Superboy (Kon-El)

Superboy (Kon-El)
Conner Kent.png
Superboy flies into action. Art by Mike McKone.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993)
Created by Karl Kesel
Tom Grummett
In-story information
Alter ego Kon-El
Species Kryptonian/Human hybrid (Formerly metahuman clone)
Place of origin Earth
Team affiliations Project Cadmus
The Ravers
Legion of Super-Heroes
Team Superman
Young Justice
Teen Titans
Notable aliases Conner Kent, Carl Krummet, "The Metropolis Kid", Experiment 13, "Superman", The Boy of Steel, The Teen of Steel, Kid, Project: Lionel, S.B.
Abilities Tactile telekinesis
Kryptonian powers:
  • Flight
  • Invulnerability
  • Superhuman speed
  • Superhuman strength
  • Superhuman hearing
  • X-ray vision
  • Heat vision
  • Telescopic vision
  • Super breath

Superboy (Kon-El) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the DC Comics universe. A modern update of the original Superboy, who is a younger version of Superman, the character first appeared in Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993), and was created by writer Karl Kesel and artist Tom Grummett.

Originally a metahuman clone of human origin genetically engineered to look like Superman with simulated powers, he was retconned in Teen Titans vol. 3, #1 (September 2003) as a Kryptonian/human hybrid of Superman and his arch nemesis Lex Luthor. In vol 1 #1 of DC comics new reboot, Superboy is a half Krytonian half human clone of Superman and a human who has yet to be identified.


Fictional character biography


After the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday, Project Cadmus Executive Director Paul Westfield wanted to create a clone replacement of Superman that would follow the agendas of Project Cadmus as well as his own personal agenda. Failing to acquire the bodies of Superman and Doomsday by federal authority when Lex Luthor (in a clone body posing as his own son) and his security force Team Luthor puts a halt to their plans, a Cadmus team secretly steals Superman's body from the tomb with Westfield overseeing the entire operation.[1][2] Superman's body was sent to the Project Cadmus genetic research facility to begin the planning stages of creating the clone in secret via a DNA sample from Superman and implanted brain pattern scans taken when Superman was alive by the genetically engineered "DNAlien" Dubbilex. After the Guardian discovered what Westfield had done, Westfield was able to convince him that it was for a noble purpose.[3] Unable to create a clone because it was impossible to obtain a direct DNA sample from Superman's indestructible body, and because the usual cloning techniques were useless on his alien physiology, Superman's body was given an electron capillary scan by the other directors of Cadmus formerly known as the Newsboy Legion. They were able to use the results of the scan along with educated guesswork to create data stored on a disc that contained a close approximation of Superman's actual genetic code data. While the scanning team wanted to test the experimental "digital DNA" and thought about a suggestion made by the Guardian to make clones of the Guardian to fill the void during the DNA testing, Westfield wanted to create the clone of Superman immediately. He sends Auron, a cybernetic super-soldier cloned from the Guardian and created by Westfield's secret genetic engineering team, to retrieve the disk by force via the code word "Sanction Blue". Before Westfield could obtain the disk, the clones of the original Newsboy Legion convinced Auron that he was just like the original Guardian based on having a link with him via his DNA. He rebels against Cadmus and departs with the digital DNA disk to protect Superman's legacy.[4]

After the Auron situation and the retrieval of Superman's body by Lois Lane, the Matrix Supergirl, and Lex Luthor, Westfield and his secret genetic engineering team went by other means to create a Superman clone that they could immediately rush into production. Instead of a direct clone of Superman, they decided to genetically alter a human clone to look like Superman and made the clone to be the closest human equivalent to a Kryptonian as they could based on their research. Carl Packard, the project head of Auron's creation, was the project head for the clone's creation and was given full authority to explore whatever methods to create the clone while Westfield provided him with the sole DNA cellstock that he felt would make the clone easier to control.[5][6] During their research when they had Superman's body, Westfield's scientists discovered an "aura" surrounding Superman's body that provided some of Superman's powers. The aura was translated into a telekinetic field for a human that would give the clone the ability to simulate Superman's powers such as flight, invulnerability, and strength. This was later known as "tactile telekinesis" by the scientists.[7] After twelve failed attempts, the clone known as Experiment 13 was grown from a single cell to a teenage boy in less than a week and was a complete success. The clone was given implanted memories and underwent an artificial maturation process intended to match the age of the original Superman. This clone was released from his cloning tube too early, however, and emerged as a teenager. While at first calling himself "Superman", he would later be known as Superboy.

Reign of the Supermen!

The Newsboy Legion clones break Experiment 13 out of the tube that he was kept in at Project Cadmus facility's Lab 13. He immediately attacks Carl Packard and escaped with the Newsboys into the Cadmus facility's air ducts. Unlike Auron, Experiment 13's brain refused any attempts made by Cadmus to program the clone with any implanted command words. His artificial aging process halted, he leaves Cadmus at the approximate age of a teenage boy of sixteen years old with implanted knowledge corresponding to that of any boy his age.[8]

First appearance in Adventures of Superman #500 (1993). Art by Tom Grummett.

Refusing to be called "Superboy" by the Newsboy clones, the clone believed himself to be a clone of Superman and wanted to be addressed by that name. Arriving in Metropolis for the first time and navigating the streets via the implanted memories given to him by Cadmus, Superboy faced his first battle and stopped the criminal Sidearm from robbing a bank by using his powers.[9] After saving a woman from a group of thugs that tried to deface the memorial statue of Superman, Superboy gave Lois Lane a surprise visit to the Daily Planet. There he sees Tana Moon, a young half Hawaiian reporter formerly of WGBS who worked at the Daily Planet but faced frustration at working fluff pieces. Flying her to the top of the Daily Planet building, Superboy tells Moon that he is a clone of Superman and she used his story to return to WGBS as a television reporter with an exclusive interview with Superboy. After seeing the broadcast, Lex Luthor was enraged to the point of smashing his television. Under the impression that Superman could not be directly cloned by Project Cadmus when they acquired Superman's body, Luthor confronted Carl Packard of Project Cadmus, the man who he had an arrangement with, about Superboy. Packard revealed Superboy's rushed creation and true origins to Luthor.[10]

"The Man of Tomorrow" (the Cyborg Superman), "The Last Son of Krypton" (the Eradicator), and "The Man of Steel" (Henry Johnson a.k.a. John Henry Irons) make their first appearances at this time as well, the first two claiming themselves to be the true resurrected Superman.[8] WGBS head Vincent Edge conspired to focus all their television coverage on Superboy; making him their official "Superman" with Tana Moon reporting his exploits. Fighting against villains such as Steel Hand, Superboy received a lot of attention and ratings for WGBS while Lois Lane and Martha Kent disapproved of his actions. During a battle between the Man of Steel and two gangs in which Superboy's carelessness led to Lois Lane's helicopter pilot being killed, Superboy showed remorse after a lecture by the Man of Steel on the importance of being a hero and later helped him escape a fire caused when the Man of Steel was attacked by "The White Rabbit" Dr. Angora Lapin and landed on an exploding tanker.[11] After failing to recruit the Man of Steel to Lexcorp, Luthor attempts to sway Superboy to his side by using Supergirl to lure him to Team Luthor. After meeting agent Rex Leech and his daughter Roxy Leech, Superboy signs with WGBS an exclusive contract with Rex Leech acting as his manager and Edge arranging to have Superboy live at Clark Kent's former apartment. Edge continued to use Superboy for ratings and Leech secretly set up a fight between Superboy and the criminal Stinger that destroyed the Hobsneck Bridge in Metropolis.[12]

After being informed by Tana Moon of the destruction of Coast City, Superboy arrived to investigate with "The Man of Tomorrow", the Cyborg Superman. The Cyborg Superman destroys their military escort with his heat vision and is later revealed to be Hank Henshaw, the true mastermind behind the destroyed city with Mongul acting on his orders and the one who attacked the Eradicator before Coast City's destruction.[13] Superboy was attacked by the Cyborg Superman and was imprisoned at "Engine City", a giant kryptonite powered engine built on the ruins of Coast City and part of a plan to turn Earth into a new Warworld. The Cyborg Superman used Superboy's image to trick the Justice League into going off-world and leaving Earth vulnerable. Unknowingly using his tactile telekinetic ability to break his restraints, Superboy escapes Engine City and meets with the Man of Steel, Luthor, Lois Lane, and Supergirl in Metropolis. Shortly after, the real Superman arrives via a Kryptonian Warsuit and not at full strength.

When Superman learns of the Cyborg and Mongol's plan to destroy Metropolis next, Superboy joins Superman and Irons (who later assumes the name "Steel" shortened by Superman) in an assault on Engine City (later joined by an invisible Supergirl and Green Lantern). During the battle, an "engine bomb" missile was launched at Metropolis with the intent of destroying the city and creating a second Engine City in its place. Superboy leaves the battle to intercept the missile and uses his tactile telekinesis in an attempt to disarm it. He was able to save Metropolis, but the missile detonated when it reached open sea. Superboy was feared dead by Tana Moon, who covered the story live, but Superboy released the missile before it exploded and crash landed in a public landfill. Superboy later arrives with the Eradicator to take part in Superman's battle against Cyborg Superman.[13][14][15][16] Following the Cyborg Superman's defeat by Superman and Mongol's failed plan to destroy Earth, Superboy is convinced that the returning Kal-El is the real Superman. After his return to Metropolis, Tana Moon informs Superboy that she quit WGBS and was leaving Metropolis without telling him where she was headed to.[17]

After Superboy reveals on television that he was a result of Cadmus' DNA experiments and that Cadmus was after him, Executive Director Westfield sends the Guardian to bring in Superboy after failing to capture him with "Payback DNAliens" that he sent without Cadmus personnel knowing. Convinced by Superman that no harm will come to him, Superboy returned to Cadmus with Superman & the Guardian and learns the truth of his origin. Superboy is informed by the scientists of Project Cadmus that he was created from human DNA only and was genetically engineered to both look like Superman and mimic his major powers by way of a telekinetic field. After learning the truth, Superboy reveals that he has agreed to let Superman have the rights to the name "Superman", trademark and symbol that was registered after his death to Superboy by Superboy's manager Rex Leech. Leech refused to give the rights back to Superman claiming that Rex Leech Enterprises owned the name. Roxy Leech, acting as C.E.O. of Rex Leech Enterprises, sided with Superboy and sold Superman the rights to the name for a dollar. Superman in turn told Superboy and Rex Leech that if half of the proceeds goes to charity, he would agree to let Superboy and his manager use the symbol in merchandising and the kid can call himself "Superboy" feeling that he earned the name. At first reluctant to use the name, Superboy accepts it and decides to go on a world tour that Rex Leech planned to establish his new name.[7] Dubbilex, assigned by Project Cadmus to chaperone Superboy, assisted in the planning of the tour and accompanies Superboy and the Leeches.

Superboy (1993-2002)

A Superboy series debuted in 1994 and lasted for 100 issues, ending in 2002. Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett were the creative team for the majority of the first 30 issues. Ron Marz took over as writer of the series from issues #31 through #41 with a few other issues penned by him after his run on the series. Eddie Berganza wrote issue #44 and Barbara Kesel took over writing duties from issues #42 to #49. Kesel and Grummett returned to the book in issue #50.

Hero of Hawaii

Superboy gained publicity during Rex Leech's "Supertour" including media coverage and appearances on talk shows. With Honolulu, Hawaii being the last stop of the American leg of the tour, Rex Leech profited from the tour and sold Superboy memorabilia while setting up publicity stunts such as having Roxy fall out of a plane so that Superboy could rescue her. Sidearm, who relocated to Hawaii, kidnaps Roxy after the end of the publicity stunt, but Superboy defeats him with help from Dubbilex. Superboy encounters Sam Makoa, a Hawaiian federal agent, who wanted to make sure that Superboy was just visiting Hawaii and not permanently staying. Superboy's presence on the island increased the activities of the Silicon Dragons, the largest crime cartel in the Pacific Rim led by Lady Dragon with an honor code of using equal force against opponents. Superboy later encounters Tana Moon, who relocated back to her home of Hawaii to work for the television station KONA-TV as a reporter.[18] After defeating some of the Silicon Dragons' smugglers at Mamala Bay, Superboy eventually decides on an extended stay in Hawaii.

Superboy caught the attention of Knockout, a thrill-seeking former member of the Female Furies from the planet Apokolips whose secret identity was an exotic dancer named Kay working at The Boom Boom Room. After Superboy agreed to guard the ancient Hawaiian artifact known as the Spear of Lono at the Hawaiian Historical Museum, the spear is stolen by Knockout which leads to a fight between the two. Knockout admitted that she stole the spear to get Superboy's attention and kissed him after she delivered a knock out punch to him.[19] The Spear of Lono was stolen by the Scavenger, who wanted to use the spear's mystical powers but needed the missing gemstone that was hidden in Maui. After defeating Scavenger, Superboy fell ill when he contracted a virus that affected the majority of Cadmus' clones. Before Superboy and Dubbilex enter the base at Pearl Harbor to get transport to Cadmus, Tana Moon reveals her feelings for Superboy much to the chagrin of Roxy Leech, who was in love with Superboy and disliked Moon. Dr. Arnold Kaua, curator of the Hawaiian Historical Museum, wanted the spear to become Hawaii's first native-born superhero and instead became Silversword when he was infused with "antimetal" and gained superpowers. Ignoring his sickness, Superboy stops Silversword from attacking the U.S. Navy at Kaho'olawe Island but at the cost of his condition becoming worse.[20]

Lex Luthor contracts the clone virus as well and accuses Project Cadmus of infecting him. This led to a full scale war between Lexcorp and Cadmus in Metropolis while the Underworlders took advantage of the conflict to attack Cadmus troops and innocent civilians. When Paul Westfield attempts to exterminate the Underworlders with a missile aimed at the heart of Metropolis, he is murdered by mad scientist Dabney Donovan, the creator of the Underworlders and the true mastermind behind the clone virus. Cadmus discovers a cure to the virus via the Guardian's blood and Superboy is the first to be cured. Luthor sends a team of his armored Team Luthor "Lex-Men" soldiers to obtain the cure at all costs, but failed when they encountered Superman and a healthy Superboy. During the battle with Superboy and Superman, the Lex-Men succeed in their second objective of destroying the Project Cadmus facility by overloading the facility's gravitron reactor core.[21] After the battles between Cadmus and Lexcorp and the defeat of Lex Luthor,[22] Superboy helps with the rescue efforts in downtown Metropolis where one third of the area was severely damaged by Luthor. He later battles the Parasite, who is after a postal worker named Fred Bentson. Superboy and Bentson are transported to the city of Dakota in the Milestone universe and encounters Rocket, the sidekick of the superhero Icon. Superboy joins forces with Superman, Steel, Icon, Rocket, Static, Hardware, and the Blood Syndicate to stop the reality-manipulating villain Rift, the transformed Fred Bentson who thought of Metropolis and Dakota as creations of his own imagination. Before leaving Metropolis, Dubbilex accepted Bibbo Bibbowski's request for him to take Bibbowski's white puppy Krypto and give him a new home away from the devastation in Metropolis. Flying over Kansas on the way back to Hawaii, Superboy encounters the Kal-El Superboy from the Time Trapper's Pocket Universe (later retconed to have been the Earth-One Superboy) in a Smallville that was affected as a result of timestream anomalies.[23]

On vacation, Professor Emil Hamilton invites Superboy to the S.T.A.R. Labs facility on Hawai'i Island for an examination. Taking up Hamilton's offer while vacationing with Tana Moon on Hilo, Superboy underwent a cellular diagnostic. The results of his examination was that while Superboy's DNA was completely human, it was made by Cadmus to be very similar to that of a Kryptonian even to the extent of his body being a living solar battery that fueled his tactile telekinetic powers and a possible vulnerability to kryptonite.[9] After the examination, Hamilton gives Superboy a choice of his inventions at S.T.A.R. Labs with Superboy selecting the "x-ray vision-goggles" that he later learned had heat vision and infrared vision as well. After defeating the threats of King Shark and B.E.M. on Hilo, Superboy and Tana Moon began a romantic relationship. He decided to cancel the Supertour and stay as Hawaii's superhero along with the Leeches and Dubbilex. He later takes up residence at a beachfront home near Kehe Point that he called "The Compound". The Silicon Dragons, displeased with Superboy remaining on the island, attempts a drive-by shooting on Superboy at the Honolulu Mall's grand opening but kills a young Superboy impersonator while the real Superboy was on the show "Hollywood Tonight". After defeating the criminal Techno, he attends the funeral of Superboy's impersonator and decided to become more serious about being a superhero and stopping the Dragons. He convinced Sam Makoa to let him be a part of the operation to take on the Silicon Dragons. Superboy, Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad, Knockout (working with the Suicide Squad to get amnesty for stealing the Spear of Lono), and King Shark under the command of Makoa team up to take out the Silicon Dragons' central base of operations at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

Superboy's choice to make Hawaii his legal residence meant that Superboy was legally required to attend school because he is a minor. After taking a placement exam, he attends Ilupani High School as a freshman under the watchful eye of truant officer Mack Harlin. At Ilupani High, he meets Hillary Chang, who becomes one of Superboy's trusted friends as well as dogsitter for Krypto.

Lar Gand, the Daxamite Legion of Super-Heroes member known as Valor, arrived in Superboy's time period suffering from lead poisoning. Valor loses his memory and is manipulated into fighting for entertainment by corrupt businessman Mr. Gambolli, Rex Leech's creditor in California. Owing a huge amount of money to Gambolli, Rex Leech arranged to draw Superboy into a fight with Valor (going by Gambolli's name of "Champion") at Diamond Head to clear his debts while Gambolli profited via gambling. The fight is interrupted by Knockout, revealed to be alive after the mission with the Suicide Squad and attacking both Superboy and Valor in a three way fight. Valor's ship Pilgrim One arrived on the scene and after telling Superboy that Valor is dying, Superboy avoided military arrest by the soldiers at Diamond Head and brings Valor to S.T.A.R. Labs for treatment while dropping Knockout off at Gambolli's ship "Lady Luck". With Valor close to death, Superboy puts Valor in the Stasis Zone using a projector that was taken from the criminal Loophole in an earlier adventure with the hero Loose Cannon. The machine explodes with Valor trapped inside despite Superboy's efforts to hold the machine together with his tactile telekinetic powers. The Legion of Super-Heroes arrive in Superboy's time period to save Valor and after a brief misunderstanding at the Compound, Saturn Girl was able to get the blueprints to the Stasis Zone projector from Superboy's subconscious. Brainiac 5 teleports The Legion and Superboy to the 30th century to repair the machine and release Valor in their time period.[24] Superboy does not get along with Brainiac 5, but makes friends with other members of the Legion with one of Triad's selves having a crush on him. The necessary component for the generator was stolen by the Scavenger, who is still alive in the Legion's time period, but the Legion and Superboy were able to defeat him. The mission is considered top-secret since Valor is considered an important figure to many people across the United Planets, but Superboy accidentally spoke about the mission causing pandemonium. After defeating Scavenger, Valor is secretly released from the Stasis Zone in Qurac and is given an anti-lead serum. While grateful for Superboy and the Legion releasing him, Valor was upset at Cosmic Boy for telling him that he has to lie low because of his legendary status and treatment by worshipers such as Triad and others. Superboy consoled Triad about Valor's frustration at her and she kissed him before he departed. In gratitude for saving Valor's life, the Legion makes Superboy an honorary member and give him a Legion flight ring.[25]

Becoming his full time partner, Knockout taught Superboy new ways to use his tactile telekinesis as well as teamed up with several times to face Killer Frost, the criminal inventor known as the Technician, and Silversword, who changed after Superboy and Knockout helped him escape the military's attempt to recapture him for experimentation. The Female Furies, led by Lashina, would later arrive to capture Knockout. As a result, a huge battle breaks out in Honolulu with the local police involved and Ilupani High severely damaged. After the battle and evaluation by Dan Turpin, Sam Makoa is appointed as an inspector of Hawaii's newly established Special Crimes Unit. Due to the damage at Ilupani High, the Hawaii school board decides that Superboy should not attend public school anymore and should be home tutored. A police officer is killed in the fight with the Furies and an investigation via Dubbilex's mental abilities concludes that Knockout herself had struck down the officer. Superboy refuses to believe that Knockout is guilty and is branded a fugitive by the Hawaii S.C.U.. He goes on the run with Knockout to Moloka'i. After Supergirl and Knockout battle, Supergirl telekinetically removes Superboy's s-shields after she failed to convince him not to be an outlaw while wearing Superman's shield. Superboy and Knockout land on Loihi island where Dr. Victor Volcanum has risen the island to serve as his new kingdom. Knockout seduces Volcanum and Superboy fights him thinking that he was taking advantage of Knockout. Knockout attempts to get Superboy to kill Volcanum and when he refuses, Knockout kills Volcanum in front of him and admits to killing the policeman during the Furies attack. Knockout wanted Superboy to obey every command of hers, but Superboy refused leading to a battle between the two. Superboy is given his S-shields by Roxy Leech and defeats Knockout by using the entire island of Loihi for his tactile telekinetic attack. This left Superboy distraught about giving Knockout a chance to do the right thing, but he was consoled by Roxy Leech.[26]

After making an appearance at a birthday party on behalf of the "Dream A Dream" foundation, Superboy was summoned back to the ruins of Project Cadmus where he and the remaining directors saw the twelve failed attempts by Packard and his team to create Superboy that was found by a work crew in sublevel six of the facility. Packard's first attempt, a clone using the flawed Lexcorp process created by Dr. Teng that mimicked Kryptonian DNA and created Bizarro, created a Bizarro version of Superboy despite Packard's view that human DNA would stabilize the process. The clone was accidentally released from his tube by the Newsboy Legion clones and fought Superboy, but the unstable clone was dying from the process that created him. During this battle, the directors analyzed Superboy's DNA cellstock secretly preserved by Packard and ran the analysis through Cadmus' database. They found that Superboy's DNA was a cellular match with one of the directors on file with only the head of security or the directors having full access to their cellblocks. It is later revealed to Superboy, Carl Packard, the dying Bizarro Superboy, and the directors of Cadmus that Superboy was created from the donated DNA cellstock of Executive Director Paul Westfield. Westfield revealed via a recorded message to his superiors that he secretly provided his own DNA to an unsuspecting Packard and Cadmus as a result of Auron defying Westfield. After the revelation, Superman talked with Superboy about it and later he is given a surprise first birthday party by Tana Moon and Roxy Leech with Dubbilex, Rex Leech, and Inspector Makoa in attendance.[5]

A secret organization called the Agenda used an operative named Amanda Spence, undercover as a magazine reporter, to gather intelligence on Superboy from an unsuspecting Tana Moon. Superboy was captured and the Agenda subsequently created Match, an upgraded clone of Superboy who has vastly upgraded knowledge, a greater understanding of the abilities Superboy had such as using his tactile telekinesis as a vision power, and no free will as he was created to serve. The Agenda's plan was to use Superboy's DNA to create multipurpose clones for sale with Match as the first of many. After a battle in the Agenda's headquarters, Superboy defeats the inexperienced Match and destroys the Agenda's clone duplicates. Soon after, Superboy's powers begin to fluctuate and he soon becomes ill. His cellular structure breaking down, Superboy is rushed back to Cadmus when S.T.A.R Labs could not help him. Superman, Supergirl, and Steel come to his aid and search for the cause as well a cure. Superman and Steel discovered the Agenda's cloning capsules at the ruins of their base and failed to bring Match to Cadmus in order to find a cure. Supergirl interrogates the directors of the Agenda and discovers that the process used to clone Superboy and create Match actually "unzipped" his DNA, causing his body to deteriorate. An imprisoned Amanda Spence, as repayment for Superboy saving her life, suggests that Superboy's DNA needed a pattern to follow in order to rebuild itself.[27] Using that information, Cadmus' plan was to speed up Superboy's cellular degeneration and build his cells up again using donor DNA as a template to follow. With Superboy's DNA being indecipherable and the scientists unable to use the preserved Westfield DNA used to create Superboy, Cadmus scientists needed active human DNA closest to Superboy's age to be a template for Superboy's DNA to pattern itself after. Roxy Leech volunteered to be Superboy's genetic template and both Superboy and Roxy Leech are placed in the clone capsules to go through the same genetic reconstruction process. Using Roxy's DNA, their DNA is broken down and reconfigured to be identical and Superboy is cured. Unfortunately, as a side effect, the process halted his aging process at the biological age of 16. The news devastates Superboy since he had always dreamed of growing up to replace Superman when the latter retired, but he coped with it after a talk with Superman.[28]

When Tana Moon felt that Superboy was becoming more immature despite the age lock, she breaks off her relationship with him.[29] After a failed business venture set up by Rex Leech, Superboy disappears along the Pacific Ocean in a blast of energy. Unable to find Superboy for the months, his surrogate family went their separate ways: Dubbilex is summoned back to Project Cadmus, and Roxy Leech leaves Hawaii in search of her fugitive father Rex after failing to find Superboy.[30]

Agent of Cadmus

Superboy found himself transported to the "Wild Lands", an uncharted island populated by anthropomorphic animal beings known as "Wild Men".[31] Robbed of his memories, speech, and powers, he was enslaved by the snake-man and trader Sacker but escaped and was later captured by the tiger-man Prince Tuftan and his royal bodyguards "The Wild Men". He was sent to their capital city of Roam and while Sacker wanted Superboy returned to him, Tuftan wanted to keep Superboy as a possible pet to his betrothed Lady Tawna. Superboy regained his speech and saves the life of Great Caesar, the leader of the Furries and Tuftan's father, by stopping an assassination attempt by General Killa, commander of a mercenary gorilla army loyal to the bat-woman Nosferata, who plotted to take Great Caesar's throne. Caesar and other Furries believed that Superboy was the "Mighty One" prophesied in their "Articles of Faith", old news reports from the Daily Planet on Superman, and put Superboy through tests that he passed.[32] Regaining his memory and powers and believing that he might be in a post apocalyptic future, Superboy and Tuftan learn that Superboy was fired upon by Killa's gorilla-men using a weapon made operational by Sacker. After the gorilla-men traded Superboy in exchange for weapons, Superboy was given a serum that impaired his speech, memory, and powers. Liberating Sacker's human slaves, Superboy and the Wild Men sail to explore past the Wild Lands and wind up back on Hawaii. Superboy learns from the news crew covering the arrival of their ship that Tana Moon left Hawaii months ago for a business opportunity. He finds the Compound deserted and is crushed to find that his friends have all left Hawaii.[33] Cadmus sends the Guardian and Dubbilex to Hawaii and learns that the Wild Lands was an abandoned genetic experiment with animals done in the 1940s by Dr. Grant of Project Moreau, a precursor to Project Cadmus two generations prior. At the Wild Lands, Great Caesar is killed by his advisor Ratsputin, who was secretly working for Nosferata. Nosferata sends the gorilla army and her army of bat-men to attack Pearl Harbor, but Superboy stops the attack with the aid of the Wild Men and the Guardian. Tuftan is blackmailed into marrying Nosferata, becoming queen of the Wild Lands while the Wild Men are exiled by Nosferata.[34]

Discovering the true origins of the Wild Lands and attending Tuftan's wedding after a failed attempt to make Tuftan reconsider his arrangement, Superboy returns to the Compound to decide what to do about the Wild Men now that they are exiled. After the Wild Men agree to find Tana Moon for him, Superboy undertakes a mission in Paris with the Guardian and Dubbilex where he encounters Grokk, a living stone dragon gargoyle made by Director Alpha of the Agenda. After Grokk's capture, the Guardian tells Superboy that the mission was a test case for Superboy to become a field agent for Project Cadmus tasked with dealing with genetic anomalies.[35] The government later reached a decision that Project Cadmus did not justify their funding and needed a change. Cadmus is placed under the management of one director in chief, Mickey "The Mechanic" Cannon, who takes Cadmus public. Cannon's military liaison and secondary director is Colonel Adam Winterbourne, one of Sacker's human slaves from the Wild Lands that Superboy freed. With the former directors laid off, the Newsboy Legion clones leave Cadmus with them and relocate to Metropolis. Superboy teams up once again with Dubbilex and the Guardian, who trains Superboy in combat and feels that Superboy needs him just like the Newsboy Legion did. He later befriends Dr. Serling Roquette, a child prodigy and genetics genius who later becomes one of Superboy's closest friends at Cadmus.[36]

After visiting Cadmus and meeting the new management, Superman takes Superboy to the Fortress of Solitude and sends him to visit a virtual reality Krypton through the technology of a mnemonic chair linked to the data banks of the fortress. Superboy experienced the perspective of a Kryptonian soldier who saved the life of Superman's descendant Captain Van-L during a battle at the clone banks of Krypton with the terrorist group Black Zero and was later adopted into the House of El. He later experiences the life of Kon-El, a descendant of the same Kryptonian soldier and a member of the second House of El established by his predecessor as well as Superman's cousin in spirit. After the simulation and Superman asking Superboy to look out of questionable cloning practices by Cadmus, Superman tells Superboy that he considered Superboy family and bestows upon him the Kryptonian name of Kon-El in honor of the original.[37]

A fatally injured Superboy from an alternate reality falls from the sky wearing a device known as a "hyperjacket" that was encoded to his DNA and allowed travel through Hypertime. Dying from second and third degree laser burns, this Superboy is transported to the Justice League Watchtower by Big Barda. With his last breath, the alternate Superboy tells the Justice League that darkness was coming to take over their reality. After learning that the deceased Superboy is a genetic match, Kon-El takes it upon himself to investigate the other Superboy's claims with the approval of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.[38] By using the hyperjacket repaired by the Gadget Guru of the "Hairies" and strapped to a nuclear bomb to power the jacket, Superboy is thrown into various different worlds in which he met different versions of himself such as a Superboy as Batman's sidekick, a blonde Supergirl that was created by her world's Lex Luthor, a Superboy that was a member of the Challengers of The Unknown alongside Dubbilex and the Guardian, a Superboy as "Karkan, Lord of The Jungle", a medieval Superboy, and the cowboy "Kid Kon-El" with his horse Comet. He learns from the first two worlds of "Black Zero" and his plans to aggressively take over worlds while claiming to be a protector of clones. When he visits the homeworld of the deceased Superboy, he learns from a reformed alternate version of Knockout that her world's Superboy is her lover and stole the hyperjacket from Black Zero's Fortress Cadmus to travel to other worlds and warn others. Before his hyperjacket destroys itself due to lack of a proper power source to fuel it, Superboy ends up on the pre-Crisis Earth One and reunites with the Kal-El version of Superboy whom he had met previously along with his dog Krypto. During Kon-El's stay with Kal-El, Krypto, and Ma and Pa Kent, Kon-El learns that Superman is Clark Kent while Kal-El learns that Kon-El is not Kal-El from another reality.[39]

Black Zero followed Superboy to Kal-El's world and reveals himself by capturing Krypto and defeating both Superboys with his Stormguard soldiers (clones of the Guardian) and his own powers. After Superboy himself is taken to Fortress Cadmus, Black Zero was revealed to be an alternate version of Kon-El that was grown to full adulthood and became Superman. After a battle in his reality in which three hundred and eighteen civilians were killed resulting in a public outcry against cloning that lead to the death of his reality's Guardian by an anti-cloning mob, this Kon-El renamed himself Black Zero after the terrorist group on Krypton that fought for clone rights. Unlike Superboy, Black Zero possessed a highly skilled mastery of telekinesis as well as powers that mirrored Superman (such as heat vision and super hearing) due to his human DNA being similar to a Kryptonian like Kon-El's DNA as well as his advanced age.[40] With the help of his Stormguards, the Paul Westfield from the home reality of the deceased Superboy, and the New God Metron, Black Zero managed to travel through Hypertime using a reactor powered by an element called "hyperium" to take over worlds and imprison dozens of Superboys across Hypertime in stasis pods, including all the Superboys that Kon-El met, while leaving the Paul Westfields from their realities in charge of the clones of their worlds. He planned on taking over Kon-El's world and as a contingency plan against Superman, he kept multiple versions of Doomsday from different realities. With the help of the Challengers of the Unknown, the alternate Knockout, the Kal-El Superboy, and the other alternate Superboys, Kon-El manages to stop Black Zero. At the end of the story it is unclear if Black Zero is dead or lost in Hypertime while every Paul Westfield was deleted from existence when the Westfield of the deceased Superboy's world jumped into the hyperium reactor. Superboy and the Challengers of the Unknown use a ship given to them by Metron to travel home out of Hypertime. After this adventure, Superboy harbored some slight resentment that Superman had kept his secret identity from him, but Lois Lane has a talk with him that leads to understanding on his part.[41]

When the Agenda takes over Cadmus, they use the villains Simyan and Mokkari to create a clone army and turned the lab into the "Evil Factory." With the help of some allies, Superboy manages to regain control of Cadmus, battling Match disguised as Superboy along the way. When Tana Moon returns, she is brutally murdered by Amanda Spence, revealed to be Paul Westfield's daughter, who instead of being grateful for Superboy saving her life, holds him responsible for Westfield's death.[42]

During the Sins of Youth[43][44] storyline, the members of Young Justice are aged to adults by Klarion the Witch Boy while the Justice League is turned into kids. At first, Superboy is the only one who did not have his age altered, and he became ill. Since he cannot age, his body fought with the magic manipulation trying to age him. Due to a procedure by Serling Roquette, Superboy's aging process is reactivated, enabling the magic to turn him into an adult as well. During this time, Superboy confronts Amanda Spence, nearly killing her. It is Wonder Girl who seemingly talks him down from his nearly murderous rage. Then abruptly, he slams Spence towards the ground at a high rate of speed. Yet at the last moment, he prevents her impact, declaring that Spence should live with the memory of how she could have lost her life.

The adult Superboy tells a rejuvenated Superman (now about Kon-El's normal age) that he knows his secret identity of Clark Kent. After Klarion is blackmailed into reversing the effects, Superboy is restored back to his teens, but he is rendered powerless. Director Cannon calls in Dr. Helen "Doc Angel" Angelico, the world's foremost expert in metahuman medicine, to help with Superboy's condition. Reflecting on the loss of his powers and Tana Moon, whose family blames Superboy for her death, Superboy became more focused on being Superboy without his powers. He underwent more training from the Guardian in combat and used a wristguard that gave him flight as well as use of a s-shield made of an expandable alloy. When the alien slaver Kossak arrives, Superboy is forced to rely on his wits and his new gadgets to succeed against the enemy before his powers are restored at the last minute. During the Our Worlds at War crossover, Superboy fights Amanda Spence, now an insane cyborg, for the last time, and Cadmus is destroyed. It is also during this period that it is suggested Superboy's tactile telekinesis will develop into full telekinesis, when in a rage-induced power spike, he accidentally disassembles every gun in Metropolis.

At the end of his series, Superboy gets an apartment in Metropolis, working as the building superintendent to make an income for himself.[45] Superboy later leaves Metropolis and taken in by Superman's parents.

Young Justice (1998-2003)

Superboy is a founding member of Young Justice, a group of teenage heroes who intended to one day be the next Justice League.

Superboy first encountered his future teammate Robin after the latter called Rex Leech requesting Superboy's help in defeating Metallo in Gotham City while Superboy was judging the first "Miss Kryptonite" pageant in Hawaii. While Superboy and Robin seemingly defeated Metallo, Poison Ivy takes control of Superboy. Robin follows Superboy and Poison Ivy to Kauai, where Poison Ivy released vines all over the island. Metallo shows up in Kauai as well and the team of Superboy and Robin defeated them. It was during this that Superboy discovered that he had a weakness to Kryptonite radiation that made him sick in the presence of it as guessed by Professor Hamilton.[46] He also teamed up with future Young Justice member Captain Marvel Jr. against mental projections of Knockout, Chain Lightning, Captain Nazi, Silversword, Superman, and Captain Marvel.[47]

Although Young Justice's first mission was technically the rescuing of the metahuman ghost-girl, Secret, the group did not officially form until an incident in which the world's adult population was kidnapped and transfers them to a copy Earth, by a pre-teen with godlike powers. Teaming up with Robin and Impulse, the three teen heroes manage to defeat Bedlam and return everything to normal. Soon after, they agreed to form an official team, dubbed "Young Justice" by the media. Soon after they are joined by Secret, Arrowette, Wonder Girl, and others. Although Superboy and Robin begin with an argumentative relationship similar to the one shared by Superman & Batman as well as leadership struggles, they became allies and friends. Superboy and Wonder Girl's relationship is developed throughout Young Justice. At first, Wonder Girl's infatuation with Superboy is unnoticed. In the final issue of Young Justice, both Wonder Girl and Superboy reveal they have feelings for each other. After the events of Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day and the apparent death of Donna Troy, Young Justice disbands with Superboy, Robin, Impulse, and Wonder Girl going their own separate ways.

Teen Titans (2003-2006)

Cover to Teen Titans (vol. 3) #2 (2006). Art by Mike McKone.

Now based in Smallville with a new civilian identity as Clark Kent's cousin "Conner Kent", Superboy is asked by Superman to accept Cyborg's invitation to join a new incarnation of the Teen Titans with his former Young Justice teammates Robin, Impulse, and Wonder Girl. Also on the team are Teen Titans veterans Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy. Superboy is retconned from the original premise of a human clone of Paul Westfield with restructured DNA (based on a genetic template from Roxy Leech) to a hybrid of Superman's Kryptonian DNA and Paul Westfield's human DNA. After the new team gathers at Titans Tower in San Francisco Bay, it is revealed via an email sent to Robin that Superboy's human DNA is not from Paul Westfield but from Superman's foe Lex Luthor.[48]

During Superboy's first adventures with the Teen Titans, his Kryptonian powers start to manifest. In a battle with Jericho, Superboy's body gets possessed by him and Jericho was able to exhibit heat vision and other Superman-like powers. At first Superboy seems to have a hard time controlling his powers but he soon adjusts. Later, during Wonder Girl and Conner's first date, Superboy is forcibly sucked through a time portal to the 31st century.[49]

When Superboy reappears, he is wearing the classic Superboy outfit (with a Legion belt buckle). This was the result of 31st century minions of Darkseid stealing Earth's mightiest heroes from the past and turning them into warriors of the future Apokolips. Because Conner is a clone of Superman, he is mistakenly taken, because they thought he was actually Kal-El. When their error is realized, Conner is left drifting in 31st century space. Conner is found by Phantom Girl's mother and the United Planets and is soon formally inducted into the Legion of Super-Heroes. When Conner is seen by the people of the 31st century, he is revered as a great legend of the Superman mythos. He then helps the Legion defeat Darkseid and his corrupted heroes, which consist of Superman, Green Lantern, Orion, Wonder Woman, Lobo, Big Barda, Firestorm, White Martian, and Hawkwoman, who were abducted and manipulated into his service. After Darkseid and his minions are defeated, the Legion returns the past heroes to their proper places in time (as seen in the "Foundations" storyline in The Legion #25-30). Conner suffers from short term memory loss after his time jump and cannot remember exactly when he vanished from the past. Because of this, Brainiac 5 refuses to send him back until they discover his point of departure. After months of probing Conner's mind, Saturn Girl finally discovers the point at which he left the past. With this newfound information, Superboy is sent back to the 21st century a second or two after he left.

It appears to Cassie as though he was only away for a couple seconds, but Superboy has spent five months in the 31st century with the Legion of Super-Heroes fighting the Fatal Five-Hundred. He returns to enlist the help of the Titans, bringing them to the future where they help the Legion to victory.[50][51]

On the return trip home, they accidentally arrive ten years in the future instead of the present. The Teen Titans meet adult versions of themselves. Superboy finds that he is now Superman, Tim is Batman, Cassie is Wonder Woman, and Bart is the Flash. In this alternate future, Conner has greater control of his powers, Cassie chooses him over Captain Marvel Jr., Lex Luthor is his mentor/father figure, and the Titans are "freakin' bad guys".

They discuss the possibility of breaking up the team when they get back to the present, but Cyborg 2.0 tells them that the future developed the way it did because the team was not together during the "Crisis".[52]

Brainiac and Luthor lead an attack against the young heroes of the Teen Titans and the Outsiders using a brainwashed Superboy and Indigo. Luthor reveals that the reason he had donated his DNA to help create Superboy was to create a sleeper agent that he could use to destroy Superman. He revealed that he was involved with "Project: Superman" (a.k.a. "Project: Lionel"), and he had implanted verbal commands into Superboy under Cadmus director Paul Westfield's nose. This eventually led to near disaster, as Luthor was able to "unlock" the potential of Kon-El.

Under Luthor's influence, Superboy's power magnitude was at a level he rarely displayed on his own. Conner defeats his team, including tearing Cyborg apart at his mechanical pieces, breaking Robin's arm, and savagely beating his own girlfriend. He then shakes off the brainwashing.[53][54]

Afterwards, Conner takes a leave of absence from the Titans and secludes himself in the Kents' home. He is unsure as to whether or not, being a clone, he even has a soul. There, Raven shows him that he had a young soul that was stronger than his inner demons and steadily growing.[55]

Infinite Crisis: The Death of Superboy (2005-2006)

In the DC Comics' limited series Infinite Crisis, the other-dimensional Superboy-Prime watches Conner during his seclusion in Smallville.[56][57][58] Resentful of Conner, who he claims has lower standards than his own despite a seemingly perfect life, Superboy-Prime attacks him, telling him that he should be his replacement.[clarification needed]

Possessing an apparent strength advantage, Superboy-Prime pulverizes Conner, badly injuring him, until the Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, and Justice Society of America join the fray, leading to a climactic battle where various Flashes pull Superboy-Prime into the Speed Force.[59][60]

The battle against Superboy-Prime overtaxes Conner's body. His body begins to fall apart to the point that even JSA physician Doctor Mid-Nite cannot aid him. Knowing that Lex Luthor wants to keep Superboy alive as much as the Titans do, Robin leads Speedy, Wonder Girl, and Beast Boy to find a cure, while Raven keeps watch over him.

The Titans succeed, and they immediately administer the cure to Conner, who makes a complete recovery; however, Luthor informs Robin it will only work that one time.[61]

In the Teen Titans Annual, Wonder Girl volunteers to look after Conner as he recovers while the other Titans are called away to organize the relief effort in a decimated Blüdhaven, since her powers are slowly vanishing due to events in Wonder Woman and Infinite Crisis. Conner awakens, and he and Wonder Girl spend time alone, reminiscing and longing for "simpler times".

Thinking this may be their last night together, the two consummate their relationship in the Kent barn. The two of them are later discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent.[62]

The death of Superboy. Art by Phil Jimenez from Infinite Crisis #6 (2006).

Luthor gives Conner the means to find Alexander Luthor, a sliver of the crystalline construct[62][63][64] that Alexander is using to monitor reality. Superboy leaves a powerless Cassie in the care of the Kents in order to respond to a distress call from Titan's Tower in San Francisco. There he meets up with Nightwing, who sent the call. Being the only two heroes available to deal with the situation, Conner and Nightwing bond as they make their way north to Alexander's fortress.[63][64] Conner and Nightwing are later rejoined by a now repowered Wonder Girl and together they infiltrate Alexander Luthor's base and foil his plans. They free Martian Manhunter, Power Girl, Black Adam, Lady Quark, Nightshade, Breach, and The Ray, but the tide of the battle turns with the return of Superboy-Prime.

Superboy-Prime makes short work of many of the heroes and then turns his sights on Nightwing. Before Prime can touch Nightwing, an enraged Conner attacks him. Conner and Superboy-Prime battle intensely, until Prime catches one of his punches, crushing Conner's right hand in the process. Despite being vastly overpowered, Conner fights bravely and defiantly manages to hold his own for a time. In a last-ditch effort Conner rushes into Superboy-Prime, sending both of them headlong into Alexander Luthor's multiverse tower.

The machine explodes, re-merging the worlds and apparently foiling Alexander Luthor's plans for good. Conner, fatally injured from the explosion, lies dying in the arms of Wonder Girl. When Cassie tells him that he had saved the Earth, Conner replies, "I know, Cass. Isn't it cool?" Moments later, he dies. Batman, Wonder Woman, Kal-El, Nightwing, and Kal-L arrive, too late to save Conner's life.[65] Later, Superman mourns Conner's death while cradling his body.

Conner was buried under his civilian name in Metropolis, alongside the bodies of Kal-L (the Earth-Two Superman) and his wife Lois Lane Kent, for over a year.

Crisis aftermath (2006-2009)

In 52, although Conner is dead, he is not forgotten. Wonder Girl leads a memorial broadcast over the Internet, and she and hundreds of others pay their final respects to Conner in a traditional Kryptonian way. It is revealed that the mourners are part of a resurrection cult supposedly based on Kryptonian theology, which Wonder Girl and Ralph Dibny refer to as the "Cult of Conner".[66] Dibny hypothesizes that the cult and Wonder Girl are responsible for defacing the tombstone of his wife Sue Dibny with an inverted Superman insignia (the insignia is the Kryptonian symbol for hope; when inverted, it is the symbol for resurrection).[67] Wonder Girl later encounters the strange, enigmatic hero called Supernova.[68] Cassie introduces herself but is confused that he does not recognize her. When Supernova flies away, she calls him "Kon-El."

Three weeks later, surveillance footage is shown to Lex Luthor by an enthusiastic scientist who assumes that Kon-El is still alive. Luthor dismisses this belief, convinced that Supernova is not Kon-El but Superman. In week 37, it is revealed that Supernova is not Conner but in fact Booster Gold.

In Week 51, Batman and Robin return from their journey across the globe. When the heroes appear at Superboy's memorial on the first anniversary of his death, Robin is wearing a new costume using colors of black and red from Superboy's last uniform. Wonder Girl also changes her costume to honor Superboy as well, wearing a Golden Age Wonder Woman-themed T-shirt and denim jeans.[69]

Superboy memorial statues are erected in Metropolis[70] next to Superman's statue and in San Francisco outside of Titans Tower.[71] One year later, Lex Luthor still mourns Conner's death as he considers him his own son.[72] Meanwhile, unknown to his teammates or even Superman, Robin is attempting secretly to recreate Superboy using DNA from Superman and Luthor.[64] Robin has a glass case memorial to Conner, which contains Conner's last costume, the jeans and S-shield T-shirt, similar to the memorial Batman keeps for the second Robin, Jason Todd. Supergirl took another one of his other T-shirts from the Kent farm and gave it to Wonder Girl.

Robin immediately wonders if Raven may be able to resurrect Superboy, as she has done recently for Jericho. However, Raven explains that she cannot since Superboy's soul has transcended into another plane of existence.

Legion of 3 Worlds: Return

As with his namesake, physical death is not the end of his story. In a gamble to stop a rampaging Superboy-Prime by recalling to life his greatest foes in the 21st century, the Legionnaire Brainiac 5 sends Starman to the past, to unearth Kon-El's corpse and put it in the same regeneration chamber the Eradicator used once on Superman to save him from his death. Because of the severity of the damage suffered at the hands of Superboy-Prime, Kon-El's healing process takes one thousand years to complete, ending in the thirty-first century when Brainiac 5 has Polar Boy retrieve Lex Luthor's hair in the past. With the timely intervention of Dawnstar and Wildfire, the half-human physiology of Conner is reset to full health, granting him a new lease at life and a "third round" against Superboy-Prime.[73]

While battling Prime at the end of time, Superman, Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, and Saturn Girl battle against the Time Trapper who is revealed to be an adult Superboy-Prime. After Superboy wounds Prime in the past, the Time Trapper develops an identical injury in the future. Realizing that Prime has created a time paradox, the Legion transports Time Trapper to Superboy-Prime. The Trapper wants them to unite but Superboy-Prime refuses to believe the Trapper is his future self and punches him, setting off a massive blast that seems to erase Prime from sight.

After Prime's defeat, Superman, Conner, and Bart return back to the 21st Century, where Superman assembles both the Teen Titans and the adult Titans in San Francisco. There Superman reintroduces them to the resurrected Kid Flash and Superboy.[74]

According to Geoff Johns, Kon-El and the Legion of Super-Heroes will be the main characters of the ongoing series of Adventure Comics.[75]

Adventure Comics: Superboy: The Boy of Steel

The revived ongoing title Adventure Comics features Conner as the headlining character for the first six issues in the story arc entitled, "Superboy: The Boy of Steel." The arc begins as Conner settles back into his life in Smallville, Kansas. Returning to live with Martha Kent, who is thrilled to take the young boy in after her husband's death, Conner returns to Smallville High School and begins keeping a journal of everything Superman has done as a costumed hero, going down a checklist titled, "What Did Superman Do?" He and the also recently-returned Bart Allen supposedly rejoin the Teen Titans, and Conner symbolizes the team being "stacked" again by destroying his memorial statue outside of Titans Tower West.

After visiting Lex Luthor's childhood home in Smallville, Superman arrives and talks to Conner about his desire to understand his "other father." Superman tells Conner not to worry about Luthor, saying that the madman is a problem for the Man of Steel. Conner remarks that the next time he sees Lex Luthor will be, "too soon." Soon after, Conner returns home and under a similar checklist in his notebook entitled, "What Does Lex Luthor Do?," Conner checks off, "Lies to Superman."[76]

In his attempt to confront his shared legacy, he accepts a date with Wonder Girl. Conflicted between opening his heart to his girlfriend (thus "Telling the truth" as Superman always did in his life), and deliberately lying to avoid touching delicate subjects with Cassie (thus "Lying" as Luthor would do), ultimately Conner chooses to share with Cassie his fears and desires, and his desire to find himself by exploring both his legacies, but only to find his real self. Cassie is obviously touched, and despite her initial doubts, mostly out fear that in his desire to be more like the Man of Steel eventually Conner could discard her as Clark Kent did with Lana Lang, feels compelled to admit her brief bond with Tim Drake. Conner quickly forgives her, arguing that, since he was dead and Cassie had no means to know about his future resurrection, her liaison with Robin can not be considered a true affair. As they share a reconciliation kiss, Martha Kent stares at them, remembering about her past with Jonathan and Clark.[77]

Soon after his date, Conner returns to his search for Lex Luthor, with the aid of Krypto. Unfortunately, neither Conner nor Krypto can find Luthor on their own, so they instead track down a detective to help him: Tim Drake. Now going by the identity of Red Robin (the Robin identity was taken away from Tim by Dick Grayson and turned over to Damian Wayne), Superboy finds him in Paris, where Tim is continuing his search for Bruce Wayne, who is believed to be dead following the events of the Final Crisis. Agreeing to help, Tim and Conner rekindle their friendship, as Tim admits to all the pain he has suffered over the last two years, and both boys discuss their private mission. Conner offers Tim the first bit of true support, by replying "I believe you," when Tim states firmly that Bruce is still alive.[77]

On his way back from France, Conner encounters a girl named Lori, whom he earlier saved, in the middle of vandalising a local Doctor's practice. Conner takes her home, learning that the doctor had refused to help her ailing mother due to her lack of medical insurance. Someone then knocks at the door. Conner answers it, revealing the caller to be Lex Luthor, whom Lori calls "uncle", who incapacitates Conner with Kryptonite.[78]

Lori's mother Lena, Luthor's sister, comes down the stairs, revealed to be mentally and physically unwell. Conner reminds Luthor of his boast that he could cure all diseases if Superman was not in his way. Telling him that Superman is now on New Krypton, Conner challenges Luthor to cure Lena. Luthor agrees, but demands Conner's help, threatening Lori's life. Conner collects the ingredient Luthor needs to make a cure for Lena's condition, which is then administered to her, restoring her to full health. Lex then undoes his cure, vowing that it will stay with him until "Superman is dead". In a rage, Conner attacks Luthor, but is staved off by Brainiac, who teleports Luthor back to his ship. Conner realizes that there is no good in Luthor after all, and decides to not be like Luthor or Clark but pursues his own path in life, burning his checklists in a fire.[79]

Blackest Night

In the Origins and Omens back-up story in Adventure Comics #0, the former Guardian of the Universe, Scar, who now works for Nekron, discusses Lex Luthor and his place in the forthcoming Blackest Night crossover. The Guardian also makes mention of "another" that Luthor will have control over. The character to which she is referring is revealed using a picture of Conner flying over Smallville. The only elaboration following the image of Conner is, "...But he is dead. And we control the dead. For once I bear witness to the book of the black, and I question what it shows me, the dead will save you, Luthor. From Brainiac. From Superman. And from yourself."[80]

In the Blackest Night storylines, Conner Kent is standing behind Clark Kent and Martha Kent at the tomb of her husband, the late Jonathan "Pa" Kent. Clutching his fist, Conner declares, "I ... I should've been here. It should've been me instead of ..." Martha Kent consoles him and advises Conner that Jonathan would have wanted him and Clark to "stand up straight." Unbeknownst to the Kents, the Black Lantern Corps is targeting Conner and Clark along with other resurrected characters.[81]

The Corps sends the Kal-L and Lois Lane of Earth-Two to attack the Kent family after they have reanimated them, and stated to the modern version of the Man of Steel, Conner, and Martha, that they wish for the family to be reunited with Jonathan Kent in death.[82] While Superman battles Kal-L, Conner encounters the Black Lantern Psycho-Pirate, who manipulates him into attacking Superman.[83] However, Conner manages to come to his senses when Kal-L is on the verge of ripping out Superman's heart. Using his tactile telekinesis for the second time since he was reanimated (the first being when he helped Tim break into one of Lex Luthor's old, abandoned labs), Conner pushes Kal-L away from Superman. It is revealed that Conner has been holding back and chose not to use his tactile telekinetic powers since his Kryptonian powers manifested, in an attempt to be more like Superman. Conner then goes after Psycho-Pirate, stealing the medusa mask and using its emotional powers to attract the black rings, causing them to leave their hosts, reducing them to lifeless corpses once more.[84]

Superboy, along with the few available members of the Teen Titans and Justice League, arrive at Coast City to battle Nekron, the personification of Death and the being responsible for the Black Lanterns. Despite being resurrected, Conner's previous status as a deceased still allows one of Nekron's black rings to transform him into a Black Lantern.[85] He is later shown battling Lex Luthor, who becomes a deputy Agent Orange, with a Black Lantern version of Superman.[86]

Black Lantern Conner attacks his girlfriend, after Agent Orange Larfleeze diverts Luthor's attentions, all the while attempting to break free from the Black Ring's control. Conner manages to break the control in temporary, short lapses, which he uses to summon Krypto and alert Cassie that the solution to his Black Ring problem. While under the influence of the ring Conner displays a new power, arctic breath, while also trying to hurt Wonder Girl on an emotional level. The battle moves to the fortress, where Krypto realizes what Conner was referring to when he told them to move to the Fortress of Solitude: Conner's corpse, placed in the rebirth matrix where he awaits his resurrection in Legion of Three Worlds. The Black Ring, confused and confronted with unexpected resistance from Conner, leaves the living Conner and tries to attach itself to his corpse, but Conner awakens his arctic breath ability, which freezes the ring, and Cassie throws it into orbit. After reconciling, the trio heads back to Coast City for the final battle.[87] Conner is briefly seen in Blackest Night #8 as a member of Hal Jordan's short lived White Lantern Corps, composed of heroes who had died and come back to life.[88]

New Krypton and return to the Titans (2009-2010)

Superman writer James Robinson stated in an interview that Superboy was originally going to star in Action Comics, following the departure of Superman to New Krypton.

Since his return, Conner has been seen playing a supporting role in the Superman story arc Man of Valor starring Mon-El, who has been filling in for Superman as the Man of Steel is on New Krypton.[89] Mon-El asks Conner to enter the Fortress of Solitude using his DNA from Superman and retrieve his rocket from Daxam. Conner and Mon-El join a secret team of Legion of Super-Heroes in the present. They go to New Krypton to help defeat Brainiac without destroying the bottle cities that will one day join the United Planets and are the future home of the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

In Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton, Superboy teams with the Legion of Super-Heroes, assisting them with their mission. However, Zod orders for the arrest of the team, branding them "terrorists." However, Superboy and the Legion quickly subdue the Kryptonian soldiers, only to be attacked by Supergirl's mother Alura, who mistakes him as a terrorist, based on her previous experience with Superwoman. After this controversy is cleared up, Superboy joins Supergirl and the Legion to enter Brainiac's ship. In the ship, Superboy encounters Lex, who shrinks him, placing him in the bottle of the re-shrunk Kandor. There, he would find himself at odds with Zod, who subdues Conner, and leads his army out of the bottle with sun crystals. Superboy is eventually freed from the regrown bottle by Supergirl, just in time to transplant blood to an injured Superman.

Following the events of Last Stand of New Krypton, Superboy is rounded up with Guardian, Steel, Nightwing, Flamebird, and Krypto in War of the Supermen who join together to expose and stop General Lane's plans to wipe out the Kryptonians.

After Static, now a part of the DC Universe, is kidnapped while visiting his hometown of Dakota, the Teen Titans head there to rescue him. Frustrated by the lack of progress the team is having, Beast Boy phones Cyborg (now a member of the Justice League) for help. Cyborg angrily tells Beast Boy to handle his own problems, but later rethinks his position and calls Bart and Conner to S.T.A.R. Labs to talk about returning to the Titans. The rest of the Titans try to rescue Static from a massively powerful metahuman known as Holocaust, but they are easily defeated. As Holocaust prepares to finish off the heroes, Conner, Bart, and Cyborg burst through the walls, preparing to face the villain. Conner remarks that it's time for him to come out of his retirement from the Titans.[90]

Conner desperately tries to defeat the villain, but Holocaust proves powerful enough to not only absorb almost all of Conner's attacks, but also injure the Kryptonian with his own. Conner and Bart are able to distract Holocaust long enough for the other Titans to escape, and eventually the combined might of the entire team is able to stop him. On the trip back to San Francisco, Conner asks Cassie if she is ignoring him, and she simply replies by saying that she is.[91]

Superboy (2010-2011)

Following the conclusion of War of the Supermen, writer Jeff Lemire and Italian artist Pier Gallo launched a new Superboy series. The series begins with Conner resettling his life in Smallville, directly continuing the Adventure Comics arc. The Phantom Stranger warns Conner that a new darkness that lies within Smallville is to be unleashed in the near future. Back at school, Conner avoids Lori Luthor, as he is still unsure of his feelings for her. While walking home, Conner is confronted by Simon Valentine, a local kid who Conner has befriended, who tells him he knows his secret. Conner is then abruptly attacked by the Parasite who hopes to drain Superboy's powers and use them to kill Superman. Superboy defeats the Parasite, but his powers are shot. He and Simon are suddenly attacked by the surrounding plants and Poison Ivy appears, telling them that it is too late to save Smallville.[92]

Conner and Simon initially believe that Poison Ivy is responsible for the plants attacking them, but she reveals that her powers, and perhaps all plant elementals, have been drained. She asks Superboy for help and he begrudgingly agrees to help her find the source leaving Simon and Krypto to guard Parasite until help arrives. Simon, feeling left out, decides to take some samples of Parasite's cells and goes back to his lab leaving Krypto to guard Parasite. In the meantime, Superboy and Poison Ivy track down the source of the mutant plants back to the barn of a farm belonging to Mr. Gillam in the center of the surrounding vegetation. when they enter they find Gillam ensnared to a huge device with what looks like a bomb and a timer.

Poison Ivy wants to remove Gillam by force, to which Superboy objects to with fear that removing him might kill him. Gillam then proceeds to tell them that they must "find the broken silo" which neither of them understand. In the meantime, Simon examines the cell samples of the Parasite and gets an idea while looking at a tank of frogs that he has been working on. Poison Ivy, who has become tired by Superboy's conscience decides to rip the wires that were coming out of Gillam's chest. Superboy is outraged, but by doing this, stops the process that was going on and regains control of her powers and is in the process of ensnaring Superboy, when Simon shows up controlling his frogs which have now been infused with the Parasite's powers.

Simon uses his frogs to overpower and incapacitate Poison Ivy, Superboy then sees that the timer on the device is about to reach zero and takes the main component and flies off to detonate it safely away. When the timer then hits zero, there is a blinding flash of light that somehow show's Conner's skeleton but otherwise does nothing and then the device melts in Superboy's hands. In the meantime, while Krypto is guarding the Parasite, something happens that sucks the Parasite into the earth. When Superboy returns to the barn, Simon discovers a tablet with strange writings on it that Simon cannot decipher.

Both Conner and Simon are wondering about the broken silo and what the hieroglyphs might mean, so then, Conner flies to the hospital with Mr. Gillam leaving Simon to guard Poison Ivy while the authorities arrive. Later that night, two men in farming outfits are talking, one of them mentions that the device worked like it was supposed to and it got a full scan of Superboy, they would never find the gateway or the broken silo and that someone, or something, called Tannarak assured him of that, and when their plot succeeded Smallville would belong to them.[93]

The next day, something awakens Krypto at four-thirty in the morning, which in turn, awakens Conner and Martha Kent. Conner is still worried over what happened with the plants and how helpless he was to prevent the crops from being ruined. Martha tells him that he should not worry about it because the community is stronger than Conner gives them credit for. She then suggests that if he feels that strongly about it he should ask someone from the superhero community to give him a hand.

While walking to school, Conner calls Bart Allen who shows up at Conner's location. Conner suggests to Bart that there should be the first Superboy/Kid Flash race with proceeds to help those affected by the plant attack. Bart agrees to it and then tells Conner that he has been feeling a headache ever since he came into Smallville. Later that day Conner is going between classes when Simon shows up and wants to talk to him about what happened the day before.

Conner then warns him that doing so in the school was dangerous and that if he wanted to be friends with Superboy he would have to give up being friends with Conner Kent. This is something that hurt Simon's feelings. At the end of one of his classes, suddenly Superboy gets a huge headache and all of a sudden, the rest of the students at Smallville High start to pass out, all except Lori. She sees Conner stagger into a classroom where he removes his shirt and exposes his black Superboy shirt which Lori then expresses that she has suspected of Conner being Superboy for a while. She asks Superboy for help pretending that she did not see him take off his shirt, and as they are walking down the hallway a portal opens up and a boy wearing a costume comes out.

As soon as the boy came out of the portal the pain subsided and Superboy could function normally. The boy introduces himself as Sanjay Mehra, AKA Psyonic Lad. Psyonic Lad claims that he comes from the future and he "thought" his way to Superboy's time seeking him out. At that same moment three men follow the portal and one of them blasts Superboy unconscious.[94]

A battle ensues between the armored men and Psyonic Lad as well as Superboy when he recovers. These men are adaptive and download defenses against Superboy and Psyonic Lad and the battle goes on until Simon shows up, at which point they suddenly flee back through the portal. Sanjay then tells them that they would not return since they only can travel by following his thought patterns.

They wonder why Lori was not affected by his psychic wave and after Sanjay scans her reveals that Lori has latent psychic abilities which he offers to help awaken later on with practice. Lori and Superboy agree to meet later at her house, and then takes Simon and Sanjay back to the Kent farm. Sanjay explains that he comes from the year 2216, to answer a question that Superboy had wondered about if he was a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

He also explains that the armored individuals are Science hunters, the later forms from the Science Police in modern times. He also tells them that in his future the Science Hunters are led by the Prime-Hunter who controls the world from Smallville which has become a huge city by then. He goes on to show them where he comes from using images in his mind, where he reveals that no one really knows who the Prime-Hunter is exactly but he rules the world with an iron fist from Smallville which is its own city-state in his time. The heroes there were a small resistance force, of which Psyonic Lad is a member of. Unfortunately, all the heroes were killed and Psyonic Lad is the last survivor. He traveled back in time to be tutored by Superboy on how to be a better hero.

Superboy offers to gather the Titans and go to the future with him and stop Prime Hunter but Sanjay refuses saying that it is his destiny to stop him himself. Superboy agrees to help and Martha opens her home to him. Sanjay wishes to repay their generosity to which Simon suggests to do a mental scan of Mr. Gillam. when they get to the hospital he begins, and reveals that Gillam found the tablet with the emblems and the two men that were talking before capture him. Later the two men are talking to Tannarak who tells them they just need Gillam to attract Superboy otherwise they already know everything else.

Later they are discussing what they have found out at the Kent farm where Simon decides to go home for the day and Conner shows Sanjay to his room and goes off to meet Lori. Later Conner gets to Lori's house and they talk about the feelings for each other and Conner learns that Lori smokes. Superboy then reveals that he is having problems with Cassie and that he is feeling burnt out emotionally about it to which he suggests that both he and Lori should keep their distance for the time being. This is something that does not sit well with Lori. In the meantime Psyonic Lad makes contact with a woman from his time, where he reveals that he was planning to earn Superboy's trust and enter his inner sanctum, and when the time was right he plans on killing him.[95] Afterward, Lori sits in the field in her farm wishing that Superboy would come down and take her away to a better life, something that he never does and goes back inside hoping that maybe tomorrow he would.

The next day, Superboy is flying with Krypto thinking of all the things that have happened so far. No answers come to his head and he feels even worse over his break-up with Wonder Girl. He arrives at the starting line where he is going to have his race with Kid Flash and sees that the Titans are there watching as well, but is very disappointed when he sees that Wonder Girl is not among them, saying that even Ravager is with them. Raven gives him a look of sympathy which makes Superboy even more determined to win the race.

Pete Ross is there as the Master of Ceremonies and states that with the help of the Wayne Foundation, Steve Danton, and The Baron Winter Fund they have gathered half a million dollars to help the farmers and small business owners of Smallville that were affected by the Parasite and giant plant attacks. The race starts and Krypto goes along with them, through a path that Mister Terrific has plotted out for them. The path makes them circle the world several times over in different directions and the race is transmitted via the Justice League satellite. During their path they make stops along the way to stop robberies and defeat several supervillans like the Royal Flush Gang and King Shark. They decide to stop on top of the Giza Pyramid where Bart tries to cheer up Conner because Cassie did not show up to watch, which makes Conner feel better, but makes Bart decide to take the lead.

In the meantime, Sanjay is watching the race when he turns over to see the Titans and sees that a man is watching him. Sanjay blinks and the man is gone.

After going around several more parts in Asia and the Middle East, Superboy and Kid Flash make their way back to Smallville to the finish line, when they cross the Luthor farm. At that moment, Superboy looks over and he sees the Phantom Stranger standing there and then vanishes. Conner wonders what Lori's farm has to do with the weird things going on but shakes it off as the trio makes their way to the finish line, only to have Krypto win the race. While everyone is celebrating, Superboy tells Raven and Simon about his sighting of the Phantom Stranger and they wonder how Lori is tied into all of this.

Later that night, Lori goes outside to wait for Conner to pass by, like she always does, and gets tired and decides that she is tired of waiting for someone to rescue her. She seems to have decided to leave and drops her cigarette on the ground and goes back into the house, but what she does not realize is that right by where she dropped the cigarette is a rock with the same hieroglyphs as the kind found in Mr. Gillam's farm.[96]

In a tie in with the Reign of Doomsday crossover, Doomsday subsequently attacks Superboy while the young hero is returning home from Titans Tower, literally appearing from out of nowhere hundreds of feet in the air. While the two fight, Superboy notes that Doomsday is significantly stronger than he was when they last met, and that he now appears to possess the ability of flight. Badly injured, Superboy attempts to fight off the creature, only to be overwhelmed when Doomsday somehow begins to mimic Superboy's trademark tactile telekinesis, which allows him to attack him from long distances. After beating Superboy into submission, Doomsday grabs him and teleports back to the ruins of New Krypton, where he enters a large alien spacecraft with his prisoner.[97]

After Superboy returns from his battle with Doomsday he awakens in the Kent Farm and looks outside to see complete devastation as far as the eye could see. Connor flies across the destroyed Smallville looking for signs of life and finds one person left alive, Lori. When Superboy asks for an explanation she reveals that the one that caused all this was Superboy himself. As it turns out, she was only the bait as Red Robin and a group calling themselves the New Titans were waiting there for Superboy. As Superboy demands an explanation Tim reveals that Superboy has systematically annihilated all the heroes of Earth, and he is here to claim vengeance for Batman and Wonder Girl. Superboy reluctantly fights the New Titans and then is aided by Simon who is wearing a suit similar to Lex Luthor. Simon kills the New Titans with no remorse and then kills Lori as well. This sends Conner into a rage and Simon reveals that this is how things are supposed to be since he is a Valentine and Superboy is a Luthor. After Superboy kills Simon he is confronted by Lex who congratulates him on a job well done for destroying the earth. Lex wishes that Conner embrace his Luthor heritage, and suddenly Martha Kent appears and tells him to fight it, that that is not who Conner is. After some internal struggle he turns away from it and finds that the voice that he had been hearing was not Martha, but instead, Psyonic Lad who tells him that he must use his Tactile Telekinesis to remove an alien thing that was stuck on him. Earlier Superboy and Psyonic Lad had traveled to a spaceship that was headed for earth. After going inside they found the bridge and saw the lone pilot had a strange red ooze on his chest. Psyonic Lad had suggested that Superboy remove it with his Tactile Telekinesis, which Superboy attempted to do. Unfortunately, the creature attached to him and the whole episode had been all in Conner's mind. When they returned to earth, Steel analyses the creature and remarks that it is similar to a creature that Superman encountered called the Black Mercy, which had made Superman live his greatest desires. Steel, then, dubbed this creature the Red Mercy since it made one feel his or her greatest fears. Inside the ship they found a lot of weapons as well. What troubled Steel was that he analysed the flight trajectory of the ship and saw that they were headed not just to earth, but specifically to Smallville.[98]

The Phantom Stranger ponders that he has been waiting for the upcoming moment for centuries and also is surprised that the one that would help him complete his "greatest work" would be Superboy as he watches him fly by. He then turns into a flock of ravens and flies away. First, he heads to the Kent Farm, where Psyonic Lad is talking to the mysterious woman that sent him on his mission to kill Superboy. Sanjay is having second thoughts about killing him and implies that Conner may become the Prime Hunter in the future. the Livestock becomes agitated and goes to see what is going on and finds the flock of ravens, which Sanjay tries to read the mind of, only to discover that it is the Phantom Stranger and quickly shuts Psyonic Lad out.

Later, Simon is trying to get back to his projects that he has been neglecting as of late. As he starts to work on a weather machine the flock of ravens flies by and takes the machine that Simon was working on.

Krypto and Superboy are flying by downtown Smallville, when Krypto flies down to meet Mr. Lynch, who Conner had met in the first issue and had given him a wooden carving. Lynch asks Superboy if he had read up on Smallville's history. Superboy denies meeting him since he met him as Conner not Superboy. Mr. Lynch shrugs it off and begins to tell Superboy a story of Smallville's past during the frontier days.

In those days, the law of the town was Sheriff Nate Kent, who is presumably the Kent's ancestor, and Albert Valentine, who is presumably Simon's ancestor. Kent and Valentine were tough but fair Sheriffs, and knew there was trouble when Eben Took became a resident of Smallville. Took had been a doctor in England but had been shunned from England for his arcane practices. Took had three children who married when they grew but kept to the Took compound. One day a boy named Jonathan Talbot had disappeared and was found dead in the Smallville swamp. The thing that drew Kent to the Took was that Talbot's body had been mutilated and arcane symbols were carved into his chest. Kent and Valentine assembled a posse and headed to the Took compound. Took's children and grandchildren tried to prevent the posse from entering and started a brawl with them. One of the members of the posse then started a fire that consumed the compound that killed the entire Took family. But, Kent followed Eben Took to his concrete silo and while investigating found a trap door where he found Took and a mysterious figure performing an occult ceremony with the boy's missing parts. Took using magic closed the trap door and as Kent was exiting the building the Silo exploded.

Mr. Lynch made reference to this as 'the broken silo' that Conner and friends have been looking for since the incident with Poison Ivy, at which point Conner saw that Mr. Lynch had been taken over by the Phantom Stranger. The Stranger proceeds to warm Conner of three things, one that 'she' is in danger, two, that who Conner calls friend is not, and three that the next time they meet it wont be him but he must follow. When Conner demands an explanation Mr. Lynch falls unconscious and Simon's machine falls from the sky as the flock of ravens flies by. At that moment, Simon finds Conner and points out that everyone in town has fallen asleep standing up or doing whatever they were doing. The reason they were not affected was because Psyonic Lad shielded them from whatever the Phantom Stranger did. Conner told Simon that he knew what the broken silo was and cross-referencing maps using his GPS discovers that the farm standing where the Took compound used to be was the Luthor farm.

In the meantime Lori was out smoking in her usual spot when a flash of light from the arcane stones flashes and reveals a trap door. When she opens it a flash of light engulfs her and she screams. When Superboy, Simon and Psyonic Lad arrive, they find the trap door and the Phantom Stranger reveals that Lori was taken inside. Under the trap door they find the altar that Took used when he shut out Sheriff Kent and the Stranger reveals a stairway underneath. the stairs go down for what appears to be several miles and they are lined with a thin layer of lead to prevent presumably either Superboy or Superman from peering down inside it. When they arrive at the bottom, they find a huge cave with what appears to be a labor camp of zombies and other strange creatures.[99]

The zombies seem to be farming strange giant plants and tending to evil looking pig creatures among other things. The Phantom Stranger goes on to explain that these creatures all work in a hive mind, and they are waiting for the time to destroy Smallville. He goes on to reveal that they are in Hollowville, and that in spite of Superman's invulnerability he would be susceptible to their magic, if he was ever to find Hollowville. They have a factory like building that is rendering the population of Smallville helpless. Psyonic Lad senses where Lori is being held captive and the Stranger separates the group in two, sending Simon and Psyonic Lad to where Lori is and he and Superboy go off to the factory. In the factory Superboy gets a better look at the creatures and sees that they are Golems made possibly from the original family members of the Took family and are being controlled by Tannarak who turns out to be one of the Phantom Stranger's oldest enemies.

In the meantime, Simon and Psyonic Lad track down where Lori is being held. As they walk Simon suggests that Psyonic Lad change his name to "Psion" to shorten his name. When they arrive to the barn where Lori is being held, she is less than pleased to see who her rescuers are, as she was hoping that Superboy would be the one to rescue her. As Lori and Simon get into an argument about the color of Simon's Parasite Frogs Psion gets a message from the woman in the future who urges him to kill Simon while he has a chance, because as it turns out, Simon will become the Prime Hunter in the future. Psion refuses to kill Simon because he has become friends with him and knows that there is good in him, the argument escalates in his mind that Lori and Simon take notice. As he tries to explain that it was just a headache they are attacked by the Parasite who is now under the employ of the Hollow Men, and with Psion disabled the rest of the Hollow Men take notice of them.

Superboy and the Phantom Stranger enter the factory building and they find that the whole building is full of hundreds of clones of Superboy. Superboy realizes that the machine is Gillam's farm was a scanning device and that is the reason they were able to clone him. The Stranger explains that they are merely hollow shells and that they are going to be filled with the souls of the people in Smallville. Superboy wonders how he knows this and the Stranger reveals that he is the one responsible for this. At that moment, Eben Took and his sons appear, and the Stranger attacks Superboy and Krypto. He tries to lunge at Took who merely swats him away with tremendous force. With Superboy defeated, the Stranger reveals that he is not the Phantom Stranger at all, and the impostor Stranger has captured the real Phantom Stranger in a magical circle.[100]

It is revealed that in 45,025 B.C., Tannarak tried to conquer Atlantis with an army of clones, but he was stopped by a wizard named Arion along with help of the Phantom Stranger, both of whom vanquished Tannarak and his army. Later, in the 10th Century a group of Vikings were investigating a cave that had runes they could not understand. As they went deeper into the cave, the lead Viking discovers an army of souless clones of himself. Again, the Phantom Stranger appears and reveals that the court magician Tannarak had created these clones and would use the souls of the people. Fortunately for all, Tannarak did not wait long enough between attempts so he was weak. The Vikings then made short work of the clones by burning them. In 1884, Eben Took is praying asking God why he had taken his youngest son. He is suddenly interrupted by his sons as Tannarak comes calling in a carriage. Tannarak offers to bring back his youngest son, promising that he can make life from the dead soil in Took's farm. Later on, it is revealed that it was indeed Took's children who were the ones that kidnapped Johnathan Talbot, and they took him in order to bring back their younger brother. Took is disappointed because the ritual did not work to which Tannarak replies that it is work that can take decades which angers Took. Tannarak then promises that he can make Took and his family immortal by making a blood pact with him which he accepts.

In the present, Tannarak tries to entice Superboy to do the same and lead his army. Superboy declines his offer by blasting him with his heat vision. Tannarak then stops him using his magic revealing that the souls of the people of Smallville are now floating in limbo awaiting to be put in the Superboy clones.[101]

Tannarak reveals that he is using the souls in Limbo to power the clones and that this is the most powerful army that he has created. Meanwhile back in the barn, Simon and Lori are facing down the Parasite. They are quite worried because Psion, the only one with powers, is now unconscious. Simon tries to use his Parasite frogs on the Parasite which turns out to be futile. When the Parasite slams him against the wall, he instructs Lori to use the helmet that he has been wearing. Lori blasts the Parasite with a powerful ray that throws the Parasite into the pen with the zombie pigs. Lori is horrified that Simon casually wears this around, but Simon reveals that unfortunately it only has one charge which means they are vulnerable to the Hollow Men that are breaking down the barn doors.

Meanwhile, Tannarak is taunting the Phantom Stranger for his choice in allies and claims that he is stronger than the last time they fought. The Stranger reveals that he had been talking through Mr. Lynch the whole time that he had been captured, which was roughly around the time that he discovered Hollowville. He reveals that the wood carving that he gave Superboy as Lynch is actually a weapon in which he had stored enough of his power to escape the snare. Superboy then tosses it to him and the Stranger is set free.

Meanwhile, Simon and Lori are doing all they can from barricading themselves from the Hollow Men. Simon figures out that the Hollow Men are being controlled by a radio frequency. Back at the clone room, Superboy manages to free himself from the clutches of Took and his sons, and he then sends Krypto to destroy the radio tower on top of the building. Superboy manages to defeat Took's sons, and then Krypto takes care of Eben himself. Superboy then sees in a monitor that Lori and Simon are about to be overrun by Hollow Men and goes to the main control panel and destroys it, at the same time, Lori starts to press buttons on a scrambler that Simon was carrying, at that moment, the Hollow Men start to fall apart, both Lori and Superboy thinking they were the ones that defeated them. At that moment Psion then wakes up.

The Phantom Stranger then looms over a defeated Tannarak demanding that he release the souls of the people in Smallville to which Tannarak refuses. At that moment, Simon and the others come into the building and at that moment Psion realizes that he can feel the souls of the people of Smallville, and with the help of the Phantom Stranger he manages to release them from Limbo and then returns them to their bodies.

Defeated, Tannarak then takes the life essence from the Took family and then escapes. With Tannarak gone, Hollowville begins to fall and collapse on itself. Superboy is worried for the clones which, both the Phantom Stranger and Lori, reassure him that he is the only one that matters because unlike the clones he has a soul and that's what matters.

The Phantom Stranger then transports the group and the Parasite to the surface and tells them that he will chase Tannarak, even though he might already be gone, and with that he bids Superboy and his friends farewell. Simon questions Sanjay about what he was saying when he zoned out and Psion gives him a flimsy excuse that Simon does not believe. In the end, Superboy sits once more atop the Smallville water tower, he ponders what it would have been like to have been a normal human once more, he realizes that he is where he needs to be and surrounded by the friends that suit him just fine and realizes that he is happy with his life the way it is.[102]

It was announced by DC comics that all of their series will come to an end and be relaunched in September 2011, and with this announcement, Superboy ends with issue 11.[103]

Relaunch (2011-Present)

As part of the DC Comics company-wide relaunch in September 2011, Superboy will start with a new issue number 1 with a new creative team.[104] He is now cloned by an organization called N.O.W.H.E.R.E.

The series begins as Superboy is looking out from a cryogenic tube in which he floats lost in thought, he ponders things like why they call him Superboy and why they keep doing tests on him. Outside two doctors are wondering why Superboy has never registered any brain activity, and inside Superboy answers that it is because his thoughts are not concentrated in his brain alone, but his entire body 'thinks.'

Outside the doctors decide that Superboy is a failed experiment and decide to do an autopsy on him, for which they are going to inject him with cyanide. Doctor Caitlin Fairchild, who is the scientist that cares about Superboy the most, thinks at him to fight, to which Superboy then bursts out of his cryogenic tube. Superboy somehow goes on to kill everyone in the laboratory and destroy it except Dr. Fairchild, who enters the room again when the carnage finishes.

One month later, Superboy is in class, in a high school 'somewhere in the heart of Kansas' and the teacher asks a question to Superboy to which he replies automatically while pondering how in the world did he know the answer. As class is dismissed for the day he is approached by Rose Wilson who acts very direct but very sweet towards Superboy and they walk home together, while lost in conversation Superboy fails to notice a house that's on fire and both Rose and he simply walk past it. Superboy then goes about his day as he lives with the Helpworth's as his adoptive family. Later it is shown that all of these events have happened in a virtually simulated world in which Dr. Fairchild is monitoring. One of the things that bother's Dr. Fairchild the most is that he has passed and ignored the burning building four previous times as well and is trying to understand why he does so and why either his human or Kryptonian donor would have chosen to live in the heartland of Kansas. As all the workers in the laboratory leave for the night, Dr. Fairchild is approached by the real Rose Wilson who is shown to be not quite as nice and a lot more crass than her version in the virtual world. Rose's purpose is to put down Superboy if ever he was to go out of control.

At the same time, it is shown that N.O.W.H.E.R.E has a mole that is sending information to Lois Lane, Dr. Umber is sending Ms. Lane plans of the facility that is described to go on for miles and is an organization with mysterious objectives that is made up of different cells all over the world and control the media. Umber believes that they are being arrogant because they have Superboy on their side.

In the meantime, Dr. Fairchild is summoned because Zaniel Templar, a higher-up' in N.O.W.H.E.R.E wants to send Superboy on his first mission.[105]

In a flashback to a month prior when Superboy escaped from his test tube we see that he is being cradled by Dr. Fairchild when Colonel Maudlin comes in with intentions of killing Superboy. Superboy is not worried and uses his Tactile Telekinesis to disassemble Maudlin's men's weapons and armor. He is studying them and thinking about what his next move is going to be. When Dr. Fairchild sees that she cant talk him out of killing them too she uses her powers to throw Superboy at some of the wreckage and knocks him unconscious.

In the present day, we see that Dr. Fairchild is still concerned about sending Superboy on a mission. Templar is not concerned about this and loads him into a flying ship. Rose and Dr. Fairchild have an argument about Superboy being a killing machine. When on the plane, Superboy meets for the first time the real Rose Wilson and realizes that she is not the kind girl that he met in the VR program. Superboy can feel that she is afraid while Rose tries to mask it. Templar comments that Rose is the only person that is treating Superboy much as a handler would treat a lion.

When they get to the place where they are going Superboy is trying to analyze Rose and cant figure out whether she is very brave or very stupid. Both Rose and Superboy disembark from the plane. It turns out that it is a holding facility for powerful aliens. Superboy uses his Tactile Telekinesis and finds out that all the guards have been killed and the perpetrators are a floor below. As the aliens bust through the floor to attack Superboy is almost tempted to let them go, figuring that they are just as much a prisoner of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. as he is, and even though they may be killers it is not fair they may be prisoners when Rose is running free and she is also a killer. But for now he figures that if he does what N.O.W.H.E.R.E. wants he might find a way to escape their clutches.

As Rose begins to attack the creatures and sees that the bullets do nothing to them Superboy unleashes his tactile telekinesis. Unfortunately this only aggravates the two prisoners and they beat him up until he is unconscious. Rose manages to kill the prisoners when the entire building starts to shake. As it turns out, Superboy's tactile telekinesis is going haywire. From Superboy's point of view he is sensing the entire building but the readings are so intense it is interfering with the plane's capability to fly. Rose manages to escape but the entire prison falls apart. [106]

It has also been shown that he will be a member of the new Teen Titans.

Powers, abilities, and equipment

Tactile telekinesis

Originally, Superboy's only superpower is a telekinetic force field that surrounds his body and granted him abilities that approximated some of Superman's powers such as super strength, flight and invulnerability. The field allowed Superboy to lift heavy objects by extending the field around him and deflect any solid object that came into contact with him. The field also allowed Superboy the ability to manipulate objects that he came into tactile contact with, bend them into any shape that he could visualize mentally, and disassemble things such as machines and other complex constructions by touch. Under Knockout's training, Superboy learned new ways to use his tactile telekinesis such as projecting telekinetic force waves to blast pieces of ground and extending his field to another person. Superboy can also manipulate solid masses such as volumes of sand or dust causing the individual particles to fly apart in an explosive manner to create particle clouds or a forceful attack. He can also perform the same with solid masses that are splintered, such as a cracked slab of concrete or fractured pane of glass. The telekinetic field also lets Superboy break free of an opponent's grip by pushing the field outward to force the opponent away and he is also able to create an air pocket around himself enabling him to breathe in outer space.

The main disadvantage of Superboy's tactile telekinetic ability is that while his field could withstand physical force, the field is less effective in blocking radiant or conductive energy such as fire and laser fire. This left Superboy slightly more susceptible to energy-based attacks. While less effective against gaseous materials, he could manipulate water with a degree of difficulty and project his tactile telekinesis to create a current he could fire while underwater.[107] He can also use his telekinetic field to deflect lava and prevent himself from being burned.[108] Another advantage of Superboy's telekinesis is that it does not use up his solar energy like Superman's powers. In "The Final Night", the Earth's sun was being eaten by a Sun-Eater which severely weakened Superman but Superboy's power level remained the same and he was able to use his tactile telekinesis.[109]

The process that made Superboy's human physiology genetically similar to that of a Kryptonian was done in such detail that he was a living solar battery like Superman, had a weakness to Kryptonite radiation that made him physically ill, and it was theorized that there was a possibility for him to gain superpowers that did not derive from tactile telekinesis when he matured like Superman or if Superboy was aged to full adulthood as planned by Project Cadmus. As explained by his alternate timeline counterpart Black Zero and shown when Superboy himself was aged to an adult by Klarion, Superboy gained new powers such as heat vision and super hearing when he matured to full age as well as gained a higher form of increased telekinesis and greater invulnerability.[44]

In DC's new 52 universe, it seems that Superboy has not yet obtained his Kryptonian powers and his only ability is his tactile telekinesis. In this version, it seems that it is far more powerful than in previous incarnations, letting him sense the world around him, and even seeing the world around him by extending his tactile telekinesis field outwards. It has become so powerful that when he escaped his stasis tube he managed to destroy the entire laboratory he was in, and killed everyone inside save for Dr. Caitlin Fairchild who escaped. Also, using his tactile telekinesis, he is able to maintain in the air the things that he has taken apart, and even choke people much in the style of Darth Vader. Later he has shown that his power is so immense that he managed to destroy an entire prison complex while he was unconscious, which leads to believe that he doesn't have complete control over the power. [110][111]

Kryptonian powers

During Teen Titans, Superboy developed Kryptonian powers including heat vision,[112] x-ray vision,[113] and super-hearing.[114] He also developed Kryptonian invulnerability. He also has developed Kryptonian level super strength, as shown when he battled the hugely powerful Superboy-Prime and even managed to damage him with some of his blows, when some characters such as Black Adam could not. When the Titans encountered their future selves, he found his future self had greater telekinetic abilities (no longer limited to tactile telekinesis), was stronger, more durable, and faster.[52] Superboy later states that he has developed telescopic vision[62] and eventually figures out how to use his freeze breath.[115] It has also been shown in Teen Titans that he is much faster, traveling from San Francisco to the Arctic in less than an hour whilst carrying Nightwing.[116] Superboy, like Superman, derives his Kryptonian powers from the absorption of solar energy from the Earth's yellow sun, and he is as vulnerable to Kryptonite and magic as is the Man of Steel.[48]

In the Titans Tomorrow storyarc, the Kon-El Superman exhibits full Kryptonian abilities and full telekinesis with greater control of his telekinetic fields. In a fight with the future Captain Marvel, he shields himself from a magic attack, an advantage the modern Superman has never had.[52]

A recent issue of Adventure Comics explained that since his return to life he had been trained in the use of heightened mental blocks to defend against mind control and influences, such as the brainwashing Luthor used on him. It was with this training that he was able to briefly pierce the control of the Black Lantern ring, using his heat vision to give Wonder Girl the clue needed to free him from it.[115]

Because both Superboy and Superman as a boy absorbed less solar energy than Superman as an adult, Superboy is also less able to process the appropriate amount of solar energy as fast as Superman could: as a result, overtaxing his powers to the point of physical depletion would spell his death, as his body would literally begin to feed on itself, unable to absorb solar energy fast enough to restore itself.[61]

Costumes and equipment

  • Original costume: In his first appearance, Superboy has a black, blue and red costume with yellow accents and the red and yellow s-shield on his chest, black boots with yellow accents, two black belts with a yellow belt on the right leg, red gloves, fade haircut. The Newsboy Legion gave him a black leather jacket that belonged to a Cadmus worker and when he signed with WGBS, he started wearing black leather jackets with the yellow s-shield on the back along with the addition of black shades and a gold earring to his outfit. He had a red cape that was left behind at Project Cadmus and he later appeared with it when he was changed into an adult during "Sins of Youth". Superboy acquires red "super-goggles" from Professor Hamilton after giving Superboy a celluar diagnostic at S.T.A.R. Labs. The goggles provided him with x-ray vision like Superman but also included other vision powers including heat vision and infrared vision capabilities.[9] The goggles are briefly lost during a mission with the Suicide Squad and then used against Superboy by The Technician, a criminal inventor. After re-acquiring the goggles, Superboy decides to rely on his natural abilities and destroys the goggles rather than risk them falling into the wrong hands again.
  • "Superboy: The Last Boy On Earth": During the "Superboy: The Last Boy On Earth" saga, his hair is grown past the shoulders with a look similar to the Jack Kirby character Kamandi; blue torn shorts, red boots, red gloves, and a stone necklace with a red and yellow "S" medallion that resembled the S-shield but was the serpentine mark of the slave trader Sacker. He is later given a blue tunic.
  • Post "Sins of Youth": When he was depowered after the "Sins of Youth" storyline, his costume was a black t-shirt with red and yellow S-shield, blue pants, red gloves, red boots, and a yellow utility belt. He used a Legion flight ring to fly and later used a gold wrist guard designed by the Gadget Guru of the Hairies that was powered by the same Legion flight ring. It enabled Superboy to fly and hid a gold S-shield made of expandable alloy that Superboy used for combat. The S-shield could also be launched from Superboy's wrist guard.
  • Updated costume: His next costume is a blue and dark red outfit with a blue and red jacket of matching design, red gloves and boots with yellow accents, red shades of an advanced design, and a new haircut.
  • Teen Titans look: His Teen Titans outfit and current look is a more civilian look featuring jeans and a black T-shirt with a red s-shield. He sports a contemporary short haircut. In the "Superboy and the Legion" storyline from Teen Titans, he wears the classic Superman costume, but with a Legion belt buckle. During the five months he spends in the future, he grows his hair to match Superman.
  • Redesign: In the Teen Titans relaunch, Superboy will have a new costume. The costume features a sleeveless black shirt, half-fingered black gloves similar to first costume, black pants and black boots. The only trace of the S-Shield is a red barcode tattoo on his right arm.


Initially, Superboy is known as "Experiment 13". When he escapes from Cadmus, he used the name "Superman". Those who would not accept him as Superman would refer to him as "The Kid", "Superkid", and "Superboy", a name he hated. After Superman's return, Superman let him use the name "Superboy" and continue to wear the S-shield. During the time, he had no other identity, with Tana Moon calling him "Kid" and Roxy Leech calling him "S.B.". Later, Superman gives him his first real name "Kon-El" (after a descendant of the second House of El and Superman's cousin in spirit). While undercover at Montridge High, Superboy's first attempt at a human alias name is Carl Krummet, a play on the names of Kon-El's creators. When Superboy relocated to Smallville at the beginning of Teen Titans, he was given a civilian identity by Superman: Conner Kent, cousin to Clark.

Legal dispute

A March 23, 2006 court decision returned rights to the Superboy character to Jerry Siegel's heirs. The decision, issued six days before Superboy's death in Infinite Crisis #6 hit the shelves, states that the Siegels have owned 'Superboy' since November 17, 2004.[117]

Even though DC Comics does not own the rights to the "Superboy" name, Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio have stated that the decision to kill off the character had nothing to do with the court case, and that they could have just renamed the character.[citation needed] Following the conclusion of Infinite Crisis, Didio compared Superboy's death to Spock's death in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (who was subsequently resurrected), and also stated that he was "as dead as Blue Beetle".[118]

In the Teen Titans' Secret Origins, a back-up story in the weekly 52 series, an illustration of Superboy had to be changed to one of Wonder Girl because of the legal dispute.[119]

On the cover of Teen Titans #46, Match's insignia (a reverse version of Conner's) is obscured, and in Supergirl #18 (2007), Conner's "S" on his statue is covered. Almost all references to the character refer to him as "Conner".

Recently, it has appeared the legal status has been near dropped,[citation needed] as the Superboy name has been used as normal in several books such as Teen Titans[volume & issue needed] since his return in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, with his 'S' shield no longer obscured.

Other versions

In "Titans Tomorrow", a possible future version of Conner Kent was introduced. This version has grown up and grown more powerful: his tactile telekinesis has increased to the point where he is able to create shields in addition to his fully developed Kryptonian powers. He has set up the Fortress of Paradise near Smallville, where Lex Luthor, his "Pa", now resides. At some point, he and Captain Marvel Jr. fought for the affection of Cassie Sandsmark, the new Wonder Woman, who chose Conner. His costume is very similar to the costume worn by Superman in the Kingdom Come miniseries and Fleischer Studios' version of the character. After the reappearance of the future Titans, a second alternate version is introduced as a clone created by Tim Drake, who was created after Conner died battling Superboy-Prime. He and the other future Titans were sent by Luthor to make sure that their future still comes to pass as well as defeat an invading army of Starros. This future clone is later shot and killed by the future Batman (Tim Drake), eliminating that version of Conner from existing. However, another alternate future is shown where Tim decides he will take the mantle of Batman from Bruce Wayne by force and joins forces with Lex Luthor and Miss Martian. Seen behind the group are clones of Conner Kent and Bart Allen as well.

Superman/Batman #75 (2010) reveals another possible future timeline created after Conner's resurrection. Even though Conner still becomes Superman, he is not as ruthless as his alternate future counterparts as shown in "Titans Tomorrow" and "Titans of Tomorrow... Today!" He even wears the original Superman's costume and adopts his benevolent approaches. Conner arrives to the memorial of the original Superman and Batman with the original Dark Knight's son, Damian Wayne, to pay respect to their fallen elders.

In other media


  • The second season of the Legion of Super-Heroes television series features a future version of Superman alongside the Clark Kent version. This second Superman, called Kell-El, is a clone of the original Superman; he's from the 41st century and was created to oppose the villainous being Imperiex. Kell-El has a different variety of powers than Superman and is immune to kryptonite. The character's concept is based on the Kon-El Superboy, Eradicator, and Lar Gand, wearing a costume that is similar to Kon-El's costume from Superboy #83, worn towards the end of his series and before Young Justice was disbanded.[120]
Superboy as he appears in Young Justice.
  • Superboy appears in the Young Justice animated series, making this the first animated appearance of the character.[121] The character is voiced by Nolan North.[122] He has been referred to as the "breakout character" of the show by its producers and is the only member of Young Justice from the comics to appear on the show. He is first shown wearing a white form-fitting solar suit and later wears a black t-shirt with the Superman logo across his chest and blue army-type pants with brown work boots.[123] The result of Project Cadmus' "Project Kr" as seen in the two-part episode "Independence Day", Superboy is a sixteen-week-old genomorph clone of Superman unknown to Superman and the Justice League that was created as a living weapon by the ruthless Dr. Mark Desmond to either replace Superman if he falls or destroy him should he go rogue. Kept in a pod at a sublevel beneath the Cadmus facility, he was telepathically force-fed advanced knowledge in various areas including languages, history, math, reading and writing, culture, etc. He is later released by Aqualad, Robin, and Kid Flash. While possessing many of Superman's powers such as super strength, super speed, super sight (currently only telescopic, x-ray, and infrared), super hearing, and invulnerability, these powers are noted as not being of the same caliber as Superman. Also, he is seemingly underdeveloped as he lacks Superman's heat vision, super breath, and flight. After a transformed Desmond (a.k.a. Blockbuster) is defeated and the Justice League arrives, Superboy meets Superman. Following a talk with the other Justice League members, Superman awkwardly tells Superboy that the Justice League will work something out for him before flying off to make sure that Blockbuster is imprisoned. Much to Superboy's displeasure, Superman has since found it very uncomfortable being around his clone despite Superboy's attempts to work with and talk to Superman, even with Batman insisting that Superman accept Superboy as his son. Since freed from Cadmus, Superboy has joined the other young superhears as a member of a fledgling team for covert mission assigned by the Justice League. He has a burgeoning romantic relationship with Martian Manhunter's niece M'gann. In "Schooled," Superboy helps Superman save a bus load of people from falling off a bridge near Wayne Industries. Superboy shows disappointment that Superman will not help him discover his limits. In "Targets," Superboy is given the name "Conner Kent"; the first name suggested by M'gann and the surname by Martian Manhunter after Superman's surname (although Superboy is under the impression the name is in homage to Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson). In "Terrors", he and Miss Martian are sent to the Belle Reve Federal Prison undercover to investigate why four ice criminals all committed crimes in the pilot episode. They imitate the Terror Twins. Superboy even "befriends" Icicle. At the end of the episode, when the breakout which was plotted is foiled, he kisses Miss Martian for the first time after thinking Killer Frost had killed her. Since, the two have started a romantic relation but have currently kept it from their teammates, showing their affection in privacy or speaking telepathically about their feelings. According to episode "Revelation", however, both Robin and Aqualad, at least, seem to be aware of the relationship. In episode "Humanity", Superboy was still angry after what Red Torpedo, Red Inferno, and Red Tornado did in "Homefront". In "Failsafe", he was offered a sacrifice by Robin by distracting the aliens while Robin, Kid Flash, Miss Martian, and Martian Manhunter get inside the mother ship. He then woke up when Martian Manhunter shocked M'gann out of the exercise. When it was stated that Miss Martian made the Team forget that the invasion was a simulation, Superboy strongly defends her.
Lucas Grabeel as Alexander Luthor/Conner Kent on Smallville.
  • Conner Kent appears in the final season of the television series Smallville. He is first introduced in the season premiere episode "Lazarus" as Alexander Luthor or LX-15, the last created clone of Lex Luthor. In the episode "Isis", the physically 6-year-old Alexander started bonding with Tess Mercer in a mother/son-like fashion. However, the episode "Harvest" shows a physically 12-year-old Alexander affected with all of the memories and emotions of Lex to the point that he shaved bald to resemble Lex. In the episode "Luthor", Clark Kent discovers Alexander's existence. In the episode "Beacon", Alexander was discovered by an alternate universe Lionel Luthor, but his and Lionel's relationship went wrong quickly and Clark and Tess and promised to help him. In the episode "Scion", he is given the name "Conner" (short for Cognitional Neuroplastic Replicant or simply CNR) after it was discovered he is the hybrid clone of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, as his powers from Clark's DNA manifest while he lost all of Lex's memories. The alternate universe Lionel tries to force him to reject the House of El side of his heritage, but he eventually rejects his Luthor side. He is shown wearing Conner's black t-shirt and jean costume at the end of the episode, telling Clark he wishes to join him as a hero when the time is right. Clark enrolls him at Smallville High School and gives him the Kent surname. In "Kent", Conner was mentioned visiting Martha Kent. In the two-hours series finale, Lionel plans to kill Tess to use her heart to give life to a perfected clone of Lex. He mentions that he had planned on using Connor's heart originally, but was unable to find him to the efforts of Tess. Alexander Luthor/Conner Kent was portrayed by Jakob Davies as a 6-year-old in the episodes "Lazarus" and "Isis", Connor Stanhope (who previously portrayed Lex as an adolescent during the seventh season) as a 12-year-old in "Harvest", and Lucas Grabeel (who previously portrayed Lex as a teenage during the sixth season) as a teenager in "Beacon" and "Scion".


Although the Superboy character does not appear in the Superman: Doomsday direct-to-DVD movie, elements from his history are used as a second Superman, a clone of the original, appears towards the end of the movie. Additionally, one of Lex Luthor's partially-grown Superman clones resembles Superboy/Kon-El in appearance.[124]

Video games

Superboy was a playable character in the SNES and Genesis video game The Death and Return of Superman video game in 1994, with the other Supermen included.

The new DC Universe Online game has recurring new features, including new characters to the game. Since the game's timeline resembles after Infinite Crisis & before Final Crisis, it is unlikely that Conner Kent or any character that returned or debuted before or after will appear. However, there is an unlockable hoodie in the game that shares similarities with Superboy's costume.


British radio producer Dirk Maggs produced a Superman radio series for BBC Radio 5 in the 1990s. When the "Death of Superman" story arc happened in the comics, Maggs presented a faithful, but pared down version of the tale, which featured Stuart Milligan as Clark Kent/Superman, Lorelei King as Lois Lane, and William Hootkins as Lex Luthor. Canadian actor Kerry Shale played Superboy and the evil Cyborg Superman Hank Henshaw. The story arc was packaged for sale on cassette and CD as Superman: Doomsday and Beyond in the UK and as Superman Lives! in the US.


This version of Superboy has been ranked as the 196th greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard Magazine.[125] IGN also ranked Superboy as the 83rd greatest comic book hero of all time stating the genetic clone of Superman and Lex Luthor often bears the weight of the world on his burly shoulders. But over the years he's managed to carve his own legacy and win a large legion of fans.[126]

See also


  1. ^ Action Comics #685
  2. ^ Superman Vol. 2, #76
  3. ^ Action Comics #686
  4. ^ Legacy of Superman #1
  5. ^ a b Superboy Vol. 3, Annual #2
  6. ^ Team Superman Secret Files #1 (1998)
  7. ^ a b Adventures of Superman #506 (1993)
  8. ^ a b Adventures of Superman #500 (1993)
  9. ^ a b c Superboy Vol. 3, #0
  10. ^ Adventures of Superman #501 (1993)
  11. ^ Superman: The Man of Steel #23
  12. ^ Adventures of Superman #502
  13. ^ a b Adventures of Superman #504 (1993)
  14. ^ Superman (vol. 2) #81 (1993)
  15. ^ Superman (vol. 2) #82 (1993)
  16. ^ Superman: The Man of Steel #24 (1993)
  17. ^ Adventures of Superman #505
  18. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #1
  19. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #2
  20. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #4
  21. ^ Adventures of Superman #513
  22. ^ Action Comics #700
  23. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #8
  24. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 4, #74
  25. ^ Legionaires Vol. 1, #30
  26. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #30
  27. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #40
  28. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #41
  29. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #46
  30. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #49
  31. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #50
  32. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #51
  33. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #52
  34. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #53
  35. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #55
  36. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #56
  37. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #59
  38. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #60
  39. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #61
  40. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #62
  41. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #70
  42. ^ Superboy #70-75: The Evil Factory (2000)
  43. ^ Sins of Youth #1-2 (2000)
  44. ^ a b Sins of Youth: Superman Jr & Superboy Sr." (2000)
  45. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #100 (1999)
  46. ^ Superboy-Robin WF3: World's Finest Three 1-2
  47. ^ Superboy Plus The Power of Shazam
  48. ^ a b Teen Titans (vol. 3) #1 (2003)
  49. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #15 (2004)
  50. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #16 (2004)
  51. ^ Teen Titans/The Legion Special (2004)
  52. ^ a b c "Titans Tomorrow:" Teen Titans (vol. 3) #17-19 (2004)
  53. ^ "The Insiders": Teen Titans (vol. 3) #24-25 (2005)
  54. ^ "The Insiders": Outsiders (vol. 3) #24-25 (2005)
  55. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #26 (2005)
  56. ^ Infinite Crisis Secret Files & Origins 2006
  57. ^ Infinite Crisis #2 (2006)
  58. ^ Infinite Crisis #3 (2006)
  59. ^ Infinite Crisis #4 (2006)
  60. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #32 (2006)
  61. ^ a b Robin #147 (2006)
  62. ^ a b c Teen Titans Annual #1 (2006)
  63. ^ a b Infinite Crisis #5 (2006)
  64. ^ a b c Teen Titans (vol. 3) #33 (2006)
  65. ^ Infinite Crisis #6 (2006)
  66. ^ 52: Week Thirty-One (2006)
  67. ^ 52: Week Two
  68. ^ 52: Week Nineteen
  69. ^ 52: Week Fifty-One (2006)
  70. ^ 52: Week One (2006)
  71. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #34 (2006)
  72. ^ Superman #650 (2006)
  73. ^ Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4
  74. ^ Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (July 2009)
  75. ^ Geoff Johns: On Returns and Rebirths, Newsarama, May 12, 2009
  76. ^ Adventure Comics (vol. 2) #1 (August 2009)
  77. ^ a b Adventure Comics (vol. 2) #2 (September 2009)
  78. ^ Adventure Comics #5 (December 2009)
  79. ^ Adventure Comics (Vol. 2) #6 (January 2010)
  80. ^ Adventure Comics (vol. 2) #0 (February 2009)
  81. ^ Blackest Night #1 (July 2009)
  82. ^ Blackest Night: Superman #1 (August 2009)
  83. ^ Blackest Night: Superman #2 (September 2009)
  84. ^ Blackest Night: Superman #3 (October 2009)
  85. ^ Blackest Night #5 (November 2009)
  86. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 4) #25 (March 2010)
  87. ^ Adventure Comics (vol. 2) (February 2010) #7
  88. ^ Blackest Night #8 (March 2010)
  89. ^ Superman #694
  90. ^ Teen Titans #81
  91. ^ Teen Titans #82
  92. ^ Superboy Vol. 4, #1 (2011)
  93. ^ Superboy Vol. 4, #2 (2011)
  94. ^ Superboy Vol. 4, #3 (2011)
  95. ^ Superboy Vol. 4, #4 (2011)
  96. ^ Superboy Vol. 4, #5 (2011)
  97. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) #6
  98. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) #7
  99. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) #8
  100. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) #9
  101. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) #10
  102. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) #11
  103. ^ DC Comics Co Publishers. "A Note from the DC Comics Co-Publishers: We Hate Secrets". Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  104. ^ Hyde, David. "September's Superman Solicits". Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  105. ^ Superboy Vol. 5, #1 (2011)
  106. ^ Superboy Vol. 5, #2 (2011)
  107. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #32 (1996)
  108. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #47 (1998)
  109. ^ Superboy Vol. 3, #33 (1996)
  110. ^ Superboy Vol. 5, #1 (2011)
  111. ^ Superboy Vol. 5, #2 (2011)
  112. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #9 (2003)
  113. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #16
  114. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #17 (2004)
  115. ^ a b Adventure Comics (vol. 2) #7 (February 2010)
  116. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #33
  117. ^ [ Judge Says Siegels Own Superboy. Will It Affect Smallville?],
  118. ^ DC Nation One Year Later
  119. ^ Comic Book Legends Revealed,
  120. ^ Journey Into Comics
  121. ^
  122. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (2010-07-23). "Comic-Con 2010: Young Justice Goes Under Cover". UGO Networks. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  123. ^
  124. ^ Superman Doomsday DVD Official Site (DC Universe)
  125. ^ "Wizard's top 200 characters. External link consists of a forum site summing up the top 200 characters of Wizard Magazine since the real site that contains the list is broken.". Wizard magazine.. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  126. ^ "Superboy is number 83". IGN. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 

External links

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