quote me though, might be wrong, though I'm confident it isn't) 2. I don't know what you're talking about but apparently Action Comics takes place 5 years ago and Superman takes place present day. Action Comics is supposed to show the reaction to the first public superhero I guess.  3. I think that in Superboy's series he's still under control by that organisation. Here he isn't (in the cover, I believe he starts the series still under their control, again, don't quote me)
It's still a maybe then XD 1. I really doubt that lol 2. That makes a lot of sense 3. So there is also a time difference between Teen Titans and Superboy?
1. I know it really sounds stupid but it was quoted from a writer (or someone of a similar position). I'll try and fetch it for you.
2. IKR?
3. I'm not sure. I'm going on my instinct here but I think that they're running parallel. I could be totally wrong though.
Posted by jubilee042

he should hav gotten a tattoo just above his butt that would be funny

Posted by KRYPTON

Cool

Posted by danhimself
@fodigg said:
@steelhorseclub said:
@spiderbat87: Which is super strange considering the Batman books are keeping most of its story lines. Its all very confusing. I hope DC has planned all this out because the mixed time lines could get jumbled up quickly. 
The Bat history must have either become 1) incredibly compressed, or 2) incredibly secretive, with everything happening behind closed doors. Including all of Dick's, Jason's, and Tim's tenures as Robin.   --- I get that it's a barcode, it's always looked like one, but did they actually start with it looking like a Superman symbol or did Kon modify it from a typical block of barcode to look like it?
from what they've said at comic-con...Batman started out before Superman but was operating under the radar for most of that time...so he's probably been active a little longer than 5 years
Posted by fACEmelter88
@steelhorseclub said:
@sesquipedalophobe: Judging by the cover of Superboy #1 he seems to be under control. It doesn't look like we will have a Weapon X situation. Although, i could be wrong. 
 
He looks a lot like Eradicator in this pic I wonder if Superboy will become a cyborg  Super (look at his arms). I dunno but it's supposed to be Superboy but the suit harkens back to Eradicator and the machinery and robo-arms make me think of Cyborg Superman. I was really liking Superboy but this relaunch has me both excited and worried to see what becomes of him (I can't remember what DC person said it but Superboy is confirmed to be a bad guy for a time due to some people abduct him or something;they're trying to reverse engineer him.
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@danhimself said:
@fodigg said:
@steelhorseclub said:
@spiderbat87: Which is super strange considering the Batman books are keeping most of its story lines. Its all very confusing. I hope DC has planned all this out because the mixed time lines could get jumbled up quickly. 
The Bat history must have either become 1) incredibly compressed, or 2) incredibly secretive, with everything happening behind closed doors. Including all of Dick's, Jason's, and Tim's tenures as Robin.   --- I get that it's a barcode, it's always looked like one, but did they actually start with it looking like a Superman symbol or did Kon modify it from a typical block of barcode to look like it?
from what they've said at comic-con...Batman started out before Superman but was operating under the radar for most of that time...so he's probably been active a little longer than 5 years
Really? Hmm am not sure I like that Idea
Posted by steelhorseclub
@spiderbat87: I have to say that I agree. Pretty sure its because of Batman's popularity. 
Posted by steelhorseclub
@ReVamp: If I had to guess, I would say that they are going to keep the tattoo. I actually didn't mention it but the picture at the top is from Teen Titan's #1. That being said, DC has been really flackey with Wonder Woman, the only way to know for sure is when we actually get the books.
Edited by themanwoaname
LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME
 
im getting all the "a's" out.
Posted by okayla

It is really lame, haha. 
 
It doesn't matter what bs explanation they come up for it, it's just really lame. 

Posted by sora_thekey

Soo... Superboy is the new Weapon X?

Moderator
Posted by Z3RO180

just started reading superboy and just started liking the idea of the reboot.Great story.

Online
Posted by sweatboy

@steelhorseclub: I've seen Dark Angel too, cute little Jessica Alba when she just started out, Joshua, Ben, Alec, the clones, the kids,.... it would have been great. I read (and bought) Superboy #1 but a year later, i haven't kept up.

@fACEmelter88 said:

@steelhorseclub said:
@sesquipedalophobe: Judging by the cover of Superboy #1 he seems to be under control. It doesn't look like we will have a Weapon X situation. Although, i could be wrong.

He looks a lot like Eradicator in this pic I wonder if Superboy will become a cyborg Super (look at his arms). I dunno but it's supposed to be Superboy but the suit harkens back to Eradicator and the machinery and robo-arms make me think of Cyborg Superman. I was really liking Superboy but this relaunch has me both excited and worried to see what becomes of him (I can't remember what DC person said it but Superboy is confirmed to be a bad guy for a time due to some people abduct him or something;they're trying to reverse engineer him.

That sounds cool. I read Death and Return of Superman like a few months ago, cos it was the first comic/video game i heard about, and i really wanted to read it, for the good, or for the bad. Reign of the S-men was Konner's origin, so yeah combining all the new Supermen (minus Steel, cos you already have Steel) would be a sweet idea. I liked Eradicator and SB though of course you couldn't like the bad guy. He did pose as a good guy for a while though

Posted by stephens2177

the same reason SB had a earring back in the beginning,and had a black wristband recently,artists wanted something to break up the look,so its not perfectly even. 
now kon wanted it there to show he has pride in himself,and show ownership in the S symbol.

Edited by w0nd

annnnnd the barcoded ended up just being a regular tattoo right?

Posted by stephens2177

Yeah,he can drop the TK field whenever he wants.