What did the
Art by PIER GALLO
Cover by PHIL NOTO
Variant cover by GUILLEM MARCH
Size: 32 pages
It takes a lot to actually surprise me with comic books now a days. Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo was able to do just that with their first issue of Superboy. Now I didn’t think the first issue was going to be bad, I thought it would be enjoyable. But I wasn’t prepaired on just how good the issue would be, in fact it was pretty great if you ask me. With all the drama going in with Superman, Paul Cornell dealing with Lex Luthor in Action Comics (still fanastic by the way), and Supergirl….well just being Supergirl; I was surprised at the quality of this. But with all first issue comics, there has to be a bit of a downslide with the second issue.
Now when I say ‘downslide’ I don’t mean to say this was a bad issue by any means. It’s just that, the magic that seemed to be in the first issue (‘magic’ being a serious technical term mind you) isn’t in these pages this month. Maybe it’s that Lemire’s take on Poison Ivy is generic at best, or that the overall plot involving the plants of Smallville wasn’t as interesting, I’m not sure. What I do know is that I did feel like the story was moving a bit too slow and it felt padded to get to 22 pages. Again it’s not bad, Lemire has a great take on Connor and the atmosphere in general is generally creepy. Plus I like the build up to these seemingly creepy aliens getting into the mix in Smallville. I think the good outweighs the bad overall in this issue, but there definitely seems to be more issues I had with this then I did with the first.
The same really goes for Pier Gallo’s artwork here. Again I think it’s really good and I would prefer it to anything over Lemire’s ‘anorexic old man’ look from a few months ago. Gallo reminds me a lot of Juan Jose Ryp’s style. Obviously there aren’t ribcages being thrown about or gallons upon gallons of blood being released onto the pages. But the pencils and even the coloring reminds me a lot like of Ryp’s work. I mean the first page has a ton of detail into it and even the close up faces remind me of the man’s work. It’s not all perfect mind you but for some strange reason I can’t figure out why it’s a bit off putting for me. Even though the colors are pretty good, I think it has a weird orange ‘hue’ to it. It makes the world feel a little bit too colorful when it doesn’t need to be. Especially if it’s suppose to be a bit more ‘dark’ in tone with Lemire’s writing. Also, I still think he doesn’t have the faces down too much and Connor once again has a ton of faces throughout the book. (None of them similar)
This is a bit of a letdown from the fantastic first issue. The writing doesn’t seem to be as strong as before with a generic Poison Ivy. Plus the weird orange hue to the book and the off model faces for Connor Kent is a bit disheartening. But it’s sort of like getting a B+ in a term paper. There are some great moments in it, but there are a few mistakes that prevents it to get a perfect grade. I’m still very much interested to see the adventures of Superboy through Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo’s eyes. I just hope we can peak a bit better with the third round next month.
Art: 4 - Very Good