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Roxy Leech

Superboy’s Friend and Ally

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For Roxy, it wan’t easy growing up with ruthless promoter Rex Leech as her single parent. Roxy’s sole direction during her formative years was to facilitate her father’s various get rich quick schemes and dirty dealings. The opportunistic Rex spied his ultimate meal ticket when he met a brash young hero claiming to be the clone of the then-deceased Superman. Rex used his attractive daughter as further enticement for the so-called Superboy, which was just fine as far as the instantly smitten Roxy was  concerned.

Superboy meets Rex and Roxy Leech in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #501 [1993].

Rex engineered an ambitious “Supertour USA” to promote the Teen of Steel, which allowed Roxy to spend more time with Superboy as the trio traveled around the world. The tour stopped in Hawaii, where Superboy was reunited with telejournalist Tana Moon, who proved to be Roxy’s rival  for the Kid’s affections.

As a friend and ally to the Teen of Steel, Roxy displayed her indomitable spirit when facing down cosmic threats and costumed villains. This prompted Roxy to find direction for the first time in her life. Determined not to follow her father’s shady footsteps, Roxy took Superboy’s advice and trained to be a police cadet in the Honolulu branch of the Special Crimes Unit. Roxy drew inspiration from brave police detective Sam Makoa, as she continued to aid Superboy in his adventures against various super-powered villains.

Superboy, Dubbilex, Rex and Roxy Leech are Hawaii-bound in SUPERBOY #1 [1994].

When Superboy’s genetic code began unravelling, the scientists of Cadmus needed a donor’s DNA pattern to follow. Roxy volnteered hers despite the risks it posed to her own life. The experiment worked, but made their genetic patterns so similar that the teens now felt more like brother-and-sister rather than potential lovers. In truth, Roxy always realized Superboy’s heart belonged to Tana and his feelings for her were more friendly than romantic. Surprisingly, Roxy and Tana managed to become good friends despite their initial rivalry.

Roxy was later forced to quit to S.C.U. to help her ailing father. Concocting a plan to help pay off Rex’s sizable gambling debts, Roxy stole the Whiz Wagon from Cadmus to participate in a death-defying race for a huge prize. Roxy ultimately lost the race as Superboy discovered her misdeeds. With this, Roxy realized her misjudgment and resolved to make up for her mistake.

Months later, Roxy returned to Superboy’s life at Project Cadmus, where she was discovered to have bonded  with a fire elemental named Pyra. When the entity was excised from her body, Roxy joined Rex in returning to a more normal and calm existence.

ABOVE: Roxy finds a new direction in SUPERBOY #17 [1995].
BELOW: Tana and Roxy say goodbye in SUPERBOY #49 [1997].


 Essential Reading

Man of Steel #20 [1993]: Leech pulls Jimmy Olsen from Superman’s funeral procession in an attempt to get the photographer to sign over the rights to the Man of Steel’s death photo. When Olsen angrily refuses, Leech’s goons open fire. First appearance of Rex Leech.
Adventures of Superman #502 [1993]: Superman’s teenaged clone is introduced to unscrupulous promoter Rex Leech and his teenaged daughter Roxy. First appearance of Roxy Leech.
Adventures of Superman #506 [1993]: Superman rescues Superboy from some Cadmus DNAliens and the two, along with the Guardian, decide to return and confront the Cadmus brass to get some answers on Superboy’s origins and powers. Superboy relinquishes the “Superman” trademark back to the Man of Steel, which angers Rex Leech. Dubbilex is tasked with monitoring Superboy.
Superboy #1 [1994]: Superboy’s “Supertour USA” ends in Hawaii, where the Teen of Steel relocates along with Dubbilex, Rex Leech and Roxy Leech.
Superboy #11-12 [1995]: Copperhead is contracted to collect Rex’s gambling debts.
Superboy #17 [1995]: Roxy is encouraged to join the police force.
Superboy #26 [1996]: Roxy joins the Hawaii Special Crimes Unit.
Superboy #41 [1997]: Roxy saves Superboy’s life by donating her DNA
Superboy #48-49 [1997]: Rex’s Superboy-themed roller coaster turns disastrous. With Superboy missing, Rex and Roxy Leech leave Hawaii.
Superboy #57-58 [1998]: Roxy steals the Whiz Wagon from Cadmus to participate in a death-defying race.
Superboy #80-82 [2000]: The Titans and Superboy help contain Roxy, who has been possessed by Pyra. When the entity is excised from her body, Roxy rejoins Rex in returning to a more normal existence.


A 2007 Superboy commission by Karl Kesel.


Hot Time In Hawaii

Karl Kesel Interview
[from Titans Companion 2, by TwoMorrows Publishing – 2008]

TTC: Where did the idea of bringing in a new Superboy come from?

KK: I have to say, when I wrote up my ideas for the way to bring back Superman, when I wrote down the idea of there being four different Supermen, my idea at the time was each book could have a Superman in it that reflected the history of the book.

So I thought, “Action Comics should probably have a very Shuster and Siegel-esque Superman. There’s something very primal about Action Comics, and maybe that Superman can only leap an eighth of a mile.” That was my initial idea. I thought the book that’s called Superman should have the real Superman, and I wasn’t sure what Man of Steel should be – maybe a robot, [or] something like that – but when I sat down to figure out what Adventures of Superman should be, the book that I was going to be writing, I [thought], “What kind of different Superman fits that title?” and I remembered the old tag line, “The adventures of Superman when he was a boy.” I said, “That’s it! That should be Superboy.”

Obviously, none of those things happened except the Superboy idea, but that was my approach, and that’s how I ended up with an idea of Superboy. I would say in the Superman summit, it might’ve been Louise Simonson [who] first said the idea when we were just throwing out ideas of different kinds of Superman. I think she was the one who mentioned a Superboy, but I successfully argued that he should be in my book, and I’m very glad I did. I think Weezie’s and Bog’s character Steel was equally as good, so I think we both did really well.


TTC: Personality-wise, your Superboy was a lot different from the original Superboy. Was that always your intent?

KK: Well, I certainly wanted a more modern character, yeah. I wanted someone who had a little more attitude. I have always enjoyed humor in my stories, so I wanted someone with a sense of humor, and there just seemed to be a certain arrogance built into a teenage boy who’s walking around saying he’s the clone of Superman. There seems to be a certain arrogance there [that] just seemed to fit the character really well.


TTC: Why did you set the series in Hawaii?

KK: The thinking was this: when Superman was first created, he was very definitely a wish-fulfillment character. He was the guy who would throw the evil Senator across town and catch him. He would do the sort of things that you or I, or Siegel and Shuster, wished they could do, and so Superman was very much, especially at the beginning, a wish-fulfillment character.

So that’s the tact I took with Superboy. I said, “All right; in today’s society, what would every kid wish if they had super-powers?” and I decided they would want to live in Hawaii! [laughs] So that’s where we set it, because it’s this tropical paradise with beautiful gals in bikinis, and it just sounded really exotic. It just sounded very much like a dream come true. Very wish fulfillment.


Superboy’s supporting cast, from SUPERBOY #4 [1994].

TTC: The Superboy book also had a rich supporting cast. How important do you think those characters were to the series?

KK: I think they’re really important. I really enjoyed doing the first run on Dubbliex and Rex and Roxy and Tana. I think all of those were really good characters that I enjoyed a lot, and I think later on the cast of characters we had in Cadmus was just as rich. I always go back to early Spider-Mans that Stan Lee was writing, especially when John Romita was drawing it.

Many times, many times I have gone back and pulled out those old comics, and I’ll flip past the fights because I know Spider-Man’s gonna beat the Shocker, but I always stop and read the Coffee Bean scenes because the interplay between the characters is just so great. There’s no way my work ever came close to that, but I’ve always remembered how grounded that makes any character.

I’ve always tried to surround characters with interesting supporting characters because of that.

TTC:You also brought Tana Moon over from Adventures of Superman. Was that always the plan?

KK: Well, once we decided to put him in Hawaii, we realized, “Hey! Maybe she’s Hawaiian!” [laughs] So it worked out really well. It certainly wasn’t the plan from the beginning. It wasn’t like we said, “Okay, we gotta find a place to put Superboy and Tana.” The only thing I wish we could’ve gotten the approval for there was we wanted to reveal that Tana Moon was related to the Batman villain Dr. Moon, and Denny O’Neil nixed that idea. The series didn’t suffer, but it would’ve been a cool connection.

TTC: She did fill the “Lois Lane” role of the book.

KK: Yeah, she did.

Sources for this entry: The Essential Superman Encyclopedia, DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by  Special thanks to Scott Redding for the information on this entry!

End of transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author