the_mighty_monarch's Superboy #18 - Mind Your Manners; Good Boy review

You Know, There's This New Thing Called "Realistic Dialogue"

So... this issue had TWO writers for plot AND a third writer for dialogue? Yikes. And it shows that either that was a huge mistake, or that Tony Lee is terrible at dialogue. Because the dialogue in this issue is godawful. It seems like Superboy decided to follow in Superman's footsteps, and after improving over the course of H'el On Earth, has taken a nosedive.

Every. Single. Goddamn. Person. in this issue never shuts their damn mouths. Whether it's dialogue or internal monologue, everyone seems to decide that they're required to utter paragraph after paragraph explaining their every thought and action and feeling in the most awkward way possible. There was just so damn much, it's insanely overwhelming. And pretty much none of it is actually any good. The fight banter is just painful when it actually makes a semblance of sense. Having Superboy think a paragraph to himself to justify his bad banter does not excuse him shouting out "Made you look!" without ANY kind of setup for that line WHATSOEVER. It's so far beyond dumb, no amount of self-loathing can justify writing him saying that line like that, and the self-loathing is tedious as well.

The artwork is decent, but every panel is pretty much overcrowded. The view is always too close, and it really negates the feel of the battle being epic or dynamic in any way. And speaking of a failure to be epic or dynamic... Dr. Psycho is dumb. Maybe he's supposed to be comic relief or something, but he's just so lame. He's not a walking failure, but he just... doesn't do anything interesting, and bores the hell out of me. And he seems to be there only as an excuse to have someone inside Superboy's head to hear his origin, although that would imply that Superboy already knows it on a subconscious level? And Dr. Psycho's dialogue is just as bad as Superboy's. "Superboy's powers, I assume, are like Superman -- It's all physical but -- Yes of course! His powers are telekinetic in nature!" Explain to me how that makes a single dog damn lick of rational sense whatsoever? It's not even a line an idiot would say, it's a line that nobody would ever say because the logical absurdity is on a ridiculous level. It's a massive contradiction.

If there's ONE benefit of the excessive dialogue, it's that this issue doesn't feel short, despite the main story being cut short for a side tale. At first, because it came right after the ad for the new creative team on Action Comics, I thought it was a preview of that. And then I realized it wasn't, and just read through a confusingly disconnected tale about an alien who happens to attract the assistance of Krypto. I'm sure it'll connect later on, but for now it's just like.... huh?

In Conclusion: 1/5

It's such a disappointment to see this series fall so far after the effort being made to use H'el On Earth to climb out of the pit of mediocrity. This issue was terrible. The dialogue was mind gratingly excessive, painfully awkward, and in some cases just idiotic on a basic ridiculous level. Don't even bother with this issue.

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