I recently learned that DC Comics made some rather thick reprints of many of their various 90s series that hadn’t gotten much in the way of reprints before. I rather liked a few of them and got myself some. One of those wasn’t exactly one of my favorites, but I liked the series enough to see how well it did or did not hold up, and that was Superboy.
The first volume, subtitled Trouble in Paradise, had some issues with the issues.
I never would have called Superboy a favorite character of mine, but thought his solo series was a bit above average. Not required reading, but enjoyable enough. Writer Karl Kesel had real affection for the character as well as some of the creations of Jack Kirby, leading to frequent interactions with the likes of the Newsboy Legion and Project Cadmus. Artist Tom Grummett generally knew what he was doing, nothing flashy but fine. Heck, this volume has some guest pencils by the likes of Mike Parobeck and Humberto Ramos, plus features the first appearance by future Suicide Squad member King Shark. So, what went wrong?
Well, the eleven issues reprinted here (Superboy 1-10 plus a zero issue) has an awful lot of crossovers here and the editors at DC only saw fit to include the Superboy chapters. Superboy has the clone plague and it’s killing him? Well, that was cured in one of Superman’s books. The main character of this book will be coughing badly and look like he can barely stand at one point will be flying around just fine on the very next page. A multi-part crossover involving various Superman books as well as the Milestone line will only have two seemingly random chapters out of 12 or so. Heck, there’s even a Zero Hour tie in allowing this Superboy to meet the Silver Age version. Factor in that Superboy himself is, partially be design, a rather shallow character who despite being a teenager is dating a woman in her 20s (maybe 19 at the youngest), and you have a book that, well, doesn’t add up to much. Six out of ten new Kryptos.