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Comic Book Review – Superboy #5

By: Sam J. Rizzo

The issue begins with Dr. David Umber the new head of N.O.W.H.E.R.E., putting Superboy through a battery of testing. Through Superboy’s monologue we get a recap of the events that took place in Teen Titans #4 and we also get a sense he is starting to control his power more.  David Umber is now the leading force behind the Superboy project after Caitlin “Red” Fairchild was revealed to be a bio-terrorist.  After Superboy heads off to his sleeping chamber, Templar & Umber have a very interesting conversation where we find out that Templar morphs into this creature with multiple heads and kills all the staff in the lab leaving Umber untouched. Templar tells Umber that Red is being shipped to “The Colony.”

The transportation of Red’s comatose body is by a delivery truck, while Centerhall and one of his associates named Batus oversee the transportation. Meanwhile at N.O.W.H.E.R.E., Rose Wilson and a team of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. personal go through Red’s room looking for anything suspicious. Rose manages to find a jump drive with information about a program that is inside Rose herself called “Ravager” on this day designated as the “Culling Day.” Elsewhere, Centerhall and Batus are attacked by Superboy in disguise.  He managed to escape from the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility undetected with some help.  The “help,” Superboy  has n his successful rescue of Red is not revealed leaving you to guess as to who it might be that aided him.  

Templar suspects that it is Superboy who has managed this attack on Centerhall in the pursuit of rescuing Red. Templar barges into Superboy’s chambers to find him in bed. The two exchange threats between one another. Templar telling Superboy, “If I suspect that you are doing anything against this organization, I’ll have you terminated.” Superboy replies to Templar that “If you had the power to do so you would have done it already.”  

The final panels of the issue,  follow the super powered couple that Superboy battled with in issue #4 while he was exploring humanity in New York. This time the super powered couple are recovering from their fight with Superboy while staying at what resembles the Kent family farm. The farming couple bare a very strange resemblance to Martha & Jonathan Kent. The farming couple is nursing the two metahumans back to health. We find out that this farming husband and wife look after many of these metahumans at this “colony,” preparing them for what is called the “Culling Day.”

The story of this issue, starts progressing forward in that we get to know where Superboy’s loyalty truly lies. We find out why Templar is doing what he is behind the scenes at N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Templar, I believe sees that the creation and study of Superboy will somehow unlock some way of treating his problem into morphing into the multi-headed creature. What I found really interesting with the story is we start to see with whom Superboy trusts the most. Centerhall was playing on that trust with Superboy in issue #3 in giving him freedom to taste what it is like out in the real world, as opposed to the virtual environment he was brought up on by Red. Ultimately, Superboy believes that his loyalty is with Red based upon his pursuit to save her from Centerhall and Batus. I’m looking forward to seeing who “the helper,” was that Superboy enlisted in saving of Red from Centerhall.

The artwork of the issue by R.B. Silva continues to be consistently great. The one thing I thought was very misleading about the issue is the cover art. The cover shows Superboy in a very heroic pose with his heat vision blasting out while saving the damsel in distress Catlin “Red” Fairchild. Catlin throughout the entire issue is not even conscious due to the fact she is being held in a comatose state by Centerhall while being transported in the truck. Plus, it looks like Superboy is about to kill whoever is attacking both he and Red on the cover with his heat vision. In the story, Superboy takes measures in trying not to inflect any harm or try to kill anyone while he is in pursuit of saving Red from Centerhall and Batus. Really could have gone for a moment while Superboy was trying to rescue Red instead of this misleading cover artwork.

I’m looking forward to some of these mysteries with Superboy to be unlocked and for the dominos to start to fall in terms who his DNA donors are, and what really are the limits of his powers, if there are any. Superboy is I think, one of the most interesting characters in the New 52, I just hope that some of the mystery about his origins and background are brought to the forefront soon in upcoming issues.

Overall Grade: 6/10

               

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