Superboy

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Superboy

Superboy

The Adventures of Superman when he was a boy!
Birth name: Kal-El
Secret Identity: Clark Kent

Contents

Earliest Adventures

Life on Planet Krypton

Superboy is born Kal-El, child of Jor-El and Lara, on the planet Krypton. At the time, it is "a planet of giant size," which revolves around a giant red sun. The beings who inhabit Krypton are possessed of high intelligence: they have created technology capable of controlling the planet's weather, have designed robots that perform all hard labor and household chores, and they are ruled by the Council of Science, a group of the planet's most enlightened scientific minds. After ominous tremors (or "krypton-quakes") increase in intensity, Jor-El informs the science council that krypton is doomed, and will eventually explode "like a gigantic atom bomb!" The council believes him mad and does not heed his warning. Jor-El begins testing rockets that can carry Kryptonians to Earth. He at first uses a test rocket to send Kal-El's puppy Krypto into space, but a drifting meteor knocks the rocket off-course. (S No. 146, Jul 1961: "The Story of Superman's Life")

As a toddler on Krypton, Superboy is kidnapped by the villain Brainiac, (prior to Brainiac's theft of the city of Kandor) who plans to hold baby Kal-El for ransom in exchange for a new weapon that Jor-El has invented called the "21 Y-Ronatort." However, Brainiac and his accomplices have unwittingly brought Kal-El to their hideout in a yellow star system (which causes all natives of Krypton's red star system to gain special powers.) His newfound strength, combined with an awkward, uncontrolled flight ability, causes Superboy to utterly destroy the lair of Brainiac-crashing through buildings, throwing away expensive ships like toys, and crushing all of the jewels from Brainiac's treasure vault to dust. Brainiac tries to shrink the baby and stop his rampage, but he accidentally picks up an enlarging ray instead, and the baby walks all over Brainiac's weapons arsenal, destroying it. Unable to take any more humiliation, Brainiac releases Kal-El back to his parents and vows to return to avenge his humiliation. (SB No. 106, Jul 1963: "The Lair of Brainiac")

While Brainiac does return later, he does not have time to make good his threats on the El family. Krypton begins to break down sooner than expected, so Jor-El immediately uses another small test rocket to send his son hurtling toward planet Earth, his only chance for survival. Seemingly the sole survivor of the planet Krypton, baby Kal-El is found in a crashed rocketship and later adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. (S No. 146, Jul 1961: "The Story of Superman's Life")


Superboy Comes to Earth

"There had been rumors floating around the region about a super-powered tot almost since the day of young Clark's arrival on Earth. At parties, on hayrides, in local newspaper offices and the like, people would swear that they had seen a three-year-old boy punch a timber wolf and fly away. Or people would tell about others they knew who told some such story." (LSOK, Ch. 11)

On Earth, even before he is adopted by the Kents, Superboy demonstrates his amazing strength after they find him and place him in an orphanage. The baby Kal-El wreaks havok in the "orphan asylum," lifting various pieces of heavy furniture. The director of the orphanage breathes a sigh of relief when the Kents finally return to adopt the baby they'd found: "--Whew! Thank goodness they're taking him away before he wrecks the asylum!" (S No. 1/1, Sum 1939.) Various accounts detail the stories of the Smallville Orphanage).

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As his powers develop, Superbaby sightings are reported all over the world, but are never confirmed. (LSOK, Ch. 11) Clark continues to grow and his powers become more obvious on the family farm: he gathers eggs at super-speed, pulls up old tree stumps with his bare hands, and survives an attack by an angry bull without even one scratch! The Kents soon find that the blankets he'd been wrapped in when they discovered him are indestructible, and use them to make a playsuit for the mischevious baby. (S No. 146, Jul 1961: "The Story of Superman's Life") Superbaby's exploits are numerous, and indeed, his time-shattering trips into the past are often key to the decisions of many historical figures.

The family eventually moves into town, and Pa Kent sells the farm to run a general store. One afternoon the Kents take young Clark to a secluded pond outside of Smallville to play. He begins to chase a bird and loses sight of his parents. This makes him rather upset, so he decides to cross a pond to look for them; however, the "pond" he crosses is actually the Atlantic Ocean, and he soon lands in London. Though gone for a week (while his parents were worried sick) he returns after helping Scotland Yard catch several criminals and spare an innocent man from execution (SB No. 73, Jun 1959: "Superbaby in Scotland Yard").

After two other boys see him lift an automobile over an injured man, a young Clark Kent says "My powers give me the chance to do a lot of good--but I can't let people know that Clark Kent can do these things...the knowledge might be dangerous!" He then begins to wear the "colorful red and blue costume" that is famous today, and Clark adopts the identity of Superboy. (MFC No. 101, Jan/Feb 1945) Most sources elaborate that the Kents design the costume from the materials found in baby Kal-El's rocket, and that Pa Kent guides Superboy's actions during the next few years.

Learning to Fly

Following an interesting early childhood, the last power that Superboy masters is flight. After presenting him with his costume, Pa Kent reveals to Clark that he often flew when he was a baby, and encourages him to try practicing it again. After his first attempt, he crashes into an oil derrick and ruins it. The next day he designs a box kite with a steel cable and tries again. While he holds on to the inside of the box kite, Pa Kent unwinds the cable, allowing Superboy to stabilize himself in midair. A pilot named Captain Burton photographs this ridiculous-looking exercise, but Superboy overexposes his film using his x-ray vision. On the third day of practice, his box kite is destroyed by lightning, but by the fourth day Superboy is at last able to control his ability to fly, and flies to the edge of outer space for the first time (SB No. 59, Dec 1958: "How Superboy Learned to Fly!").

Discrepancies in Earliest Accounts

In the earliest accounts of Superman's adventures (S No. 1/1, Sum 1939; and others) very little is revealed about Clark Kent's life before adulthood, except that his parents died and he later became known as Superman. However, the chronicles soon begin to reveal that Superman had originally been known as Superboy, an identity that young Clark Kent adopted to keep other children from suspecting that he had abilities far beyond those of normal young men. (MFC No. 101, Jan/Feb 1945; and others) However, in revised accounts appearing a short while later, Clark Kent embarks on his super-heroic career after reaching adulthood, and first learns of his extraterrestrial origins as late as November-December 1949, when, after having already functioned as a super-hero for more than a decade, he journeys through the barriers of time and space --to the planet Krypton prior to its destruction-- and actually witnesses the cataclysm that destroyed his native planet. He also witnesses the aftermath of that cataclysm, including his arrival on Earth in a rocket and his adoption by the Kents.

"That old couple ... they're my foster parents!" thinks Superman excitedly as he watches Jonathan and Martha Kent lift his infant self gently from the rocket that has just brough him to Earth. "I'm Clark Kent! Then that's me .. that infant is me back in the past!

"Now I understand why I'm different from earthmen! I'm not really from Earth at all --I'm from another planet-- the planet Jor-El called Krypton!!"

"So at last," notes the textual narrative, "after all these years, Superman is at last aware of his birthplace, and why he is the strongest man on Earth!" (S No. 61/3: "Superman Returns to Krypton!").

In the years that followed, however, these accounts underwent substantial revision. In the newer version, Superman was again portrayed as having battled crime and injustice as a youngster --as Superboy-- prior to embarking on his adult crime-fighting career as Superman (S No. 72/2, Sep/Oct 1951: "The Private Life of Perry White!"; and many others), and he was described as having learned of his extraterrestrial origins while still a boy "by overtaking and photographing light rays that had left Krypton before it exploded" (S No. 132, October 1959: "Superman's Other Life!" pts.1-3 "Krypton Lives On!"; "Futuro, Super-Hero of Krypton!"; "The Superman of Two Worlds!"; and others) In addition, it was stated that "Because of his super-memory, Superman can recall all the incidents of his childhood!" (Act No. 288, May 1962: "The Man Who Exposed Superman!"; and others). However, remembering his life as a toddler sometimes requires great effort, or the assistance of his "mind-prober ray." (SB No. 73, Jun 1959: ""Superbaby in Scotland Yard")

Despite these early revisions, however, all the texts of the Superman chronicles agree that Superman has lived a double life since the onset of his super-heroic career, using his super-powers openly only as Superboy or Superman while concealing his true, extraterrestrial identity beneath the deceptive guise of mild-mannered Clark Kent.

Superboy Goes Public: The Boyhood Adventures

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For many years Superboy operates anonymously and in secret. He appears only occasionally as a quickly moving red and blue blur, never revealing himself to those he helps and only rarely to the criminals he hinders. His actions are noticed however, and a legend grows of a kindly spirit who haunts Smallville, performing good deeds and the rare harmless prank.

Superman recalls his first public appearance as Superboy in April, 1961. When young Clark Kent announces that he has spotted a robbery in progress using his x-ray vision, Jonathan Kent declares, "The time has come for you to perform publicly as Superboy! People won't believe you exist at first, but you'll soon convince them! You'll crusade for good!"

Donning his costume, Superboy foils the robbery, after first introducing himself to two Smallville police officers as "Superboy, foe of all criminals." The policemen introduces Superboy to Smallville's Mayor, who in turn introduces him to the Governor. Eventually, Superboy meets the President of the United States, in the process saving the President's life, and is finally revealed to the United States at large through "representatives of the armed services, leading cities, and various charities" for whom Superboy performs special tasks in the following days.

As a teenager, Superman as Superboy, performed numerous heroic exploits in Smallville (S No. 97/3, May 1956: “Superboy’s Last Day in Smallville”; and others).

As the adult Superman notes, "By now, the entire world knew that a Superboy existed, and the whole Earth was gripped by a thrill of excitement." Indeed, radio broadcasts announce that "A Superboy exists! He can fly! Bullets bounce off him! He has amazing super-vision! He battles for justice!" (S No. 144/2: "Superboy's First Public Appearance!").

The years that follow this event are perhaps the most well-known of Superboy's chronicles, in which many significant life events occur in the town of Smallville. In the beginning, Clark Kent's circle of friends includes the pretty, blonde-haired Margo Griffiths, who would later grow up to be a nurse in Metropolis. (SB No. 1/1, Mar-Apr 1949: "The Man Who Could See Tomorrow") However, as time passes Clark becomes more well-acquainted with some of his lifelong friends and foes: Pete Ross, the Lang family, and Lex Luthor, among others.

The World of Smallville

Upon his arrival on Earth from Krypton, the baby Kal-El is adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. At various times, the Kents are farmers, and during the majority of young Clark's school years, owners of a general store in Smallville. Superboy also digs tunnels through his basement floor, including one tunnel that goes to the outside of town, and one that goes to Pa Kent's general store. He also stores many of his trophies and Superboy Robots in the basement of the house. (S No. 146, Jul 1961: "The Story of Superman's Life")

Krypto, Superboy's lost puppy from Krypton, eventually found his way to Smallville and frequently joins Superboy in many of his adventures. He arrived in Smallville after bursting through a dog catcher's truck, and when Clark Kent saw him shot several times and unharmed, Superboy located his Kryptonian rocket and documents that verified that the dog belonged to his father Jor-El. (Adv No. 210, Mar 1955: "The Super-Dog From Krypton!") From time to time, Krypto leaves Smallville to go on long "space-romps," but always returns to his master in the end. More recently, on one of his romps through space, Krypto was anointed king of a distant planet...only to play dead and escape when his new subjects presented him with a shiny new meteor rock-kryptonite, the only substance that can kill the Dog King! (SB No. 77, Dec 1959: "The Space Adventures of Krypto!")

Lana Lang is the beautiful, red-haired girl next door, the daughter of archaeologist Professor Lewis Lang...and a pain in Superboy's neck. Clark Kent secretly admires her, and Lana secretly admires Superboy...however, she has eventually come to suspect that Clark Kent and Superboy are one and the same, forcing him to resort to such tricks as using Superboy Robots to allay her suspicions. Pa Kent suspected when Clark was very young that the pair would become interested in one another. (LSOK) Though young Lana can often be self-absorbed and impetuous, it is notable that when she is sick, she tells Superboy that she wants nothing for herself but does wish that Superboy could help Clark to be less shy and meek. (SB No. 43/3, Sep 1955: "Clark Kent's Coach")

Clark Kent's "only close friend" is Pete Ross. "Grown-up and logical," he once told Lana Lang that anyone who knew Superboy's secret identity would be in constant peril, and it would therefore be best if no one knew. Several days later, he did find out Superboy's identity, after seeing Clark Kent change to Superboy on a camping trip. He has never told anyone that he knows Clark Kent is Superboy, even Clark himself (S No. 90, Jul 1961: "Pete Ross' Super Secret!").

Lex Luthor is a farmboy, a huge fan of Superboy who once stored photos and Superboy memorabilia in his barn, but dreams of becoming a scientist. One day he saves Superboy's life by pushing away a rather sizeable kryptonite meteor with a bulldozer, and Superboy repays him by building a state-of-the-art, modern experimental laboratory and presenting it to him as a gift. The two quickly become friends. Luthor immediately begins work in his new laboratory, creating a kryptonite antidote and working on a discovery that he called "the secret of life itself." However, when a lab accident starts a fire, Superboy's super-breath accidentally destroys Luthor's new discoveries, and the fumes from the chemical fire cause Luthor to lose his hair. He blames the act on Superboy's jealousy of his scientific mind, and the two have become competitive foes for the foreseeable future (Adv. No. 271, Apr 1960: "How Luthor Met Superboy!").

When needed by the authorities in an emergency, Police Chief Parker, can summon Superboy by means of an ingenious flashing light system. The town of Smallville has also set aside a special holiday for Superboy. Superboy Day, as it is called, is celebrated annually (S No. 116, Sep 1957: "Disaster Strikes Twice!").

In May 1955, Superman returns to Smallville to thwart an underworld scheme to recover $1,000,000 in gold which, following its theft many years ago, was hidden in Smallville by the thieves and never recovered (S No. 97/3: “Superboy’s Last Day in Smallville”).

Childhood Adventures Beyond Smallville

"Bizarre" Travels

Another of Superboy's notable boyhood adventures marks the first appearance of Bizarro. Using a duplicator ray, a scientist accidentally creates a "bizarre" imperfect duplicate of Superboy. The duplicate creature then names himself Bizarro, goes on a mini-rampage on main street, breaks into a farmhouse to tell an older couple "I BE YOUR LOVING SON!", and finally befriends a blind girl who could not be afraid of his chalky white appearance. Superboy apparently destroys Bizarro, but the ensuing vibrations cure his friend's blindness (SB No. 68, Oct 1958: "Bizarro: The Super-Creature of Steel"). (See Bizarro-Superboy) In July 1959, Lex Luthor creates an adult Bizarro who subsequently leaves Earth for a new home on a distant planet which he names Htrae, where he uses the duplicator ray to create a whole world of bizarros and proclaims himself "Bizarro No. 1" (Act No. 254/1: "The Battle with Bizarro"; Act No. 255/1, Aug 1959: "The Bride of Bizarro"). Conversely referred to as "The Thing of Steel" or "The Idiot of Steel," he lives with his wife Bizarro-Lois No. 1. Superboy and Krypto occasional travel to Htrae and ecounter the Bizarros, as seen when they crash through the time barrier in July 1961 (Adv No. 285/2, "The Shame of the Bizarro Family!")

Club Membership

Superboy also meets the Legion of Super-Heroes, a super-hero club founded in his honor, during this time period. Superboy first encounters the Legion in April 1958 when he meets three teenagers in Smallville who inexplicably know his secret identity. In time, the teenagers are revealed to be Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy, members of a "super-hero club" from the 30th Century called the Legion of Super-Heroes. Acknowledging Superboy as an inspiration, the Legion journey back in time to recruit Superboy as a member. After a series of tests in the far-future, Superboy is awarded membership and returned to his own time (Adv No. 247/1: "The Legion of Super-Heroes!").

Adolescence

Krypto's Departure from Smallville

Among the many changes that occur during Superboy's teenage years is the absence of his long-time companion, Krypto the Superdog. During one of his space-romps, Krypto encounters the Mindbreaker Beast, a purple, gargoyle-like creature that feeds on the mental energy of the humanoids on which it preys. Krypto challenges the Mindbreaker Beast and sends him hurtling through space; however, Krypto wanders off dazed, an amnesiac. He drifts through space until Clark meets him again in adulthood. (S No. 287, May 1975: "Who Was That Dog I Saw You With Last Night?")

Superboy Meets Superman

In one undated adventure, a teenage Superboy is transported into the future by a troubled and villainous Pete Ross. Though it is impossible for a person to occupy the same space at the same time, Pete Ross circumvents this rule by taking possession of Superboy's body with a mind-transfer ray, thus enabling Superboy and Superman to exist at the same time. Though Pete captures Superman (using Superman's own powerful, youthful Superboy body) his plan fails because Superboy, trapped in Pete Ross' body, frees both himself and the adult Superman. (DCP No. 14, Oct 1979: "Judge, Jury...and NO JUSTICE!")

Superboy's 16th Birthday Celebration

By Superboy's 16th birthday, the Kents are shown to be much younger, their faces no longer wrinkled and their graying hair turned reddish-brown, thanks to a chemical from another dimension. Oddly enough, the Kents are also shown placing seventeen candles on Clark's birthday cake. This is revealed to be due to an episode when Clark turned eight years old, when the immortal beings Byrn and Myla tried to transfer their immortality to Clark so that they could die. Their plan failed, and on Clark's 16th birthday they celebrated the event (of which Clark's memory had been erased) by placing an extra candle on his cake, as a "secret token of our thanks and good luck for the next year!" It is also clear whose company Clark prefers most...he blows out the candles on his cake with the lovely Lana Lang standing by his side. (NSB No. 1, Jan 1980: "The Most Important Year of Superboy's Life!")

The Deaths of Martha & Jonathan Kent

Less than two years after his sixteenth birthday, the Kents enjoy a vacation in the Caribbean. Superboy drops by to see them, and they reveal that they have found a page from the diary of Pegleg Morgan, dated July 16, 1717, in which he mentions being "driven off the ship by the cruelest pirate of them all!" Martha Kent convinces Superboy to take them to the past to investigate the pirate. He constructs a glass bubble to protect them from friction and takes them back to 1717, where the Kents watch Blackbeard from a distance, sitting and eating fruit before returning to Smallville.

Alas, the next day, the Kents awaken with raging fevers. The doctors inform Clark that his parents appear to have symptoms of the Fever Plague, a disease that has not existed for for 100 years! Nothing can be done for the Kents, so the doctors suggest that Clark quarantine them and make them comfortable. Lana, who has had some training as a nurse's aide, offers to sit with the Kents while Clark looks for some answers. Several courses of action are attempted: Superboy locates an "orchid tree," said in an old manual to cure the Fever Plague, and gives the sap to his parents. Since Pa Kent is on the prison parole board, Lex Luthor uses his "vibro-health restorer" for an hour trying to cure the Kents (and ultimately receive parole,) but to no avail. Lana reassures him: "Chin up, Clark...maybe Superboy will figure out a cure!" Finally, Clark decides to project the Kents into the Phantom Zone until he is able to find a cure, as he had previously done when Mon-El was incurably ill. However, solar flares interfere with the operation of the Phantom Zone Ray, and Ma Kent dies. In his final moments, Clark's father regains consciousness and makes Clark promise to use his super-powers to do good before saying goodbye and passing away.

In their will, the Kents give Clark their home and business, and donate their savings to the Smallville Orphanage. When Clark presents the money to the director of the orphanage, he thanks Clark for his family's support ever since they adopted him. However, Clark Kent believes himself responsible for his parents' deaths and discards his Superboy costume...until it is proven that their trip through time did not cause their deaths; instead, they died from a virus they contracted while rummaging through Pegleg Morgan's chest on vacation. Upon this discovery, Clark says "Dad...Mother...what a relief to know that I'm not responsible for what happened to you! Now I won't be afraid to become Superboy again!" (S No. 161, May 1963: "The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent").

No mention of this story is made elsewhere in the chronicles, and indeed, many place the deaths of Martha and Jonathan Kent at very different times

Superboy's Farewell

Clark buries his parents, vows not to sell the house and leaves for Metropolis. Years later, Pete Ross attempts to condemn the house to conceal the fact that Clark Kent was Superboy, but changes his mind when he sees how Clark feels about his boyhood home (S No. 270, Dec 1973: "I Can't Go Home Again"). According to a popular legend, Clark returns to Smallville for a second farewell as Superboy. As he is leaving town, the townspeople join hands and form letters visible to the sky: "Farewell Superboy, We'll Never Forget You!" This touches Superboy, and he throws the townspeople a giant farewell party, complete with a giant cake that he bakes for them. Many pieces of the cake are preserved by the townspeople as souvenirs. (S No. 146, Jul 1961: "The Story of Superman's Life")

Transitional Years

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Clark Kent first "thinks of himself as Superman" in order to evade a lie-detector test given to him by Professor Thaddeus V. Maxwell, who suspects that he is Superboy. (S No. 125/2, Nov 1958: "Clark Kent's College Days"). Many other accounts state that Clark takes on the Superman identity after leaving his dead adopted father and Smallville and Superman's memories (S No. 129, May 1959: "The Girl from Superman's Past!") also confirm that he is known as Superman during his college years. However, according to another later account (SSY No. 1, Feb 1985: "Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud") Clark still officially goes by the name "Superboy" through most of his college career. Clark Kent and Lana Lang both attend Metropolis University, with Lana eventually transferring to Hudson University to study broadcast journalism. Clark chooses not to play football in college, once commenting: "I could be the world's greatest football player...but I can't join the team and reveal my super-powers! Besides, it would be unfair to win that way...I'll have to pretend I'm "meek" and "unathletic" all my life!" (S No. 146, Jul 1961: "The Story of Superman's Life")

Clark's college roommates include Tommy Lee, Dave Hammond, the alcoholic Ducky Ginsberg, and eventually Billy Cramer, a young man from Smallville whose mother Alice recommends that he either look up Clark or Lana when he arrives at Metropolis University (SSY No. 1, Feb 1985: "Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud", SSY No. 2, Mar 1985: "Reach Out and Touch").

On parents' day during his junior year, Clark travels back in time (becoming a phantom) to witness a family dinner at the Kent home. When he returns to the present he chances upon a horrible car accident. Ducky, upset over the ending of his relationship with his girlfriend Amy, has been drinking excessively and crashes into a tree. Superboy arrives after the police and is able to do nothing... Ducky survives, but is paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair (SSY No. 1, Feb 1985: "Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud"). Following the accident, Billy Cramer is placed in Clark's dorm by the housing dean, and one day they come to the rescue of a "crippled girl" in a wheelchair -- Lori Lemaris, whose beauty leaves Clark speechless (while a previous account suggests that Clark meets Lori Lemaris in his senior year of college -- and alone, SSY No. 2, Mar 1985: "Reach Out and Touch" states that he meets her later in his junior year). Clark and Lori begin dating, but she has many strange habits, including a strict eight o' clock curfew (S No. 129, May 1959: "The Girl in Superman's Past!"). Meanwhile, Clark reveals to Billy Cramer that he is a super being, and when Pete Ross shows up for a visit, they each suspect that the other knows Clark's secret, covering for him when necessary (SSY No. 2 Mar 1985: "Reach Out and Touch").

After Clark solves the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle later in the year, he gives Billy a supersonic whistle to contact him in case he is ever in trouble. At this time, Clark also decides to also tell Lori that he is Superman, and proposes to her. She rejects his marriage proposal and reveals that she already knew that his secret, before saying that she needs some time alone. The well-meaning Billy, sensing that something is wrong, uses his supersonic whistle to summon the Man of Steel, in order to force him to talk about his relationship problems. Superboy becomes so angry at Billy's misuse of the whistle that he threatens to melt it if Billy ever misuses it again, and flies away. Clark then goes to confront Lori Lemaris, discovering that she is a mermaid from Atlantis. He offers her a ride home, and upon depositing her in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, they kiss the "strangest" goodbye kiss (SSY No. 3, Apr 1985: "Terminus", but see conflicts in this telling and that of S No. 129, May 1959: "The Girl from Superman's Past!")

Not long after he bids Lori farewell, a small island in the south Pacific is threatened by a tidal wave. As Superboy works feverishly to rescue the island, he hears Billy's supersonic whistle, and with his super-vision sees Billy trapped in a burning building after attempting to rescue someone. Clark, forced to choose between his roommate and the populous Pacific island, is unable to make it in time, and Billy tragically dies thinking that Clark is ignoring his whistle, because he "cried wolf" earlier. After Billy's death, Clark is so grief-stricken--having been unable to save his parents, Ducky, or Billy-- that he sheds his identity for a second time, going into exile in the Fortress of Solitude (SSY No. 3, Apr 1985: "Terminus").

He returns three months later, defeating Lex Luthor and making peace with his friends and his past, as Superman (SSY No. 4, May 1985: "Beyond Terminus"). According to this account, at the time Clark is first announced as Superman by the Daily Planet, he is probably 21 years old, entering his senior year of college. This age is corroborated by an earlier story, in which Clark Kent's early classmate Margo Griffiths is told by a magician that she will die at the age of 21. She is spared from death-at age 21-by Superman. (SB No. 1/1, Mar-Apr 1949: "The Man Who Could See Tomorrow"). On the other hand, the account of of SSY No. 4 reports that Perry White works for George Taylor at the Daily Planet, another contradiction to many earlier chronicles, including an account where Superboy helps Perry White get his job on the Planet under editor Mr. Hobb (Adv No. 120, Sep 1947: "Perry White, Cub Reporter"), and a tale in which Perry White is made editor of the Planet during Superboy's youthful career (Adv No. 152, May 1950: "Superboy Hunts for a Job!").

Superboy Returns: Adventures in the Thirtieth Century

Superboy and the Legion. Art by Joe Staton and Dick Giordano, 1979.

Superboy is also the inspiration for the Legion of Super-Heroes. Over 1,000 years after entering adulthood, Superboy resurfaces in the 30th Century. He is subsequently initiated as a regular member of the Legion, which later includes his cousin Supergirl. Superboy serves two terms as Deputy Leader of the Legion, including presiding over the try-outs and induction of Princess Projectra, Ferro Lad, and Karate Kid (Adv No. 346, Aug 1966: "One of Us is a Traitor!").

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