This issue follows up on the events in Teen Titans #5. We see the final blows shared and the outcome of the Superboy versus the Teen Titans fight. As anyone who has been following Superboy knows, he has been created by an organization called N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to be used as a weapon. His exact origins are unknown; unlike the previous version of Superboy he is more than half-Superman, half-Lex. In fact, we don’t even know if Lex is a factor in this incarnation. His donors are his motivation; the work he has done for N.O.W.H.E.R.E. thus far has been to find the answers to who or what he is. This issue he gets a bit of an answer from another source: Supergirl.
DC Comics Description:
“Superboy wants answers about his Kryptonian heritage, and he intends to track down Superman to get them – unfortunately, Supergirl’s going to find him first, and she’s horrified by what she sees! Their encounter will leave her even more troubled by life on Earth, and leave him wondering why even his own people think he’s a monster!”
I admit I haven’t caught up on my Teen Titans yet, however I follow every issue of Superboy. The way this issue picks up, you will likely feel pretty lost if you haven’t been reading Teen Titans. It is almost like a whole other Superboy from the start, though later in the issue he addresses this, thinking that maybe he is starting to finally feel empathy. That said, I am not a fan of having to find out how the title character of a book I read every month has changed in a different series. I at least expect a more visual recap. All we get is Superboy’s thoughts on the matter and some cryptic message from Solstice before he knocks her out.
Superboy has a change of heart while standing over the unconscious bodies of the Titans. I still don’t get it, what triggered this exactly? It’s important to the Superboy story, therefore we should get more information. Well the empathy he finds himself feeling leads him to turn his anger toward his handlers. Leaving the Titans behind, he decides to force answers out of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. rather than work with them as he has been. It is not a surprising move considering the lengths Superboy went through to help Fairchild get out from under N.O.W.H.E.R.E.’s nose.
Before he can get very far into this new mission, he runs into Supergirl. She just drops out of the sky because she saw his S symbol from a great distances and decided to investigate. At first there is a language barrier, but no one is throwing punches just yet. When the two make contact with each other Superboy is suddenly flooded with memories of Krypton. This was a surprising development, one which left him with the ability to speak Kryptonese, allowing him to communicate with Supergirl. Not that it mattered much, since he thought the flash flood of Krypton’s destruction was a horrible attack, and thus begins the fight.
Before I get into that, I wonder whose memories were shown in those panels. My understanding is that Supergirl doesn’t even know for sure what happened to Krypton. Regardless, the fight that ensued was pretty cool, and it was nice to see Superboy go up against a Kryptonian, if only to see her take down that ego of his a notch as he gets punched into space and slammed back down to Earth. That was what I felt the issue did best: it gave us a good, quick fight scene. What I did not like about the issue is what sets Supergirl off. Apparently Krypton had its own version of the Clone Wars and they are considered abominations. That’s all fine and good, but is that really what’s responsible for Krypton’s destruction? They make it seem like this war is directly responsible for ravaging the planet. The part I really hate is that she calls him Kon-El, which is the name for the abomination on Krypton, an abomination of the House of EL. So did all the clones come from the House of EL? Was there an army of Kon-El’s? It has some pretty interesting questions attached to it, but I hate that is how they use his pre-reboot name (which was originally given to him by Superman as a way of welcoming him into the family). I much prefer the original origin of the name Kon-El (eventually turned to Conner as his human name).
So after getting knocked around a bit, Superboy amps up his power and puts a stop to the fight, which was kind of impressive. The two calm down and Supergirl even saves Superboy from a hail of bullets and disappears. This was weird considering she was pretty sure he was going to eventually become some sort of killing machine like all the clones on Krypton, and yet she disappears on him. I guess the safety of Earth isn’t really her concern yet. I’ll be interested to see her interaction with Superman on this, and I hope that actually happens considering she’ll be crossing over into his book next.
There are a lot of changes in this issue. Superboy has an idea – at least in part – of who and what he is. He actually has a better idea than even Superman, I think, given that he had a front row seat to the very visual memories. My overall review of this issue is that it is a must-read, even if it is a bit frustrating. In my opinion Scott Lobdell didn’t really capture Supergirl the way I see her in her own book, but it was a decent display of Kryptonian power in this issue. Check it out and let us know what you think yourself, where you hoping the meeting of Supergirl and Superboy went differently?
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL; Art by R.B. SILVA and ROB LEAN; Cover by SHANE DAVIS and JONATHAN GLAPION