A massively powerful telekinetic with no social skills, who was educated and raised in digital simulations with no real human interaction, is about to set foot in a public high school. Strap in, kids.
Writer Justin Jordan must have had a lot of fun writing this issue, and it definitely transfers onto the page. His approach of giving Superboy a more lighthearted and “fun” tone that’s been building since he started his run is definitely paying off; watching Superboy try to insert himself into the constantly-evolving, almost Draconian social norms of your modern public high school is a blast to read.
There’s also a lot of humor to be found, usually at the expense of your usual high school stereotypes, and some fun tongue-in-cheek references as well. As we’ve said here before, it’s a welcome change from the usually broody Conner.
Sadly, the art brings the book down a little bit. Gui Balbi does a fine job on pencils, but as far as the actual storytelling and stringing everything together there are some unforgivable sins. The image above, for example, illustrates a weird thing; when we first meet Coop, she’s blonde with a blue jacket. Two pages later she’s a redhead in a pink shirt, with a completely different hairstyle and face. Now, it’s entirely possible that given the psychic events going on (the end of the issue hints at the following idea) that some psychic force is messing with Superboy’s perceptions. But this is never explicitly stated, which made it extremely confusing.
Overall, this is an extremely fun issue to read and Jordan’s writing on the title has been consistently superb. The book is brought down by some art issues, but it’s still a great read.