Sunday, August 16, 2009

Adventure Comics #1 - A Review

Adventure Comic #1

Publisher DC Comics

Superboy Story:
Writer Geoff Johns
Art Francis Manapul
Colors Brian Buccellato

Legion Story
Writer Geoff Johns
Art Clayton Henry
Colors Brian Reber

Geoff Johns is truly one of the busiest men in comics and with his screenplay work becoming more in demand we may see less of him in comics. If that would happen it would be a shame as he has been a huge reason that DC has had some of the successes they have had over the last few years. This week Geoff has Blackest Night #2 out there and the more under the radar book with Adventure Comics and the return of Superboy, it is a very good start.

Every book does not have to grab you by the throat and make you stand up and follow along, sometimes a quite start can be just as good and that is what this book has done. Geoff has made me look forward to reading about Connor Kent and I for one was never a huge fan of this character. His genesis being one of the replacement Supermen after Superman was killed by Doomsday always had this character as a cocky poor man imitation of Superman. Over the years he has evolved and now after his own recent death and resurrection he is back as a more mature character with basically all the powers of Superman and tactile telekinesis thrown in. His costume is a black t-shirt with the Superman insignia and a pair of jeans. It fits the understated and unassuming nature of this character. He is almost a relaxed super hero and we are meeting up with him as he tries to put his life together.

As he is a clone of Superman and Lex Luthor he is trying to learn about whom he is and he is following the example of Superman. He has a list of what Superman did as he was growing up and he is trying to emulate that list as he puts his life back together. In this issue we see he is living with Ma Kent and Krypto in Smallville, has signed up to go back to high school, reconnected with the Teen Titans, and saved a young girl from drowning. At the same time we meet a young man from Smallville who will apparently be both a friend and foe for Connor. Finally we see Superman meet up with Connor and ask him to stay away from anything doing with Lex and he promises Superman he will do so. Then he goes home and checks off his list of what would Lex Luthor do and he checks off “lie to Superman”.

This was a very effective beginning that has no action but gives us a sense of Connor Kent. I ended up with the feeling that Connor is a good person, but a young man who never had a real childhood and is now essentially a teen-ager who is trying to find himself. Like any teen he has lied to his parent (Superman) and like most feels guilty about it, but attributes this normal behavior to his having some of Lex’s DNA. As I said an excellent start and a surprising good story considering how subdued an issue it was.

Francis Manapul’s art has taken another step up and he is really coming into his own. He has a lighter line then I remember from his Legion work. It is a little more realistic, but also has a sketch quality to it. His story telling ability was on great display here and the book flowed from page to page with a true ease. I loved the scene where Krypto flies in to save the young girl from the river in front of Connor, just brilliant work. I’m anxious to watch this artist continue to grow.

The Legion of Super Hero back up was only seven pages and was all set up as we see Starman is still in the past (our present) and dealing with his mental illness that is progressing. Tellus is also in the past and has been floating (literally) in a few books in the DCU. Tellus tries to help Starman, but cannot. Still we get a lucid moment from Thom and we find out he is trying to save the future. Almost a teaser trailer for what is to come.

Overall Grade A – Connor Kent is back and looks like he could be a star in the DCU with this type of work.

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