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Allusions to Superboy

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Superboy Vol 6 5 Textless

Conner Kent/Superboy in the New 52.

The notes on this page are generated by viewers and comics fans, but not necessarily verified by the show's producers or writers.

This article describes various allusions in Smallville to DC Comics character Superboy. Although a character named Superboy never appeared on the series, there were several references to the character and his universe.

Before Superman was relaunched in 1986, it was established that a young Clark Kent would fight crime in Smallville under the guise of Superboy (wearing a smaller version of the Superman suit). As of 2009 it was reestablished that Clark was Superboy in his youth. Superboy first appeared in More Fun Comics #101 in 1945.

From Superboy to Superman

Prior to 1986, there would be several stories which would explain when and why Superboy would take up the name Superman. While details of these stories would sometimes conflict, all versions were consistent with Superboy moving to Metropolis after finishing high school (and the deaths of Jonathan and Martha Kent) to study journalism at Metropolis University, as well as changing his name to Superman during his junior or senior year of college.

Superman #125 (1958)

During a class at Metropolis University, Clark uses his heat vision to repair the class robot. His teacher, Professor Maxwell, notices the heat beams and deduces that one of his students is Superboy. Among other tests, Maxwell uses a lie detector on the students. When it's Clark's turn, he checks out as true when denying that he is Superboy. In his thought bubble, he reveals that he decided to change his name to Superman and thus was able to be tested without lying.[1]

Action Comics #393 (1970)

During college, Superboy meets a social worker named Marla Harvey, who was supporting a group of local youths from a Metropolis slum who were stealing books and food from Metropolis University. Later, Superboy fails to save Marla from the razing of a slum building in which she was attempting to run a school for the youths. In Marla's memory, Superboy begins to construct a new school, but then stops and tells the citizens that building the school and cleaning up the slum is up to them. Several months later, Superboy, now calling himself Superman, attends the new school's dedication.

Superman: The Secret Years #1-4 (1985)

In college, Clark Kent would become roommates and friends with a fellow student Billy Cramer (who also came from Smallville). Clark eventually decides to confide in Billy that he is Superboy. During this time, Clark engages in a short-lived romance with an exchange student named Lori Lemaris, who turns out to be a mermaid in disguse (as a wheelchair-bound person), sent by Atlantis to the surface world to learn its ways. Sometime afterwards, Billy would die in a fire while Superboy was rescuing people elsewhere.[2]

Grieving the loss of his friend, Superboy dreams that Jor-El, Lara, Jonathan and Martha were condemning him for being unable to save them from death. Billy shows up to defend Superboy as he's done his best to save lives, as well as doesn't blame him for his death. He then goes on to state that Superboy's choice to put others before him, help to make Clark a man. After the dream, Superboy would have a battle against Lex Luthor and succeed in stopping his latest scheme. Superboy then declares himself to be Superman.[3]

Other versions of Superboy

Pocket-Universe Superboy

While the 1986 relaunch of Superman would remove the Superboy identity from the character, The history of the Legion of Super-Heroes would still refer to Superboy as their inspiration. To fix the inconsistency in the continuity, a subplot would start in Cosmic Boy #1 where a time traveling Cosmic Boy encounters Superman, only to discover that the Man of Steel has no recollection of him or The Legion (who themselves would frequently encounter Superboy).

Afterwards it would be revealed that the Legion's enemy known as the Time Trapper created a Pocket-Universe which would contain a version of Krypton and Earth that matched the Legion's history banks.[4] After discovering the truth, Superboy and The Legion would fight the Time Trapper to save the Pocket-Universe Earth and Smallville, with success, but not before Superboy dies in the process.[5]

Comparisons between the stories of Smallville and Superboy

While there are many differences, Superboy (from the Silver Age) and Smallville are similar in that they both center around a Pre-Superman Clark Kent. Though any similarites between the stories and their interpretation of Clark Kent & cast are coincidental unless specified by the producers of the show.

Similarities

  1. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would befriend their future enemy Lex Luthor. Both versions of their friendship started with one saving the other's life. While not at fault, Clark and Superboy were indirectly involved with Lex permanently losing his hair.[6]
  2. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy meet the Legion of Super-Heroes (Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl) and are informed of the legacy that they would leave behind.[7]
  3. In both Smallville and the Superboy comics, Lana Lang would try to uncover the secret of Clark Kent.
  4. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy meet Lois Lane,[8] Jimmy Olsen,[9][10] Perry White[11] and Supergirl.[12]
  5. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy's identity would be discovered by a friend (Chloe Sullivan and Pete Ross respectively), with said friend acting unaware of their discovery.
  6. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy team up with a hero associated with the Teen Titans (Victor Stone/Cyborg and Dick Grayson/Robin[13] respectively).
  7. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would end up with a pet dog, who would display similar powers.
  8. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would meet a young version of Jor-El.
  9. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would first come across red kryptonite.
  10. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would encounter and destroy Bizarro.
  11. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would encounter Aquaman (who in the comics went by the name Aquaboy)[14] and Green Arrow.[15]
  12. Both the Smallville and Superboy versions of Jonathan Kent would die.
  13. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would wear a pair of glasses.
  14. Both Smallville and Superboy Jonathan Kent would later run for a political position for reasons of preventing corruption.
  15. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy wear the House of El family crest on their costumes.
  16. Both Smallville and Superboy Clark Kent devised an alternate identity so that they could better protect others.
  17. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would encounter Darkseid.
  18. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy Clark Kent would encounter someone they believe to be a fellow Kryptonian. In addition, both versions of Clark part with them on a somber note.
  19. Both Smallville Clark Kent and Superboy would encounter alternate reality versions of themselves that were evil.

Differences

  1. In the Superboy comics, their brief friendship started when Lex saved Superboy from a kryptonite meteor. Their friendship came to an end when Superboy used his super breath to put out a fire in his lab. The result was the destruction of Lex's experiment (which would be hard to replicate) and the fumes causing him to be permanently bald. Afterwards, Lex would try to outdo Superboy in making Smallville a better place (but failed as he never took the time to test his inventions or discoveries). Lex would merely assume that Superboy was jealous and sabotaged his experiments.
  2. While Smallville Clark Kent would have one more encounter with Rokk Krinn in Doomsday and Brainiac 5 in Homecoming, Superboy would regularly team up with the Legion of Super-Heroes as a fellow member. In addition, the Legion's first encounter with Superboy was under peaceful circumstances as they wanted to make him an honorary Legionnaire.
  3. In the Superboy comics, Lana would often resort to playing tricks on Superboy in hopes of him admitting that he's Clark Kent. And while Smallville Lana would later set up an event (in Promise) to see Clark using his powers, she wouldn't resort to trickory to uncover Clark's secret.
  4. In the Superboy comics, the only Jimmy Olsen that is a resident of Superboy's time is a toddler and Supergirl didn't live on Earth at the time. He would, however, meet Supergirl and a teenage Jimmy Olsen through time travel.
  5. While Smallville Clark Kent would discover Chloe's knowledge of his secret, Pete Ross' knowledge of Superboy's identity would be kept from Clark until later during his career as Superman.[16] The Legion of Super-Heroes, however, discover of Pete's knowledge and makes him an honorary Legionnaire.[17]
  6. While Victor Stone as he appears is a current resident of Earth on Smallville, Superboy and Robin's encounter was only possible through time travel.
  7. Superboy's pet dog Krypto is a Kryptonian[18] and got to keep his powers. In addition, Krypto would develop a higher intellect than an Earth dog. (Though the Pocket-Universe Krypto would lose his powers after exposure to gold kryptonite).
  8. Rather than meeting a young clone, Superboy would encounter a teenage Jor-El who traveled from Krypton in the past.[19]
  9. While red kryptonite would affect Smallville Clark in a consistent manner, Superboy would be effected in random ways. In addition to that, once a particular chunk of Red-K affects Superboy, it wouldn't effect him again.
  10. Unlike Smallville, Superboy would only encounter Bizarro once before taking on the role of Superman. In addition, Bizarro is merely a faulty duplicate (with a facial deformity and low IQ) created by a duplicating ray.[20]
  11. Superboy would encounter other heroes including Bruce Wayne,[21] Barbara Gordon[22] and Hal Jordan (future Green Lantern).[23] Smallville Clark on the other hand would encounter Impulse, Black Canary, Zatanna and the Justice Society of America. He didn't meet Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon until after he became Superman.
  12. In the Superboy comics, Jonathan would die because of a fever plague encountered on a vacation, with Martha also dying.[24]
  13. Superboy would regularly wear glasses in the guise of Clark Kent to prevent others from noticing a resemblance between the two identities.
  14. Superboy Jonathan ran for city council to prevent the building of the first Smallville shopping mall as it would result in other business areas being closed down. Though the comic ended before the storyline could be concluded.[25]
  15. Smallville Clark would wear a black costume with the El symbol, while Superboy wears the smaller Superman costumes.
  16. Superboy Clark Kent devised his identity since he was 8 years old and his identity is protected enough that he doesn't have to hide in the dark.
  17. Superboy encountered Darkseid in the future along with Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes. Not to mention that Superboy first encountered Darkseid in his true form, whereas Clark first encountered him while in possession of Lionel's corpse.[26]
  18. The individual whom Smallville Clark Kent thought to be a Krytonian was merely a meteor infected Earthling, Cyrus Krupp, who had a mental breakdown after healing a bully with his powers. Superboy Clark Kent on the other hand encountered an alien named Lar Gand from the planet Daxam (who's residents have the same power on Earth as those from Krypton). Lar (who was given the name Mon-El) suffered a serious case of lead poisoning and had to stay in the Phantom Zone until a cure would be found.[27] He would later be released and cured by Brainiac 5 and the Legion of Super Heroes.

Smallville References to Superboy

  • In the Season 1 episode Leech, Chloe would refer to the newly powered Eric Summers as Superboy in her article for the Torch, which Clark thinks sounds lame.
  • In the Season 4 episode Krypto, Clark was hoping to call the family dog Krypto (and would pass it off as the origins of the dog being cryptic), though Lois told him to save the name for another dog. Lois would then suggest the name Skip (an alias Krypto went by).
  • In the Season 5 episode Aqua, Arthur Curry calls Clark, Superboy.

Elements from Smallville introduced in Superboy

Notes

  • The finale of Challenge of the SuperFriends lifts the first portion of Adventure Comics #271 when showing the origin of Lex Luthor. The story ends after Lex losing hair in the smoke rather than a fire.[36]
  • In current modern Superman comic continuity Conner Kent since his return from the dead has resumed his role as Superboy but with a very different approach on his life. He's decided to retrace the steps of Clark Kent upbringing in Smallville, Kansas by living on the Kent farm with Ma Kent and Krypto as well as attending Smallville High in the revived ongoing title Adventure Comics six part story arc entitled Superboy: The Boy of Steel.

References

  1. Superman #125
  2. Superman: The Secret Years #3
  3. Superman: The Secret Years #4
  4. Action Comics #591
  5. Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 3 #38
  6. Adventure Comics #271
  7. Adventure Comics #247
  8. Adventure Comics #128
  9. Adventure Comics #216
  10. Superboy #55
  11. Superboy #63
  12. Superboy #80
  13. Adventure Comics #253
  14. Superboy #171
  15. Adventure Comics #258
  16. DC Comics Presents #13
  17. Superboy #98
  18. Adventure Comics #210
  19. Superboy #121
  20. Superboy #68
  21. Superboy #182
  22. Adventure Comics #453
  23. New Adventures of Superboy #13
  24. Superman #161
  25. New Adventures of Superboy #45-54
  26. Legion of Super Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga
  27. Superboy #89
  28. Superboy #68
  29. Adventure Comics #283
  30. Superboy #10
  31. Adventure Comics #283
  32. Superboy #86
  33. Adventure Comics #255
  34. Superboy #2
  35. Adventure Comics #247
  36. Challenge of The Superfriends Episode 16: History of Doom.

See also

External links

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