Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Pier Gallo
SMALLVILLE ATTACKS: PART ONE
There are few people on this board that are as big a Superboy fan as I am, I'm not claiming to be the biggest fan, but I can't think of anyone else to be honest (cept maybe Vinny), so I anxiously awaited this. I first encountered Jeff Lemire in Dark Horse's Noir' anthology, then I read The Nobody, and have recently read the first volumes of both Essex County and Sweet Tooth, and he's definitely won me over. One thing that seems to be constant in Lemire's work is rural America. The protagonist in his Noir story runs a farm, as does Uncle Ken in Essex County. Sweet Tooth begins in a cabin in the woods and the main character in The Nobody just wants to be left alone in his motel room, searching for a cure, so who better to breath new life into a setting so iconic as Smallville than Mr. Lemire?
This issue is one of the finest first issues I've read in a long time. Lemire just gets it, he takes what Johns set up in Adventure Comics and just runs with it. I'm very happy he kept around the characters of Lori and Simon, the former being Kon's own Lana Lang, with the latter being a sort of Pete Ross with possible Lex tendencies. Setting up a strong supporting cast is vital in any comic book, but in a teen book especially, it's what can make or break you.
The comic isn't all set-up and talking though, Lemire isn't in Essex County any more, and he knows we need some action, which is provided plentifully by a hulking Parasite, which results in one of the best fights I've read all year, and a welcome return of Kon-El's Tactile Telekinesis, which I personally have missed greatly.
Pier Gallo is a name I haven't come across before, or if I have, he hasn't made much of an impression on me, but I like what I see. The art has a kind of Pete Woods/Freddie Williams II feel to it that's perfect for the book that works well in quiet scenes as well massive fights. My one art gripe is Kon's glasses which look too small and like he's never actually looking through them, they always seem to be right down his nose, although that could be to indicate he isn't as comfortable in his secret identity as Clark is, and it's a small gripe regardless.
On the whole, this is a very enjoyable teen book, which is high praise coming from myself, someone who considers teen superheroics a personal favourite type of comic. Very recommended.