Sunday, September 25, 2011
DCnU - Superboy #1 from DC's New 52
Silva and Lean's art is wonderful. Great use of traditional layouts and full-page splashes. Panels within panels, and use of white space. It is all used to direct the reader's attention to the story.
This issue is a stage-setting issue. There is a lot of exposition, but it is well-handled. Superboy has a unique perspective and it is interesting to read from his perspective. He is a clone of Superman, and some unknown human.
The people around Superboy continually underestimate him. They stick him in a virtual reality world to determine how he thinks. In the VR world, he ignores a woman burning to death in a fire to flirt with Rose Wilson. A hired killer who is, if it remains consistent with the old DCU, Deathstroke's daughter. Although in the VR, she is less cold-blooded killer and more character from Mean Girls.
The people observing him determine he doesn't have empathy for the woman. What they don't know is that Superboy's senses are not the same as ours - he knows he is in a VR because the way he takes in sensory information can instantly tell.
It is unclear if the lack of desire to help the woman stems from a lack of empathy, or from the fact that he knows she is just a program.
By the end of the comic, we understand that what Superboy really wants is to be free from his prison.
One of the leaders of N.O.W.H.E.R.E., Zaniel Templar shows up (under observation by the Mysterious Lady in Red) and orders Superboy to be released to handle a problem for him. The doctor in charge resists, but is overruled, and just like that, Superboy is ready to join the Teen Titans.
I'm guessing this is leading towards Superboy being inserted into the Titans as a double agent, then breaking free from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., who will end up being an ongoing enemy. Red, the doctor who is in charge of him will likely end up leaving with him.
In this issue, we are also introduced to the mystery of who the human DNA donor was in the Kryptonian/Human hybrid clone that is Superboy.