Friday, June 22, 2018

The cover gives away the cliffhanger, and I think this was too early to do this story, but turns out I'm glad they did when they did. Huh? Oh, let's just look at 1994's Superboy #4, "Superboy: the Animated Series" Written by Karl Kesel, pencils by Tom Grummett and Mike Parobeck, inks by Doug Hazlewood and Ande Parks.
This was early in the series for the new, clone Superboy from Reign of the Supermen; and he was already taking a sick day. While he thought he was just under the weather from "inhaling volcanic gases" and overwork, telepathic D.N.Alien Dubbilex suggests maybe it might be this disease that was attacking clones? But he's shouted down by S.B.'s business manager Rex Leech (what, Funky Flashman wasn't available?) since it's time for cartoons! Namely, an early cut of a pilot for a Superboy cartoon!

The cartoon portions of the issue are of course in the style of Batman: the Animated Series...okay, with a lot less black, but still. And they're done by the Batman Adventures great penciler, Mike Parobeck! This issue would be the same month as Batman Adventures #20.

Superboy's supporting cast has a bone to pick with Rex, though: while he's portrayed as a billionaire philanthropist, Dubbilex is now his telepathic butler; and his daughter Roxy is currently "primordial slime." Although calmer about it, Dubbilex may actually be more upset, since he doesn't recall signing away his likeness rights. Superboy's actually wondering if he's even in the cartoon by the fifteen minute mark or so, but is told that's to build anticipation. And in the cartoon, he does have a cool cave, so there's that.

Superboy's other love interest, reporter Tana Moon, points out that no network would touch that cartoon, as it was far too violent. It may not matter, though, since Superboy has just passed out in the kitchen, and may have stopped breathing...also, from the way he landed, S.B. was very obviously drinking milk out of the carton, while sick. Well, he wasn't quite the hero he would be, at this point.

It seemed way too soon for the cartoon, but it does fit with a huckster like Rex trying to cash in quick. And this way, we got to see Parobeck do it, which works for me. We just saw the Harley Quinn pitch for Catwoman's cartoon, and No Man's Land: the Animated Series some time back, and I could've sworn there were other in-story B:TAS homages as well.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Damn I sure miss Mike Parobeck. He really could draw anything.