From The Editor’s Desk: Chris Conroy on SUPERBOY
I swear, working with Scott Lobdell is just like working with a kid sometimes.
He’s probably saying the same thing about me, mind you. There’s nothing quite so satisfying about my job as needling poor Scott about our age difference, and about how much I loved his comics when I was a kid. But ironically, not only has Scott been responsible for putting a couple more gray hairs on my head since I got the job of editing the new SUPERBOY, it turns out he’s the one with all the boundless enthusiasm of a teenager – the kind of guy who’s constantly challenging you, asking “why” when you tell him “no,” and more often than not, being obnoxiously, insufferably right about how your grown-up ideas of what you can and can’t do are just wrong, wrong, wrong.
That’s the spirit he brings to his new takes on TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY. These are headstrong teenagers, who may not know a lot – and in Superboy’s case, fresh from the cloning tank, he knows nothing at all – but they know wrong when they see it, and they’re not going to stand for it. We went right back to the basics for Superboy’s story, and like the scientists that cloned him from Kryptonian and human DNA, we’ve rebuilt him from the bones up. Like all teenagers, he’s struggling with the facts of who he is, of the choices that were made for him and the burdens placed on him before he was even born. But unlike most teenagers, he’s got the kind of power that can reshape the face of the world. When someone tells Superboy “no,” he doesn’t have to listen.
But without a family to raise him, without anyone in this world that he can trust, how is he going to keep himself from succumbing to the worst aspects of his newborn personality? It’s a big scary world out there, and none of us are quite ready for it when we’re thrust into it under the best of circumstances. It’s safe to say that when Superboy meets the wider world, it’s under just about the worst circumstances possible. That’s bad news for poor Superboy, and it’s even worse news for the people in his way… even if they’re the Teen Titans, the only other kids on the face of the planet who might be able to understand him.
This is heartbreaking stuff, really it is. And as drawn by the masterful young Brazilian artist R.B. Silva, penciller of the mind-bogglingly great JIMMY OLSEN feature recently seen in ACTION COMICS, you will feel every blow – emotional and physical. Things get broken, including teenage hearts. All the people who surround Superboy are not who they seem – including some faces that may be familiar to a few of you, and who you never expected to meet in a place like this. And every issue, the plot takes another zig where you’d expect it to zag – away from your expectations for what Superboy’s powers are, or the true nature of his origin, or who his enemies and friends might be.
Life never turns out quite the way you plan for it. I never would’ve believed I’d be working with one of my childhood idols, for one. And poor Scott never believed he’d have to put up with the likes of a greenhorn like me. But some of us are just meant to do certain things and Scott Lobdell was meant to write SUPERBOY, the story of the boy who couldn’t be stopped. Superboy is loose in the DC universe now, and he’s got a few ideas on how things should be…