The death of Superman was, at best, a mixed bag. Though many of the ideas were good, the way they've been handled in the years since have been utter drek. The story gave us the modern Superboy, who has carefully straddled the line between "interesting" and "crap" for years. He's on a bit of an upswing right now, thanks to his place in the ranks of the Teen Titans.
In the wake of Superman's death, a teenage clone emerged from the Cadmus Project, with all the powers of the Man of Steel. After learning half of his DNA came from Lex Luthor, Superboy seeks information on his true genetic origins as a member of the Teen Titans!
Superboy has a secret identity these days, even though, as a clone, he technically doesn't have an identity to protect. He goes by Conner, which is derived from the Kryptonian name Superman gave him, Kon-El, itself a clever anagram of "clone." Some secret.
This is the second Superboy figure DC Direct has given us, following the one in their "Return of Superman" line. That one, as you can see in Rustin's review, was wearing his originl costume. A ridiculous get-up, it was. But now that his monthly title has been cancelled, Superboy can't afford leather logo jackets like he could in the old days, so he's taken to wearing streetclothes: black shoes, bluejeans and a black T-shirt.
The shirt has the Superfamily S-shield logo in red on the chest, but it's rather small on the figure - Mike McKone's artwork, upon which this figure is based, sees the S reaching nearly from armpit to armpit. According to DC Direct, however, it's barely wider than his head.
The sculpt is good, making Conner look fairly bulky for a teenager, which makes sense since he's part big, beefy Superman and part tubby Lex Luthor. Considering that this really is just a young guy in a T-shirt and jeans, what we got is really nice.
Superboy's not problem-free, however. His head is slightly too large for his body, and while the detailing on his new, short haircut is good, his neck is just a peg joint, so he's permanently looking down at the chest of whomever he's facing. While that makes sense if you stand him next to Supergirl, it's still disappointing. ToyBiz, DC, McFarlane, Mattel, whoever, let this be a lesson to you: if you make a figure of a character who can fly and don't include a balljointed neck, then the figure sucks. Get it right.
Other than the neck, DCD did their usual workmanlike job on the articulation: shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, with additional points at the biceps where his arms poke out of his sleeves. Still no excuse for DC not giving the figure a waist. Superboy stands 6" tall and includes a Teen Titans logo base, though he stands fine without it.
Between the lack of a costume and the fact that he can't even look straight ahead, this Superboy is one figure that should appeal mainly to big fans of the character, and can pretty much be safely ignored by everyone else.