Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Superboy Kind Of Sucks At His Job...

A wise person once opined (and I forget who said this--anyone knows, drop me a line and credit will be given) that Superboy shouldn't be "the adventure of Superman when he was a boy," but rather "the adventures of Superman when he was incompetent."

A fair point. When you've got a teenager with enough power to move entire solar systems, but still a teenager with the accompanying lack of experience and maturity, you'd expect there to be an occasional disaster or three. Just watch teens hanging out at the mall, and ask yourself, would you want these people to have super-powers?

Instead, DC often presented Superboy merely as "Superman in a younger body and different cast, but just as perfect as the grown-up version."

Sometimes, though, given enough contrivances, they would show how much an adolescent god could screw up. Case in point:

Superboy didn't even know which solar system he was in! And this is the guy who likes to drag around planets??

As mentioned, he's on a world that's just a big Civil War reenactment. But before he figures that out, he goes around trying to save everybody. With, well, terrible results.

Like when he tries to save the bugle boy accused of treason:

Wait wait wait!!

About 75 laws of physics were broken about magic bullets!

And later...

QUICKSAND?!?! Are you kidding me?!?!

Fortunately, we learn that these people are all just "chemically-created androids," so it's not as if Superboy's failures resulted in REAL people dying, right?

Then again, there's no reason that young Kal-El wouldn't frak things up this badly on Earth, when actual human lives are at stake, either. But, no, it's only under these carefully-created, consequence-free circumstances that Superboy is allowed to "fail."

I'm still looking for the story where young Clark Kent accidentally smashes in the front of the family car and tries to hide it by parking the car at an angle where Pa won't notice it. Not that that ever happened to anyone I know...

From Superboy #143 (1967)

1 comment:

Saranga said...

WHY is there a world dedicated to reenacting the American Civil War? What happened when they get to the end? Do they start playing at another war?

Egads, this is why I can't cope with old comics!