Tuesday, February 10, 2015

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #502 - August 1993


Boy Meets Girl
Credits:  Karl Kesel (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Doug Hazelwood (inker), Albert de Guzman (letterer), Glenn Whitmore (colorist)

Summary:  Lex Luthor sends Supergirl to invite Superboy to dinner.  During the meal, Superboy is persuaded to join Team Luthor and grant W-LEX exclusive rights to his image.  Within a few hours, however, he forgets the verbal agreement after GBS’s Vincent Edge buys him Clark Kent’s abandoned apartment.  Unbeknownst to Superboy, Vincent Edge and his new manager, Rex Leech, have arranged for the assassin Stinger to attack him in public the next day.  Tana Moon reluctantly covers the battle, which is soon joined by Supergirl.  Stinger escapes, but not before blowing up a nearby bridge.  Meanwhile, Bibbo’s dog is renamed Krypto after the engraver leaves a letter off the dog tag.

Irrelevant Continuity:  
  • Superboy’s future love interest, Rex Leech’s daughter Roxy, debuts this issue.
  • Lex Luthor’s right leg is in a cast and he’s using a cane.  Adventures seems to be the only title acknowledging Lex’s leg injury, since he last appeared in Man of Steel with no cast.

I Love the ‘90s:  Superboy thinks he can’t rescue a car full of teens from falling off a bridge…NOT!  Later, Roxy describes Superboy as “cuter than Bon Jovi, Luke Perry, and Robin put together!

Review:  The misadventures of Don’t-Call-Me-Superboy continue, emphasizing that he’s motivated more by his hormones than any heroic ideals.  After a cute opening that has Superboy attempting to rescue a runaway car, only to be rescued himself by Supergirl, Lex uses Supergirl to sway Superboy to his side. Within a few pages, Vincent Edge has Tana Moon and Roxy convince him to stay with GBS.  (This version of Supergirl isn’t Superman’s cousin, by the way, so the story’s able to get away with her flirting with Superboy.)  Kesel isn’t writing Superboy as a total cynic, but he’s definitely not in the mold of the genuinely altruistic heroes like Superman.  Most likely, Kesel is leading the stories in the direction of Superboy eventually learning about true heroism, which has little to do with the amount of publicity he receives.  The idea of different media conglomerates competing for the attention of a superhero is a clever calculation of where society was heading in 1993, and the new Superboy suits these kinds of stories very well.  The villain of the month is the Stinger, a fairly generic assassin with a look that resembles Deadpool’s, which wasnt the most original design the first place, of course.  Tom Grummett is great at drawing these vaguely Spider-Man figures, and while Stinger’s personality is nothing new, Kesel does a decent job giving him menacing and occasionally sadistic dialogue.  It’s an entertaining issue, although I feel obligated to point out that Superboy has already forgotten about the man he indirectly killed in this month’s Man of Steel.  I knew it was a bad idea that would be dismissed quickly, but not this quickly…

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