Writer: Justin Jordan
Penciler: Robson Rocha
Inker: Dan Green
Colorists: Richard and Tanya Horie
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Associate Editor: Ricky Purdin
Summary: Psycho Pirate, a villain who can control emotions, tries to converse with an angry Superboy and charm him into an alliance. This would be less problematic if he was actually there in physical form and Superboy could hit him, but alas he cannot and Conner does not find himself in a good spot. Psycho Pirate then works to turn Superboy against Doctor Psycho by showing him the latter’s childhood and it turns out Superboy’s telekinetic powers leave him prime for feeding off of by other psychic-powered beings.
My first time reading Superboy and Justin Jordan holds my hand and lets me know everything that’s going on. Accessibility is always a good thing.
Jordan also implements this cool technique where Psycho Pirate and Doctor Psycho are both trying to convince Superboy to listen to him. It’s not clear who is the “right” side, therefore bringing the reader into the same dilemma Conner is experiencing, but neither options are very tempting based on their mind control abilities. Superboy isn’t the only character a reader can easily find themselves sympathizing with, however, as Doctor Psycho’s well-written past certainly makes you feel for him. Psycho Pirate’s giddy personality allows for a few humorous lines in his narration, something that can easily come off as campy, but doesn’t in this case.
As for the art, I love the work in this. The colors, especially, were eye-catching, and there were a lot of colors needed for this psychic battle. It’s always refreshing to see someone like Rocha, who is good at facial and other emotional expressions. The dynamism is very palpable, especially when the fight occurs.
Negatives: Doctor Psycho got his name from high school teasing? Was Jordan required to pick a cliché out of the box? Also, what bully casually calls someone a “psycho?” A psycho isn’t a weirdo, you call someone a psycho when they attack you or show insanity.
Verdict: Jordan and Rocha weave a tight narrative that allows enough lenience for a novice reader to catch on, but also conceals the right amount of information to coax the reader into wanting to find out more. While Superboy could very easily be written as a young Superman book, this issue concentrates on his telekinetic powers and how they reflect his character off of his similarly-powered villains. Jordan has a knack for inviting opening lines and cinching closing lines that efficiently evoke the proper tone. This well-handled issue gets 4 stars out of 5.