Superman Stars in Standing Around Talking Comics #1022

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Action 1022

Superboy is back! No, not that Superboy, the other Superboy. Well, technically, he's back too, but that comes later.

Welcome to another inaction-packed issue of Misnomer Comics, as the Man of Steel converses with the befuddled scientific community who can't make heads nor tales of who Conner Kent is. In fact, he's so unique, they can't even find another Conner Kent in the multiverse, and I'm pretty sure I could find at least three of them with a basic Spokeo search.

"The House of Kent" Part One lobs over to ACTION COMICS by way of YOUNG JUSTICE, where the team has been having their own multiversal adventures, in which they discovered the former Superboy that the universe has forgotten ever existed. Superman doesn't remember him. Batman, Mister Terrific, both Atoms, Blue Beetle, and Doc Magnus don't remember him. But because Superman wants to find out who he is and where he belongs, they all stand around theorizing and looking at scanners to get some idea about his origins...which he flat out tells them for the asking (that being that he's a close made from mashed-up DNA from both Superman and Lex Luthor).

While the riveting shoulder-shrugging takes place, Superman gets an alert that there's a timestream fluctuation. Superboy -- the rapidly-aged Jon Kent version who's been off 1000 years in the future serving with the Legion of Super-Heroes -- has come home with Brainiac 5 in tow. That's Brainiac 5 from the Legion of Super-Heroes. Because that's where Jon has gone -- to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. Did I say "Legion of Super-Heroes" enough times? Because it gets repeated a lot, just in case a new reader comes into the comic a few panels late and didn't read the panels that preceded it. Brian Michael Bendis wants you to be sure that there is a Legion of Super-Heroes and Brainiac 5 is from it. (The momentous visit is so that Superboy can show Brainiac 5 -- from the Legion of Super-Heroes -- a 21st century toilet, but Brainiac 5 becomes distracted by how fabulous Conner's jacket is, and the quaint antique Kryptonian technology.)

With an advanced intellect like Brainiac 5 around, the mystery of Conner Kent is sure to be solved. But it isn't. Jonathan, however, gets the bright idea to introduce Conner to Ma and Pa Kent, since Conner claims he was raised by them on his Earth. And sure enough, when introductions are made, the Kents are flooded with memories of the Boy-out-of-Time. But Superman still is not. It all points to the universe having been rebooted, perhaps even multiple times. Which, indeed, it has been, and that's about the only interesting thing in this story as Bendis pulls a Kurt Vonnegut by making the characters kinda-sorta self aware of their status as characters in a story.

Meanwhile, there's some actual action over at the Daily Planet where Perry White conducts a staff meeting. Okay, that may sound boring, but it's a staff meeting with some yelling in it. And there's an invisible mafia doing something invisible, that involves ownership of the newspaper. It's all very edge-of-your-seat intensity as Steve Lombard gets very put off and Lois comes to work with her attorney at her side.

Despite the lackluster story, there's at least inking of Danny Miki and the colors of Brad Anderson to elevate the book. They save the artwork from the half-finished sketch level quality that John Romita, Jr. has been phoning in on this series for way too long. (Klaus Janson's inks on the cover didn't rescue it, sadly.)

The positive thing to come out of all of this is the realization by the characters that they have been rebooted. Armed with that information, one can only hope they will take their destiny in their own hands and reboot things all over again to something more readable.

2.0 / 5.0