Adventure Comics #3 ( DC – Johns / Manapul – Co-Feature by Johns / Shoemaker / Henery)
Superboy is back and hunting for Lex Luthor! He can’t find Luthor on his own, and he needs help from his best friend Tim Drake, a.k.a. Robin. But Tim’s now traveling the globe under the alias of Red Robin! The boys’ reunion isn’t all smiles and hugs, as Conner discovers that Tim has been hiding a great many secrets from the newly returned Boy of Steel. And they’re secrets that could destroy their friendship!
Plus, in the Legion of Super-Heroes co-feature, the intergalactic odd couple known as Sun Boy and Polar Boy team up to figure out what’s up with the menace trying to destroy the universe.
I’ve made no secret of how much I love Geoff Johns work and the character of Conner Kent. I love that his is where I’ve been able to get a fix of both, for as long as it lasts. Of all of Johns’ battery of work, he has yet to do a book quiet like this. Yes, I know he was the man on Teen Titans for years, but I don’t feel he was ever able to take Conner in this direction. If this was always his intent, I don’t know. But I do love what’s happening here. And as much as I hate splitting my book into two vastly different stories, here it’s Superboy and L.E.G.I.O.N, I am liking what is happening in the second half of these pages because it harkens back to classic L.E.G.I.O.N.
This issue gives fanboys what we’ve been waiting for since the return of Superboy: the meeting of Tim Drake and Conner Kent. Two best friends who have been through more in their few years than most people get in a lifetime. Both have grown up together in the super-hero world and have come to some pretty difficult times in their lives. Conner is dealing with his genetic heritage being from both Superman and Lex Luthor, while Tim Drake, now Red Robin, in on a personal quest to find Bruce Wayne whom he believes is not dead.
Even before the meeting we get to see some great story telling by this creative team in a Smallville sequence that just drew me in. We see good character development with Simon and even more cool stuff with my favorite super-pet, Krypto. A dog with heightened intellect and emotions make him more than just a dog. He’s more Snoopy in his relationship to Conner. They communicate on a level that surpasses just the boy and his dog.
The meeting with Conner and Tim is pay dirt. Not because it’s a huge deal, but because it plays off more like two best friends who haven’t seen each other in forever. Everything is put on the table: the kiss with Cassie, Tim’s failed cloning attempts, Conner’s fears of himself, Tim’s mission, and a lot more. John’s and company really make this one work. The writing and art are all solid.
Polar-Boy and Sun-Boy are like comics new buddy cop team. They go off on a mission and after an entertaining interaction with some ladies they get on the job of bringing in Cyro-King. This does not go over too well.
The art by Clayton Henry isn’t the best I’ve ever seen, but it gets the job done for a back up story. The high points of the story are the interaction between the leads and how everything seems to be related to events in the current Superman books. Honestly, I think if the quality was always this high, this could be it’s own book.
If you don’t already know, this current creative team will be leaving the book after issue five to take over The Flash. It’s a damn shame too because I think this could become an award winning book if they stayed one. I can only hope the next team keeps this level of greatness up. If not, then I fear that Adventure Comics will not see issue 24.