Somebody's returning to the DC Universe (Hint: It's <i>not</i> Batman ... yet)

(First, a warning: This post contains spoilers for Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 and beyond.)

Readers who picked up Legion of 3 Worlds #4 or read the DC Comics blog yesterday were met with a surprise. Sort of: confirmation of the return of a character who, for all intents and purposes, has been absent for the past few years.

To find out who it is -- as if you don't already know -- continue reading.

Beware: Spoilers follow.

Yes, Superboy (aka Conner Kent) is back, and will star in the relaunched Adventure Comics, by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul, which debuts in August.

What's more, Johns reveals on his blog, Superboy will share the title with the Legion of Super-Heroes, just like the good ol' days. (Superboy headlined the original incarnation of Adventure Comics beginning with April 1946's Issue 103, and met the Legion 12 years later in the now-famous Issue 247. After numerous guest appearances by various Legionnaires, they were permanent co-stars from 1962 until 1969.)

Manapul writes that the pages shown on DC's blog were drawn last year before he began work on Superman/Batman: "... I actually drew them as 'test pages' with the ink wash style. Hence the brush and pen work with inks rather than just brush which I’ve fully converted to now. The neat thing about it is that Geoff loved the pages enough to write it into the story as is! So now this is the opening sequence to the book! How much more could I love Geoff for doing this? NOT enough!"

Reaction from fans of Superboy and the Legion is ... well, pretty much what you'd expect. "Elation" probably isn't too much of an overstatement, judging from comments on DC's blog, The Comic Bloc and the Comic Book Resources forum.

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