Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Superboy #22

Either that or put them all in medically induced comas so they can forever picnic with their families. It worked last issue!

I don't think Superboy is even one year old yet. Tonight, a clerk at a 7-Eleven I clean told me she just turned 23 years old this week. I told her I can't even remember twenty-three. While that isn't technically true, it's so far away from forty-one that it may as well be. Your life becomes unrecognizable to the person you were. At seventeen, I was beginning college in new state. At twenty five I was unencumbered and traveling across the United States in a Volkswagen Bus. At twenty six, I was in fucking China. At twenty eight, I found myself back in Oregon to make it my home. In my thirties, I worked for a leather bag manufacturer, a company that distributed textbooks to colleges all over the world, gambled for a living for a few short months, spent a year buying and selling Heroclix and other gaming materials on eBay to make a living, spent some time in Germany, and bought the floor cleaning company that I had been working for for quite a few years. A job which I found on Craigslist one day out of desperation to do something else after programming a Places and Predators game with TADS hit a memory cap. Life changes so drastically from one point to another, nobody should ever feel that they'll never be capable of doing anything with their life. Unless, of course, they have some fucked up brain chemistry and then they should really get some drugs in them before they do anything rash. It's all so crazy.

When I was twenty or twenty-one, my Aunt, concerned about my lackadaisical approach to life, asked me, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" I immediately asked her, "Where did you see yourself now ten years ago?" She thought about it for a second and just said, "Good point." She was happy even though she never planned where she was and, I like to think, she understood that and trusted that I'd be okay after that moment. My grandparents always had that trust in me. They always treated me like they knew I'd find a way, that I'd be okay somehow. I just wish they'd lived to see me with my own business. Not because I'm in any way significantly proud about having a steady job of my own! I would have just liked them to see that their trust in me was founded and their trust in me helped me trust myself. I always knew I had two of the most kind, caring, thoughtful people in the world in my corner. You can't fucking fail with a safety net like that.

Superboy doesn't have any of that shit so he's bound to make some serious mistakes. Although he does have a doggy.

Oh! But he does have Jocy from the future keeping an eye on him! Maybe he will be okay! Because she, you know, knows the future!

Gui Balbi's name was a new one for me (and I think new to The New 52) so I wasn't sure about the art. But judging by only the first page, I like it! It's got that cartoonish, not so serious look that I really enjoy. Plus look at the way he draws her boobs in that kicking down the door panel! It's like two hedgehogs playing tag under a silk sheet. I never realized that I could be so turned on by hedgehogs!

Superboy isn't at home because he's on the run with Doctor Psycho and Krypto looking to help meta-gene kids targeted by H.I.V.E. Perhaps this is a different H.I.V.E. than Scott Lobdell is writing about in Superman because I'm having trouble putting together their different agendas. I suppose I need a smart comic book writer and/or editor to explain it to me very slowly. Queen Bee wants everybody to fall into some kind of Borg Mentality for Brainiac's coming out party. H.I.V.E. also wants kids with super powers. I suppose H.I.V.E. could be building an army of super kids to be the muscle behind the Viral Equality New World Order. But I can't just keep speculating on how the two plans will mesh since Scott Lobdell is writing one-half of the H.I.V.E. story and if I ever find myself thinking like Scott Lobdell, I'm going to drown myself in the toilet.

A few pages later and the art seems a little bit out of control. Superboy sometimes looks like his jaw is swollen from recent dental work and one of the cheerleaders he meets just looks chinless. At its best, I'm enjoying it. At its worse, it's still not bad since it's not going for a photo-realist effect.

Superboy is already super popular. High school is stupid.

The cheerleaders just get Superboy in trouble because they're dating the football players and one football player is a big macho asshole. Wouldn't you know it? Superboy had to go play Jumpstreet in the most stereotypical high school in New York. But it's also weird because this asshole seems to be dating two women named Coop! The one in the tie in the panel above introduces herself as Coop and then leaves with the football player at the end of the confrontation. But during the confrontation, he refers to the one with the ginger ponytail as Coop. She's the one he manhandles and states is trying to make him jealous. And then he walks off with the one in the tie. I guess none of it really matters because these aren't the people Superboy infiltrated the school to meet anyway. That person comes walking up afterward.

Look how much individuality she has! She must be an awesome person unlike those others that are into school roles!

Look at her being all unconventionally sexy with the different colored hair and the big boots and the Little Orphan Annie eyes! Bunker is going to be super upset when Superboy begins dating her!

Although maybe this isn't the person Superboy was meant to find that's causing other kids to go insane. They pass by another girl in the hallway that smiles wide and is simply ignored by Superboy and Little Miss Unconventional. Then she hugs her binder and makes the sadness face and wanders off down the torturous hallways of the high school no-man's land. I don't know where that is since I was always in the yes-man's land! That's where you eat lunch in the library talking about computer games and Dungeons and Dragons!

Once Superboy finally makes it to class, he's the smartest person in the room. Which is weird since N.O.W.H.E.R.E.'s curriculum was all nonsense about traveling from Mars to New York by breakfast and coming up with a ridiculous answer involving Mars Standard Time and the Universal Chronal Chart developed by Salvator Grotto in 1856.

He's really not disagreeing with what the teacher was beginning to say. But God forbid somebody say something in a way that Superboy can misinterpret so that he can point out how much more superior he is than they are.

I'm not saying this teacher was going to spout historical truth, but Superboy didn't even give him a chance. Superboy could be shitting all over an ally but his own ego and self-righteousness will never allow him to find out. Like last night when people jumped all over Neil Gaiman for the way he phrased his belief that, in service to the current story, he thought it was best for the new Doctor Who to be male. People. Calm the fuck down. Neil Gaiman is an ally. You're not solving any social problems by trying to point out that Neil Gaiman may be unknowingly sexist. And, of course, when Neil Gaiman courteously tries to clarify the point and let people know that wasn't what he was saying at all, many won't believe him because they already jumped to the conclusion that he's a sexist bastard. And how could they, with their amazing intuitive abilities and grandiose perceptive skills, ever get something wrong?

Oh, and on the other side of things! You should see the asshole trolls Gail Simone deals with every day. I truly adore her mostly whimsical deflections of many of the more outlandish attitudes and beliefs of how comic books should be. I find it ludicrous that there are actually males out there threatened by comic books with female leads with actual female interests as opposed to female leads written merely as men with boobs. Variety is the Old Spice of Christmas Presents. That doesn't sound right. Maybe Lord Google could help if he wasn't currently off fucking Empress Bing.

After Superboy is sent to see adult after adult while looking completely different every time, it's time to get in a fight! Whew! I didn't think this comic book was going to have any action! Although being high school, I was hoping for a little under the bleachers, under the shirt action.

I suppose H.I.V.E. is simply interested in psychics like Hector Hammond, Doctor Psycho, and Psymon since they have the power to help in Holistically Integrating Viral Equality.

Superboy decides he isn't smart enough to figure out what's going on in the school so he accuses the one person he's been able to talk to, Little Miss Unconventional. She explains to Superboy how all kids are monsters and then all the kids suddenly ARE monsters! It's like an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! And then Krypto is there being a monster dog as well! And since Superboy isn't a detective, he's completely clueless as to what's happening. Maybe he'll figure it out by next month after Justin Jordan sends tons of notes to Scott Lobdell's office trying to find out where the whole H.I.V.E. story is headed in Superman and Action Comics. Perhaps Jordan will get an answer in time to put a coherent ending on this story. But more likely, Lobdell will just return the notes with notes of his own saying, "The story hasn't revealed itself to me yet! I can't wait to find out what happens though!"

Superboy #22 Rating: No change. The art really fooled me at first and then it was just all over the fucking place. I think given a longer deadline or more practice (I don't know if Gui is new to the comic art world or not because I'm too lazy to Google his name), Gui Balbi might be able to make a nice looking comic on par with Ig Guara's stuff. But right now, he's too loose with his work. Superboy tends to look quite different from scene to scene and people sometimes look cool and other times look like monsters. And that was before they're supposed to look like monsters! As for the story, I liked that it was fun but it wasn't quite funny where I think it was supposed to be. I like the light-hearetedness although I get the feeling that Jordan might be treading water on this story until Lobdell solidifies what's happening with H.I.V.E.

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