The history of Superboy
is a convoluted one at best. Two different
heroes have taken on the role of Superboy
over the years.
Initially with the success of the hero Superman, the writers at DC Comics
sought to make the hero more accessible for their main audience: young
boys. Where Batman had Robin, The Flash had Kid Flash and
The Green Arrow had Speedy, there was no one who could team up with
the incredibly powerful Superman and be more than a liability. So
the writers created a history in which the Man of Steel had been
the Boy of Steel.
Young Clark Kent lived in Smallville, KS with his adopted parents
Jonathan and Martha Kent. Clark manifested his super powers at a
very young age and adopted the costumed identity of Superboy in his
early teens. Superboy first appeared in More Fun Comics #101, but
soon was headlining his own title. Superboy's life in Smallville, was
populated with a number of characters, from his best friend Pete Ross to
his girlfriend Lana Lang. He even had a group of super-powered friends
to hang out with in the Legion of Super-Heroes.
When the Crisis on Infinite Earths took place, it wiped out
the existence of Superboy. Clark Kent was never a teenage
hero, so the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes would never
have been inspired by his exploits to create the Legion. This created
for the writers of the Legion a problem, as Superboy was an important
part of their storyline. To explain this, the writers came up with an
explanation for the existence of Superboy.
Due to the Crisis, a Legion villain known a Mordru was destined to be
the ultimate ruler of the 30th century because there would be no one
to oppose him. For this reason, the Time Trapper, another Legion villain, created
a pocket universe, by going back millions of years and stealing
a moment in time which contained an entire universe. He then
manipulated that universe so that Clark Kent became Superboy.
He also made sure that whenever the Legion of Super-Heroes traveled
back in time, that they traveled to the pocket universe, and not the
real DC Universe.
In the pocket universe, Superboy is a survivor of the planet Krypton.
Sent to earth by his father Jor-El prior to the destruction
of Krypton, Kal-El was found by Jonathan Kent and his wife
Martha. Named Clark, the Kents raised the boy as their own. At
an early age, Clark showed signs of super powers, like super-strength,
flight, super-speed, invulnerability to everything except
magic and Kryptonite, x-ray vision, and a host of other
powers. Adopting a costumed identity, Clark became Superboy and
had many adventures. Those adventures inspired super-powered youths
in the future to band together and form the Legion of Super-Heroes.
When the Legion and Superboy discovered the Time Trapper's plot, the Time
Trapper attempted to destroy the Legion by destroying the pocket universe.
Superboy gave his own life to save the Legion and his home.
In the post-Crisis universe, there was no Superboy, until early 1990's, when
in Adventures of Superman #500, we are introduced to the new Superboy
who was created by Karl Kessel and Tom Grummett.
The result of a cloning experiment by the Cadmus Project after
the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday, Superboy was a
clone from the combined DNA of Superman and then Cadmus director
Paul Westfield. The clone escaped from Cadmus with the help of
the Newsboy Legion, becoming one of four individuals vying for the
title of Superman left vacant by his passing. Superboy aided the
revived Superman and other heroes in saving the earth from Mogul and
the Cyborg Superman and took the name Superboy as his new name.
Superboy possesses tactile telekinesis, which gives him the ability to
deflect objects to avoid harming him and to lift great weights. It also
allows him to fly, but leaves him vulnerable to gas and energy weapons.
Because of an attack to his genetic code, Superboy is stuck with the
appearance of a 16-year old for the rest of his days.
Superman has adopted Superboy as his cousin giving him the name Kon-El
which Superboy proudly bears, as he has never had any other name. He is
as member of Young Justice, a group composed of teen superheroes and
shepherded by the Red Tornado. He is also an agent of the Cadmus Project