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Comic Book Review: "Superboy #9: The Culling: Part 2: Lost Claws"
“The Culling” continues into the pages of Superboy issue 9, “The Culling: Part 2: Lost Claws”. This issue follows the two teams of Legion Lost (Tyroc, Timber Wolf, Dawnstar, Tellus, Gates, Chameleon Girl, and Wildfire), and the Teen Titans: Red Robin (Tim Drake) Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), Kid Flash (Bart Allen), Skitter (Celine Patterson), Bunker (Miguel Barragan), Solstice (Kiran Singh) and Superboy (Kon-El/Connor) as they battle Harvest and his army of Ravagers. This story gives insight into Superboy’s real reason for being created and his own inner battle to find his independence and purpose; the story also reveals information, although cryptically, about Bart Allen’s past (or future). Written by Scott Lobdell, with art by Tom DeFalco, D.B. Silva, Rob Lean, and Iban Coello, “Lost Claws”, sheds light on Superboy’s search for individuality and where his allegiances lie.
“The Culling Part 2: Lost Claws” begin with Superboy, the Teen Titans and Legion Lost standing against the army of Harvest (previous survivors of the yearly “Culling”). Tyroc is looking forward to the fight. Tim wants to give them the Warblade, Rose Wilson, Ridge and the other member of Harvest Army’s, the Ravagers, a chance to surrender, since they are also victims of Harvest’s scheming.
Warblade refuses and tell the Ravagers to attack.
Superboy shoots Warblade with a psionic blast, rushes him, and flies off with him into the distance at top speed. Red Robin tells Solstice to go and find him. Tyroc tells her to stay (saying her power is needed there) and tells Dawnstar go after Connor. Tim agrees but warns Tyroc against ordering his team around again.
Superboy and Warblade fly back over a mile. Warblade is mildly impressed with his strategy; Connor doesn’t care. They land in a lava pit. Superboy is hoping it will melt Warblade’s metal body, but it’s not working.
Back at the Battle Royale, Rose Wilson attacks Red Robin. He tries to talk her out of fighting them, saying that she can change her allegiance (since she is being used) and fight against N.O.W.H.E.R.E. She disagrees. Their fight is interrupted by the overlapping fight between Wonder Girl, Wildfire and Ridge.
In the confusion, while Red Robin is knocked to the ground, Rose offers him the choice of dying or joining N.O.W.H.E.R.E. He says neither. She attacks with a sword, but he disappears. Timber Wolf arrives to battle Wilson.
Kid Flash was the one who saved Drake using his super speed; Tim tells him to find the other meta-teens and Skitter to help battle the Ravagers.
As Superboy and Warblade are fighting, Warblade explains that Kon-El is not the only “Living Weapon”; every Ravager is. He wants Superboy to join them; it is his primary purpose for being created. Dawnstar swoops in a drags Warblade off.
Superboy is pondering what Warblade said about not being the only created weapon. Suddenly, inside the hellish inferno of the Colony, it begins snowing.
Kid Flash and the Legion are collecting the teens from all over the Colony. Someone in the shadows recognizes Bart.
Warblade is fighting Dawnstar. He knocks her down and is ready to kill her when Superboy shows up. Warblade notices the bloodlust in Superboy’s eyes. He’s glad that he is ready to embrace his true nature. Superboy says he will choose his own destiny. He throws Warblade into a mountain with such force that people a mile away can feel it.
Bart still can’t find Skitter. Timber Wolf suddenly jumps him and begins screaming about his crimes and how many deaths Kid Flash has caused (he was the one who recognized him in the shadows). Timber Wolf doesn’t know how he escaped the timeline but he recognized his scent. Tellus arrives and causes Timber Wolf to pass out. As he carries him away, Tellus explains to Kid Flash that now he (Bart) can change the future before it happens. Bart is confused since someone knows something about his past that he can’t remember
Hunter Bryce stops Superboy from beating Warblade. He blames Superboy for his imprisonment in the Colony. While they talk Warblade kills Bryce. He tells Connor not to be shocked; he knows Superboy has killed before. Kon-El protests that it was never is cold-blood before, but Warblade tries goading him on. Suddenly, Dawnstar smacks Warblade in the head with a huge rock, knocking him out.
Superboy and Dawnstar return to the rest of the group. They notice that even though the Legion and the Titans have defeated all of the Ravagers, many of the other teens are dead. Red Robin and Superboy discuss it: Superboy says they need to show Harvest they won’t play by his rules. Harvest arrives and tells all of them that they will now witness “the true power of Harvest!”
The second chapter of “The Culling” has finished and the story is at its apex. Here, we’re given more information behind Superboy’s creation. We learn what his purpose is: he was made to a weapon used by Harvest and Warblade wants Superboy to embraces his destiny. Although he is more powerful than Superboy, Warblade spends as much time trying to talk Kon-El to death as he does trying to beat him to death (a ’la Darth Vader / Luke Skywalker style). Also, in the issue, we learn more about Bart Allen’s history: Apparently, he did something bad in the future, had his memory wiped and was sent back in time. He’s responsible for the death of many people; and Timber Wolf (and the Legion) knows all about that incident and Bart Allen himself, even if he doesn’t (He only remembers 6 months ago and on). It seems that “The Culling” is just getting more intense and the stakes are raised even higher in this issue. It will be interesting to see how this entire “Culling” storyline evolves as the second half continues in Legion Lost #9.
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