Scott Lobdell Does Something Right? A (LATE) Review of Superboy 10!

Scott Lobdell is currently writing multiple titles for DC Comics and, to put it kindly, he’s not been my favorite writer of the New 52.  If you’ve read my previous posts “Superman Is A Star And Should Be Written By One” and  “Tim Drake Was Never Robin? And More Reasons Why Scott Lobdell Angers Me.” then you know the reasons why I’m not the biggest fan of Lobdell.  However, in the spirit of fairness, I decided to write this post as he’s done the unthinkable and has actually written something I enjoy.

That was the last backhanded compliment of the bunch…probably.

I know that Superboy #11 is already out so I’m a bit behind with this title but the “Young Justice” line of books simply are not on the top of my reading pile.  However, that may change soon seeing as how I’ve just read Superboy #10 written by Scott Lobdell and I have one question.  Where has THIS guy been since the New 52?  I have not been very impressed with Lobdell’s work in the New 52 but this issue was truly impressive work.

To provide a bit of background, Lobdell has been leading us to something called “The Culling” since the beginning of the New 52.  It crosses over from Superboy and into Teen Titans and Legion Lost.  The Culling story didn’t do too much for me but at least it finally had Superboy working WITH the Teen Titans.  Which leads us to Superboy #10.

The issue begins shortly after the events of “The Culling” story line I mentioned that recently concluded.  Fortunately, you don’t really have to read that event to understand what is going on here as Superboy and Wonder Girl provide all that you need to know to move forward with this issue.

The two characters have been separated from the rest of the Teen Titans hand landed on a very mysterious island and have to find a way back off.  Don’t worry, this is NOT the island from LOST as you can see here.

Although the Titans do have a kind of Smoke Monster on their team. Hmmm.

This is when the fun begins.  Lobdell finally begins to build on the character of Kon-El.  I feel like this is something that has been lacking since the inception of his book.  So far, all I’ve gotten from Lobdell is this hollow “Superboy” trying to figure out if he’s just a killing machine but mostly acting like one anyway.  In this issue he finally allows Kon-El to shine through the interactions of Cassie Sandsmark aka Wonder Girl.

I’m happily surprised to report that at one point I even found myself thinking that THIS is the way Superboy should behave.  I’ve always been much more interested in the story of Superboy and felt that his personality was more interesting than Superman.  He’s always had a better sense of humor and a certain brashness that was simply more fun than most of what I got out of the Man of Steel.  Thanks to Lobdell (that is something I never thought I’d say) I feel that way about Superboy once again.

Additionally, Lobdell FINALLY writes Wonder Girl in a way that I actually LIKE for once since the New 52 began.  Her anger is in full forces as it has been since the start of the reboot but in this issue it’s done with a sense of humor that I haven’t seen previously and it just works.

Lobdell also reveals a deep level of sadness in the character that I haven’t really seen before that actually allowed me to sympathize with Wonder Girl for the first time.  And while her new origins aren’t entirely clear as of this issue, its good to see Lobdell adding some emotional weight to her mysterious abilities.

Since the New 52, I have felt like I lost all of my favorite “Young Justice” heroes even though most of them have technically come back.  For the first time it feels like there is something of the old Superboy and Wonder Girl in their New 52 counterparts.  I found myself smiling more than once as I read these two characters connect for the first time in the New 52.  I can’t stress this enough but it really felt like I was reading two of my favorite characters again instead of just some rebooted doppelgangers .

As you can probably tell, Lobdell impressed me with his story telling and dialog in this issue and the guest artist, Sebastian Fiumara, reinforced Lobdell’s writing with his absolutely stunning artwork.  He actually made me enjoy Superboy’s ridiculous TRON costume and watching his version of Wonder Girl in action is worth the price of this issue alone.

She is truly beautiful in this issue  and I hope I get to see his art again, if not in Superboy then in another title for DC.  Google Mr. Fiumara’s name and you’ll find that he seems to be growing quite the fan base and I hope that DC picks him up quickly before Marvel signs an exclusive with him.  Fingers and toes crossed.

Even though this review is late, I wanted to write it anyway for those of you who may have dropped this book because when all is said and done, Lobdell has done something right and has given fans of Superboy and Wonder Girl something that we have been wanting since the start of the New 52.  Namely, a recognizable Superboy and Wonder Girl.  Lobdell is leaving Superboy soon but I truly hope he continues with this kind of characterization in Teen Titans and that the quality he put into this issue carries on elsewhere in his work.


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