Superboy and the Ravers #1 (September, 1996)
“House Rules, Part 1: The Never-Ending Party”
Writers – Karl Kesel & Steve Mattsson
Pencils – Paul Pelletier
Inks – Dan Davis
Colors – John Kalisz
Letters – Kevin Cunningham
Associate Editor – Chris Duffy
Editor – Frank Pittarese
Cover Price: $1.95
You ever take a look at the comics solicits, and say to youself, “What are they thinking?!”. Of course ya have… we all have.
I recall looking at much of the offerings of the short-lived DCYOU “era” wondering that. Heck, I can think of about 20 titles from the initial New-52! launch I felt similarly about (Voodoo… really?).
Then there’s books where the title of the thing is just so out there that it’s hard to believe a) it was suggested, b) it got green-lit, and c) it made it to print!
In that spirit, today I give to you… Superboy and the Ravers!
Well, actually… this is just another entry in our “Hey, Paul Pelletier is awesome!” series… but, we can still mention how silly the title is, right?
We open with Superboy heading over to Pali Lookout, Hawaii in order to meet with lady-friend and Bloodlines buddy, Sparx! After a moment of feeling as though he was stood up, she ZAPS into sight and gives him a “why so serious?” kind of look. After clearing the air, she takes him to their destination… there just so happens to be an intergalactic “Event Horizon” Rave going on just ova there!
Superboy isn’t all that impressed, and suggests a better use of his time would be heading home to feed Krypto, but Sparx really wants him to stay. She doesn’t know much about the situation… only that the last time she popped in on one’a these, she didn’t stay long enough to get her hand stamped. As she rambles, Superboy becomes instantly smitten with a girl wearing a mask and a bellybutton ring.
Worth noting, all of these intergalactic ravers speak their own language… one Kon doesn’t understand. As you might imagine, this leads to some misunderstandings. Speaking of misunderstandings, some big dude thinks Sparx is the right girl for him, and so he grabs her.
She ZAPS him off… which really seems to annoy him. Turns out this fella is a Khund… and we all know they’re jerks. Superboy hops in to take control of the situation, only to be nyoinked out of the fray by a dollar-store Street Shark… who he socks in the nose (or at least where his nose would be)!
Superboy gets walloped… which makes that bellybutton ring girl laugh. Oh, she speaks Earthen English, by the way. This riles the kid up, and so he lunges in for more… only, he winds up smacking right into the forcefield of our latest arrival(s).
By this point, Superboy has ruined everybody’s good time, or maybe their MDMA has worn off… whatever the case, they’re ticked at the kid! A dude who looks like Frankenstein’s slacker brother lifts him up by the collar, and slams him into a tree.
Superboy is saved from the potentially-hairy misunderstanding by that new arrival he bumped into moments earlier… a fella named Hero. Hero’s got a dog called “Rex”… which, I suppose is a pretty common name (in dog circles), though I’m hoping he’s a dog of the “Wonder” variety. It’s here that we learn the Street Shark Kon punched is actually the Bouncer of this here Rave… and it probably wasn’t the wisest idea to lash out.
Just then, the “Bouncer” returns… now flanked by a blonde fellow and a third-string Youngblood member. The toe-head introduces himself as Kindred Marx, and it looks like he’s in charge of this here Rave.
Superboy goes to shake his hand, and gets (what he assumes to be) the ol’ joy-buzzer gag! Turns out, the shock was really Marx implanting a “hand-stamp” on the kid. It’s his ticket to and from the Event Horizon Rave, no matter where it’s happening! Also, he can now understand all of the disparate languages of the Ravers… and thankfully, so can we!
After the dust settles, Sparx goes off to dance with some goons, and Superboy asks Hero for some “411” on the girl with the bellybutton ring. Turns out, her name is Aura… and she hangs out with a too-cool for school outfit called “The Fashion Police”. I wonder if they’ll give Superboy a ticket for his awful haircut. Anyhoo, Superboy decides maybe he’ll chat her up. Only, he’s cut off by… a Weaponer of Qward?!
The Weaponer is introduced as Kaliber… and he has taken exception to Superboy wearing the colors of the actual Man of Steel. Superboy suggests ol’ winghead “chill”, which really gets his dander up. Ya don’t go around telling him how to regulate his internal temperature! Naturally, they begin to brawl… only to be separated by the Street Shark.
Kindred Marx suggests that Kal and Kon “take it outside”… and so, they do. Only, in stepping “outside” they find themselves on an arena planetoid!
They fight for a minute, with Kon saving Kal’s bacon a time or two until Marx sends the rest of the party back to Hawaii (and removes Superboy and Kaliber’s “hand-stamps”. Turns out their little Arena-Planet has been discovered by… InterC.E.P.T.?!
Ya know, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one to begin with… and I was still surprised! What a weird little book, and to think… it’s an ongoing series! Gotta wonder just how this was ever an idea in the first place!
Now, that’s not to say it was bad (because it wasn’t)… just that it’s weird (because it is)! This book has been sitting in my longbox library for a long while, and I was never compelled enough to actually pull the trigger and read it. Might sound silly, but hunkering down with a comic has become kind of a “time investment” for me over the past little while.
I assumed this was going to be the story of Superboy leading a team called “The Ravers”, with a bunch of “grown adult approximating teen” speak… what I wasn’t expecting was an actual (intergalactic) rave!
Worth saying that I don’t have all that much familiarity with “rave culture” (shocker, I know!). I do remember some kids in my high school wearing pacifiers around their necks for reasons I didn’t understand at the time. I was so “in my own world” I must have just assumed it was a very weird fashion statement… or they were just high. Wasn’t until I took a few addiction courses in college that I (sorta) understood it.
That being said, it’s kind of interesting to me that DC would publish a book about (literal) Ravers. Part of me was expecting that there’d be a few of these geeks off in the corner passing out Mollies… though, in fairness… this was just the first issue. That might still be on the horizon.
Preconceptions aside, I thought this was a pretty fun issue… and a neat introduction to a very strange concept. Gotta mention the reason we’re checking it out in the first place… Pencillin’ Paul. Some really solid stuff from him, excellent facial expressions and action… though, I’m not sure Dan Davis is his best inker. Some of the panels looks kind of Stuart Immonen-esque, which isn’t a bad thing… but just a bit looser than what I’ve come to expect.
Overall, I’d say this one’s worth a peek, if only for the novelty/oddity and, of course, the art. This one doesn’t appear to have been made available digitally just yet (for some reason #10 is the only one up there), but shouldn’t break the bank in the wild.