Superboy The Comic Book #7
Writer – Mark Waid
Artist – Jim Mooney
One of my favorite TV shows growing up was the syndicated Superboy series. DC Comics, in a brilliant move of synergy, released a tie-in comic book series that ran concurrently with the show. Whenever I do dollar bin digging and I see one of these comics, I grab it for nostalgia purposes. I found issue seven awhile back and I decided to read and review it.
Valerie Frank is a student at Shuster University and the students whisper rumors about her as they try to figure out more about her. Of course, instead of talking to her directly and making conversation, they peddle falsehoods about her, even though she can hear what they say about her. The reader quickly learns that she is obsessed with Superboy!
The Teen of Steel is chosen to judge the University’s Science Fair and it’s the perfect opportunity for Valerie to meet Superboy. When he looks over her project involving hyper sonics, Valerie is too shy to speak up. Superboy moves onto the next exhibit and hits it off with Rusty Wells. Superboy gives Rusty first place for his work on a hologram projector. Valerie, feeling rejected and spurned for what transpired at the fair, is going to ruin Superboy’s good name and reputation by any means necessary. It will take Lana Lang to do what she can to help clear Superboy’s name.
The main reason I purchased this comic was the shocking cover art. Seeing Superboy in handcuffs made me want to know what happened for the hero to end up in this predicament. This comic has it all – action, revenge, and murder! All brought to you by the legendary Mark Waid! The story does a great job tackling important social issues like bullying and mental healthcare, something that didn’t get a major spotlight in society during the 1990s.
This issue gets 3 Superman insignias out of five. The plot has a few nods to classic thrillers like Fatal Attraction, Misery, and Swimfan with a superhero twist. I love a good mystery and I enjoyed the monologue Superboy gives at the end of the issue. It’s inspiring and it makes the reader sympathetic to Valerie’s situation. It made me realize I should have been kinder to some of the people I went to high school and college with back in the day. It’s not preachy like those Afterschool Specials they aired on the Big Three networks during our youth. A perfect example of why Superman is a beacon of hope in a world of pain and strife.
Next Issue – Bizarro becomes the toast of the town as a performance artist…until Superboy steps in.