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Superboy (DC)(Earth-1 - Pre Crisis)(01-Clark Kent)
Real Name: Clark (Kal-El) Kent
Search for 'Superboy (DC)(Earth-1 - Pre Crisis)(01-Clark Kent)' on Amazon

He has super strength, hearing, sight, breath, intelligence, can fly, vocal and ventriloquist powers X-Ray and heat vision.

Kryptonite, a red sun, virus-x, lead and magic.

Though generally identified as a "silver age" hero, he's really the last major "new" hero of the Golden Age. Not that he's exactly a unique hero. He's just " a boy", right? Well, generally, yes. But the question becomes exactly which Superman he's the younger version of.

As Earth 2 came to be depicted in the Silver Age, there was absolutely no Superboy. Yet, Superboy was created firmly in the Golden Age, and to any reader of the book at the time, there would've been no question but that this was the younger version of the only Superman then in publication: the (more-or-less) original Siegel and Shuster creation.

Following the introduction of the Flash II (Barry Allen), though, the general, but sometimes erroneous, "guideline" of the DCU was that superheroes that predated Barry Allen--and certainly any introduced in the 1940s--would be automatically considered part of the Earth 2 universe.

Superboy, however, having been created during the Golden Age, but a resident of Earth 1, does not easily follow this rule.

According to some observers, Superboy's Golden Age exploits are thus explained as being that of an Earth 1 Superboy operating on Earth 2. This group of fans will point to the New Adventures of Superboy towards a story that suggested that Clark Kent of Earth 2 was inspired by meetings with Superboy to learn how to channel his powers effectively. Even the uniform he wore was retroactively thought to be a nod to Superboy's costume, rather than an invention of his own or a legacy artifact from Krypton. In effect, one way to read things is to say that Earth 1's "young Superman" was the mentor to the older, Earth 2 version. Superman of Earth 2 may never have come to be without the influence of Superboy.

Crisis on Infinite Earths, which posits both the complete erasure of Superboy and the key role Superman of Earth 2 to the closing of the multiverse therefore raises interesting (though mind-taxing) problems because of Superboy. Who disappeared first when the universes melded? Did they both disappear in the same instant, or, as we saw depicted in the comic, did Superman of Earth 2 fight until the very last instant of Earth 2's existence, some moments after Superboy's reality ended? If Superman of Earth 2 existed in the time stream longer than Superboy would he still be Superman when he landed the final blow on the Anti-Monitor and....ugh, you get the picture. It's a big, ol' geekfest up in here.

Other commentators have had an easier time with all this. Since, they say, Superboy's existence is entirely moot anyway, why not take a more economical view of the need to retcon parts of his existence. Instead of placing Superboy on Earth 2, and enduring the damage that can potentially do to one's sanity, don't be troubled by the few issues in which the whole "Superboy teaches Clark of Earth 2" thing was floated (New Adventures of Superboy #15-16). Believe that they describe a rare encounter between the two characters. Then, use the presence of Superboy as an indication of whether a story in the 1940s and 50s actually takes place on Earth 1. To them, the presence of Superboy in a story is something of a godsend in a 1950s comic, because it absolutely establishes it as an Earth 1 story.

Either way you solve the continuity puzzle that was Superboy I, one thing remains constant: from a present-day perspective he no longer exists, and never did. He's best remembered now more for his influence than the particulars of the stories in which he was involved. He gave Superman's creators a winnable court case against DC, and thus provided Siegel and Shuster an ironic source of royalty income from the creation they'd sold outright for a little over $100. His appearances, and perhaps particularly The New Adventures of Superboy, provided a lot of character detail later used in the television shows, Superboy and Smallville. And, through Superboy, the DCU got the Legion of Superheroes, a wholly original spin on the supergroup concept.

An interesting side effect of Infinite Crisis may be that the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths mantra that "Superboy never existed" may be changing somewhat. It may now be more accurate to say that he's the Earth 1 Superboy, rather than that he never existed. Though the details have yet to be played out in the narrative, it would seem that the memory of the multiverse is no longer limited to just one or two characters in the DCU. Instead of having never existed, it's more like he exists in a reality to which people of the present DCU have limited access. The last issues of JSA (1999) seem to suggest that multiverse characters, like Superboy, have at least a sort of ghost existence in the present DCU.

First Appearance: More Fun Comics (1935) #101

Other Identities:
Clark Kent (DC)(Earth-1 - Pre Crisis)
Nightwing (DC)(Earth-1 - Pre Crisis)(01 - Kal-El)
Reflecto (Earth-0)
Superman (DC)(Earth-1 - Pre Crisis)
Supernova (DC)(Earth-1 - Pre Crisis)

Favorite Characters:
Superboy (DC)(Earth-1 - Pre Crisis)(01-Clark Kent) is a favorite character of 13 users

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
52 (2006)
80 Page Giant (1964)
A DC Universe Christmas (2000)
Action Comics (1938)
Action Comics 80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition (2018)
Adventure Comics (1938)
Adventures of Superboy (2010)
Adventures of Superman (1987)
Adventures of Superman: José Luis García-López (2013)
All-New Collectors' Edition (1978)
Amazing World of DC Comics (1974)
Batman Poche (1976)
Cancelled Comic Cavalcade (1978)
Cartoons for Victory (2015)
Christmas With the Super-Heroes (1988)
Comic Jahrbuch (1985)
Convergence (2015)
Convergence Booster Gold (2015)
Convergence Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (2015)
Convergence: Crisis (2015)
Convergence: Infinite Earths (2015)
DC 100-Page Super Spectacular (1971)
DC Comics Classics Library (2009)
DC Comics Colección Novelas Gráficas (2016)
DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection [GER] (2015)
DC Comics Presents (1978)
DC Comics Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes (2011)
DC Goes Ape (2008)
DC Retroactive: Flash - The '70s (2011)
DC Sampler (1983)
DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest (1980)
DC Special Series (1977)
DC Super Stars (1976)
DC Universe: Secret Origins (2012)
DC's Greatest Imaginary Stories (2005)
Elson's Presents Super Heroes Comics (1981)
Four Star Spectacular (1976)
Hex (1985)
Karate Kid (1976)
Legion of Super-Heroes (1980)
Legion of Super-Heroes (1984)
Legion of Super-Heroes (1989)
Legion of Super-Heroes: 1,050 Years in the Future (2008)
Legionnaires (1993)
Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years (2015)
Limited Collectors' Edition (1973)
More Fun Comics (1935)
Our Army at War (1952)
Roter Blitz (1976)
Secret Origin Mini Comic (1980)
Secret Origins (1973)
Secret Origins (1986)
Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes (1981)
Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes (2007)
Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes (2011)
Super DC Giant (1970)
Superboy (1949)
Superboy (Australian) (1982)
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (1977)
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (2017)
Superboy Spectacular (1980)
Superboy: The Greatest Team-Up Stories Ever Told (2010)
Supergirl (1996)
Superman (1939)
Superman (1982)
Superman In The Forties (2005)
Superman the Origin of Superman [1966 Golden Record ed.] (1966)
Superman-Batman (1966)
Superman: The Secret Years (1985)
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane (1958)
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (1954)
Tales of the Legion (1984)
Tales of the Unexpected (1956)
The Adventures of Alan Ladd (1949)
The Amazing World of Superman, Metropolis Edition (1973)
The Best of DC (1979)
The Brave and the Bold (1955)
The New Adventures of Superboy (1980)
The Super Heroes Monthly (Volume 2) (1981)
The Superman Family (1974)
The Superman Story (1983)
Two Guns for Johnny Thunder (1982)
Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes (1988)
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1985)
World's Finest Comics (1941)

Group Affiliation(s):
Kryptonians (DC)
Legion of Super-Heroes (DC)(Earth-0)

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