The 'New 52' offers some changes for Superboy. Seeing more of his time immediately after his creation does change his story a little but is adding more to his character. No longer the kid with an attitude that quickly bust out of the lab, there is something more going on here with this Superboy.
DC's 'The New 52' books are meant to be accessible to new readers. We've also been told that we wouldn't necessarily see straight retellings of origins. Superboy sort of bends that rule. If we are going to see changes to Superboy's story, we do need to see the changes in his origin. Long time fans needn't worry. He is still a clone created from alien and human DNA. We just don't need to worry about Superman's battle with Doomsday and the Reign of the Supermen.
The first time around, Superboy was created and left the lab right away to live his own life. Right away he felt he should be Superman and went around with a cocky (and sometimes annoying) attitude. He eventually calmed down a bit and became a great hero. This time, we're seeing more of what happened in the lab. As the scientists are studying him, it turns out he's studying them as well. This Superboy is aware of what is going on. He is able to pull in more information and is learning more than the original did.
There are some unanswered questions involved such as why was he created and how did his human donor get involved. The addition of a certain red-headed doctor put in charge of his development adds a new twist to the story as well. There is also a certain white-haired girl in the picture as well. These two seem like strange additions to Superboy's story but will provide an interesting twist in the retelling.
We have to be accepting of change. As much of a jerk that original Superboy was with his leather jacket, funky haircut and punk attitude, he was still our Superboy. We're left wondering what the changes will mean for his time in Hawaii with Tana Moon and Rex Leech. Changing the location of his birth from Project Cadmus to N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is another change we'll have to get used to. His new supporting cast will provide an interesting change but how they are used and incorporated into Superboy's story will be closely watched.
Superboy has a new costume. There is an explanation for it. In many ways it's better than his original look. It others...it's hard to say. We don't see much of it in this issue. There is an explanation for it. We'll have to wait and see how long he decides to wear it.
I'm not 100% sold on the art as well. Superboy doesn't look too...super. In some ways it's great that he doesn't come out from his test tube completely buff, in the superhero fashion. But he does have a certain alien DNA inside him. Maybe he just needs to spend more time in the sun to buff up. There is an innocent look to Superboy but it makes me more suspicious of what is really going on in his mind.
Superboy is going through some changes. This should not be a surprise to those that have been paying attention to the covers and solicits for the first three issues (along with the information Scott Lobdell has revealed). We get a basic retelling of his origin. We see more of a focus on when he was actually created. This allows for more growth on his part. He isn't simply created and then allowed free to roam the world. There is more control but he could also be biding his own time and learning on his own terms. Project Cadmus has been replaced with a mysterious new organization. Finding out what their intentions are will make an interesting ride as we go through the series. Previously existing characters added to his origin serve as wild cards that can throw you for a loop but again, will add something to the character. We're not just getting a simple retelling of Superboy's story. There will be some changes. That's what long time readers will have to adjust to. The changes aren't too drastic to put a sour taste in your mouth. Surprisingly enough, I'm okay with these changes and seeing where they will lead Superboy. New readers can jump in. There is enough mystery that you don't need to know any of the back story and long time readers will enjoy the tiny hints and connections to the past.