Adventure Comics #3
Written by Geoff Johns; Geoff Johns and Michael Shoemaker
Art by Francis Manapul; Clayton Henry
Review by Troy Brownfield
I’ve been enjoying this book for the past two issues, but now I have to say that I’m REALLY enjoying this book. Adventure Comics manages to strike the proper tone between fun and serious, between rural America and the far future, and between two very different features. Geoff Johns hasn’t previously done anything quite like his “Superboy” here, and the care that he’s lavishing on it is obvious. The Legion of Super-Heroes co-feature by Johns and Michael Shoemaker reads exactly like old school Legion, which is, of course, precisely what it should do.
Superboy: This issue delivers the story that many people have been waiting on: an actual reunion conversation between Conner and his best friend, Tim Drake (now Red Robin). The former Young Justice/Teen Titans teammates were busy growing up together when Conner died during Infinite Crisis, and they’ve now each hit incredibly difficult stages in their lives. Conner, obviously, feels the pull between his dual genetic heritage as the balance between Lex Luthor and Superman, while Tim is trying to find Bruce Wayne, whom he still believes to be alive.
Before we get to that, Johns and company display some terrific work with a Smallville sequence that builds the character of Simon and does more wonderful things with Krypto. Johns take on the super-dog may be the best we’ve EVER seen. His Krypto is loyal to a fault; really, with his intellect and emotional reactions, Krypto almost comes off like a super-powered Snoopy to Conner’s hapless Charlie Brown.
By the time we get to the Conner/Tim reunion, it pays off so well because it’s NOT overstated. The two talk like friends do after a long time away. The best part is that EVERYTHING gets addressed: the kiss between Tim and Cassie, the cloning attempts, Conner’s fears, Tim’s mission, and more. Johns really makes this one count. For his part, Manapul continues to do rock-solid work. Everything looks great. Particularly Krypto. Yes, I’m loving the dog. Leave me alone.
Legion of Super-Heroes: Johns’ new favorite buddy-movie team, Sun Boy and Polar Boy, undertake an eventful mission on Polar Boy’s homeworld of Tharr in this one. After some comedy involving a couple of disinterested ladies, the boys get down to the business of bringing in Cryo-King. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go remarkably smoothly.
Clayton Henry does a good job here. It’s not incredibly compelling art, but it’s perfectly serviceable for the story at hand. The high points are the interaction between the two leads and the cliffhanger that ties into events running through several Superman-related books at the moment. Again, it’s far too short of a time spent with the Legion.
We all know that an inevitable shake-up is coming to the Adventure layout in the near future. As it stands, though, this combination could run comfortably for a long while. It’s good to see Conner back and adjusting, and it’s damn good to see the Legion figuring heavily into the DCU. Adventure Comics is definitely a worthwhile stop in today’s DC landscape.