Tom DeFalco recently was interviewed about Superboy over on Newsarama, talking about the character and the overall plans for the book. The whole interview is worth reading and definitely covers a number of issues about the direction of Superboy so I recommend reading it. Here is the link:
Now I had some issues with the last issue of Superboy feeling that prior issues showed him being conflicted about being a hero but eventually doing the right thing. The last issue seemed to have him lean away from conflict and more towards being the villain. DeFalco addressed that aspect of the book. Here are some of the questions that grabbed me and my commentary.
Nrama: What is it about this Superboy that intrigues you as a writer?
DeFalco: I think Scott and [artist] R.B. [Silva] have crafted a very unique kind of character. Superboy is not your traditional comic book character. He may be the protagonist of the series, but we're still not sure whether he's the good guy or the bad guy. Just because he has the "S" on his chest doesn't mean anything. He did not choose that "S."
Nrama: With Superboy #0, you get the chance to reveal a few mysteries. What can you tell us about what readers are going to see?
DeFalco: In Superboy, we've never actually witnessed his origin, from issue #1 on. Scott Lobdell and R.B. did a terrific job just getting us right into Superboy's mind and Superboy's world right away.
Since then, we've discovered that there was a mastermind behind all of this construction, the character we've come to know as Harvest. Some of the things we've seen, there was a subtext to it that we were unaware of, because Harvest is always scheming within schemes. So we're going to find out some of the subtext and some of Harvest's plans for Superboy in issue #0, because up until now, we haven't known the details.
Up until now, we knew that Superboy was created to be a living weapon, but we didn't know what the weapon was for.
So I guess we have to wait and see which Superboy emerges - the good guy or the bad guy. It is one thing to write a hero. It is another thing to write an anti-hero, someone like Deadpool or Deathstroke. I don't know how easy it will be to skirt the line, one or the other, in the long term.
I also worry about this straddling of the line is going to eventually make Superboy an unlikeable character. I can remember my feeling as I read the Loeb and Kelly Supergirl, where she seemed to shun heroics, was almost narcissistic, and 'edgy'. I don't think many people liked that Supergirl, eventually requiring soft reboots by Puckett and then Gates/Igle. Will this bank-robbing Superboy be embraced by readers? I guess we'll have to see.
As for Harvest, I guess I need to learn more about him before I can comment on him being the arch-enemy of Superboy. Hopefully I don't need to read Titans or Ravagers to learn about him.
We're also going to, in the course of this, discover a story of ancient Krypton and how that relates to Superboy, and relates to something a character told him in one of his early issues, which up until now we haven't understood. Now we're going to find out what that character was talking about.
So I don't think it is too hard to figure out that the character is Supergirl talking about the Kon-El story.
Nrama: Can you say what character it is?
DeFalco: No, and I didn't say the name of the character for a reason, because all of this is going to come back and play havoc in Superboy's life going forward.
So I don't know why he didn't just say Supergirl talking about Kryptonians clone history. It was mentioned at the SDCC Superman panel.
Will there be a sort of Spawn-like countdown until be becomes unraveled?
I don't know why there should be. He isn't a Kryptonian clone in the classic sense.
Nrama: You talked about there being an ancient story from Krypton in Superboy #0. Is there a concerted effort to make sure this jibes with what they're doing in the other Super-books?
DeFalco: They're being united as a family. I've had a good time working in conjunction with what's being done in Supergirl, Superman and Action Comics.
But the thing to keep in mind is, you've already got two heroes with an "S." The question is, do we really need a third one?
That's what we're going to work to answer in this comic, and what Superboy will be deciding.
Well, I guess this struggle to figure out if he is a hero or a villain will be the primary theme moving forward. How long should I give the book to figure it out is as important a question.
Lastly, just like I don't think Superman would let Supergirl fly around without seeking her, I don't think Superman would let someone villainous wear his shield. I suppose the "super-family" crossover will help answer some questions.
As I have said before, I'm not jumping ship. I will see if this works itself out. But I don't want to read an anti-hero or super-villain Superboy book.