Saturday, May 4, 2013

Superboy's Genetic Make-Up Revealed


Back when Superboy #19 came out, I was disappointed to learn that Lois Lane was part of the genetic makeup of Kon-El.

I had my reasons which I understand not everybody agreed with. But the biggest reasons were:

1) "Jon", the son of Clark and Lois in an alternate future, is raised by the villain and becomes a tyrant and a murderer. Even from an alternate future, I felt that Superman's son shouldn't be a killer.

and

2) Removing the Lex portion of Superboy's DNA make-up seemed to remove a lot of what I thought was a fascinating aspect of the character, a merging of the good and the bad.

When I voiced my concerns, I was reminded that the mystery 'third' strand of DNA was still an unknown, that maybe Luthor was still in the mix. Last week on Newsarama, Lobdell put that to theory to rest. Here is the link: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/scott-lobdell-clarifies-superboys-origin.html

Now, you might question just how clear a story was if an author needs to go to a website to explain the character's origin story. And, you might also question, just what people who don't routinely go to Newsarama or who didn't read this story are thinking about the confusing origin. But, unlike let's say .... H'El's powers or origins ... at least Lobdell explained things. I still would prefer that the story be told in the story.

Still, I just stumbled on to the interview a couple of days ago. I would still be confused otherwise.

As always, I advise you read the interview in total. But here is the key blurb for me:

Jon is his own species. He is the only Human/Kryptonian in the known universe, so if — for an example — H'El were to examine Superboy on a genetic level, he would see a human strand (Lois), a Kryptonian strand (Superman) and a third and at least unidentifiable strand, the unique Human/Kryptonian strand that was Jon Lane Kent. It would be — as the alien in Superboy #3 called it, something unspeakable?

So, that's that. 

Superboy's DNA make-up is Superman, Lois Lane, and Jon (who is half Superman/half Lois Lane). 

I don't think that changes any of my earlier complaints. If anything it adds to them because it removes any other DNA source from Kon. What we have is Jon, the villainous son of Superman and Lois. And  Kon, who is a genetic amalgam of Superman, Lois, and Jon. And I don't know where you can go from there.

I have followed the book since it's inception and watched as it struggles a bit to find a foundation for Kon to be built on. There have been several soft reboots or rethinkings in the year and a half the book has been around.  So I will see where this new new new origin goes. But I don't particularly like this new origin.

14 comments:

Jay said...

What I didn't mind about the Jon story, before this article, was that I thought our Kon-El's origin was genetically grounded in our world. IOW, although alternate reality characters had some role in his origin story, at the end of the day he was the clone of Prime Earth Clark and Prime Earth Lois. Unfortunately, that's no longer true if Jon is part of Kon as well. I don't know, I just don't like the idea of alternate realities being part and parcel of a main continuity character's origin like that. Stuff like that has always bothered me, and seemed more Marvel's thing. Its the main reason I never liked Matrix's origin. I hated the pocket universe stuff.

I mean, I'll roll with this for a while, but I think it will serve the character a lot more to at least have the Jon aspect phased out ASAP. It would take little more than a retcon of a villain of a larger scale than Harvest manipulating his work or something to reveal Jon's not part of Superboy at all or some such. Just my two cents.

Diabolu Frank said...

Lex making a Superman clone mingled with his own DNA provides an inherent character conflict that makes Kon-El more interesting as a stand-alone and within the context of the Superman family. Making an adolescent combination of Superman and Lois Lane actively negates that conflict, makes the character's origins both more convoluted while also less compelling, sounds fanficy and undoes a rare bit of latter day inspiration in approaching a dated character in service to a lame themed stunt.

In short, Lex spunk or GTFO.

Jay said...

Superboy never needed that conflict to work in the first place, so I still have no problem with Lex being gone from the mix entirely. The further away from the Johns-era Superboy, the better. There are issues with this origin, but the loss of Lex as a donor isn't one of them, imo.

Anj said...

I just think it is all sooooo 'grim and gritty' to have Supes/Lois son be a killer in an alternate universe.

And with Kon now a derivative of that, I still think it takes away from his character.

We'll see what happens. Hopefully it works.

PRgirl1294 said...

I have to admit that I am a bit disappointed that Lex isn't a part of Kon's genes anymore, but I'm not as upset about this origin as the rest of you. As far as I'm concerned, having Jon as the third donor isn't much different from Kon being the hybrid clone of Clark and Lois, considering that, as Anj said, he is a mix of Clark and Lois. Which means that you can sort of ignore Jon when it comes to Kon's "parentage".

That being said, Lois being part of Kon's genes actually makes him a lot more relatable and it could actually make for an interesting storyline between him, Lois, and Clark. And for those of you who ship Clark and Lois, this concept and the possibility of Clark and Lois being together and having a child in an alternate future could bring some tension between the couple that could eventually bring them together.

As for those of you who are disturbed by any of this being "grim and gritty", it could be a lot worse. Just watch the cut-scenes from the story mode for "Injustice: Gods Among Us".

valerie21601 said...

I agree with you, Anj about Superboy. It takes something away from Kon without Lex Luthor in his genes.

Now if the mix had been Superman, Lex and Lois. I would have have enjoyed that as a new origin for Kon.

I don't remember who pointed it out here on SCBC (I agree with them) for some reason DC Comics is trying way, way too hard to shove Superboy from being a second tier character to a first tier charater.

This new origin reeks of them trying to do it and it stinks.

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments.

As always, I think it will take time to see if this works. I bet when it was announced that Luthor was half of Conner's DNA, there were people against it.

I still can't get over the fact that Jon is the killing son of Lois and Clark. It seems terrible that would be their legacy (even if it is alternate and he is raised by evil).

I also just don't know where you go with Lois as a donor.

But time will tell.

As always, I appreciate reading all the viewpoints.

PRgirl1294 said...

"I also just don't know where you go with Lois as a donor."

Weren't you and some people on this site hoping before we got to Superboy #19 that one of Kon's donors was female so that he would have a "mom" of some sorts? Well that's what we've got here. And the fact that the "mom" happens to be the woman that for years has been Superman's love interest could make for an interesting "family" dynamic between Kon, Lois, and Clark.

"I still can't get over the fact that Jon is the killing son of Lois and Clark. It seems terrible that would be their legacy (even if it is alternate and he is raised by evil)."

Like I said, it could be a lot worse. Just watch the cut-scenes from the story mode for "Injustice: Gods Among Us".

Anj said...

Thanks for the comments PRGirl.

I wasn't a mom wanter. I always was hoping for Supes/Lex and maybe a telepathic race for a third donor.

And I am appalled at the Injustice scenes. But the fact that that is so awful shouldn't make me inured to this. I can think both are awful, just different degrees.

tony said...

All his dna has a purpose, and makes him special in some way. Jon is the inspiration, he is also where his TTK comes from, and jons dna breaking down is why we nedd the base source, which is lois and clark, which was added to latch and strengthen his faulty dna, but i say it also brings more power potential. Harvest said kon showed as much or more TTK power as jon, but he only has 1/3 his dna, the same ratio that he has of supermans dna, which might mean lobdell is leaving the door open for kon to grow into kryptonian powers, he could be like titans of tomorrow adult kon, but better if they wanted, or maybe amp his already powerful TTK.
Kon is a freak now, i mean he is lois and clarks kids clone, but also a clone of each of them, that is freaky, if you dont think of it totally from a lab created being. I think kon will see jon as his brother, and lois and clark as his mom and dad, and i think he will really cling to lois, and lois should be a supporting character in this book, more than lobdell had her in it earlier in the series. Koncan freak out everytime lois does something dangerous. I dont see his relationship with kal changing much, all respect, nit much more.

Lex should have been his creator, not harvesr, but thats the way it goes, doesnt mean lex couldnt make all kinds of trouble for the happy lil family.

Anonymous said...

To my knowledge formation of amalgamated strands of DNA, between parent DNA strands, doesn't happen during sexual reproduction. Not even with hybrids like mules. Either Harvest made the third strand himself or Jon was a transgenic clone of sorts of Lois and Clark to begin with.

--Eki

Martin Gray said...

Nice one, Eki!

Multi-stranded clones, what a mess. I'm going to pretend that the Stormwatch universal reboot last month wiped all this Harvest rubbish away, and Superboy simply is.

PRgirl1294 said...

Sorry, Eki, but if you were paying attention to last week's issue of Superboy and this interview, you would know that Jon is not a clone and the third strand did naturally come from Jon.

ealperin said...

As much as I love Clois, I wouldn't want their child to be a killer. Actually, I would've want them to be MORE like both Superman & Lois.

Plus, the complete erasure of the Lex/Superman origin just puts a damper on the whole story, But, I'm interested as to how the writer will take this new route.