Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Adventure Comics #1

By Andy Frisk
August 12, 2009 - 21:48

Infinite Crisis and, to a lesser extent, Final Crisis have re-written the history of the DC Universe in many ways. A whole lot of the story of Superman, built up from the days shortly after Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the Man of Steel miniseries, has been rebooted with a more retro-Silver Age feel. There have been hints about these rebooted details of Superman’s past, but not much direct representation of them. In Adventure Comics, we get one detail squared away and clarified. Lex Luthor, in these post-Infinite/Final Crisis days did come from, and grow up in, Smallville alongside Clark Kent. Superman: Secret Origin, the miniseries, will clear up and fully detail Superman’s history for the 21st century readers of his exploits, so no need to look further is necessary. Looking back though, some of Superman’s 20th Century story details have not changed, and will remain part of Superman’s continuity, including The Death and Return of Superman, and the tale of Conner Kent/Superboy.



Superboy is a clone comprised of, and created from both Superman and Lex Luthor’s DNA. He burst onto the scene not long after the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday, and was one of the four Supermen to star in the “Reign of The Supermen” saga. The other three were The Eradicator, Steel, and the Cyborg Superman, two of which are still active along with Superboy in the DC Universe.


Superboy is the child of two fathers, genetically: Superman and Lex Luthor. He is the spiritual child of one mother and one father: Martha and Jonathan Kent. Carrying the genetic traits of Luthor though, has proven problematic in the past, but the noble genetic traits of Superman always seem to win out, and Conner is a hero. As Superman states to him in this first issue though, “…you know you’re not him (Luthor), and you’re not me. You’re your own person.” He begins his tenure in Adventure Comics, beginning his life again. The best way to do this is at home in Smallville with Ma Kent. Conner makes a list of things Superman did as a young hero, and goes about completing the same tasks. He’s the son of two genetic fathers though, as stated, and Conner wants to understand his less noble one as well…


Geoff Johns works his usual magic, conjuring up and reestablishing Superboy in his own series. Johns always is able to make any character he writes believable, relatable, and interesting. What other type of storyline/plot other than a young man's search for his identity, common to all young men, would suit the "return" of Superboy? It’s going to be interesting to see where he takes Superboy during the course of his tenure as Adventure Comics’ writer.


Manapul’s art is solid, depicting both characters and landscapes well. The large wide angle views of the natural beauty of the Kansas plains are well done. It’s Buccellato’s colors though that bring to life, with incredible warmth, the scenic views of nature from beautiful golden sunsets that blend with golden crops, to purple hued rushing waters. Smallville glows with a comforting warmth as any beloved hometown should for its inhabitants.



Johns’ “Second Feature” showcases the Legion of Superheroes. Basically, it’s a three page history lesson on The Legion, a short Starman set up story involving his “secret mission” here in the early 21st Century, and a page of coming attractions. Many of these “Second Features” have been a bit of a drag on their “main features,” but DC Comics is determined to move forward with them, and will undoubtedly do so here.


Overall, both features show promise and look to be worth following, if not for any other reason than the Superman-Family of DC Comics’ books has grown by one more, and Superman fans have another book where they’ll catch a glimpse of Superman and, more often, his genetic “son’s” adventures.


Rating: 7.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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