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Superboy #17 - Lost Cause Review

4

As the 'He'l On Earth' arc draws to a close, will Superboy survive?

The Good

I was actually surprised by this issue. It started off pretty slow, and after the first page or so DeFalco pushes the story forward considerably. I think what most impressed me by what I read here was the dialogue. I actually really enjoyed the DeFalco's voice for H'el. I like the fact that he demonstrates the character using logic: he will fight just as hard for his home as Superman will fight to protect home, this makes a lot of sense. The interaction here is great, and although this is a Superboy book, I still enjoyed that every one of these characters got to spend a little bit of time in the spotlight. Not a lot, but just enough.

Following an interesting monologue by H'el, Superboy is basically catapulted to a distant region where he is "shivering of cold." It is unclear whether the punch to Superboy was meant simply to stop him, or to actually kill him, but it is clear that Superboy doesn't go down without a fight. I like the way DeFalco brings the story back to focus on Superboy since it is, after all, his book.

After being thrust into a distant place, Superboy is met by a strange creature with the interesting ability to "read" his character. In this moment the creature states that if Superboy is to survive, he "could come to shape the destinies of worlds without number." Correct me if I am wrong, but is this not a direct reference to a certain "Crisis"? This is actually pretty interesting, and the dialogue here is consistently good.

The big thing here is that the story's focus goes back to Superboy and away from H'el and the rest of the Justice League. Sure, Superboy goes down for a moment, but he gets back up again and goes forward. It really feels, in this issue, as if the creative team has given Superboy a purpose. He is given an important role to play in this story which I think is really important. It's also very cool to see the story go from being about the Justice League, to focusing on Superboy.

The Bad

DeFalco does a great job setting H'el up to be really big threat in this issue and there is a scene where he hits Superboy so hard that he loses control and is shot out to a completely different part of the Fortress. What I didn't like, here, was how quickly Superboy got up and started fighting again. I understand he is strong, but that punch was meant to kill him. He should have been in a bit more pain than he was shown to be in, in my opinion.

The Verdict

Now, I am not even that crazy about Superboy but it was great to see DeFalco show readers just exactly what the character is capable of in this issue. I enjoyed most of the comic (except for the fact that Superboy made H'el look a bit weak in one scene), and I admit this issue really took me by surprise. Overall, the dialogue is great, the pacing is solid and the story is propped up by some really pretty art. There are some very interesting clues in this issue as to the nature of the story, the future of the universe and the importance of Superboy's role in the DCU. This was by far one of the better issues in this series and it made Superboy's character look really, really good.

9 Comments Refresh
Posted by doordoor123

I was surprised!

I agree with everything here!

Posted by Tev18

I'm excited to read this

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

it was nice to see a Superboy displaying the heart of a hero for a change.

Posted by ltbrd

What I liked:

- Superboy pretty much stiching his body back together as it shows an aspect of his powers we haven't seen since the first issue and that's just how much control he has over his cellular structure because of his TK

- Superboy's respect for Superman. In the annual I thought it was a little quick for Superboy to be throwing the Man of Steel some praise, but I think the overall story has had a nice progression of Superboy coming to admire Superman and it will be interesting to see how that continues from here

- Finally, somebody told Supergirl what is going to happen to the Earth. I can't believe it took this many issues but at least it finally happened

What I didn't like:

- "Hey, my name's Superboy, a clone created by N.O.W.H.E.R.E to be a living weapon....." Does the reader need this explanation anymore? How many new readers could possibly be jumping on each issue?

What I still don't understand:

- The Herald said 5 beings could cause trouble for the balance. Right now there are 5 members of the Justice League fighting H'El. Not sure if that's the 5 he's referring to but think it would be a bit of a slap in Aquaman's face if it was.

- So the whole point of this is H'El and Kara are going to travel back in time to save Krypton. By that idea wouldn't the destruction of the Earth not matter. Once they make it back and save Krypton then there isn't any reason for H'El to come to Earth and start the cycle all over again. Why exactly would this death and destruction be permanent? Wouldn't the story make more sense if H'El, Superman, Supergirl, and Superboy all traveled into the past (since we still don't know how all this connects to Superboy meeting Alura or Superman overlooking Krypton in black armor) thinking it will save Krypton (and by extension make what they did on Earth not matter) but then find out that H'El had another, more sinister objective for making the trip. Are we the reader supposed to make a leap of faith that somehow Earth and our solar system will simply be erased from time by these actions? Luthor stated the end result would be a "reverse big bang" but it seems a stretch to say it will destroy a part of the universe permanently based on the explanation we the reader have been given.

Edited by UltimateSMfan

This review is spot on!! I read the issue n felt it was a definite step up from the last couple of issues.

Posted by RuinedGlory

Everything aside that cover art is absolutely atrocious. Seriously, it's horrifyingly bad.

Posted by bladewolf

I'll be honest: this is the ONLY Superboy issue I thought was above "meh." It was actually well written and I enjoyed it a ton!

Posted by Manbehindthewires

was nice to see a superboy-centric superboy issue for once :p I see a definitive coming of age moment for him soon in this story, where he'll finally realise his roles as superboy.

Posted by Icon

Loved this issue.