Written by, Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by, Carlo Barberi
Inks by, Art Thibert
Colors by, Protobunker
Letters by, Rob Leigh
The issue begins showing Joker JR. as he escaped from Rex and his group of alien kid-villains. However, Jonathan and Damien have been kidnapped and must fight this group of kids who are obsessed with earth’s villains. In the previous issue, Damian used the Kryptonite Machine, which was Rex’s power-source, to escape a trap, which accidentally led to splitting Superboy into red and blue versions. Now, Red and Blue must learn to cooperate together if they are going to help Damian overthrow Rex and his group. What!?
The entertainment value comes in the Superboy Red and Blue disconnect, which is a callback to a famous Superman story where Superman must relearn his power set. The theme of power sets is continued in this story as Rex guesses as what Superboy Red and Blue are capable of doing based on the fact that they are split representations of a whole Superboy. The author accurately represents a nihilist Rex as he makes grand assumptions about his capacities, which adds importance and tensions to the conflict.
The art depicting Blue and Red is the highlight of the book visually, as is the representation of Damian. He’s pictured as a hooded Robin with bright menacing eyes during a fight sequence with Rex. The banter between the Super boys, Red and Blue, and Robin’s attempts to referee and refocus the super-powered duo is entertaining and fun. The modest dialogue of Shaggy Boy, admitting that fighting two Super Boys is too much for him, adds levity and helps the villains feel like the children they are.
Overall – 9
This issue was an improvement over the first two issues of this 12-issue maxi-series because it turns its focus back to the relationship dynamic between Damian and SuperBoy while adding to its complexity. The conflict between Blue and Red versions of Super Boy feels genuine and interesting. I highly recommend this book for readers who have enjoyed Peter J. Tomasi’s run on Super Boy.
If you liked this review, and would like to support us so that we can keep doing what we do, please consider supporting us on Patreon.