Superman had died and four heroes came forward to claim the mantle. One was a brash youngster who claimed he was a clone of Superman. In fact, despite his youth, he demanded to be called Superman. Most called him Superboy.
After the events of Reign of the Superman, Superboy was given his own title. He was impetuous, sometimes immature, and always fun. Written by Karl Kesel with art by Tom Grummett, Superboy was a fun title in my pull list. He was a hero on a journey but he was having a good time.
Then things get choppy. He died in Infinite Crisis. He returned in Legion of Three Worlds. He was in a Twin Peaks style book by Jeff Lemire. And then the 52 happened and all bets were off. That new Kon was no character I wanted to read.
So, as with many of the Convergence books, I was thrilled to revisit the Metropolis Kid, a character happy to have powers and smiling as he flew around being a hero. Written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Karl Moline, Convergence Superboy gets us close to those fun-filled early days of the brash Conner.
But first we have a little bit of angst and pathos.
We start with Kon being tested in Cadmus. Dubbilex is trying to see if he can kickstart Kon's powers under the dome. Maybe by infusing him with solar power?
Well it turns out that somehow the dome created a psionic block in Superboy's mind. The energy is present but can't be accessed.
And this is a Superboy who we hear was just getting proud of what he was doing, just being accepted for who he was ... and then the dome came down.
Who is he if he isn't Superboy? He isn't Clark that's for sure. And that's hammered home in a panel where we see him looking at Jimmy and Lois running off somewhere. And he can't help them either. He's just a normal kid.
And then we see part of what is haunting him. What has always haunted him.
He is living in the shadow of Superman. Both figuratively and literally.
How do you fill in for someone that great? How do you live up to that? How do you not disappoint yourself?
This a Kon who is truly in adolescence, just on the cusp of adulthood, and trying to figure out who he is. And with his powers are gone, this is an even trickier conversation.
But then ... the dome drops .... and powers return!
And just like that the happy, smiling, exuberant Superboy returns.
I have to say, I smiled when I saw this page.
This period of joy is short-lived. The 'tournament of worlds' is announced by Telos. And that means a battle is brewing.
Superboy's Metropolis is set up to fight the world of Kingdom Come. There is Wally as a true Hermes, a red blur. And then the Dick Grayson Red Robin. They attack Superboy in an abandoned corner of the city.
I love Kon's matter of fact questioning wondering who these people are. I like the befuddled look on his face too. This is that sort of unfiltered response you expected out of this Superboy.
Some intelligence maybe? Some growth in him and comfort in his ability?
Still, maybe the Flash, who in Kingdom Come was just a blur, should have escaped this?
But then the big Kahuna shows up, the Kingdom Come Superman. And he wonders who Superboy is and why he wears the S. Superboy's brash answer, the acceptance of the challenge seems spot on. After a year off, my guess is he is itching to use his powers and defend the city.
But I do have to wonder why the Kingdom Come Superman, so eager in that book to bring about some peace, would so willingly join in the tournament, fighting other heroes. That seems wrong. And the Kingdom Come Superman was so powerful, even Kryptonite wouldn't bother him. So I don't think would be a close fight.
I thought this was one of the better issues of Convergence because it captured the feeling of this period's Superboy book. That's more than I can say for Supergirl Matrix or Batgirl. And there was even a little teen angst to go along with the teen spirit.
Overall grade: B+