Superboy (Kal-El) - Publication History - Enemies of Superboy

Enemies of Superboy

In 1953, Mort Weisinger became the editor of Superboy and Adventure Comics, and under his guidance, Superboy began to acquire a regular cast of supervillains. Some of these villains first made their appearance in the Superboy feature, and would later go on to plague Superman.

Superboy first meets another human survivor of Krypton, Klax-Ar, a villain who claims he destroyed the planet, in Superboy #67 (1958). One year later, both the Phantom Zone and its most infamous occupant, General Zod, make their first appearances in Adventure Comics #283 (1959), in a story that features Superboy accidentally trapping himself in the Phantom Zone after a cache of dangerous Kryptonian weapons arrives on Earth. Zod and other Phantom Zone villains would become recurring villains in Superboy stories, and go on to plague Superman.

The first Bizarro, in Superboy #68 (1958), is an imperfect copy of Superboy; he appears in a story that utilizes the misunderstood monster trope in a manner reminiscent of Frankenstein.

The Kryptonite Kid and his dog, aliens who could project Green Kryptonite radiation, start bedeviling Superboy and Krypto in 1960 (Superboy #83).

Superboy's cosmic heroics also earn him the enmity of an alien criminal task force, the Superboy Revenge Squad starting in Superboy #94 (1961). Two months later, the Revenge Squad started showing up in Superman stories.

Some of Superman's established foes were also backdated to his days as Superboy. Mister Mxyzptlk, the magical imp from the Fifth Dimension who had been Superman's bane since 1944, begins plaguing Superboy in Superboy #78 (1960).

The most famous example is the young Lex Luthor. In a story in Adventure Comics #271 (1960) that purported to reveal the origin of the enmity between Luthor and Superman, Lex is revealed as a brilliant Smallville teen who is a friend of Superboy until Lex blames him for a lab fire that destroys a critical experiment and causes Lex to lose his hair.

Superman's first encounters with his mineral nemesis, Kryptonite, were also backdated to his boyhood. The first Superboy story with Kryptonite, in Adventure Comics #171 (1951), followed the first Superman comic with Kryptonite by three years—and its use on the Superman radio show by eight years. Five years later, a Superbaby flashback in Adventure Comics #231 (1956) backdated Clark's first encounter with Kryptonite yet again.

Though Green Kryptonite, the type that can kill Superman, originally appeared in Superman stories, Red Kryptonite, whose temporary effects on Superman are unpredictable, made its first appearance in the Superboy story in Adventure Comics #252 (1958).

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Famous quotes containing the word enemies:

    I hate admitting that my enemies have a point.
    Salman Rushdie (b. 1948)