Or – “Boys Of An Unusually Superhuman Nature…”

During the Hero History Project, I have taken a few liberties here and there in the manner and tone in which I convey the life and times of the various Legionnaires. One of the most controversial has been my use of the name Tom Welling to refer to Kal-El’s boyhood career in the LSH and elsewhere, a choice which has led many people to pointedly needle me, even going so far as to question my journalistic integrity. With tongue firmly in cheek, I would like to respond thusly… Point the first: I make no pretense of being a journalist, and thus my integrity remains mint-in-package. Point the second: At the time the Hero Histories began, DC Comics was embroiled in a legal battle causing them to eschew the use of a certain S-word, and thus it was timely to make a joke (that I then proceeded to beat into the ground, as is the way of my people.) Point the third: My project, my rules, I make ’em up. But as this last Hero History actually began to take form (which is the primary reason that you haven’t seen much of me this last week) it became quite clear that continuing with the joke would have finally been too much, even for me. Moreover, it would undermine the point of the Hero History: To examine each Legionnaire on their own terms, and to look at their own flaws and virtues on an individual basis, and to try and quantify what it is that he, she, or it brings to the table, jokes be damned. Given the historical importance of today’s entrant, I could do no less.

You’ve waited patiently, Faithful Spoilerites, the day that I’ve been dreading (and that you’ve all been waiting to see if I could actually pull off) is here. This, then is your Major Spoilers Hero History of Kal-El of Krypton, who became known as Clark Kent of Earth, as well as his young clone, Kon-El of Metropolis. They call them both…


(Please note: Today’s Hero History covers the time period between 1938 and just before the first issue of the “Superman and The Legion of Super-Heroes” arc in Action Comics. Additional updates on that arc and the ensuing Legion of 3 Worlds miniseries are forthcoming. This History ends where it does for a reason, so nil desperandum, dear friends…)

The story of Superboy begins years ago, on the lost planet Krypton. Jor-El and his wife Lara, unable to save their world, make the fateful decision to save their beloved boy-child, Kal-El, and tearfully put the boy in an experimental rocket that would take him to another world, where he might grow up in peace…


Crash-landing in a Kansas hayfield, the child is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who eventually adopt baby Kal-El themselves. Due to Earth’s lesser gravity, and the radiation of the yellow sun, the child they name Clark has some slightly unusual problems growing up.


Young Clark Kent is forced to live as an outsider, hiding his abilities, until one fateful day, when on of the Smallville residents fundamentally and completely misunderstands how you change a tire…


You’d think that his spit-curl would give him away, wouldn’t you? With his new costume (created by Ma Kent out of the blankets he came to Earth in and the seat-covers of the rocket-ship, and thus as indestructible as Superboy himself) Clark sets out on a career as a superhero, defending Smallville from evil-doers big and small. But even Superboy is surprised when another rocket arrives near Smallville, this one carrying a four-legged payload…


In order to verify that his rocket would not be fatal, Jor-El sent up test animals, including young Kal’s pet puppydog, Krypto. Due to a strange space-time constriction, Krypto arrived years after Clark, even after having been sent first. (Beppo the super-monkey, presumably seen in Jor-El’s arms, arrived even later.) With his faithful pet returned to him, Superboy was as happy as an invulnerable boy could be, but additional detritus from Krypton (there are theories that hypothesize a space-warp that funnels everything that exited Kryptonian orbit directly to our galaxy) made things more complicated for Superboy…


The discovery of the Phantom Zone leads to the discovery of the Phantom Zone criminals and General Zod, and eventually leads to the breakthrough that will save Mon-El’s life from radiation poisoning some time later. After several years of super-heroing, though, Clark is often sure that he’s seen everything. When three kids arrive in Smallville with knowledge of his secret identity, Superboy suspects the worst. Luckily for him, though, the Legion has no malicious intent in mind, wanting just to play with the mind of what their history records as the greatest heroes ever, and to bring him an offer of team membership…


It takes almost no time for Superboy to feel out of place and hopelessly backwards, as the super-teens use their powers to upstage him, even as coincidence after coincidence leads him to have to divert his attention and save others. The Legion pretends to reject him, tweaking their hero’s nose before showing him that THEY created the coincidences. Superboy takes this silliness in stride, and when an unexpected catastrophe occurs, he not only saves the day, he tweaks the founding Legionnaires right back…


Even with all the powers that Kryptonians gain in an Earth-atmosphere, Superboy shows uncommon restraint, self-control, and a quick wit in dealing with what seems to be future kids intent on proving him to be nothing but a hick. The next time the Legion arrives in Smallville, though, things turn from good-natured ribbing to flat-out cruelty…


The Legionnaires aren’t the only ones, though, as the entire town of Smallville, and even his own foster parents seem to be turning against him. Superboy leaves Earth, only to end up locked in a Kryptonite jail by the Legionnaires, and shown a series of tapes showing himself committing a series of destructive acts with his powers. When the LSHers are accidentally downed by a rare radioactive isotope, Superboy quickly saves the day, the lives of the Legion, and the entire surrounding area.


Even when faced with a hopeless situation, with his friends and family turning against him, Superboy does the right thing, and is even willing to give up his own freedom if it means protecting national security interests. Still, some of the strangest moments are still ahead for the Boy of Steel. When a villain called Alaktor escapes prison, he hotwires a time-sphere, and gathers some of the nastiest nasties (Nero, John Dillinger, and Adolf Hitler ((!!))) from the past, and returns to the 30th Century to carry out a horrible plan of revenge…


Heh. Dumbkopf.. I see NOSSINK, NOOOSSINK! Super-Hitler, Ultra-Gangster, and Mon-Emperor use their powers to disable their teammates, and even double-cross Alaktor before setting out to conquer the entire universe with their mighty powers. This looks like a job for… Saturn Girl?


Who would have thought that a weakness to radioactive rocks would save the day? The evil minds in the bodies of the invulnerable boys all concoct the same plan, and strike simultaneously…


Superboy’s powers have saved the Legion many times, but this may be the first time that his WEAKNESS was key to saving the universe. Worst of all, though, is the moment where Superboy’s old nemesis Bizarro-Superboy makes his way to the 30th Century and uses the Bizarro ray to create imperfect duplicates of the entire Legion of Super-Heroes. Luckily, the reverse-logic of the square worlders is nothing new to the boy of steel.


Superboy’s seemingly impossible feat was done with the secret assistance of Element Lad, proving that not only can Clark use his own super-powers effectively, he can help his partners to use THEIR abilities to greater effect as well. After meeting his own evil duplicate, and having his mind switched for a 20th Century dictator, you’d think that nothing could surprise the the last son of Krypton, right? (If you said “right,” you must be new here. Welcome to Hero Histories!) The discovery of what seems to be a Kryptonian craft in a remote region of space leads to one of the most shocking moments of Superboy’s life…


JOR-EL AND LARA??? Alive, and in suspended animation How can this be? Is a bear driving? As the green K radiation causes him to lose consciousness, Superboy is swept out of harm’s way by a man who identifies himself as Dr. Krylo, who tells him a fantastic story of how his birth parents could have survived Krypton’s destruction, beginning with his being the only Kryptonian to believe that Jor-El was correct in his assessment that the planet was dying. Krylo was even present on the day that the rocket took off from Krypton…


After guaranteeing their son’s safety, Jor and Lara are blindsided by Krylo, who shoots them with an energy-beam, fills their veins with his Krylogas, and rockets THEM into space to try and save them from the planetary destruction. Sadly, the super-parents were already dying at the time he froze them…


Accompanied by his adoptive dad, Superboy listens tearfully, realizing that his birth parents cannot be awakened, as to do so would only bring them back long enough for them to die of radiation poisoning…


Superboy returns home, vowing never to speak of the horrible truth again, even in his ridiculously long expository thought-balloons, and returns to protecting the 20th and 30th centuries as a hero and as a Legionnaire… The near-return of his parents helps to emphasize Superboy’s own vow never to kill. It is a testament to his character, though, that when fellow Legionnaire Star Boy is accused of murder, Superboy agrees to defend him in court. His reasoning?


Superboy understands the fact that even though HE has seventy-billion powers, not all heroes do, and not all of them can be held to the same high standards that he maintains. Star Boy’s defense fails, though, and he is ejected from the team soon after. But, it isn’t very long after that that the Legion finds more Kryptonian leftovers, with decidedly bad news for Superboy and his cousin Kara…


The heroes are stunned to realize that Superboy and Supergirl will have to leave the Legion for at least two years (although I don’t see why they can’t just come forward two years further in time when they visit, but I suppose that’s just me) and the team takes great pains to make sure that they won’t miss them, even installing memory blocks to keep the El children from missing their friends. Before they go, though, Superboy has one last request of the Legionnaires.


Of course, everything gets confusing, and the Legionnaires suspect that Sir Prize and Miss Terious are in fact Clark and Kara. This is not the case, as in fact, Superboy has managed to get Star Boy back into the Legion (along with partner Dream Girl) in time for them to help stop the menace of Prince Evillo and his Devil’s Dozen. Once that is done, Superboy brings out his piece de resistance…


A real leader knows not only his own capabilities, but the capabilities of those around him, and Superboy has proven himself to be a true leader in the LSH, giving Color Kid his first moment in the sun, and returning two lost Legionnaires to active duty. And, as with all Silver Age members, Superboy is contractually obligated to get turned into a toddler at least once…


Ain’t he adorable? I have to say, though, if my kid were ripping a toy apart with her hands, I might be a little distressed about it. As powerful as Superboy is, though, even he can find himself out of his league (no pun intended) once in a while. The Legion is faced with the menace of the Sun-Eater, and is forced to assemble the galaxy’s worst criminals to help combat it. When it is clear that no hero can stop the Sun-Eater, Tharok comes to a villainous conclusion: blow it up real good. Unfortunately, the delivery system is an issue, and Superboy volunteers to give up his life to save the galaxy.


His massive powers lessened by red sun radiation, Superboy is unable to stop Ferro Lad from giving up his life to destroy the creature. Faced with one of his very rare failures, Superboy finds himself consumed by guilt and sadness over the loss of his friend…


The renegade Controller who unleashed the Sun-Eater returns, and captures Superboy in the hopes of using him to do what the Sun-Eater couldn’t: to tear apart the Legion of Super-Heroes itself.


Dun Dun DAAAAH!! Saved from certain doom, Superboy and his Legionnaire pals find the Controller already defeated, but HOW??


Faced with the unbelievable, Superboy is able to accept that perhaps there are things in the universe undreamt of even in his philosophy. Of course, greater tests await him in both centuries. At the Smallville fair, Clark and his girlfriend Lana enter a fortune teller’s booth to find out what the future holds (irony, thy name is Superboy)…


Clark quickly transforms into his alter ego, but finds himself at the mercy of the Fatal Five (the super-team created by the villains he helped to assemble to fight the Sun-Eater.) To his credit, Superboy is not immediately taken out by the villains, managing to give them a run for their money before the Five gets the better of him.


The Fatal Five’s plot is stopped when Superboy is reunited with his Legionnaire partners again, but the villainy doesn’t end there. When Tyr, an alien warlord, attacks, Superboy manages to best him by removing his robotic gun hand. When the hand comes to life and attacks him, Superboy fights it alone to protect his Legion partners…


The alien weapon proves unable to hold the mind of Superboy for long, though, and Clark and the Legion defeat Tyr. But not all the challenges faced by a Legionnaire aren’t all related to the people that you hate. Sometimes, the complications come from people that you like, as when Superboy is repeatedly distracted during missions by an attractive young lady calling herself “Elna.” When she is seemingly killed during a mission, Superboy is devastated, but soon finds the truth to be weirder than he expected.


So, here’s the basic gist of that: Laurel “Elna” Kent meets her great-great-great-great grandfather, and flirts mercilessly with him? Raise your hand if “Eww?” A recurring issue with belonging to a team that takes place in your own future, as we see here, is the dangerous matter of future knowledge. For instance, knowing the date and time of your own death could lead you to mess with the timestream to save your own life, or perhaps those of your family. Superboy is aware of the memory blocks that the Legion uses to protect him, but even he isn’t aware of their magnitude.


The Legionnaires find that Clark’s memory isn’t completely wiped out this time (an effect of his superior mind, surely) and he connects the dots and follows the team to a remote island where (he is told) the future scientists have created artificial life. Superboy is a bit confused as to why his friends would want to keep such knowledge from him, but, being a trusting soul, takes his pals at their word…


So, if you’ve ever wondered why Lightning Lad is still considered lad after having two children and repeatedly saving the universe, there is one possible answer. Either way, Superboy proves to be untempted by the thought of using future knowledge to his own benefit, and returns to Smallville. As Superboy ages, his time with the Legion lessens, but he’s still ready and willing to assist his future compadres at the drop of a flight ring…


After facing the Fatal Five and being taken down, Superboy is familiar with their “divide and conquer” tactics, so when the villains pull the same trick on Element Lad and Colossal Boy, the Boy of Steel takes it personally, and gets involved.


With little chance to get help before his pals meet a bad end, Superboy instead chooses to meet the Five HEAD ON, pitting himself against their evil in the name of saving his Legionnaire buddies.


Superboy, Element Lad, and Colossal Boy amazingly manage to hold off the Fatal Five, and save an entire planet from their influence, proving that even on those rare occasions when he is outpowered, Superboy still manages to fight the good fight. Things take an awful turn, though, when what should have been a routine battle with a minor villain called Psycho-Warrior drops him right into the middle of future knowledge that even Superboy can’t deal with…


A badly shaken Superboy still manages to help the team defeat the villain, but decides that he cannot return to the Legion, knowing that his foreknowledge will return every time he’s in the 30th Century. Regretfully, Superboy has to say goodbye to the team that has been his home away from home for so long…


Several months pass for the LSH, gaining members (the mighty Blok) and losing members (Ultra Boy, presumed dead) and facing all manner of villainy. But, when a hero named Reflecto arrives to join the team, the Legionnaires are confused. Phantom Girl believes him to be her lost love, Ultra Boy, but when Reflecto is unmasked, the answer is even more unbelievable…


I love this panel, a rare appearance of Blok and Bouncing Boy together, and the opening salvo to one of the most confusing sagas the Legion have ever faced. Identifying that the boy in the suit IS actually Superboy, the LSH is surprised to find that Phantom Girl is ALSO right, in that the mind in command of the Kryptonian body belongs to Ultra Boy. The team returns to Superboy’s home turf (Smallville, circa “15 years ago,” relatively speaking) to figure out where the mind of the Kryptonian has ended up.


The team discovers Ultra Boy’s body, trapped in a strange limbo dimension, and manages to return both Jo and Superboy to the Legion fold, thanks to a little mental wizardry by Saturn Girl…


This does, however, beg the question of why Saturn Girl didn’t just do that in the first place… Superboy’s latest Legion tenure tends to be much more sporadic than his earlier membership runs, as the Teen of Steel finds less and less time to hang out in the future, and the pesky spectre of “FUUUTURE KNOOOWLEEEEEDGE” rearing it’s ugly head more often…


Still, the Legion of Super-Heroes is about teamwork, about assistance, and about protecting the innocent. When the events known as the Great Darkness Saga envelope the entire 30th Century, Superboy and his cousin are quick to respond to the Legion alarm. The Legion is pushed to the very limits of their power and resourcefulness by the menace of Darkseid, but when all seems lost, Superboy is there…


That’s gotta look good on a resume, right? “Punched The Lord Of Infinite Darkness Innaface.” I figure that has to be what got Perry White to hire an untested kid to work for the greatest newspaper in Metropolis… Superboy even gets to spend a little bonding time with his pals, showing that he still knows how to have fun (and maybe get Brainiac 5’s goat in the process.)


It’s eerie how much Superboy looks like Hank Venture in panel four, there. As the heroes of the multiverse began to feel the effects of what came to be known as the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superboy found himself considering a return to active duty with his old pals…


One of the primary effects of the Crisis was a merging of historical eras, an unnatural process that put unbelievable strain on the timestream, making travel through the centuries nigh impossible. Even the Legionnaires couldn’t easily traverse the eras any longer, complicating what was to become one of the Legion’s most tragic hours…


At the end of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superman (the older version of Clark Kent) was present at the dawn of time when the Anti-Monitor’s plans led to a new, completely different timeline. One of the major changes was the revelation that Clark Kent never operated as a costumed hero in Metropolis. Faced with a new world in which their inspiration did not, COULD not exist, the team travel back in time to 20th Century Metropolis to find… nothing out of place. Everything is as it should have been, even Clark Kent living with his mom and dad in Smallville. But, appearances can be quite deceiving…


When the timestream was rebooted, the lack of a Superboy meant that the Legion would not form to stop Mordru the Merciless from taking over the universe. In order to cement his OWN power, Legion villain the Time Trapper created a pocket universe where the history of Earth-1 was mostly intact, including a Superboy who was a younger version of Superman. When the team traveled back in time, The Trapper diverted them into this world. But regardless of the world, regardless of the origins, Superboy is still Superboy, and this Pocket Clark Kent joins with his teammates and older alternate self to stop the Trapper’s plans.


The Legion heads home, and confronts the Time Trapper, who sways Superboy briefly by offering him his own reality back if he just kills his Legion partners… There’s only one way that Superboy, any Superboy, can answer a question like that.


The loss of his greatest pawn causes the Trapper to play his endgame, releasing the energies that kept the Pocket Universe separate from the core reality, causing the barriers to fall, and the Pocket Universe to collapse on itself. The only way to stop the reaction is to find a way to contain the massive cosmic energies unleashed long enough for the Legionnaires to get home. Enter Superboy…


This insult proves to be too much even for the invulnerable Superboy from Krypton, who collapses from the strain…


The Boy of Steel dies… and the Legion mourns.


Subsequent run-ins with the Time Trapper revise reality even more soon after, leaving the Pocket Universe and Superboy a mere footnote in Legion lore during the time of the Five-Year Gap LSH…


Though the events of the Legion after the Five-Year Gap have to be considered a different reality, the team still stood for responsibility and heroism regardless of the odds against you, and held strong against all who would destroy for their own gain. When the crisis known as Zero Hour began creating temporal anomalies, the Legionnaires found themselves at the whim of fate, appearing and disappearing at random, with members blipping in and out of existence at the drop of a hat… When all seemed darkest, the universe delivered to them a boon, in the form of the long-lost Superboy.


This Superboy seems to be the original, the real deal from before the Crisis, and he rallies the team with both his power and his words. When the team finds themselves ready to give up, it is Superboy who turns the tide and returns them to greatness…


The Legionnaires follow his example soon after, giving up their lives to reboot the 30th Century and save reality from total dissolution. A new 30th Century dawns thereafter, with a new Legion of Super-Heroes filled with familiar (albeit slightly altered) faces. Meanwhile, back in the 20th Century, a great tragedy occurs, as a monster called Doomsday lands a fatal blow on Superman, leaving the Metropolis marvel dead. Of course, in the underground labs of Project Cadmus, a contingency plan for just such an emergency is suddenly thrown into motion…


It’s a simple, Cinderella story: take a bit of Kryptonian DNA, and create a replacement Man of Steel in case anything bad happens to the real steel deal. Of course, no one counted on the project being interrupted and the clone not fully maturing before his release. Still, the young duplicate has one request, ironic in retrospect…


With Superman dead (and I use the term loosely) the boy who would become Kon-El was one of several heroes to try and take up the mantle of Superman in the real Kal-El’s absence…


Eventually, though, Superman was revealed to be not dead at all, but merly pining for the fjords regenerating in a Kryptonian matrix of some sort, leading to his return, and to the clone officially taking on the name of Superboy. In his travels, the Boy of Steel met a young traveler named Lar Gand and saves him by throwing him into an alternate dimension buffer zone, a sort of “zone” full of “phantoms,” if you will. If only there were a name for such a place… Either way, when the Legion of Super-Heroes (rebooted version) tries to bring Lar, the legendary hero known to them as Valor (ugh), they find that the need a specific powerset in order to bring him OUT of this zone: the tactile telekinesis of Superboy.


Unlike the original relationship between Superboy and Legion, this incarnation of the team finds the 20th Century boy to be crass and not nearly the hero that they expected him to be. Overcoming their communication issues, Superboy and The Legion of Super-Heroes (that sort of has a ring to it) pool their resources in order to retrieve the lost hero from the zone, and once again, Mon-El walks among them.


With their aim achieved, the Legion finds common ground with the Boy of Steel, and even offers him something that he wasn’t even aware that he wanted…


It is some time before the LSH again encounters the boy called Superboy, but when the team responds to an unexplained time-space anomaly (after battling The White Triangle, their own Bizarro duplicates, The Blight, becoming a Legion Lost, returning home, battling Ra’s Al Ghul and reforming several times) they find an old friend at the heart of it all.


Superboy has been through a lot of changes himself, giving up his leather jacket, gaining a name (Kon-El), joining both Young Justice and the Teen Titans, and even starting a relationship with Wonder Girl, but the most important of all? He got a better haircut. When the Legion finds that they can’t send him home, and that his presence is causing unrest among a group who worship the ideals of the Last Son, Kon takes another step on the road to maturity… When asked if he’s ready to go public with the Legion, he has a simple response:


Superboy arrives at a pivotal time in the Legion’s history, as once again, the menace of Darkseid raises his ugly head. This time, though, the 20th Century and 30th Century versions of Darkseid are BOTH in play, and the team is forced to fight on multiple fronts against an army that includes young Clark Kent himself! Luckily, Kon’s powers have increased since the days when he couldn’t go four minutes without saying ‘tactile telekinesis’) and he launches himself into battle against the lord(s) of Apokalips.


When the time-problems are finally cleared up, the Legion is faced with a very young, very confused Clark Kent, with little to no idea what’s goin on, or where he is, but recognizing the big red S that is the Kryptonian symbol recognizing the House of El…


Superboy shows great restraint, and maturity that wouldn’t have seemed possible in his brash Lennon-sunglasses and pointy boots phase, showing that his journey from science project to hero has made great strides. Still, he is a teenager, and living in the 30th century of Metropolis isn’t quite the same as Smallville… When Gear and Chuck Taine (not a bouncing boy in this reality, sadly) release one of Brainiac 5’s science experiments to try and lower their workload, they’re forced to turn to Superboy for assistance. And by assistance, I mean “someone to blame.”


The creature, a mass of nanobots designed to destroy dirt and feed on filth, is no match for the disgusting body of a teenage boy from the 20th century…


Superboy is not, however, as graceful in dealing with certain indignities as his Pre-Crisis counterpart…


Eventually, though, all good things must come to an end, and the various madnesses of the universe again conspire to create a Fatal Five. The Persuader of this reality finds that his Atomic Axe can cut through even the boundaries of space itself, allowing alternate versions of his team to come through. Faced with a Fatal Five-Hundred, as well as a weakening of the time-space continuum, the Legion ends up teaming with the Teen Titans, and Superboy has trouble reconciling his two lives.


When the Fatal Five-Hundred are finally defeated, Superboy and the Legion realize that only one of their timelines can survive, and that Superboy (being a time anomaly himself) is key to it all. Cosmic Boy gives him the choice: Save the Legion, or save the Titans. The cheerleader, apparently, is right out.


The Titans are returned home (after Superboy beats the bajeezus out of the Persuader) and the Legion finds themselves unstuck in time, thrown free of their universe to wander the time-stream. Returning home to Smallville, Superboy continues his heroic career, living with Ma and Pa Kent, and working with the Teen Titans, but as always, a crisis is on the horizon, and Kon-El doesn’t realize that his life is being monitored by creatures from beyond…


Hey, is that zombie Black Hand? Anyway, the observers turn out to be the Earth-2 Superman, his wife Lois Lane, Alexander Luthor, and the Superboy of Earth-Prime. Alex and Prime initially manipulate the elderly Man of Steel into trying to rebuild their home realities, and eventually it is Superboy-Prime who is revealed to be the greatest threat of them all. Seeing his life, his family, everything that he has ever valued and fought for threatened, Superboy takes on a fight that he knows he cannot survive, battling an exponentially more powerful, raging Superboy-Prime.


As Barry Allen before him, Superboy gives his life to stop the plans of the villainous duo, smashing Alexander’s dimension machine (powered by the husk of the seemingly-dead Anti-Monitor) WITH Superboy-Prime. The villains plans are ended, and Wonder Girl rushes to her man’s side…


…but it is too late. Again, Superboy has given his life that others may live. The history of the Legion and the history of the various and sundry Superboys are intertwined and hard to evaluate separately, but one thing is clear… Everything that the Legion symbolizes comes from their inspiration, from Superboy. I’ve said it before, the powes themselves don’t matter, it’s what you do with them that counts. What Superboy did was to inspire an entire generation, a galaxy full of young people to stand up and do whatever it takes to protect the innocent, to fight for truth, uphold justice, and boldly go where no one has gone before… (No, wait, that was Captain Kirk.) Far from being the caped glory-hound that even I am guilty of accusing him to be, Superboy ‘s legacy lives on in the form of those who follow him. Though he may have been gifted with unimaginable power, it’s Superboy’s decision to work for the greater good that shows what the Legion is truly all about: contributing however you can, because it’s the right thing to do.



**If you’ve enjoyed this Hero History, you might want to ‘Read All About It’ at your Local Major Spoilers! Our previous Major Spoilers Hero Histories include:

Bouncing Boy
Brainiac 5
Calamity King
Celeste Rockfish
Chameleon Boy
Chemical King
Chlorophyll Kid
Color Kid
Colossal Boy
Cosmic Boy
Crystal Kid
Devlin O’Ryan
Dream Girl
Duo Damsel
Elastic Lad
Element Lad
Ferro Lad
Fire Lad
Infectious Lass
Insect Queen
Invisible Kid
Invisible Kid II
Karate Kid
Karate Kid II
Kid Psycho
Kid Quantum
Kent Shakespeare
Laurel Gand
Legion of Super-Pets
Lightning Lad
Lightning Lass
Magnetic Kid
Matter-Eater Lad
Night Girl
Pete Ross
Phantom Girl
Polar Boy
Porcupine Pete
Princess Projectra
Rond Vidar
Saturn Girl
Sensor Girl
Shadow Lass
Shrinking Violet
Star Boy
Stone Boy
Storm Boy
Sun Boy
Timber Wolf
Triplicate Girl
Ultra Boy
The White Witch

Or you can just click “Hero History” in the “What We Are Writing About” section on the main page… Collect ’em all!


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


    • Hey, I was wondering why you didn’t add in his recent resurrection?

      The first paragraph of the Hero History reads as follows:

      (Please note: Today’s Hero History covers the time period between 1938 and just before the first issue of the “Superman and The Legion of Super-Heroes” arc in Action Comics. Additional updates on that arc and the ensuing Legion of 3 Worlds miniseries are forthcoming. This History ends where it does for a reason, so nil desperandum, dear friends…)

      What fun would it be if I put all my cards on the table?

  1. I don’t get the controversy over your Tom Welling joke. Personally, I like a bit of ingrained humor on the site. If I wanted something dry I could go to wikipedia or wherever.

    Sure, anything can be run into the ground but I saw it a different way. I saw it as an endearing earmark of the site, like a running joke between old friends. I felt it created a closer feel for frequent visitors because it was one of those things you could mention and I’d chuckle and nod.

    I joke all the time about Wolverine’s ubiquitous presence and how he’s made out to be the ultimate hero. Despite the fact that it’s true, it’s just something I say and my friends would know that.

    If someone doesn’t like my mannerisms and can’t tolerate them, well, they aren’t that good of a friend if criticizing me is the best they have to do.

    All that being said, I enjoyed this Hero History, as always. It takes a lot of time to write that much, that well, and get it all straight, especially with certain DC characters. Good job!

    • I don’t get the controversy over your Tom Welling joke. Personally, I like a bit of ingrained humor on the site. If I wanted something dry I could go to wikipedia or wherever.

      I think that’s part of it… People take their superheroes seriously, and I imagine that if you’re looking for this kind of in-depth look, you want it to be perfect. For all that I do, I have my flaws, my pecadilloes, and things that are only funny to me. But, again, there’s little sense in overanalyzing it, especially given the amount of time it took to find a copy of More Fun Comics #101 from 19-frickin’-45. :)

  2. Jordan Levells on

    Alright, Quick question. is the earring ’90s era Superboy wearing a fake? an if not, how did it pierce his skin? did he not develop his invunerability powers yet or something?

  3. I love how all the images are named “TW##.jpg”. I also wonder who punched what spacetime-reality wall to bring about this sort of “seriousness”! (No, actually I do get what you’ve done with the respect-thing. What sorta virtual-comedian would I be if I didn’t make a “Tom Welling-Prime PUNCH~!” joke?”) As a completely unrelated (well, maybe tangentially related, but you do the tangenting yourselves, I’m tired.) matter, all the images in this thing durn near broke my browser! This must have been H-E-double-hockey-sticks to format. You get an extra gold star, in addition to the one you earned for doing all this Hero History extra-credit work inna first place! *affixing said star to Mr. Matthew’s permanent record.*

  4. Alright, Quick question. is the earring ’90s era Superboy wearing a fake? an if not, how did it pierce his skin? did he not develop his invunerability powers yet or something?

    Superboy wasn’t invulnerable when her first came out of the tube, if I recall correctly… I want to say that he only had the tactile telekinesis and flight powers, and didn’t develop the others until later.

  5. Job well done Mr. Peterson. Pull Yourself up to a bar and get a Beer. Watch out for know-it-all Mailmen. I should know since I used to work for The United States Postal Service, and have seen first hand how crazy some of those people can be.
    Anyway I am really looking foreward to your revisions and addendums (except Blok, I like how the 5 Year Gap left him). I also eagerly await the Hero History to conclude all Legionaires Gazelle. Will she be next week? Make sure Rodrigo reads this and don’t take Flak from Mr. Schleicher, he’s just jealous.
    Swell Job
    To Infinity and wherever.

  6. Having been a long time Legion of Superheroes fan, even through their dark days of the pocket universe fiasco, I enjoyed your very thorough walk down memory lane. I read almost all of these comics first hand as a kid growing up and your analysis of the stories was insightful.

    This is a great thing you do, connecting the past to the present and I think the people who get the most from it were the people who saw it the first time. For people who read it now but not then, they see your work and don’t understand the significance. Thank you for taking the time. It may not be the only thing your site does, but it will drive me to investigate whatever other gems you have to offer.

    Well done, sir.

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