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Superboy-Prime

Alias: Clark Kent
Formerly: Superboy, Superman-Prime

Titans Adversary
Related Links: Superboy (Conner Kent)

Superboy-Prime Quick Bio: A would-be hero from Earth Prime, the so-called Superboy-Prime’s sense of right and wrong became twisted by years of other-dimensional exile. The teen terror returned to reality with a vengeance, vowing to restore his own “perfect earth” at any cost.

Teen Titans File Photos:

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History


Hero Prime

On Earth-Prime, there were no superheroes of super-villains, only normal people living dull, ordinary lives. So it was with a sense of unreality that Jerry and Naomi Kent discovered a makeshift spaceship that had crash-landed on their farm. Inside was a baby, and they did the only thing they could: adopted him and named him Clark.

Clark grew up as a normal kid. He had no special powers, but like his “fictional namesake,” he thought he might one day be a reporter. One day, playing off his name, he went to a costume party dressed as Superboy. Pretending to fly, he suddenly found himself rising in the air, and he knew, at that moment, he truly was a Superboy.

ABOVE: Superboy-Prime vows to help in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #10 [1985].
BELOW: Four survivors find ever-lasting peace (or so they think)
in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #12 [1985]. 

When the Crisis on Infinite Earths began, Superboy was brought into a limbo dimension by the Monitor. Having seen his entire universe destroyed in the blink of an eye, Superboy joined the team of heroes and villains summoned by the mysterious Monitor in the battle against the multiverse-destroying menace of the Anti-Monitor.

Victory was short lived for the four survivors still in limbo – Earth Prime’s Superboy, Earth-3′s Alexander Luthor, Earth-2′s Superman and Lois Lane – as the deadly shockwave of the Anti-Monitor’s destruction raced toward them. In a last-ditch effort, Alexander wrenched open a doorway to another dimension.

The punch heard ’round the multiverse, from
INFINITE CRISIS SECRET FILES #1 [2006].

Primed For A Comeback

Superboy-Prime’s idea of heroism became warped by years of relative solitude and the inability to age. He grew horrified by the new Earth he observed in his other-dimensional exile, pounding on the vibrational barrier that once separated the multiverse. This caused reality itself to fracture and splinter, setting the stage for a second cataclysmic Crisis.

Observing these events alongside Alexander Luthor, the duo convinced themselves the changes wrought by the first Crisis needed to be undone. With that, the four survivors returned to present-day reality in a misguided plan to restore the multiverse and create a new “perfect earth.”

When Superboy-Prime openly confronted his “rival” Superboy, Conner Kent called upon his Titans allies to subdue his Kryptonian doppelganger. The misguided Superboy-Prime slaughtered several Titans and ripped off Risk’s right arm, before being repelled by the combined might of the super-speedsters.

ABOVE: Pantha is brutally killed by Superboy-Prime in INFINITE CRISIS #4 [2005].
BELOW: Bushido is killed by Superboy-Prime in INFINITE CRISIS #4 [2005].

Nightwing and Superboy later teamed up to ambush Alexander Luthor’s cosmic tower, the source of of Luthor’s twisted plan that created a multi-universal cataclysm. Locked in savage combat, Superboy and Superboy-Prime collided into Luthor’s tower, creating a huge explosion. When the smoke cleared, the tower was destroyed, but Superboy suffered critical wounds. As Wonder Girl rushed to his side, Superboy died in her arms, having sacrificed his own life to save the universe.

Superboy-Prime was later imprisoned by the Green Lantern Corps after the heroes united to prevent the Infinite Crisis. Freed from imprisonment by Sinestro, Superboy-Prime made his way to earth and was confronted by a large contingent of super-heroes ready to bring him down. Seeking revenge, Risk confronted the delusional Kryptonian once more, only to have his left arm ripped off by the enraged super-villain. Superboy-Prime then joined the Sinestro Corps, but the villainous super-team, was brought down by the Green Lantern Corps.

Superboy-Prime learns his place in history in
FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS #1 and #5  [2009].

Primed for Vengeance

Superboy Prime later arrived  in the 31st century with plans to remove Superman from history with the help of the Time Trapper and the Legion of Super-Villains. But heroes gathered to oppose him, as Superman joined forced with the Legion of Super-Heroes from three alternate worlds. They were joined by Bart Allen, who returned from the brink of death in a super-charged lightning rod – and Conner Kent, who was restored to life through a Kryptonian regeneration chamber. Together, their combined forces defeated Superboy Prime and his evil allies.

With that, Superboy-Prime was returned to his Earth. There, his parents and once-girlfriend were horrified to learn of his recent actions through Earth Prime’s comic books, which channeled the adventures of the super-powered Earths. This only angered Superboy-Prime further, as he ran amok during the Blackest Night event after becoming enraged he was left out of “the story.”

Superboy-Prime later assembled his own ersatz “Legion of Doom” to gain a final revenge on the Teen Titans and Superboy. In an all-out assault, Superboy-Prime also besieged the team with an army of Superboy clones. Together, Titans past and present were able to defeat the clones and trap Superboy-Prime within the impenetrable Source Wall at the edge of the universe.

ABOVE: Superboy-Prime’s Legion of Doom in TEEN TITANS (third series) #100 [2011].
BELOW:  Superboy-Prime is undone in TEEN TITANS (third series) #100 [2011].

Powers & Abilities


Superboy-Prime’s physiology absorbs immense energy from Earth’s yellow sun, enabling him to fly at incredible speeds, and endowing him with super-strength, invulnerability, ultra-acute hearing, freezing breath, immense lung capacity and a range of vision including X-ray vision and heat vision.


Essential Reading


DC Comics Presents #87 [1985]: Superman meets the Superboy of Earth Prime. First appearance of Superboy-Prime.
Crisi on Infinite Earths #10 [1985]:
Superboy from Earth Prime arrives, proclaiming to be the only survivor of his doomed world. He joins the other heroes to oppose the Anti-Monitor.
Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 [1985]:
After the heroes successfully repel the Anti-Monitor, four remaining alternate-earth survivors – Earth Prime’s Superboy, Earth-3′s Alexander Luthor, Earth-2′s Superman and Lois Lane – retreat to find resting peace in a limbo dimension.
Infinite Crisis #1-6, Teen Titans #32-33 [2005-2006]:
 
Superboy-Prime confronts Superboy. Superboy calls on his Titans allies to subdue his Kryptonian doppelganger. The misguided Superboy-Prime inadvertently decapitates Pantha and slaughters Baby Wildebeest and Bushido; He then freezes Red Star into crystal ice and rips off Risk’s right arm before being pulled into the Speed Force by the combined might of the super-speedsters. Nightwing and Superboy team up to ambush Alexander Luthor’s cosmic tower. Locked in savage combat, Superboy and Superboy-Prime collide into Luthor’s tower, creating a huge explosion. When the smoke clears, Superboy lay dead, having sacrificed his own life to save the universe. Death of Pantha, Baby Wildebeest and Bushido in issue #4. Death of Superboy in issue #6.
Infinite Crisis Secret Files #1 [2006]: Don’t miss this important side chapter of the INFINITE CRISIS saga! Superman of Earth-2, his wife, Lois Lane of Earth-2, Alex Luthor of Earth-3 and Superboy from Earth Prime: the last survivors of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. What happened to them after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS is finally revealed here for the first time by one of the masterminds behind that landmark event: writer Marv Wolfman (NEW TEEN TITANS)!Learn what these heroes have been doing, how they have changed, and how their reappearance will force the DCU’s heroes to reexamine themselves.
Tales Of The Sinestro Corps Presents: Superman-Prime [2007]: Freed from imprisonment by Sinestro, Superboy-Prime makes his way to earth and is confronted by a large contingent of super-heroes ready to bring him down. Seeking revenge, Risk confronts the delusional Kryptonian once more, only to have his left arm ripped off by the enraged super-villain. After reflecting on his past, Prime basks in the yellow sun and declares himself Superman-Prime.
Legion of 3 Worlds mini-series #1-5 [2008-2009]: 
Superboy-Prime arrives in the 31st century and plans to remove Superman from history with the help of the Time Trapper and the Legion of Super-Villains. In this reality-bending adventure, Superman joins forces with the Legion of Super-Heroes from three alternate worlds. They are joined by Bart Allen, who returns from the brink of death in a super-charged lightning rod, and Conner Kent, who is restored to life in a Kryptonian regeneration chamber. Together, their combined forces defeat Superboy-Prime and his evil allies. Kid Flash returns to life in issue #3. Superboy returns to life in issue #4.
Adventure Comics #4-5 [2009]: The return of Superboy! Superboy-Prime, that is! The grasp of BLACKEST NIGHT knows no bounds, and it is now at the doorstep of Superboy-Prime. Believe it or not, Prime has met his match. The Black Lanterns know his deepest, darkest secrets and force Prime to feel emotions he’s long discarded.
Teen Titans (third series) #98-100 [2011]: It’s all-out war as Titans old and new come together to face the greatest threat to their existence. Superboy-Prime gathers his own “Legion of Doom,” comprised of various Titans villains. He then creates an army of Superboy clones to besiege the Titans. Together, Titans past and present defeat the villains and trap Superboy-Prime within the impenetrable Source Wall at the edge of the universe.

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 Infinite Crisis #4: Death and Titans


Geoff Johns: Writer’s Workshop
Infinite Crisis #4: Death and Titans

The first draft of this scene [...] went through many debates and changes. It originally included Superboy-Prime showing up and, as he does, tearing through the heroes. But in the first version, not only did he kill a different character (and there were many on the list which I’ll get to in a second – because I know that’s what people want to know) but he didn’t react the right way when he murdered someone.

It was so incredibly wrong to me.

But I didn’t have it figured out yet. So, I told Eddie [Berganza, editor on Infinite Crisis] there was something wrong with these two pages. And I told Phil [Jimenez, artist for the series]. And I thought about it.

Was it a matter of who died? That was a huge question. In the first draft, the Teen Titans’ Argent was the one that faced Prime’s outburst. But it was his heat vision that did it. Eddie loved Argent and had plans for her, so she was taken off of the table. There was discussion, and a draft, where Terra was the one who was killed. But I felt like her story hadn’t been yet told – it would leave too many unanswered questions. Red Star was also proposed, due to power levels but we had plans for him. And then I realized, as strange as it sounds, we needed to use someone obscure. I hated to say it, but this moment was not about who died, but about Superboy-Prime killing.

Superboy-Prime had to be horrified at what he had done, just like the reader. It needed to be an action much more shocking than heat vision. He had to be swinging in a fury, unaware of his power.

And that’s when it finally clicked for me. Superboy-Prime had to cry. He had to be scared. And his fear would fuel him. He would continue to lash out, blaming the others for his actions. Yesterday’s hero blaming the heroes of today for his corruption.

Going through the characters further, Pantha was chosen because she hadn’t been active in a long time and she would affect Red Star, who was very close with her, when we told his story. And it worked, for the most part. People said, “Did you see what Superboy-Prime did?” instead of “Pantha died!”

The rest of Superboy-Prime’s rampage justified the Flashes racing in to dispose of this super-powered “maniac.” You can see the fear and pain and guilt on Superboy-Prime’s face as he’s pulled away, yelling that one day he would be Superman. [...] Risk was going to die but, again, I wanted someone to survive this battle, however maimed, and live to tell about it – so he lost an arm instead of his life.

Scene from A Rampage, from INFINITE CRISIS #4 [2005].

Geoff Johns on Infinite Crisis #4
[from The Titans Companion 2, 2008]

GJ: The only [death] that was hard was [Superboy]. Pantha and Wildebeest, and Bushido, who I co-created, so that wasn’t as hard… You had three Titans die, and then Superboy, and the hardest one was Superboy. Pantha and Wildebeest hadn’t been used in so long, and even though the characters were cool, it had to be somebody.

I looked at, “What could I get a story out of so someone just doesn’t die?” ‘Cause at one point, we thought the current Terra [would die], and then it was like, “Well, who is she? What happens with her? No, let’s not do that - there’s still questions surrounding where she’s from,”and then I thought, “Well, I love Red Star,”like I said before, “and what if Red Star has to deal with losing his family?” and that would be Wildebeest and Pantha, so boom, those two were chosen as unfortunate victims of Superboy-Prime. Then Bushido was in there because I felt that if I was killing any more minor Titans, I should probably kill my own.

TTC: That was the same rationale for why Kole died in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

GJ: Yeah, I think so. I remember reading that story, so that was kind of the same thing. It’s like, “Guys, I’m sorry… here’s my sacrifical lamb, as well.” And then, the whole Superboy thing, that one’s a lot more difficult.

They wanted a big death in Infinite Crisis, and with Superboy-Prime really becoming the main villain, and being the through line, it’s just, Superboy ended up becoming the catalyst for everything. [He was] the perfect object of a hero who had given up, who had been corrupted, as Superboy-Prime had said, on Earth, and who rises above that corruption and challenges him, and defies what he says about him, and becomes a true hero, and dies saving the universe doing it.


Sources for this entry: DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com


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