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Much of my confusion after reading the first issue of this revamp was resolved in issues 2 and 3. Turns out the Superboy in the first three issues is Conner Kent, who’s been around since 1993, and is a clone of Superman and Lex Luthor. Some of this was in issue 1, but I couldn’t get a handle on it. Among other things, Conner was in the Teen Titans, and several of them show up in these issues. The soft painted-style art by Francis Manapul is a nice change for him, and continues to remind me of Peter Snejbjerg, in a good way. The stories by Geoff Johns are good fun, though he does have a tendency to drag in all sorts of references from other DC books and plotlines, some of which went right past me. But the stories are still well told, and the characters engaging. The Legion of Super-Heroes backups, which Johns co-writes with Michael Shoemaker, are okay, though they suffer from trying to get lots of characters and plotlines into too few pages.
Then we come to issue 4, a Blackest Night tie-in, which focuses on a completely different Superboy, the villainous one who I believe last appeared in FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS. Actually, I enjoyed him there, and this story is good reading, too. Particularly when we see him trying to catch up on DC continuity at his local comics shop. Been there. The art on this one is by the always-fine Jerry Ordway and Bob Wiacek. The entry of the Black Lantern rings doesn’t add much except more confusion for me, though. On the whole, I think this book is going in some interesting directions, but needs to settle on one. Mildly recommended for story, recommended for the art.