Friday, July 7, 2017

Superboy #92

Superboy #92

Watch Me Pull a Rabbit Out of My Heart!

Eddie Berganza & Joe Kelly Writers
Pascual Ferry Pencils
Keith Champagne Inks
Jason Wright Colors
Digital Chameleon Seps
Comicraft Letters
Mike McAvennie Editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

Our cover puts Superboy in a bizarre Wonderland situation, with Granny Goodness as the Queen of Hearts, Impulse as the March Hare, and a villain named Dr. Sin as the Mad Hatter. Impulse works wonderfully as a rabbit, going back to Humberto Ramos deliberately giving the boy rabbit-like qualities. This is a fun look for him, with his hair up as rabbit ears, a pretty sharp suit on him, and a content expression on his face as he chomps down on a hot dog. But what does any of this have to do with anything? Let's find out.

Our story begins with Superboy still feeling very haunted by Our Worlds at War. He has a cute little drawing (I'm assuming he made) of Young Justice, but his consuming grief over Bart's "death" has prompted him to burn this paper. (I'm not sure where he is that has a fireplace. Perhaps the Catskills resort that's become the new YJ headquarters?)

Superboy can't get the images of the war out of his head. Being stranded on Apokolips. Watching — and smelling — a piece of Bart die. The legion of Lobos, which Kon admits would have been funny except for the fact that they all died, too (except for one, presumably). The tough task of breaking the bad news to Red Tornado. And once again, the horrified look on Impulse's face as his scout was fried alive. Superboy's drawing finishes burning, and he decides to head out.

Kon flies to Smallville to visit the Kents, worried that he'll have a nervous breakdown in front of them about Impulse still being in a coma. He talks to Ma Kent for about two seconds before Superman suddenly shows up, angrily telling Superboy that he needs to be undergoing tests at S.T.A.R. Labs to make sure he doesn't have any lingering effects from his time spent in Granny Goodness' "classroom." But Superman can barely get that order out before he starts to cry and slowly flies away. Martha tells Kon that Clark has been carrying all the burdens of the war, blaming himself for the deaths of Lois Lane's father, General Sam Lane; Wonder Woman's mother, Hippolyta; and even the accident that befell Impulse. And, perhaps worst of all, Jonathan Kent, Clark's dad, is still missing.

At Martha's encouragement, Kon tries to talk to Clark, joining on a hill overlooking the sunset. Kon starts out optimistically, saying he knows Superman will be able to find Pa Kent, but he can't keep up the cheery attitude for long. Superboy asks when is it going to stop feeling like this, and Superman says, "When you find out, let me know."

We then enter the bizarre, Wonderland dream sequence the cover advertised. It starts simple enough, with Superboy flying over Metropolis when he suddenly spots Impulse zooming by. Kon follows his friend through a graveyard, which gets wackier and wackier until he catches up with Bart, who's wearing the March Hare outfit from the cover. Bart explains his costume with, "You'dbeamazedwhatHef'spayingmodelsthesedays," before announcing he's late and takes off again.

Superboy follows Bart's path to a giant door with Steel's head as the doorknob. Supergirl shows up, offering a shrinking potion, and everybody argues about what Superboy should do, until he smashes the door down with a giant key. This throws him into the middle of the sea, where he's fished out by Hawk, Dove, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Penguin and Robin (who now has real wings). Kon's happy to see Robin, but before he can be pulled into the floating bird cage, he's swallowed by a giant King Shark.

Back in the water, Superboy swirls past Lagoon Boy and Aqualad from Sins of Youth. He washes ashore a beach occupied with beautiful women. But before he can have any fun with them, the Cheshire Cat arrives and mocks Kon for his poor introspection skills. Kon then spots Tana Moon, his deceased girlfriend, and follows her through a portal, which leads to the Guardian, Dubbilex, and the Ravers.

Kon finally catches up to Tana, who says she can't chat, since she's got to split. And she literally splits into three people — herself, Impulse and Cherub. (Cherub was one of the DNAngels we saw chasing Superboy around when he had the baby Guardian. Apparently she was a clone of Tana, mixed with some of Impulse's DNA. Don't ask me how Cadmus got their hands on Bart's DNA. Anyway, Cherub, like Tana, was killed right in front of Superboy.) Tana, Cherub and Impulse all say they're late for a very important ... dirt nap, then ask Kon if he gets the joke. Trying his hand at introspection, Kon says he realizes all three of them were hurt or worse because of him. Or it's some Freudian thing that means he secretly thinks of Impulse as a chick.

Superboy suddenly finds himself at an Unfuneral Party in his honor, thrown by Guardian, Doctor Fate, Doctor Sin, the Phantom Stranger and Serling Roquette acting as Zatanna. She hands Superboy three playing cards showing the deaths of Tana, Cherub and Impulse, and Superboy complains that he's already received the epiphany from this dream. The Cheshire Cat returns, telling Kon he still hasn't got it. To make matters more confusing, a bunch more characters randomly show up, including Granny Goodness, Kamandi, General Good, Mickey Cannon and Gorgeous Gilly, and they all start dancing and singing about how Superboy is depressed.

For a second, Kon believes he's still being tortured in Granny Goodness' "classroom," but once again the Cheshire Cat is there to pull him back on course. Frustrated that Superboy's not listening to him, the Cat unzips itself, revealing Superman inside. Superman tells Kon he needs to find the strength to accept help. Superboy's then confronted with a mirror that shows a dark version of himself, and he realizes that even though there's darkness in his future, there's still the potential for light.

Martha Kent then wakes up Kon, telling him he's been asleep for 20 hours. She says this means his body must have been trying to tell him something. Kon tries to shake off the dream, commenting that fall has come early this year.

I thought this was an excellent way to show Superboy processing the events of Our Worlds at War and his own series. This issue balanced the sad, quiet moments with some downright wacky, funny moments. And that goofy dream sequence was necessary to keep this issue from being completely weighed down in depression. I also loved how there was so much of an emphasis on Impulse. It's completely understandable that Superboy would blame himself for the accident and be haunted by not only the sight, but smell of it. Superboy also understands that even though it was just a part of Bart that died, it might as well have been all of Bart, who's now in a coma. And it was touching to see that even Superman was concerned about Impulse.

Next time, we'll see what happens to Bart in the aftermath of Our Worlds at War in Impulse #78.

No comments:

Post a Comment