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Tana Moon

Superboy’s Girlfriend

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DubbilexRoxy LeechRex Leech

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Hawaiian-born Tana Moon was raised and educated in the fiftieth state, where the intrepid student eyed a career in journalism. After college, Tana traveled east and landed an interview at the famed Daily Planet office in Metropolis. But editor in chief Perry White decided she was not quite ready for the prestigious newspaper. Tana left the building dejected, but her fate was quickly turned around when met a brash young hero claiming to be the clone of the recently-deceased Superman.

Tana meets Superboy in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #501 [1993].

Grabbing the Teen of Steel by the arm, Tana led him to television station WGBS and began to strike up a friendship. When she delivered the scoop on the latest celebrity, who thought at the time he might be the then-deceased Superman, Tana was hired as a news anchor. She became a local celebrity in her own right after she reported on a Superboy’s battle with Steelhand. Meanwhile, unscrupulous WGBS president Vinnie Edge smelled ratings victory and saw to it that Tana never left Superboy’s side. Seeking even higher ratings numbers, he then arranged for the Stinger to battle Superboy on film. The battle dangerous battle destroyed the Hobsneck Bridge, as Tana realized it was all a setup.

The real Superman returned as the Cyborg Superman was revealed as a villain-in-disguise. The conflict came to an explosive end in Coast City, where Tana followed to capture the story on film. But the novice reporter broke down on camera when Superboy seemingly gave his life to prevent a missle from destroying the West Coast.  While she was glad to discover Superboy was alive, the event caused the young journalist to rethink her priorities. She resigned from the sensationalistic WGBS, and decided to make a name for herself outside of Metropolis.

Tana’s relationship with Superboy affects her career, as seen in SUPERBOY #0 [1994].

Tana soon found work as a local television reporter at Honolulu’s own KONA TV, where she was reunited with Superboy. The Teen of Steel had embarked on a self-promotional “Supertour USA” engineered by his opportunistic manager, Rex Leech. She was flattered when she learned her friendship was part of the reason Superboy decided to stay in Hawaii as its defender. Despite feeling a romantic attraction to the teen, Tana tried to maintain a professional distance. This worked until Superboy’s life was threatened with cellular breakdown. This prompted Tana to finally admit her feeling for the Kid, which he reciprocated. Once Superboy fully recovered, the two began a relationship.

The relationship proved challenging for both parties. Tana was a few years older than Superboy, and the Kid’s hormonal immaturity proved cause for concern. Additionally, some of Tana’s co-workers found the reporter’s relationship with the much-younger teen hero both unprofessional and unseemly. Their romance ended when the bawdy and bodacious Knockout arrived and caught Superboy’s wandering eye. Tana investigated and discovered the devious Knockout’s true colors, something Superboy refused to acknowledge until faced with the facts firsthand. After putting Knockout in jail, Superboy renewed his romance with Tana.

Not long after, Tana inadvertently provided Amanda Spence with information which allowed the Agenda to abduct Superboy. The sinister organization destabilized Superboy’s genetic code in an attempt to kill him. Roxy Leech, once Tana’s rival for Superboy’s affections, donated her DNA to meld with the Teen of Steel’s in an effort to stabilize his condition. 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.

Tana and Roxy say goodbye in SUPERBOY #49 [1997].

Another result of the operation was that Superboy would be permanantly fixed with the body of a sixteen years old boy, subjecting the older Tana to ridicule and leading the couple to ultimately break up. She left both her job and Hawaii only to be kidnapped by the vengeful Amanda Spence, who still blamed Superboy for the death of her father, Paul Westfield.

Tana was later liberated by Superboy’s freakish friends known as the Wild Men, and reunited with Superboy at Cadmus. Tana admitted that she still loved Superboy and the couple decided to start their relationship anew. Just then, Amanda Spence activated a collar she had fixed to Tana’s neck and triggered an explosive shock. Spence watched with glee as Superboy witnessed Tana’s life slip away before his eyes. Her death devastated the young hero.

Tana was survived by her brother Kekane and his children Iolani and Li’l.

Tana is reunited with Superboy – moments before being murdered
by Amanda Spence in SUPERBOY #74 [2000].


 Essential Reading

Adventures of Superman #501 [1993]: Tana interviews at the Daily Planet and meets Superboy, who provides her with her first big scoop at WGBS. First appearance of Tana Moon.
Adventures of Superman #505 [1993]: Tana says goodbye to Superboy and leaves Metropolis.
Superboy #1-2 [1994]: Tana – now working as a telejournalist for Honolulu’s KONA TV – is reunited with Superboy, who has relocated to Hawaii.
Superboy #5 [1994]: When Superboy’s cells break down, Tana at last admits her feelings, which Superboy reciprocates.
Superboy #46 [1997]: Breaks off relationship with Superboy.
Superboy #49 [1997]: With Superboy missing, Tana leaves Hawaii.
Superboy #72-75 [2000]: Tana resurfaces, having been captured by the vengeful Amanda Spence. Dubbilex is manipulated by the gene gnome, as the Agenda threatens to infiltrate Cadmus. Spence murders Tana in front of Superboy, devasting the young hero. Death of Tana Moon in issue #74.


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!

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