Superboy: The Comic Book #1 (February, 1990)
Writer – John Moore
Penciller – Jim Mooney
Inker – Ty Templeton
Colorist – Nansi Hoolihan
Letterer – John Costanza
Associate Editor – Jonathan Peterson
Editor – Mike Carlin
Cover Price: $1.00
For a bit of fun let’s check out a comic book… based on a television show… based on a comic book!
It’s the end of the Summer party in Smallville. Clark Kent is hanging around Lana Lang and their pals Pete Ross and Becky are getting in each other’s faces over who’s got the faster car. They decide to put it to the test by cruising the windy Lakeshore Road. Pete loses control, and drives off a cliff… luckily, Clark heard the whole thing and saves his pal from certain doom. Oddly enough, we can clearly see Clark catch Pete’s car… however, when they discuss it back at the party, Pete says that his brakes engaged before he ran off. Weird.
Clark gets a ride with the racing couple back to the farm, and has one last heart-to-heart with Pa before leaving for college (in Florida) the next morning. The next morning, Clark and Lana prepare to board the east-bound bus… Ma gives Clark a special package, and tells him he’ll know what to do with it when he sees it. More on that later.
Upon arrival in Florida… we get a kind of silly scene. Lana decides to “shake things up” and become the “new” Lana Lang. This act consists of her throwing out her coat… and literally letting her hair down from its ponytail. Let’s not go crazy, red!
Next we meet a loud-mouthed jerk, who introduces himself as T.J. He’s just really insufferable. Lana comments that she’s glad he’s not her roommate… and you know exactly where this is going… but before we get to that, a truck pulls up asking for directions to the research center… they got a crazy space rock that needs delivering.
Now we join Clark in his dorm, that he states feels as uncomfortable as a motel room… hold that thought, Kent… you haven’t met your bunk-mate yet. Yup… T.J. marches in… with a thumpin’ boom box on his shoulder. We get his full name… Trevor Jones White… as in the son of Perry White. Also here… Clark opens Ma’s “special package”, which obviously contains the Superman/boy costume… and Clark refers to it as pajamas… that’s odd, right?
Clark is impressed with his new roommate’s heritage… ya see, Perry White is Clark’s idol. T.J. mentions that he’s “supposed to be” the next Pulitzer Prize winning White… but, he’s got music in his soul, maaaan… Music, and comedy!
We shift scenes to the research center, where a bunch of white-coats are checking out their new space-rock… and it starts glowing!
Back in the student center, Clark, Lana, and T.J. are getting ready to sign up for classes, when… the lights go out! The entire building is now without power. The kids head out, but then Clark overhears the news that without proper refrigeration the university’s… blood bank (?)… okay, hospital’s blood supply would go bad. He sneaks back inside and uses his super-breath to chill the sangre.
Clark returns outside just in time to experience a big explosion… which (luckily?) knocks T.J. out. Clark tells Lana to stay with the putz, and heads off to put on his pj’s.
Superboy emerges and attempts to subdue whatever threat the meteor poses… and gets knocked on his butt pretty quick. He then uses his heat-vision to carve out the floor under the meteor, and carries it to the Gulf… where he dumps it.
A strange electrical beastie pops out of the drink, and informs Clark that he (Clark) is not of this Earth before flying off… which surprises the young Superboy.
We close up with the kids looking at the latest edition of the Shuster Herald, whose headline touts that “Superboy flies away with Meteor”. Lana thinks this Superboy is pretty cute, and we end with Clark winking at the camera.
I gotta say… I went into this thinking it would be awful, and it really wasn’t half bad! This issue found its way into my collection by way of a “mystery box” I’d purchased at a local shop… probably ten years ago. I took one look, shook my head, and just filed it away at the very back of my Superboy section in my longboxes. Dunno what made me finally dig it out today, but I guess I’m kinda glad I did.
Let’s start with the art… because that’s easiest. I really dug the art, with a caveat. I can’t say that I’d ever watched the syndicated Superboy television series… or that I have any interest in doing so, but it just seems that the dude playing Superboy (I think it’s Gerard Christopher, but it might be the first one)… looks too old to be called “boy”. I get that same feeling while looking at young Clark’s character design in this issue… he looks far too old to be called “boy”.
The story was a decent enough introduction to the concept… and I think I can safely say that you don’t need to watch the TV show to enjoy this. We get to see Clark (and Lana) in two very different environments/locales… we’re introduced to a supporting cast in both. This really is a great opening chapter.
I enjoyed Clark’s interactions with his peers as well as his family. He just came off as such an earnest and humble guy… even around Perry White’s jerk-ass kid. I wasn’t aware that Clark wasn’t aware that he was an extraterrestrial… which may stir up some interesting stories to come.
Overall, a decent issue… not anything anybody needs to track down or anything… but it you come across it in the cheap-o bins, it’s not a half-bad buy.