Written by Scott Lobdell and Tom DeFalco
Artwork by R.B. Silva, Rob Lean, and Iban Coello
A few months ago, a friend recommended I read The Hunger Games. If you haven’t heard of this franchise by now, let’s just say it’s getting pretty big. So, I downloaded the ebook, loaded it onto my Kindle Touch and sat down to check it out. I had already been to the Wikipedia page, so I had a general idea of what I was getting myself into. After three sentences, I turned my Kindle off and I haven’t attempted to read it again, nor will I. The Hunger Games is written in a terrible point of view; first-person present, making all the pronouns and verbs present-tense. First-person present is like the frat boy douche of narrative modes; they think they sound sooo good, while in reality they sound cocky, pretentious, and narcissistic. Unfortunately, Superboy falls into this category.
On a personal level, I despise first-person present tense because it makes me feel that the author thinks his audience is dumb, unable to make connections and infer ideas on their own, like they absolutely need a guiding hand to make sure the terribly super-complicated superhero story plot can be conveyed appropriately. It’s insulting and belittling. Of course, the narrative point of view is only one of the bad parts about Scott Lobdell’s Superboy.
Tactile telekinesis is the worst. It’s such a vague, overly-used power that it’s lost any real definition and simply become an amorphous idea that gives writers an easy out for a variety of situations. Stuck in a cell?; telekinesis. Not strong enough?; telekinesis. Have all the powers of Superman and still a whiny little brat?; in Lobdell’s case, Superboy and his telekinesis. It’s hard watching a character who used to have conviction and a strong base be turned into the ‘New 52’s version of Connor Oberst with superpowers.
“Whew! Centerhall’s energy barrage hurt a lot more than I let on!” thinks Superboy in the least-convincing though ever. EVER. No one talks like that let alone has thoughts like that in their heads! It’s preposterous that Lobdell hopes to keep readers engaged while treating them like infants. All in all, Superboy continues to leave me wanting more, whether it’s actual character development, something close to an advancing narrative, or even a good reason for things to happen would be nice.
Even the cover looks unbecoming!