Adventure Comics #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Francis Manapul
Colors by Brian Buccellato
I may be the only one who signed up to get Adventure Comics based solely on the strength of Francis Manapul’s art. I became a fan of his work after reading it in the pages of Jim Shooter’s recent Legion of Superhero run. It’s a shame that the run was cut short, because his art was perfectly suited for that book. His art on that book showed that he could handle any kind of action sequence that was thrown at him. Fortunately, he’s on to bigger and better things, with this new (old) series that features the new adventures of Superboy.
Connor Kent is back from the dead, killed by Geoff Johns in the pages of Infinite Crisis, and returned from the grave by Johns in Final Crisis: Legion of Three worlds. Those in the know will remember that DC had run into some legal troubles over the use of the name Superboy, but they were able to clear that all up, and now he’s back and ready for action. This issue picks up with him trying to get back to a normal life. He has moved back to Smallville, and is living with Ma Kent, meanwhile he’s trying to live up to Superman’s legacy. Unfortunately for his peace of mind, Connor is only a half-clone of Superman, with the other half belonging to Lex Luthor, and this leads to him questioning what is behind his motives. Is he Superman, or is he Luthor? The first issue gives us a good set up for what should be a good run.
As good as Johns’ script is, and it’s really good, what will be bring me back for more is Manapul’s art. As much as I enjoyed it on Legion, it’s even better here. His style, particularly in his faces, remind me of Fabio Moon (Casanova), but he’s got his own style, and he brings a lot of action to the page. However, what has really improved his art, and who I have to give special credit to, is the colorist on the book, Brian Buccellato. His colors bring the midwestern town of Smallville to life. The colors give the art a warm, watercolored feel, and it’s one of the best looks I’ve seen in a while.
Adventure Comics is also part of DC’s new initiative to get readers to swallow a $3.99 price tag with a co-feature. The co-feature in this book features the Legion of Superheroes, and focuses on Starman, who is still in the 21st Century and still crazy. The Legion is one of those franchises that has not really caught on with modern audiences, so Johns spends the first issue explaining who the Legion are, and sets up the mystery. It’s not much of a story, but hopefully it will kick in with later issues.
With all the books that Geoff Johns is writing these days, it seems he can do no wrong, and this is just another hit out of the park. As long as Johns and Manapul are on this book, we have another great series to buy. If you’re looking for a fun book, look no further. This issue gets a 5 out of 5.