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September 17, 2017

Character Spotlight: Conner Kent

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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When you lose one of the most powerful heroes of all time, what do you do? Send in the clone! That’s right, make lemonade out of that dead lemon. That’s how you get a good, good Superboy. You need a little more than Kryptonian DNA, though. What do you do? Let’s find out!

Kon-El, Conner Kent was originally Experiment 13, the thirteenth attempt in cloning Superman after he’d died at the hand’s of Doomsday. Much like in Jurassic Park, the Kryptonian DNA from Superman they were able to get was incomplete, they used a similar enough DNA set to fill in those gaps. Human DNA, but not just any human, Lex Luthor, under the cover of being the head of the program’s DNA, was used to create Conner. Conner is son of Superman and Lex Luthor, he’s a scientific answer to a lot of fanfic. Able to mimic many of Superman’s powers thanks to his “tactile telekinesis” which he had to actively use unlike Superman’s subconscious use of his abilities. He’d come to the rescue for Metropolis when Superman was dead and three new Supermen came to claim the true title as Superman.

Admitting that he himself was just a clone, though he was unaware of his true parentage, he’d do his best to help maintain order and deal with the three Superman (Eradicator, Cyborg-Superman, and Steel) replacements making sure none of them caused any damage. When Superman really did return to life, Steel and Superboy, who was only being called Superboy at this point, would stick around. Superman would find that Superboy was a genuinely kind and good person and take him in as family. Taking him to the Fortress of Solitude, he’d show him what life on Krypton was like, thanks to VR. He’d also give him the name of Kon-El for his Kryptonian name. This would be turned into Conner for Earth and Conner Kent to show that he was accepted into both Superman’s Kryptonian and Earth families. Conner was both a part of the House of El and now a cousin in the Kent family. Superboy finally became a real boy.

Going on adventures, he’d eventually come across other teen heroes, mainly Robin and Impulse. The three would become founding members of Young Justice to be trained and work together as the next generation to be the Justice League. As the team grew, so did their adventures, often taking them all across the universe. His relationship with Wonder Girl would grow stronger as time went on and by the point when Young Justice would disband and several of the team would go on to join the Teen Titans, he and Wonder Girl were dating.

Conner would finally learn of his connection to Lex Luthor and Lex would repay him for this by mind controlling him briefly to attack his friends. Able to break free, Conner would be able to prove to his friend’s he was not like one of his fathers. The Titans would travel to a future where they had become the Justice League but were definitely a villainous League. Returning to the present, the team almost disbanded until Cyborg pointed out to them that it was because they weren’t together for the coming Crisis that lead them down their villainous paths. When the Infinite Crisis began, Conner was confronted with Superboy Prime, a young Clark Kent who would be Superboy from his dimension that was locked away after the Crisis of Infinite Earths. The Superboys would have an all out brawl with Prime having the upperhand in strength. The two would fight several times until Conner would crash them both into a tower that was causing all the chaos dimensionally. This would kill Conner and he’d die with Wonder Girl and Robin to witness.

While Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman left for a year, a cult formed around Conner’s funeral. Conner was well and truly dead, that is, in the present. In the future of the 31st century, where the Legion of Super-Heroes prospered, Conner was resurrected and helped them in a case most dire. When the mission was a success they sent him back to the present day so he could have a second chance at the life he’d lost. When the Blackest Night occurred, due to his status as resurrected he was a target for a Black Lantern ring. Thankfully, the quick thinking of Wonder Girl and the strange fact that while Conner was a live, his corpse was still buried in the present as well, she was able to trick the ring into detaching from alive Conner and attempt to go for dead Conner. Stopping it, the two were then able to help others fight off the undead threat.

In the New 52, Conner is built by the organization of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to control all metahumans. He’d go on to work with Superman and the Teen Titans. Time traveling with the Titans, he’d end up meeting the future son of Superman and Lois, Jon, who was a villain and the person Conner was cloned from. Conner would seem to die in this future while Jon was knocked out and unaware of his future villainy. The Titans would take Jon back with them and he’d be Superboy for a time until a Jon further into the future came to put Jon back in the timestream to ensure his own villainous ways. Superboy Jon would die in the resulting battle, so he could cease his future self from being a danger to everyone. It would turn out that Conner had not died but been plucked from time and space to help police reality but would return when he was needed.

There you have it folks! There have been many Superboys over the years by Conner has always held a special place in my heart. He’s been on the small screen, both live action (Smallville) and animated, Young Justice. Will we ever see him on the big screen? Time will tell! See you next time!

Suggested Reading
Adventures of Superman #500
Young Justice
Superboy
Teen Titans

Dr. Bustos
drbustos@comicattack.net

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