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Superboy #3 is another weak issue with average art, a poor story and an averagely written character that should be so much more entertaining. But the issue has some fun moments thanks to Superboy – who still has his fair share of problems.
After his first unsuccessful mission, Superboy must try to escape with his life before suffering death a mile under the earth from molten rock and lava. But even if he lives, will he be able to survive outside his virtual reality and avoid N.O.W.H.E.R.E.?
The first couple pages of Superboy #3 are both overwhelmingly cheesy and complicated. The worst part of the issue is the opening where a couple make corny, romantic flirtations at each other while robbing a supermarket. These two new characters are not interesting in the slightest and are the issues weakest new element.
Quickly after being introduced to them, we see Superboy, who give us a full recap on the last issue, making it an obsolete read. But the way he recites his past life is boring to those who have or have not read previous issues: boring for those who have read issue 2 because they already know everything being said, and boring for those who have not read the last issue because writer Scott Lobdell seems to make no effort in making it sound interesting.
Other great characters like Rose Wilson are underutilized in this issue and feel like wasted potential. The other new character in this series, Red, is just as average as Rose until the twist ending, which does make the reader feel anxious for the next issue of Superboy, despite the surprising twist not being very original.
Superboy is the best part of this issue. His interactions with “normal” people are funny and it is always interesting listening to the monologue in his head …when he’s trying to figure the world out. Not when he’s wondering about his powers or other complex matters. Whenever he starts thinking like that, he immediately loses my interest. His thoughts on his powers quickly become repetitive. But his personality is a great mix – he thinks like a super genius, but he still acts like a teenager. He is much more intriguing than the story.
There is no overarching story so far in Superboy, just his character development from a newborn clone to a teenager. The secret of his origins may be great for new readers, but any old fans of Superboy already know all the secrets about his DNA, making all of the slow paced suspense in this comic obsolete. This may be a great choice for newer readers, but older readers will have little to enjoy.
None of R.B. Silva’s drawings, from the characters to the backgrounds, are fantastic. There are no amazing full-page spreads or intricate backgrounds. There are no terrible illustrations, but one page is laid out poorly and the dialogue is read backwards diagonally, a very confusing speech pattern, and a shame considering the scene it was portraying would have been one of the best moments in the comic if it did not have this distracting abnormality. But the characters are all drawn adequately and are extremely expressive. These facial expressions, especially Superboy’s, add a lot of humor to this issue. His clueless expression is the best, with his pupils dilating into Charlie Brown-esque dots. The bright colors also add to the feel of the comic and are the only good part of the issue, when referring to the scene where Superboy is trapped a mile under the earth with faulty suspense and a long, drawn-out inner monologue.
Superboy has the potential to be a much better title than it is. The artwork is average, the characters, with the exception of Superboy, are average when they should be fascinating, and the story is so poor it is almost non-existent. Superboy is well-written with only some boring and monotonous moments happening during his inner monologues, but his character adds some well needed humor into this issue which was what made it a somewhat enjoyable experience. The series needs major improvements, but is not a complete loss for new readers who know nothing about Superboy. These are the readers who will enjoy Superboy the most, much to the chagrin of Superboy fans like myself.