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Oh, it's wicked, all right.
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Arthur sacrifices himself for Camelot... almost.
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Young Justice: Superboy

YJSuperboy.jpg

I love Superboy! Let me clarify. I love the Superboy on the Young Justice cartoon. I've always been indifferent towards the Superboy in the comics. He was introduced during "Reign of the Supermen," which was when I opted out of Superman comics in the '90s. (As a huge Spider-Man fan, I'd just had enough of clones and event comic storylines that never came to an end.) On top of that, he was crazy stupid looking, like a Backstreet Boy. Eventually he got an updated character design, but that only proved to be more irritating to me. Jeans and a t-shirt are not a superhero costume. I did thoroughly enjoy the run of Adventure Comics by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul, from a year or so ago, that featured him. That was mostly due to Manapul's gorgeous art and Krypto, who really should have his own comic.

Reign_superboy.jpg   AdventureComics6.jpg

Basically, I can't comment on how the cartoon character measures up to the comic book original, since I didn't pay any attention to him until recently. Young Justice's Superboy is kind of a jerk though. He's unsure of his place in the world and lashes out at everyone because of it. What he really needs is a father, which was made especially clear in the episode that aired last Friday, as well as the Young Justice #0 tie-in comic. He's so desperate for a relationship with Superman that, in the comic which bridges the gap in time between the final two scenes of the Young Justice pilot, he asks about Superman constantly, and in the last episode he straight out asked Superman for help learning about his powers, only to meet with total rejection.

I admit that I find Superman and his reaction to Superboy very frustrating. His reluctance is completely understandable, in light of the fact that Superboy is a clone made of him without his knowledge. Superboy isn't his responsibility at all, and, frankly, the whole situation would weird anyone out. Also, Superman is probably the most commitment-phobic character in comics history. How long did he string Lois along for? If he couldn't settle down with the woman he loved, I imagine playing daddy to a teenager who just turned up out of some evil lab would be even harder to deal with. (And we still don't know if, like his comic book counterpart, Superboy is a clone of Superman and Lex Luthor combined.) It also makes sense that Batman would be the one to recognize the problem with Superboy and encourge Superman to do something about it. He loves taking in strays. It's just that, when faced with someone asking for his help, I would expect Superman to have much more compassion, because he's Superman.

I admit that all this angst might become tiresome soon. So far every episode has had him learn a valuable lesson about teamwork and friendship. And I was already pretty happy to see him get his butt kicked by Black Canary. He was smug and bratty and completely deserved to be taught a lesson. I think that's what is endearing though. It's all about him learning lessons, and I am eager to see how the character grows, especially in his relationships with the other characters.

Young Justice #0 was about Superboy staying with Kid Flash and his family, and I am hoping to see more come from that friendship on the show itself. (By the way, if you are enjoying the cartoon, you really should read the comic. With Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar writing it and Mike Norton pencilling, it has one of the best creative teams around.) There is also Miss Martian's obvious crush on Superboy. Miss Martian senses a kindred spirit in him, since both of them are new to the world and don't have a life outside of the team, but she's the polar opposite in terms of attitude. While Superboy is all anger and frustration, Miss Martian is all bright optimism. (I know a lot of viewers find her a bit irritating, I can't help but find her delightful.)

Mostly I'm looking forward to Superman finally taking an active role in Superboy's life though. It would be extra good if that involved Krypto being introduced onto the show.

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Comments (2)

Thank you! I really enjoy Miss Martian...and if her background/origin follows what they did in the comic for her, I'll enjoy her even more.

Hello M'gann!

All right, this post has me looking at Superboy with more compassion. Less of a stupid, emo jerk who won't stop asking for daddy.

Can't wait for tonight's episode.