Review: Superboy #199

Superboy #199 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum with Nick Cardy

Superboy #199
Published and © by DC, November 1973

Title: “The Gun That Mastered Men”
Synopsis: Tyr’s disembodied, robot hand returns to free its master – and takes over Superboy in the process!

Writer: Cary Bates
Artist: Dave Cockrum

Review: A sequel to Superboy #197 (see review), this lead feature is a slight but solid affair. Cary Bates’ story lacks the sophistication the Legion would later obtain, but the art of Dave Cockrum is pushing the franchise fast into the future.


Title: “The Impossible Target!”
Synopsis: Bouncing Boy is captured by Orion the Hunter, a new villain seeking vengeance for his father’s death.

Writer: Cary Bates
Artist: Dave Cockrum

Orion the Hunter by Dave Cockrum
Is that a new Orion the Hunter or did Kraven and Pippi Longstocking have a love child? A rare costume misstep from Dave Cockrum, from Superboy #199.

Review: This Bouncing Boy solo story could have been a good one, but it’s undermined by a ludicrous ending.

Grade (for the entire issue): B

Second opinion: “#199 was plagued by a boring villain, Tyr.” – Howard Stangroom, Comics Unlimited #39, September 1976 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: Dave Cockrum’s redesigned Legion costumes continue to be winners.
Not-so-cool factor: While Cockrum deserves high praise for the heroes’ new threads, his villain designs aren’t as strong.

Notable: Star Boy gets a new costume. … The “Super Talk” letters page includes an LoC from future DC staffer Bob Rozakis.
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “We’re prisoners of our own fortress!” – Braniac 5, twelfth-level intellect and master of the obvious

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Jan. 13, 2010.

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