Comic Book / Superboy
Don't worry, the two become friends later.note 

"The adventures of Superman when he was a boy!"
—The original Superboy comic series' tagline.

Originally, when Superman was created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, he was shown as having made his superhero debut as a full-grown adult. Eventually, after rejecting a few proposals for such from Siegel and Shuster, someone at DC decided to create the character of Superboy, Superman's adventures as a youth before becoming Superman. This came without input or approval from Siegel (which helped strain the relations between DC and Siegel and Shuster even further). Superboy's first appearance was in More Fun Comics #101 (January-February, 1945).

As shown, Superboy fought crime in and around his small home town of Smallville, and was raised by his foster parents, Ma and Pa Kent. Like his adult self, he also had a secret identity as Clark Kent. Other supporting characters included his best friend, Pete Ross, who had accidentally found Clark's secret and aided him without his knowledge; his female friend next door, Lana Lang, who, like Lois Lane years later, tried to become Superboy's girlfriend and/or find out his secret identity; Smallville's chief of police, Chief Parker; and Krypto, Superboy's pet dog from Krypton.

While some of Smallville's threats came from a rather high number of gangsters and bank robbers, some actual supervillains would also show up, including the Kryptonite Kid and most famously, young Lex Luthor (who was initially friends with Superboy; however, a laboratory accident [one that rendered him bald] and a series of disastrous, humiliating attempts to improve Smallville's life with his inventions—requiring Superboy to intervene each time—made him vow that the only way he'd be able to prove his intellectual prowess to the world would be to destroy Superboy... and later, Superman).

In 1958, Superboy was invited by three youths from the 30th century to join their superhero group, the Legion of Super-Heroes, whose stories became a recurring feature (before graduating to their own comic) in Superboy and Superman comics.

Various stories would show how Ma and Pa Kent eventually died shortly after Clark's graduation from high school, an event that affected him greatly, along with Superboy attending college and how he changed his name to Superman.

Then came Crisis on Infinite Earths and the subsequent Post-Crisis Byrne revamp in 1986, which after 40+ years of existence retconned Superboy out of existence. Under Byrne's origin, The Man of Steel, Superman was once again shown as having started his career as an adult. This caused a Continuity Snarl with the Legion comics, which was fixed by stating that a separate Superboy character was created in a "pocket universe" by the Legion villain known as the Time Trapper just to preserve the Legion's history; the Legion was redirected there everytime they traveled to what they thought was Superboy's time. The Pocket Universe became a major recurring storyline for both the Legion and for the Post-Crisis Superman. Pocket Superboy sacrificed himself to save both his universe and the Legion from the Time Trapper. Superman eventually violated Thou Shalt Not Kill to execute the Pocket Universe equivalents of General Zod and his henchmen for killing everyone on their Earth except for the "Matrix" Supergirl. Eventually, the editors decreed that the Pocket Universe and its Superboy be written out of continuity altogether (in yet another Cosmic Retcon). Then after Infinite Crisis, Clark's career as Superboy was brought back in Superman: Secret Origin, though only his adventures with the Legion. Then the New 52 Continuity Reboot happened and it was gone again, until it was implied to have been restored in DC Rebirth.

Conner Kent/Kon-El

After the early 1990s' The Death of Superman storyline, a new version of Superboy came into existence—this one an artificially created teenage clone. The character first appeared in The Adventures of Superman #500 (June, 1993), created by Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett. Exactly who he is a clone of was retconned, but he is currently a combination of Superman and Lex Luthor. This version eventually was befriended by Superman, who gave him an honorary Kryptonian name, "Kon-El." Kon also met and stayed briefly with Ma and Pa Kent (who no longer were dead in Superman's adult years post-Crisis), where he gained an identity of "Conner Kent".

Several alternate versions of Superboy were also seen over the years (including the aforementioned "Pocket Universe" version). The most prominent one is Superboy-Prime, a formerly heroic alternate-Earth Superboy seen in Crisis on Infinite Earths who reappeared in modern continuity as an Evil Twin of Superman/Superboy. The original Superman-as-a-boy has also been restored to continuity.

In the late 2000s, DC Comics fought a legal battle with the surviving family of Superman's creators over the rights to Superboy, which due to a quirk of copyright law can be reclaimed by them (though a subsequent ruling has stated that DC can claim rights to the concept of Superboy, the teenage clone of Superman even if the Siegel/Shuster estates have rights to the Superman-as-a-boy version of Superboy). The effect of this lawsuit has been that DC refused to use the name "Superboy", so Kon-El died, Superboy-Prime was called "Superman-Prime", and the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon stars a "young Superman" rather than Superboy. The lawsuit is not yet over, but currently DC feels it can use the name again, so Kon-El is back, and Superboy-Prime gets to be called that again.

The most recent change in Superboy's status quo came in the aftermath of the Crisis Crossover Flashpoint, as part of the line-wide reboot known as either "The New 52" or "The DCnU". Right now, "Superboy" is a biological experiment of the conspiracy known as N.O.W.H.E.R.E, made from Superman's DNA and that of several others, both human and alien. Or so we were told. He is eventually revealed to be a clone of Superman and Lois Lane's child, Jon, from the same future the leader of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. comes from. He is currently being used by them as a living weapon, under the supervision of both "Red", a.k.a. Dr. Caitlin Fairchild (the last survivor of the team of scientists working on him) and Rose Wilson, a young mercenary hired to make sure that he stays under control. This Superboy has Kon-El's tactile telekinesis, but virtually none of the empathy of his earlier incarnation; he just wants to escape N.O.W.H.E.R.E., and he's not picky about what he has to do until he can.

After succeeding in his escape, a stint with the Teen Titans, being attacked by H'el, during which he undergoes significant Character Development and becomes first a Knight in Sour Armour, followed by a jaunt or two through time and pulling a Heroic Sacrifice on Krypton to launch Argo City into space, fighting his original, Jon Lane Kent the future son of Lois and Clark, then teaming up with Jon after the latter pulled a Heel–Face Turn to fight a version of Jon that had yet to perform the Heel–Face Turn in a pocket universe that the two of them accidentally created, he's become considerably more heroic.

After disappearing from DC's comics, Conner was announced to be returning as part of the DC Rebirth relaunch. His New 52 history seems to have been removed, while his absence from the universe is noted in the aftermath of Superman Reborn. A future version of Tim Drake from the pre-Flashpoint story "Titans Tomorrow" also makes mention of him to his younger counterpart, who does not recall knowing a Conner. Of course, the Superboy name is already being used by Jonathan Kent (see below), so how this will affect him is not yet known.

Jonathan Samuel Kent

The son of the Pre-New 52 Superman and Lois Lane, born during the Convergence event. Jon is named after the fathers of both his parents (Jonathan Kent and General Samuel Lane). After the trio escape to the New 52 universe, Jon is raised as a normal boy under the surname White (after Daily Planet Editor-in-Chief Perry White), unaware of his parents' history or their secret activities (Clark carried on as Superman in secret, while Lois became an author known as "Author X"). Eventually, Jon's Kryptonian powers manifest, just in time for the death of the New 52 Superman. This eventually forces Jon's father back into action as Superman, and Jon is taken along for the experience. After Superman Reborn merged the histories of the pre-Flashpoint and New 52 versions of Superman and Lois Lane, his history has been slightly altered — he's never gone by Jonathan White, and was born in the mainstream DCU. Instead of living a sheltered life with his parents, all of Clark and Lois' friends, civilian and superhero, know of his existence.

As part of the DC Rebirth line, Jon features in Superman (Rebirth) regularly along with his parents and in Super Sons alongside Bruce Wayne's son and current Robin, Damian Wayne. He is also central to a crossover between Super Sons, Superman and Teen Titans (Rebirth) titled The Super Sons of Tomorrow.

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    Superboy comic series 

Kal-El version:

  • More Fun Comics (1945-1946)
  • Adventure Comics (1946-1962) (as the lead feature), 1962-1969 (as part of the Legion of Super-Heroes feature)
  • Superboy (1949-1973), becomes Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes in 1973; Superboy leaves the Legion in 1979
  • Adventure Comics (1977-1978)
  • Superman Family (1978-1979)
  • The New Adventures of Superboy (1980-1984)
  • Superboy: The Comic Book (based on the live-action Superboy series)

Kon-El version:

  • The Adventures of Superman (1993 - 1994, during Reign of the Supermen)
  • Superboy (vol. 4) (1994-2002)
  • Superboy and the Ravers (1996-1998)
  • Adventure Comics (2009 - 2010)
  • Superboy (vol. 5): (2010 - 2011)
  • Superboy (vol. 6): (2011 - 2014)

Jon Kent version:

    Media spinoffs featuring Superboy 


  • The 1960s Filmation animated Superman series featured Superboy cartoon segments.
  • The Adventures of Superboy (1988-1992 live-action series)
  • Smallville (though this centers around a costumeless teenage Clark Kent)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes features a teenage Clark wearing the Super-costume, but because of the legal issues mentioned above he was called Superman instead of Superboy, as was originally intended.


  • Young Justice (2011 animated series)
  • Season 10 of Smallville
  • While not a direct adaptation, Legion of Super-Heroes has a similar teenage Superman clone called Superman X/Kell-El, who wears a costume similar to Kon-El's.

Tropes associated with Superboy

    Clark Kent/Kal-El

  • Already Met Everyone: Superboy met the teenaged versions of Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen, Bruce Wayne, Aquaman, and Lois Lane. Thanks to time travel, he also met the first Robin and Jimmy Olsen.
  • Alternate Self: The post-Crisis Pocket Universe and pre-Crisis Earth-Prime versions of Superboy (both young Clark Kents from Alternate Universes).
  • Bathtub Mermaid: Lori Lemaris, whom Clark meets in college. She is in a wheelchair, but secretly she's a mermaid and spends her time at home in the bathtub. Clark finds out when he peeks at her using his X-ray vision.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Lois Lane and Lana Lang are 2/3rds of this.
  • Comic-Book Time: The pre-Crisis Superboy's time-era varied over the decades as taking place in the relative past of Superman, and thus the Boy of Steel was shown as operating in The Thirties, The '50s (largely skipping The '40s), The '60s, and even The '70s (by the end of Superboy's pre-Crisis run/the 1985 "Superman: The Secret Years" miniseries), until being retconned out of existence in the Byrne Superman revamp.
    • Following several 2000s storylines that saw his restoration to Post-Crisis continuity (though with Superboy now operating mainly in the Legion's era), Superboy/teenage Clark Kent's time-era became The '90s (skipping The '80s).
  • Continuity Snarl: Inverted; while removing Superboy from canon after Crisis didn't affect Superman, it did affect the Legion of the Super-Heroes big time.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Legion of Super-Heroes was the cause of this for him. They originally appeared as supporting characters in a 1958 Superboy story, then starting in 1962 they appeared as the backup feature in Adventure Comics where Superboy had been the star since 1946. Within a year they had taken over the comic, reducing Superboy to the back up in what had been his title, and not long after solo Superboy stories stopped appearing altogether (though he continued to appear as a member of the Legion). A decade later they repeated the feat when they started appearing in Superboy as a backup feature, which was renamed Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes and eventually just Legion of Super-Heroes as they again took over the comic. Fortunately, this time, Superboy also gained a new solo series, though the Legion made a guest appearance late in its run.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: This happened once due to Superbaby's desire for a pet, as shown on the cover of Superboy #130 on Superdickery here.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Clark Kent, Lana Lang, Pete Ross, and (until his turn to villainy) Lex Luthor all attended Smallville High.
  • Expy:
  • Incest Subtext: In Superboy #80, Kara travels to the past to meet Superboy, and Clark looks a tad smitten of his cousin. And then you have this scene. In the words of a reviewer "The rather phallic look of the alien ships added a little bit to my 'Clark hopes they could be kissing cousins' theory. I mean ... those ships could have been drawn any shape in the world."
  • The Interregnum: Superboy first appeared late in The Golden Age of Comic Books but really hit his peak in The '50s where he was one of the few superheroes to thrive, holding down two titles when the superhero market generally was at its lowest ebb. Ironically he actually suffered in popularity once the Silver Age dawned and he got Demoted to Extra in the early Seventies thanks to the surge in popularity of The Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • Jerk Jock: Bradley "Bash" Bashford.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: The reason for his creation.
  • Kid Hero: Of course.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: Superboy does this in order to remove Luthor's fifth dimensional powers (siphoned off of Mr. Mxyzptlk) in Superboy #131.
  • Meaningful Rename: Superboy changed his name to Superman at some point during his college years, with several different stories published explaining how this happened. However, all the versions agree that Clark realized he's not a kid anymore, and felt it was time he had a more adult name.
  • Multilayer Façade: In #107, Red Kryptonite makes Clark jealous of himself as Superboy. He proceeds to reveal his superpowers and starts doing his fantastic feats openly. Some out-of-town criminals who arrived in Smallville to kill Superboy with Green Kryptonite learn of this and make plans to strike Clark at his home. Eventually the Red K's effect wears off and Clark proceeds to extricate himself from the crisis via the trope. He makes up a story explaining that he knew that the criminals wanted to kill Superboy but didn't know when they'd strike, so he posed as Clark in cooperation with the Kents to force their hand.
  • Mysterious Protector: In 1981's Superman #362 and #365-366, a flashback to Clark's early days at Metropolis University show he operated in secret as Superboy, to avoid anyone noticing Clark and Superboy both moving from Smallville to Metropolis. During this time, the whole country's abuzz and wondering what city Superboy had moved to. One scene even shows gamblers in Las Vegas making bets on which city the Boy of Steel had picked. The cities guessed at included Metropolis, Gotham City, New York (future home of the Teen Titans), Washington, D.C. (future pre-Crisis home of Wonder Woman), Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit (future home of a short-lived version of the Justice League), New Orleans, and Chicago (a future pre-Crisis home of Supergirl). Oddly, other than Metropolis and Gotham, none of the other fictional DCU cities were guessed at by anyone. Adding to the hype, each city claimed they'd found (false) "proof" of Superboy secretly doing super-feats there. The ex-Smallville Sensation finally comes out in the open, thanks in part to then-reporter Perry White deducing the Boy of Steel was in Metropolis.
  • Put on a Bus/Ret Gone: He was written out of Superman's backstory as of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
    • The Bus Came Back: And brought back following Infinite Crisis. In the mini-series Superman: Secret Origin Clark is depicted as donning his costume for the first time, working in secret (and in costume) as a superhero in and around Smallville, joining the Legion of Super-Heroes as Superboy, and finding Krypto when the super dog lands on Earth.
  • Silicon-Based Life: Superboy had to save a race of silicon-based aliens called the Vulxans in The New Adventures of Superboy #7 (1980).
  • Spinoff Babies: Probably the first example of this, with Superboy first appearing in 1945's More Fun Comics #101.
  • Stern Teacher: The "Super-Teacher from Krypton", a robot designed by Jor-El to teach Superboy how to use his powers responsibly.
  • Super Dickery: A staple. Adventures ranged from Lana Lang constantly getting powers, trying to find out Superboy's identity, or something along the lines of Smallville going through an obesity epidemic due to radioactive milk.
  • Superhero Sobriquets: The Boy of Steel, the Boy of Tomorrow (more often in Golden Age stories), and the Smallville Sensation.
  • The Multiverse: An early 80s story (1981's New Adventures of Superboy #15-16) saw Superboy accidentally end up on Earth-2 in its early 1930s, where he met the teenaged Clark Kent of Earth-2. Since the Golden Age/Earth-2 Superman didn't have a Superboy career, Clark was merely a youth living on his adoptive parents' farm outside Smallville, though he was still learning about his developing powers.
  • The Only One: Superboy was not only Earth-1's first prominent superhero, but also largely its only one during his day, with other superheroes not appearing until (at earliest) sometime during his college years, when he became Superman. The only other major hero operating during Superboy's time-era was the teenaged Aquaman (or "Aquaboy").
    • While that's largely true (most of DC's Golden Age heroes officially lived on Earth-2, and it was frequently lampshaded that Superboy inaugurated Earth-1's superheroic age), there were a few other early heroes, mostly ones who had to have existed on Earth-1 for their legacy carriers to make sense. An encounter with Zatanna's father Zatara the Magician taught Clark that he had no special defense against magic. The original Guardian and the Newsboy Legion defended Metropolis's Suicide Slum back in the Forties, decades before the Guardian's clone and the Newsboys' sons would team with Jimmy Olsen. And the Bronze Age Airwave was the son of the Golden Age Airwave.
  • Time Travel:
    • A constant for all Superboys, since the character is closely connected to the Legion of Super-Heroes.
    • In a story (based on a script from the Superboy live action TV series that wasn't, apparently) Superboy flies out into space in order to make a home movie type film to show his friend that the friend's father was a hero during the war. Superboy goes faster than light so he can film the light coming from earth which shows what happened in the past.

    Conner Kent/Kon-El
Click here to see Kon's original suit: 

"I can't say this to anyone, but there's a part of me that thinks they're all going to die — and I'm going to get kicked up into the big leagues, like it or not. I know. Thinking about promotions while they knit together Green Lantern's ribs — stepped in shallower puddles, right? But I can't help it. I keep seeing me and my guys on that front line, but the kick of it is — we don't come back either."
Kon regarding the war with Imperiex on Apokolips

  • Adaptational Badass: During Convergence, Superboy is placed against three heroes from the Kingdom Come universe: Red Robin, The Flash, and Superman. He takes out the former two easily, and all three are arguably superior to their modern versions.
  • Afraid of Doctors: In Geoff Johns' Teen Titans, he and Beast Boy have a phobia of doctors, due to both of them being experimented on as kids.
  • All for Nothing: Amanda Spence, like most at first, thought that Superboy was the enhanced clone of her father, Dr. Paul Westfield, one of the scientists in charge of the cloning. She then decided to make Superboy's life miserable, feeling he was a disgrace to her father and his memory. This includes creating the more powerful and unstable second clone Match and gruesomely killing Superboy's love interest Tana Moon, a death her family blamed him for. Her vengeance was already badly misguided and hugely disproportionate, but when you add in that Westfield was retconned out as being the clone donor, it makes it this trope big time.
  • Alliterative Family: When Superman says he considers him family and Superboy finally gets a name the name Kal gives him is Kon-El, which fits nicely with Kal-El and Kara Zor-El.
  • Alternate Universe: Kon-El meets and teams up with the Kal-El version Superboy in several post-Crisis storylines, including "Zero Hour!" and "Hypertension."
  • Amazon Chaser: His love interests include Knockout, Sparxx, Triad/Triplicate Girl, Cassandra Cain and Wonder Girl.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Tana Moon, before it was revealed that she's native Hawaiian.
  • Appropriated Appellation: In his early appearances, he insisted on being called Superman. It wasn't until Superman returned from the dead and told Kon that he'd be honored to let Kon use the name "Superboy" that he started to take to it. And even then, the new Superboy told Big Blue, "When I turn 21... watch out."
  • Arch-Enemy: Superboy-Prime. He hates Conner calling him a fake Superboy.
  • Back from the Dead: Killed off in Infinite Crisis, resurrected in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds. Brainiac 5 used the Kryptonian technology that reanimated Superman after he was killed by Doomsday, combined with a lock of Lex Luthor's hair to bring him back to life to help them in the fight against Superboy-Prime and his new Legion of Super-Villains.
  • Bald of Evil: In Teen Titans, he shaved his head bald before going on an insane killer rampage and beating up the entire rest of the team. This was due to a mental command which was placed in his brain from after he was cloned in Cadmus.
  • Blond, Brunette, Redhead: He once had a Love Dodecahedron between Tana Moon (brunette), Roxy Leech (blonde) and Knockout (redhead).
  • Born as an Adult: In his first appearances he appears to be a teen over the age of 15 but is only months old.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: As with his "dad", he's a prime target for this trope. Happened to him when he was with the Young Justice as well as another time when Poison Ivy used him for this purpose. His entire purpose for being created by Lex Luthor was to act as a sleeper agent in the superhero community, and the Black Lanterns attempted to take control of him again. Fortunately, by this time, Superboy had become Genre Savvy, and trained himself to retain some measure of control even while brainwashed.
  • Broad Strokes: The version of Superboy we see in Convergence is largely based on the late-90s version where he lived at Cadmus. However, there are a few alterations. Namely, he possesses a smattering of Kryptonian powers that he never possessed during that era (namely, Super Speed, X-Ray Vision and Freeze Breath. The latter of which was notably the last Kryptonian power he awakened during the Teen Titans era (which itself came much later). The Info Dump at the end of the book also glosses over exactly whom Superboy is cloned from. While Paul Westfield is mentioned, it's simply stated that he mixed Kryptonian DNA with human, which is quite different than the original story.
  • Brought Down to Badass: When he temporarily loses his powers he does not stop being a hero, he just uses gadgets instead.
  • The Bus Came Back: During 2015's Convergence event, this version of Superboy (from the era in which he lived at Cadmus and still wore the original costume, earring and shaved fade) returned as part of a multiversal crossover.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": We really need to get a Titans Jet or something. Not that I don't like holding your hand, Robin — but I don't.
  • Character Development: Over the years, he grows from an immature, egotistical teen into a mature and responsible young man, particularly after he learned of having Lex Luthor's DNA.
  • Chest Insignia: During one storyarc, Supergirl (Matrix) telekinetically ripped it from his chest (without damaging the costume) because he wasn't behaving like someone who deserved to wear it.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Just some examples in Superman/Batman. Once he and Supergirl (Cir-El) are caught in a "walls closing in" Death Trap and Conner compain that would have preferred if there was Power Girl with him. Another occasion, he find some sexbots of the female Teen Titans, belonging to the teenage Toyman (not the original villainous version); Conner clearly enjoys...until Tim Drake (Robin) destroys them!.
    Superboy: I hate you. I hate you more than anyone i ever known.
  • Civvie Spandex: Currently the trope poster boy.
  • Clark Kenting: As Conner Kent.
  • Cloning Blues: He falls into this occasionally, after several years of being Totally Radical.
  • Comic-Book Time: One story during Reign of the Supermen specifically references Bill Clinton as POTUS. Furthermore, in the time since he was created, babies born within the same month have grown up and become legal.
  • Costume Copycat: Kal-El Superboy initially accuses Kon-El Superboy of such in their Zero Hour! crossover meeting in Superboy #8, before learning the truth about what's going on.
  • Darker and Edgier: Once he learned that he was made with Lex Luthor's DNA, the cocky, brash hero got much angstier.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: "Y'know — like Superman? The Last Son of Krypton! Feared and respected across the universe! C'mon — that's supposed to intimidate you! Work with me here!"
  • Evil Knockoff: Match
  • Eye Beams: He eventually develops Kryptonian heat vision.
  • Fad Super: He was created to be a Totally Radical reimagining of the "kid Superman" concept.
    • In his debut, he had a buzzcut fade, a hoop earring, a leather jacket (which nearly every hero had at the time), sunglasses, and a costume that invoked Too Many Belts. He of course, used hip slang and made constant references to pop culture.
    • His next costume kept the jacket, earring and shades (although with a new design and color scheme), but his hairstyle was radically changed since a fade had been way past dated by that point and he had Fingerless Gloves instead of his bulky red ones. His slang got slightly toned down as well, but was still in use.
    • The third costume (which he kept up until the reboot of the New 52) was an extensive overhaul. It ditched the jacket, skintight costume, earring, shades and Totally Radical attitude (the Civvie Spandex look took a heavy turn toward "civvie", with a t-shirt and jeans). Instead, he became more dark, brooding, and angsty, which became popular following the late 2000s.
  • Fingerless Gloves: His second streamlined costume dropped the red gloves and instead had his sleeves end in these.
  • Flying Brick: His original abilities were "programmed" to mimic Superman's as closely as possible, including flight, deflecting bullets and mimicking Super Strength through Telekinesis and over time he developed the usual Kryptonain power set allowing him to find more creative uses for his telekinesis.
  • Fun Personified: Before going Darker and Edgier as Conner Kent.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Retconned into this during the Teen Titans run. Originally, it was stated that he was a human clone modified to mimic Kryptonian genes.
  • Hate at First Sight: In Convergence, this is how the Kingdom Come heroes see him. Where they come from, brash, arrogant young punks are the blight of the world.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With both Tim Drake and Bart Allen.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: The comics version is the biological mix of Superman and Lex Luthor. Yeah.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: After Luthor brainwashes him just before Infinite Crisis.
  • Hot-Blooded: He is described as what happens when you take the power of Superman and give it to someone far less reserved.
  • Hypocrite: In Teen Titans #100, he came to the conclusion that the only way to deal with the three clones of himself created by Superboy-Prime was to murder them with kryptonite he'd been keeping in his room as a fail safe, despite all the heartache and angst he'd been going through ever since he learned he was cloned from Lex Luthor and fearing that he may have been evil all along.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Bart to Conner, just before Infinite Crisis, and then Cassie to Conner, during Blackest Night.
  • Innate Night Vision: One of his eye based powers.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: At the peak of his popularity, Conner was one of the Main Events of Marvel Vs DC. He lost to Spider-man (Ben Reilly).
  • Kid A Nova: Girls whom he's dated or have been attracted to him include: Tana Moon, Roxy Leech, Knockout, Sparxx, all THREE of Triad/Triplicate Girl's split selves, Cassandra Cain, Dr. Sterling Roquette, Wonder Girl, Kara-Zor-El (Pre-Crisis), Lori Luthor, and Poison Ivy. Especially when you consider that he's, born few years ago.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: His adventures were largely designed to be a cooler, hipper, Hotter and Sexier version of Clark Kent's.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire, electricity and other forms of intense energy were originally his biggest weaknesses, as his tactile telekinesis only worked if he was able to physically touch an object. At first, even touching a heated object could severely burn him. However, through training, he gained enough control to be able to withstand hot substances like lava, and slowly built up Damage Reduction to heat and energy in general. After his Kryptonian abilities kicked in, he now had Nigh-Invulnerability like Superman and no longer needed to worry.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • This one is complicated. Back when they first met, Kon-El and Supergirl II/(Matrix) were not related, and Superboy used to hit on Matrix with impunity. He also later enjoyed mutual flirtation with the Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El when she was torn from time and space. Most subtext between the two was dropped when it was realized that Superboy is Superman's "offspring", but in the Blackest Night crossover, a Black-Lantern-ring-possessed Superboy taunts Wonder Girl (his girlfriend at the time) by saying that when he's alone, it's his "cousin" he fantasizes about.
    • Later on, there was Lori Luthor, who was actually disappointed that he saw her as a cousin.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Like Superman he is as vulnerable to Kryptonite and magic.
  • The Law of Power Proportionate to Effort: He has Psychic Powers that work both subconsciously and with effort.
    • His original abilities were "programmed" to mimic Superman's as closely as possible, including deflecting bullets and mimicking Super Strength through Telekinesis. They turn "off" completely when he's asleep or unconscious, making him as vulnerable as a normal human.
    • He eventually takes effort to break the subconscious "rules' for his power so that he can use them in other ways, such as moving something as large a ship or as light as air vapor with his mind.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: between Kal-El Superboy and Kon-El Superboy in the "Zero Hour!" crossover (as this page's picture indicates).
  • Loophole Abuse: "But Batman never said anything about your teammates, right? Never a mention of Young Justice steering clear of Gotham or you'd be waxing the Batmobile?"
  • Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me: Hey, has Kon-El mentioned that he has tactile telekinesis? Because he does.
  • Manchurian Agent: Part of the arc where he discovers Lex Luthor shares half of his DNA which enabled Lex to use him via this trope as well as the Brainwashed and Crazy trope.
  • Mind over Matter: At first, Superboy's only superpower was "tactile telekinesis", a telekinetic force field that surrounds his body as a protective shield and allows him to simulate Superman-level speed, strength, flight and invulnerability. The tactile "tactile telekinesis" field also lets Superboy break free of an opponent's grip by pushing the field outward to force the opponent away.
    • The powers of the version from the Bad Future of the Titans Tomorrow story arc are upgraded from tactile telekinesis to full-blown telekinesis in the interim, which pretty much gives him the combined power of Superman and Phoenix.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: Pre-52 Conner is a clone of both Superman and Lex Luthor.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: Conner and Cassandra's last night together before the conclusion of Infinite Crisis. Also counts as Their First Time.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: During his Darker and Edgier years, he's all about this trope. In the earliest years, his "daddy" was Paul Westfield and later, it was retconned to be Lex Luthor instead. Neither of them are very nice people. So, Superboy constantly questions whether he was destined to become good or evil based on the genes provided by Superman or his human father.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: To clone him, a group of evil scientists "unzipped" his DNA, thus causing Superboy to slowly degenerate. The only way Cadmus's scientists could stop it was to halt his aging at physically 16 years old. Afterward, they couldn't find the aging genome to turn it back on until some time later, during the Young Justice Crisis Crossover "Sins of Youth," when the spell that aged the rest of his teammates to adults started tearing him apart at the genetic level once again. Cadmus reactivated Superboy's aging, only to have him lose all his powers when the aging spell was lifted.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Before Superman gave him a Kryptonain name and then an earth name, both of which placed Kon in his family, Superboy didn't have a name outside of a nickname or a number.
  • Only Sane Man: In Convergence: Superboy #1, Dubbilex narrates that Superboy is the only person in the domed Metropolis who hasn't moved on and accepted their new life.
  • Pretender Diss: Constantly on the receiving end of this from anyone who knows or knew of Superman. The worry of not living up to the name is Conner's biggest fear.
  • The Power of the Sun: Like Superman, derives his Kryptonian powers from the absorption of solar energy from the Earth's yellow sun.
  • Puberty Superpower: Also like Superman he develops his Kryptonian powers as he ages, starting out with only his tactile telekinesis which comes from his human DNA.
  • Really Was Born Yesterday: He set out to be a superhero at a very young age, it helps that Cadmus created him as a teen.
  • Retcon: Superboy was initially depicted as a genetically-engineered metahuman clone of human origin designed by Project Cadmus as a duplicate and closest genetic equivalent of Superman. The character was retconned in Teen Titans as a Kryptonian/human hybrid of Superman and Lex Luthor.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Supporting character Roxy Leech had a friend with the appropriate name of The Poet.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Tana Moon during the Sins of Youth storyline.
  • Super Powered Date: He's done this numerous times. Most notably for Cassandra Cain (where he built a castle in the sky made out of clouds), and Cassie Sandsmark, where he levitated a picnic bench during a romantic dinner.
  • Superpower Lottery: During Teen Titans, Superboy developed Kryptonian powers including heat vision, x-ray vision and super-hearing. He also developed Kryptonian invulnerability and super strength as shown when he battled the hugely powerful Superboy-Prime.
  • Temporal Mutability: Continuity seems to place it somewhere between Types I - IV. The modern Superboy technically became a time traveler, every bit as out of place in this era as Booster Gold. His "current" self is still a corpse, slowly recovering within the Fortress of Solitude. Kon-El is careful not to disturb the body resting there, as he isn't quite sure what will happen to himself if he does. Other than that, though, the DC universe's rules on time travel are malleable enough to allow Conner to exist in the present without worrying too much about screwing up the timestream.
  • Time Travel: Like Kal-El, Conner has had many adventures with the Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • Totally Radical: He started out like this, before he was retooled to becoming Mr. Cloning Blues
  • The Trope Kid: Before the original Superman returned while he was still refusing to be called Superboy he was called the Metropolis Kid.
  • True Companions: With Tim Drake, Bart Allen and Cassandra Sandsmark.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: He once tussled with Spider-man (Ben Reilly) during the Marvel Vs DC event.
  • You Are Number 6: Conner Kent was designated "S-13" at Cadmus, in relation to being the thirteenth (and only successful) clone of Superman.
  • Younger Than They Look: As a result of being made as a teenager he starts his series much younger than he looks.
  • X-Ray Vision: One of the last powers he develops.

    Superboy, New 52

  • Amazonian Beauty:
    • Dr. Caitlin Fairchild, who is drawn with far more muscular frame than back in her Gen¹³ days.
    • The unnamed female antagonist in Issue #3 also counts.
  • Anti-Hero: Of the Nominal Hero kind. This version of Superboy has no interest in heroics beyond what it takes to survive/gain his freedom. Between the first and second issues, he kills many of his captors by reflex and feels no remorse or guilt, tortures a group of soldiers who hold him at gunpoint, and flat out threatens to kill anyone who stands in his way.
    • Issue #4 seems to be steering him towards being a Knight in Sour Armor.
    • While he still has his issues, he quickly becomes a full blown hero.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He taught himself to talk and communicate by watching others do it.
  • Bald of Evil: Depending on how you view his "anti-hero" antics, Superboy is this when fresh out of the test tube.
  • Become a Real Boy: His character development seems to be headed in this direction. In fact, he uses these exact words in issue #6.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Superboy and Rose Wilson
    • The fight between Superboy and Wonder Girl in Teen Titans is even more blatant. All the two talk about is how cute they find each other while trying to smear their faces into the sidewalk.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: In addition to the Kryptonian side of his DNA, Superboy states that his "brain" is, in fact, every single atom of his body.
  • Blood Knight: Rose Wilson
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Superboy sometimes has trouble understanding moral issues, as he hasn't really had much time to learn about it. He honestly doesn't understand why robbing a bank gets him complaints.
    • He's been getting better about it.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Superboy, definitely. Rose Wilson even moreso.
  • Bullying a Dragon: How most N.O.W.H.E.R.E. staff and mooks treat Superboy.
  • Cloning Blues: The New 52 version of Superboy. Even more so than his pre-Flashpoint incarnation. Supergirl and H'el treat him like a monster at first because of a clone rebellion in Krypton's past. The name "Kon-El" is Kryptonian for "abomination of the house of El". The only reason he even exists is because Harvest wanted a guinea pig he could experiment on to find a cure for his "son's" (Jonathan Kent, the future son of Superman and Lois Lane) genetic problems. Having apparently done so, Harvest now wants Superboy dead.
    • Unlike H'El, Supergirl got over her hatred, and she even defended him during the storyline "Crucible".
  • Consummate Liar: Zaniel Templar. Superboy acknowledges it, but knows he has to play along.
  • Didn't See That Coming: See "Neck Lift" below.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Becomes a source of angst when he realizes that he can't be around ordinary people without killing them.
  • Expy: While not technically an expy, this version of Superboy has attitudes more in line and a temperament much closer to the Conner Kent shown in Young Justice, especially in his willingness to use overwhelming force and temper control issues, though his tendency to kill and torture is unique (and in any case it goes away fairly quickly).
  • Faking Amnesia: Superboy's cover story in the "small town" simulation.
  • False Flag Operation: Templar arranged for one of N.O.W.H.E.R.E.'s own bases to be attacked in order to set up his agenda.
  • Fiery Redhead: Dr. Caitlin Fairchild. Aka, "Red".
  • Fun with Acronyms: There has been no indication as to what N.O.W.H.E.R.E. stands for.
  • Future Spandex: N.O.W.H.E.R.E.'s uniforms, and Superboy's "Containment Suit".
  • Genius Bruiser: Superboy has shown to possess superior intellect to what humans could ever have. His mind works with incredible speeds, and combined with his TTK-powers, it might be one of his greatest assets.
  • Hired Guns: Rose Wilson.
  • In the Blood: Superboy's instinctual affection for farms in rural Kansas.
  • Lack of Empathy: Superboy, at first. Although in issue #6, he suspects that he's starting to feel a spark of it. By the time his series gets into the twenties, he's got it.
  • Mind Screw: the series is perfectly straight forward at first, but the introduction of Jon Lane Kent, the two Superboys switching costumes and being mistaken for one another and a considerable amount of time travel has led to even other characters being confused.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: It's implied that this version of Superboy isn't just Kryptonian and human, but a mix of other alien species.
    • He's eventually revealed to be a clone of Superman and Lois Lane's future child, Jon.
  • Morality Chain: Fairchild acts as this for Superboy early on. In fact, she insists on it.
  • Mythology Gag: Jon Lane Kent, the son of Superman and Lois from a possible future and template for Superboy, wears a costume that looks a lot like the 90s Superboy costume.
    • Adding on to that, Superboy's status as an opposite morality clone of another Superboy makes him the Nu 52 version of Match. Jon Kent and the Post-Crisis Superboy were emotional and extroverted, while Match and Nu 52 Superboy are their stoic and technically superior clones. Jon Kent was even mentioned as having genetic issues, a common problem for the first version of Kon-El.
  • The Needless: Superboy states that he doesn't need to eat or sleep.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: N.O.W.H.E.R.E.
  • Outlaw Couple: The young couple that appear in issue 3.
  • Neck Lift: Fairchild surprises Superboy with on of these when she Reveals her powers for the first time.
  • Only Sane Woman: Dr. Caitlin Fairchild, the only one who bothers trying to treat Superboy like he's not a thing.
  • Telekinesis: In this version, it seems that his tactile telekinesis is far more powerful than in previous incarnations. It now operates like regular telekinesis letting him levitate objects at a distance and also providing greater awareness of his environment akin to a type of sonar. He also uses this to simulate some Kyptonyan powers.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Used at first to help differentiate him from Superman. In the new DC universe it was intended to make him look sinister in comparison to the Teen Titans, but since they also wore a lot of red and black - to the point where if you take away the wings and domino mask and S-shield respectively, it can be quite hard to tell Superboy and Red Robin apart - it didn't really work.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When using his telekinetic abilities.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Dr. Caitlin Fairchild
  • Reverse Mole: Umber, who is a spy for Lois Lane.
  • Simulated Urban Combat Area: Where Superboy spends the majority of his time after being released from the tank.
  • The Stoic: Superboy. He's largely introspective and calmly rationalizes everything around him.
    • Not So Stoic: When he starts getting a no-holds-barred beatdown in issue #2.
  • Super Strength: Kon-El displayed strength enough to bench press a couple tons. His upper limit has fluctuated over time however.
  • Superpower Lottery: Subverted. It seems that this Superboy has not yet obtained all of his Kryptonian powers and his only abilities are his tactile telekinesis and a degree of superhuman strength as well as a superhuman healing factor (something Harvest pointed out after Superboy's fight with Grunge) and is even able to bend light around him to turn invisible.
  • Telepathy: Superboy can at least see and erase memories. Though it takes him quite a while to realise that he actually has this.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Thanks to this, Kon's pretty much become a one man Grey-Summers family. After sort-of dying, he teamed up with the original he's cloned from, who had pulled a Heel–Face Turn, after accidentally merging with that original in order to fight a past version of his original who hasn't yet pulled a Heel–Face Turn, then that original seemed to die, which altered the fight with his past self, somehow bringing Kon back to life.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Though it takes him a while, he becomes much, much nicer as time goes by and much more heroic.
    • The same thing happens to Jon.
  • Vitriolic Best Friends: Turns out that Rose and Fairchild are this, to the point that Fairchild left something behind for Rose to find if anything happened to her.
  • Watching the Reflection Undress: A superpowered variation occurs in Superboy #10: Superboy calls out that he's started their campfire, but when she doesn't answer, he searches and is stunned to walk in on Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) bathing in a lake. Wonder Girl angrily calls him a pervert and tells him to turn around. Superboy turns around, but puts his hand on the ground and smiles. Wonder Girl remembers that he can "see" through what he is touching and angrily throws a rock at the back of his head to get him to cut it out.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Only "Red" thinks of Superboy (who is half-alien and a clone) as a human. (Although Rose may have a soft spot for him, too.)
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Rose Wilson has beautiful white hair, but is an unrepentant Professional Killer and Blood Knight.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Harvest wants him dead for this reason.

    Jonathan "Jon" Kent
The New Kid on the Block
"Up until a couple days ago I thought I was a normal kid—with normal parents livin' a normal life. But that was a lie! Now I'm hearing about other planets and aliens and dad bein' Superman even though there's another Superman and I just... I mean, what I really want to know is... what does all this mean?"
Jon before learning about his heritage
  • Action Bomb: Jon's Solar Flare ability, also inherited from his father, turns him into this, releasing massive amounts of solar energy from his cells all at once, dealing catastrophic damage to his surroundings in the process. Unfortunately, Jon's unique genome means that he doesn't control over this ability, giving it the potential to trigger whenever he's pushed to the emotional brink. Worse yet, it has the potential to kill him if he uses it twice in a row.
  • Adorkable: He loves his pop-culture references and wants Damian to teach him how to use a sword so he can be "Super-Ninja-Jedi-Boy".
  • Adult Fear: Jon's very existence and activity as a superhero is a huge source of this for his parents. To date, Jon has been taken by Intergang, stood just a few meters away from a rampaging Doomsday, nearly had half his genome sucked out by the Eradicator, been abducted and sedated without warning by Damian, attacked by Lex Luthor, attacked later the same night by Kid Amazo and his army of power-copying robots, whisked away by a hyper-dimensional imp, fought a living planet that has crushed universes, was near ground zero of an epidemic that turned the entirety of Metropolis' population into copies of Doomsday, and is targeted by an alternate future version of Batman for assassination. Needless to say, being Superboy is dangerous.
  • A God Am I: Discussed in Superman #40. His dad tells him that they're often treated with awe upon visiting an alien world. Jon then asks if he'd be treated like a god, but Superman simply tells him that they'll have lots of questions.
  • The All-American Boy: A Middle Example, being a small-town boy who's sweet, polite, and more than a bit naive. However, he does have a cheeky side and he tends to be somewhat rebellious when no one's looking.
  • Alternate Self: Similar to Damian Wayne, Jon is but the latest (and canonical) version of Superman and Lois Lane's son. Other versions include:
  • Apologetic Attacker: After accidentally using his Freeze Breath on Maya and Goliath, sending them all plummeting towards the ground.
    Jon: I'msorry-I'msorry-I'msorry!
  • Armor Is Useless: His dad's original costume was woven from Kryptonian fabric that was as durable as he is. Jon wears his jeans and a thrift store jacket with the Superman logo on it. Thanks to his natural invulnerability and forcefield, it holds up just fine. Even when fighting the denizens of Apokolips, the body armor he picks up from the grunts he beat doesn't do much to stop him from getting tossed across the field by a punch from Kalibak.
  • Audience Surrogate: Due to being conceived during the events of Convergence, he serves as one for readers who aren't quite caught up with the events of Superman: Lois and Clark as well as the events of the Post-Crisis timeline. He also lampshades the Underwear of Power his father's old suit had.
    Jon: [holding up a phone with pictures of his dad's old suits] Hey Dad! Why don't you wear one of these? You shoulda stuck with the black suit or gone back to the old one with the undies on the outside.
    Clark: It wasn't "underwear", Jon. It was part of the suit, a decorative element, all sewn together as one piece.
    Jon: Looks like undies to me.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In the opening scene of Super Sons, he and Damian are this when faced with a swarm of their robotic counterparts.
  • Badass Adorable: Being the (physically) youngest incarnation of the titleholder, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Even when his powers were just developing, he had no problems beating an armed man into unconsciousness with a loose pipe. He only gets more badass as time goes on thanks to his increasing mastery of his powers, impressing Starfire in Super Sons #7, who inducts him into the Teen Titans after only a night of working with him. At the same time, he's worried about his curfew, tries his best not to cuss, and gushes over the thought of working with the Teen Titans.
    Starfire: [while pinching a grinning Jon's cheek] And do not forget to bring our newest member along with you. He's adorable and great in a fight!
  • Badass Cape: The first mainstream Superboy to wear a cape.
  • Bad Liar: Jon is a horrible liar. Case in point, his excuse to the Teen Titans about Damian dragging them there.
  • Bash Brothers: With Damian on their best days.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Averted. Although his father can hold up in space just fine with a pressured respirator for air, Jon gets outfitted with a special transparent suit and a pair of googles that he wears over his regular hero costume in order to protect him from harmful alien atmospheres (and lack there of) in Superman #40. He certainly isn't bothered by the frigid temperatures or heat of reentry associated with space travel though.
  • Berserk Button: Taunting him over The death of his beloved cat.
  • Big Eater: Less explicit than most examples, but in Superman #7 he's shown eating a burger while slurping soda with his Dad holding an armful of snacks in tow. The snacks are nowhere to be seen a few panels later. He then helps himself to cotton candy and all-you-can-drink milk. Later on, he's seen enjoying several tubs of ice cream, at least two boxes of pizza, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, cherries, and numerous liter bottles of soda with his friend Kathy and his first dog Ranger. In Action Comics #966, Jon also expresses a particular fondness for his Dad's deluxe "Blow Your Guts Out" meatballs.
    Kathy: [adding condiments to her ice cream] Want any cherries?
    Jon: Thanks Kathy! All the cherries!
    • He's also very excited to see the mini-fridge in the hideout (which he christens the "Fortress of Attitude") his dad and Batman built for him and Damian.
      Jon: We have a mini-fridge?! Is this heaven, or what?
    • In Super Sons Annual #1, Jon eats the veggie kabob meant for Damian out of spite after Damian mocked him while the two stopped a bank robbery in New York City.
      Damian: Copter's a half mile away. Hand over my veggie kabob and let's get out of here.
      Jon: [smugly grinning while holding two empty kabobs] Oops, my bad.
    • After finding a particularly good take-out joint in Metropolis, Jon has this to say about the fried noodles:
      Jon: Damian, I'm never going to get married, but when I do, it's going to be these noodles.
  • The Big Guy: He has this relationship with Damian, being noticeably taller despite being several years younger, as this picture shows. He's also much stronger physically and has superpowers to support him, but this is counterbalanced by his lack of proper combat training and general naivety, putting him at odds with Damian.
    Jon: [after getting insulted by Damian] Aren't you forgetting something? I'm much taller.
  • Blow You Away: He discovers his Super-Breath in Superman #10, which he can use to blow things great distances or freeze them solid if he so wishes.
  • Book Dumb: Played with. Jon doesn't like being in school and frequently complains about everything from studying to the food. But he isn't a particularly bad student either, being able to mentally solve problems at his grade level in seconds when his teacher calls him out for not paying attention in class, and one of his parent's requirements for letting him be superhero is to keep up his grades. Played more straight in Super Sons #13, since one of his classmates makes fun of him for his grades.
  • Brains and Brawn: Has this relationship with Damian Wayne (Robin) as the Brawn to his Brains, being the superpowered newcomer vs Damian's experience and lack of superpowers. Somewhat subverted since Jon isn't dumb, sometimes being more thoughtful and reasonable than his Teen Genius best friend. In addition, his Kryptonian heritage means that he can effectively be a walking supercomputer if he were to ever put his mind to it, as seen when he used his Super-Vision to analyze over 175 hours of camera footage to pick out four specific frames in seconds. He also once unlocked a door by sticking his finger in the lock and using his Super Strength to discreetly force the door to open rather than bust the door down in order to avoid revealing his powers to his maternal grandfather, Sam Lane.
  • Breakout Character: His popularity skyrocketed as Superman (Rebirth) went on, maintaining a major role in his father's comic and making regular, important appearances in Action Comics. Then there's his guest appearances in Justice League and his leading role in Super Sons.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Despite being portrayed as the Dumb Muscle of the Super Sons (not helped by the fact that Damian is an Insufferable Genius and a Child Prodigy), Jon is surprisingly intelligent for his age when he puts his mind to it, solving fifth-grade math problems nearly instantly after not listening to the question, tinkering with Kryptonian technology under his father's supervision, and already knows how to drive a tractor and subsequently a truck, which he rams into the guy who was starting to overpower his dad. He also sees through Mr. Mxyzptlk's first riddle after remembering his offhand statement about "bedtime stories". Jon's foolishness comes more out of naivety, inexperience, and immaturity than any stupidity on his part. It also helps that he's around ten-years old and is thus not particularly invested in academia or otherwise using that brain of his to its full potential. As his teacher describes him:
    Tony Martinez: [To Clark and Lois] You've got a great boy here. Quick thinking, always a few steps ahead, little bit of a daydreamer, but always respectful of me and his classmates. A real pleasure to have in class.
    • After transferring to a new private school in Metropolis, Jon gets teased for how poor his grades are. At the same time, he's analyzing alien teleportation algorithms with Damian in the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Broken Pedestal: His father's bedtime stories made Mr. Mxyzptlk out to be a pretty swell guy that Jon always called "Ruppletat". However, with the five-dimensional imp seething with hatred and resentment for Superman's inability to rescue him from Mr. Oz, "Ruppletat" is far less jolly and nice in person.
    Jon: Dad was wrong, you are a bad guy!
    • The Black Dawn story arc is shaping up to be one for his dad, as one of Jon's neighbors was seriously injured after Superman refused to kill a giant squid monster that was attacking Hamilton even as the local police officer encouraged the two of them to use their heat vision.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In Superman #20, Batman reveals that something is stifling the growth of Jon's powers and may make him powerless in the long run if it isn't stopped. This is stopped once Manchester Black's actions on Jon are stopped.
  • Car Fu: He once drove a truck into a guy who began beating his Dad.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Yessir!" along with a little salute whenever he's affirming something to his Dad. This has disappeared over time though, as Jon becomes less dependent on his dad for decision making.
  • Character Development: He becomes more confident and assertive as his powers grow and his adventures continue. In the first issues of Super Sons, he's constantly complaining to Damian about how much trouble they're going to be in when they're caught and is somewhat lacking in confidence due to his Power Incontinence. Come Issue #13, he's happy to spook trained assassins for fun and watch their weapons shatter against his skin. Damian's traits have also rubbed off on Jon, making the Superboy more independent and willing to disobey his parents to do what he feels is right. For reference, in Superman: Lois and Clark, he sticks by his mom's word to the letter when his powers were first developing. After surviving Apokolips, he ends up making a pillow dummy to throw off Perry White while secretly tailing his mom on her mission to save his maternal grandfather from execution in a foreign country.
  • Characterization Marches On: While he's still the same cheerful kid he started as, his diction, which was extremely childish to the point of using "hafta" instead of "have to" and pronouncing "because" as "cuz" among other things in Superman: Lois and Clark, improved dramatically by the time of Superman (Rebirth), which heavily toned this down. He was also more naughty in these early appearances, using his phone in class instead of paying attention, getting sent to the principal's office multiple times, and being reprimanded for cussing in his parents' presence. This is a farcry from his extremely empathetic and sweet Nice Guy portrayal that was popularized by his appearances in Superman (Rebirth) and his leading role in Super Sons. In addition, while Jon was able to at least hover at the end of Lois and Clark, he's completely unable to do so in the more recent comics until the end of the Black Dawn arc.
  • Cheerful Child: Much like any other child raised in a loving household at his age, he is very excitable involving superhero related matters, sports, holidays, and basically anything that isn't school. This trope does get zigzagged depending on the writer, with this trait being more prominent with Tomasi than Jurgens, who writes Jon as being indifferent to adult matters, preferring to stare at a video game screen instead of listening to his father's co-workers.
  • Child of Two Worlds: The Half-Human Hybrid son of the so-called "Last Son of Krypton" and one of its most prominent human reporters. Ever since learning about his heritage, he's been drilled in Kryptonian culture in addition to what he's already happy to experience on Earth. By the time of Superman #40, he's memorized the exact date on which Krypton was destroyed and can name drop Rao, the most worshipped god on Krypton, while trying to convince his father to take him on an interstellar adventure.
  • Civvie Spandex: Like his Post-Crisis counterpart, Jon doesn't have a super-advanced suit, instead opting for a jacket with the Superman logo and a cape he soldered on with heat vision, otherwise wearing what he normally wears to school, torn jeans and all.
  • Clark Kenting: At the end of the first Superman storyline, Jonathan is given glasses like his father. Jon isn't happy that he has to wear them, but Clark tells him that they work surprisingly well. That said, he's possibly an even more egregious example than his father, as he makes no attempt to modify his voice and wears the exact same jeans and sneakers that he does in his daily life. Lampshaded by Beast Boy.
    Beast Boy: We know who you are. Your secret identity is more obvious than mine... and I'm green!
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Any villain who doesn't want him dead wants to turn him evil so they can use him against his father and the rest of the world.
  • Darker and Edgier: At a casual glance, Jon's character and circumstances aren't too dissimilar from his father's when he was his age with his parents thinking that they'll have an even easier time raising him than the Kents had due to Clark being around to teach him about his powers. However, while Clark had the odd high-concept adventure in his youth, the world wasn't as lousy with super villains and other threats back when he was a boy so Jon's formative years are much more dangerous with many fiends aiming to either kill him or corrupt him.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Is named after his paternal (adoptive in this case) and maternal grandfathers, both of whom died in the Post-Crisis continuity (but Sam Lane is later revealed to be alive in the Rebirth continuity). Lois also initially planned on naming Jon after Clark's biological father, Jor-El, which would also likely be Jon's Kryptonian name. Who is later revealed to be alive.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While he's pretty straightforward and nice most of the time, Jon cranks up the snark in a way that would make his mom proud whenever Damian is involved. Case in point, when he and Damian are confronted by dozens of robot duplicates of themselves:
    Damian: I'll admit, maybe in retrospect we should have called our fathers.
  • Distressed Dude: When he isn't the focus of the story, Jon tends to get kidnapped a lot, either for being the son of Lois Lane or the son of Superman, depending on the villains involved. Superman himself is terrified of anything happening to Jon as a result.
  • Dream Sequence: Spends the opening pages of Superman #21 dreaming of flying while in his own unique spandex costume based on his current Civvie Spandex.
  • Emotional Bruiser: He gets really emotional whenever his parents are in danger and he's prone to crying in such situations. He also freaks out upon seeing a murdered family for the first time. He's also forced to watch his mom's leg get shot off and his dad's efforts to cauterize the wound with heat vision, though this was later revealed to have been an illusion created by Manchester Black to break Jon's idealism.
  • Famed In-Story: Becomes this by the events of Superman #21, with the residents of Hamilton instantly recognizing him as Superboy and are greatly reassured by his presence. Though this was later revealed to have been part of Manchester Black's plot. He's still an unknown anywhere outside of Metropolis, since a Gothamite thought he was just a normal little boy in a costume while a source Lois was speaking with was unaware that Superman even had a son.
  • Farm Boy: Runs in the family. He's also very resistant to the idea of moving to Metropolis, constantly begging his parents to stay in Hamilton and running all the way to Gotham to complain to Damian about it. The latter is, of course, less than sympathetic and just chastises him, leading to their climactic fight in Super Sons #5.
  • Flying Brick: Being part-Kryptonian (and the son of the Trope Codifier) naturally makes him this, with all of the associated powers.
  • Foil: To Damian Wayne in Super Sons. Jon has superpowers, but can't control them and is generally a pleasant person to be around due to his normal and happy upbringing. Damian is a (comparatively) Weak, but Skilled Badass Normal and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with absolutely atrocious social skills due to his upbringing in the League of Assassins.
  • Forced to Watch: Manchester Black made it appear as though Lois' leg was blasted off while Jon was restrained with his eyes forcibly kept open to watch the whole thing. Then in Dark Nights: Metal, he's forced to watch as his mother succumbs to the Doomsday Virus after she locked him in the family safe room to protect him from it.
  • Friendship Moment: The Super Sons of Tomorrow arc is one for him and Damian. Damian comes to Jon's defense when the Future Tim Drake comes to kill him. He does everything he can to protect Jon, even fighting his own team, the Teen Titans, to do so. At the end, Superman is uncertain of letting Jon continue his adventures with Damian, since Damian's future supposedly has bad ramifications for Jon, but both boys vow to stick together and protect each other from whatever comes their way.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Downplayed. Like most other kids his age, Jon loves animals and regularly cares for the many on his family farm, even offering to take Damian's pets there so they can get some clean air and sunshine. He is also devastated when he accidentally kills Goldie and when Krypto seemingly dies. Then on Apokolips, he exposes himself to a bunch of Apokoliptians to save the dogs that were being slaughtered for their meat. However, it's nowhere near Damian's levels, as he shows visible disgust at the notion of being at a cow-raising contest as he dislikes the smell of their manure.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: His mom dishes this out to him when he's in the middle of rampaging and fighting both his father and Manchester Black while under Black's influence, which freezes Jon in his tracks, as Black had made Jon believe that Lois lost her leg and that Superman had failed to help her.
  • Generation Xerox: Jon looks exactly as his father did at his age and is also a generally sweet and respectful boy who always tries to take the moral high ground. He even has a childhood friend who happens to be his Secret Keeper much like his dad's relationship with Lana Lang. That said, he has his natural bursts of childish unruliness, and his moral code doesn't always stop him from intentionally getting on Damian's nerves in their petty arguments.
    • In addition, there are numerous allegories to many of his dad's most iconic showings in Jon's own stories, such as standing idly as spitballs are fired at him, much like Superman's general relationship with bullets.
    • While normally polite like Clark, Jon has proven more than once he's inherited his Mother's wit when people want to push him.
  • Good Feels Good: Thanks to the positive example set by his dad, superhero work is a blast for Jon, since it's when he gets to cut loose and make his parents proud with the gifts he's born with. He's positively beaming when handing a lady her cat after it (presumably) got stuck in a tree or lost and tells off Damian for trying to turn low-level crimefighting into some sort of militaristic training.
    Superman: And remember... what are we helping people for, buddy?
    Jon: [fistbumping his dad] Good people get involved.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: He's only ten, so he's quick to correct himself when a cuss word slips out while under Tomasi's pen. Averted in his earlier portrayals, where his parents reprimanded him for cussing.
    Damian: Superboy, stay out of the way.
    Jon: Like hell I will! [pauses] Nn, I mean, like heck I will.
    • Again in Super Sons Issue #8.
      Jon: [after being saved from a giant mechanical tentacle] Who the H are they?
    • Averted in Superman #36 after getting punched by Kalibak, son of Darkseid, to which he offers an appropriate "Crap!" as he falls to the floor.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Jon is the first naturally-born mainstream Human-Kryptonian hybrid Superboy with the exception of his villainous predecessor from the New 52 continuity. It should also be noted that Jon is the first stable and complete hybrid of his kind, as Jon Lane Kent suffered constant agony from his unique genome, and none of the other Superboys used the standard Kryptonian powers at first, instead mimicking superhuman strength, speed, and flight with telekinesis before getting their Kryptonian powers over time.
  • Headbutting Heroes: To put it bluntly, he and Damian do not get along well at all at first, but this evolves into Vitriolic Best Buds down the line.
    Damian: [after making fun of each other over getting a Christmas tree] I'll have your miserable, mutated head, ALIEN!
    Jon: Come and get it, TWERP-ZILLA!
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Jon loves dogs and is often seen spending time with Krypto and Ranger (his golden retriever who hasn't been seen since the Kents moved to Metropolis). He was also eager to adopt the dogs he befriended on Apokolips, but his mom shoots him down rather quickly.
    Jon: Mom, don't you think Krypto would like another friend to come live—
    Lois: Don't even think about it kiddo.
    Jon: Aww...
  • Honor Before Reason: Played with. Jon insists on helping out the people of Eoroe since they rescued the boys were rescued from Yggardis' clutches in Issue #8 of Super Sons despite Damian's protests that they should find a way home first and foremost. However, Jon rationalizes this by saying that they needed to help the locals in order to get info that could help them get home, which isn't totally unreasonable. Ironically enough, this is the inverse of the stance Jon took in the first arc of the series, where he continually told Damian that they were in over their heads and should get help rather than confront Kid Amazo themselves.
  • I Am Who?: It takes Jon a while to come to terms with the fact that he's Half-Kryptonian along with the fact that his ordinary, constantly tired and busy father is Superman, but not the Superman he grew up watching on television.
  • An Ice Person: Jon can flash-freeze almost anything with his Super-Breath, generating giant swathes of ice from thin air with ease.
  • I Got Bigger: Many glimpses of the future show Jon as tall and well-built as his dad is, with Wonder Woman's future son Hunter making special note of how broad Jon's shoulders were.
  • In a Single Bound: Got around this way until he developed his ability to fly.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Shares his father's icy blue eyes and remains cheerful as ever amidst things that would traumatize any other child. Depending on the artist, Jon's eyes downright sparkle when he's happy, making this trope especially prominent.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Jon hates the fact that he has to hide everything about him and wants to tell the world everything. Lois and Clark have to keep him tempered from this sort of idea. He also has to make up excuses during Superman #17, during his little escapade with Kathy. He even does this to an extent with his parents, as he makes it seem as though he was in bed all night due to staying up to watch a horror film and again when Damian took him out to Metropolis. Mr. Oz, AKA Jor-El, uses this trait to get Jon to work with him by preying on Jon's frustrations with mundane life and by using the fact that he coached Jon on the use of the Hellbat suit during the attack on the Fortress of Solitude.
    Kathy: [After Jon busts a door down] How did you-
  • Kryptonite Factor: His powers are tied to his Kryptonian heritage and thus will short out if he's exposed to Kryptonite or kept away from yellow sunlight for an extended period of time.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Jon is inheriting all of his father's powers one by one, but it's taking an awful lot of time for it to happen, which has Batman suspicious...
  • Legacy Character: As of Superman Rebirth #6, Jonathan has officially claimed the "Superboy" title and the S-shield worn by his father and his cousin Kara (better known as Supergirl).
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to his immediate predecessors, the New 52's Kon-El and the villainous Jon Lane Kent, Jonathan Samuel Kent has a much happier and more normal upbringing, being raised by his loving parents instead of a terrorist organization or being manufactured in a lab. He also lacks most of the angst, abrasiveness, and Jerk Ass traits that defined the New 52 era.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Is developing into this as time goes on, being strong enough to bench press cars, tough enough to get knocked through buildings without a scratch, and fast enough to reach Metropolis or Gotham City more than twice as quickly as the pod Cyborg developed for him,
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Like his dad, Jon is a kind, upstanding, and empathetic person who constantly tries to see the best in people and wants to use his superpowers to help others. But unlike his dad, Jon has a different set of interests and standards due to growing up in a vastly different time than when his father was a youth. The most blatant example of this is Jon's unwillingness to move to Metropolis. When Clark was a boy, everyone dreamed of moving there. On the other hand, Jon sees Metropolis as one, crowded prison where he won't have any privacy, becoming unusually antsy and irritable when faced with the prospect of moving. As a result, it takes quite a bit of coaxing for Jon to finally relent.
    Clark: Jon, you'll love Metropolis. There's nothing wrong with change sometimes. When I was your age the Big M was all I ever dreamed about.
    Jon: Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Big dreams, big city newspaper, a big world out there... But I'm not you. Please don't make us move. I like it here. All my friends are here.
    Lois: Sweetie, you'll make new friends. I promise. You always do.
    Clark: We've talked about this. Right now, after everything we've been through, this is what's best for all of us, buddy.
    Jon: [tears his shirt to shreds to reveal his Superboy uniform] No, this is what's best for you! Just like not making me use my powers! You think that's going to be easier in a city! You want to keep me in a prison... so I never get to be myself! [leaps off into the distance and runs to Gotham] Moving... sucks! Cities suck!
    • Jon can also be rather petty in a way his father isn't when dealing with Damian, always making jabs at his friend's height when they argue. During Super Sons Annual #1, the two get into a minor squabble while stopping a bank robbery. Jon subsequently eats both of the kabobs given to him by a grateful food vendor when one of them was meant for Damian, doing so with a satisfied expression and a clearly sarcastic "Oops, my bad." He also cheekily pushes down on Damian's barbell while the latter was in the middle of bench pressing it.
    • Superman was a straight-A student in school, but Jon is thoroughly disinterested in schoolwork, doing poorly enough that he gets teased for his grades even though he's definitely intelligent enough to do better.
  • Little Stowaway: When his mom sneaks onto a Air Force transport plane to rescue her father, she expected Jon to stay at home. Instead, Jon followed Damian's example by making a pillow dummy and hid in the trunk of Lois' car before flying into the cargo compartment while staying out of his mom's sight.
  • Magnetic Hero: His niceness pays off in making him extremely likable to others. Wonder Woman takes a shine to him immediately despite her previous romance with the New 52 Superman, Sara or at least her robotic duplicate is perfectly willing to stay behind and sacrifice herself for Jon despite only just meeting him due to the immediate kindness he displayed to her. The Teen Titans are also willing to induct him as an official member after just one night of working together. Compare this to the Titans' relationship with Damian, which is tense at best given his abrasiveness even after working with him for months. He's also on very good terms with Simon Baz, whom Jon simply calls "Baz" while giving him a hearty high-five, and Cyborg, due to their shared appreciation for video games to the point of having the same favorite character while hanging out aboard the Watchtower in Justice League #22.
    • In Superman #35, Jon saves a bunch of mutant dogs that were going to be slaughtered and eaten by the residents of Apokolips. The dogs are so grateful that they're willing to allow Jon to ride them into battle against Kalibak, who had just totaled both Superman and Lex Luthor.
  • Messy Hair: As shown by the picture above, his hair is pretty unruly in his downtime and while on the job, but it's combed more neatly for school-related matters.
  • Mundane Utility: Jon was tempted to use his heat vision after he saw that his friends were getting hit by rock-filled snowballs from the local bullies. He also uses his Super Speed to quickly get home, shower, and dry his hair before slipping under the covers as his parents come back from work to check on him. His Super Strength also comes in handy when helping someone change their tires. His invulnerability also lets him pull off stunts that no other kid would ever be able to do, like boogie-board down Niagra Falls while on vacation.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: He has the build of an active, but average boy his age, leading Damian to say that Jon has "narrow shoulders". Nevertheless, Jon is strong enough to casually toss Damian, who has demonstrated numerous Olympic-level feats at his age, aside with little effort and hold him up by the collar when angered. Later on he's stopping trains with ease and has no problem throwing down with other super-strong villains. Especially noticeable when compared to his predecessors, who were all ripped teenagers.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: With a good smattering of Luke, You Are My Father. After being empowered by the spirits of the New 52 Superman and Lois, he delivers this trope to override the influence of Mr. Mxyzptlk, who was slowly stripping away his parents' memories of him.
    Jon: My name is Jonathan Samuel Kent. I'm your son!
  • Mythology Gag: In the DC Legends mobile game, Jon's "Legendary" upgrade trades out his jacket, jeans, and cape for his predecessor Kon-El's containment suit.
  • Naughty Is Good: Zig-zagged. While he's sweet and polite and needs to be coaxed out of sticking to his bedtime, he's also a bit of a rebel who loves running off to do things he's not supposed to when no one is looking (such as watch a scary movie late at night) and starts a snowball fight right after school.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Justified. Jon's powers are still growing in and thus he is slowly gaining his Dad's powers. While he's initially limited to limited Super Strength and Heat Vision, he later gets Freeze Breath after having an allergic reaction to Goliath while being kidnapped by Damian and Maya.
  • Nice Guy: Jon is generally upbeat and cheerful and is pretty upstanding and polite (everyone older than him is Mr. or Ms. and he even refers to his biologically teenager first-cousin-once removed Kara as "Cousin Kara"), though he does have to vent his childish impulses from time to time and he loosens up while at home and with friends.
    • The first thing he does when the Teen Titans show up on his parent's balcony is to start passing out hot food and drinks while letting the Titans help themselves to the fridge.
  • Nice Hat: Frequently wears numerous baseball caps to help hide his identity as Superboy.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Originally zigzagged due to his Power Incontinence, which caused him to be injured by things as minor as falling off a tree or being sedated via injection, but he still grabbed red-hot metal with ease. As his control improved, so did his durability, as knives and giant porcupine quills harmlessly shattered against his skin and clothing in Superman #17. In more recent comics, he's only slightly dazed after being knocked through a building and has no problems getting back up after being punched by the super-strong Chun Yull, the Faceless Hunter. Also plainly noticeable after Jon, his mom, and grandfather Sam Lane are all shot by heavy machine gun fire. Jon is on the floor, but he's not bleeding profusely the way his family members were.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has this reaction with Damian after their fight as their dads look down at them in disappointment.
    Jon and Damian: Uh oh.
    • Again after he accidentally runs into the non-powered Clark Kent while trying to get the door for Chinese takeout delivery.
      Jon: [eyes slowly widening] How much do I—owe—you...
    • Yet again after being confronted by Lex Luthor.
      Jon: Oh god... Oh god... I'm in so much trouble...
  • One of Us: In-Universe. His room has multiple posters of anime including what seems to be Dragon Ball Z and Naruto (one of the artists for Super Sons, Jorge Jimenez, is an acknowledged Naruto fan, which makes Jon copying one of Naruto's gestures in an issue a possible In-Universe Shout-Out). He also loves movies and video games, name dropping Chewbacca and Han Solo while on a summer roadtrip with his parents and grumbling about not being able to bring his Xbox.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Thanks to his Kryptonian heritage, Batman refers to Jon as one of the "two most dangerous beings on the planet" even while Wonder Woman is in the room. The "Batman of Tomorrow" also says that Jon will be responsible for the death of millions in the near future. Hence the former's attempts to murder him in the present to prevent that from happening.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His powers are slowly growing over the course of his appearances, punching dinosaurs in the face and easily tackling doors down. While he could initially get a concussion by falling off a tree, knives shatter against his skin as of Superman #17, and he fell down a well none the worse for wear. According to Batman, once Jon reaches his full potential, he'll be stronger than his dad ever will be on top of potentially manifesting some unique powers of his own.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Begs his parents not to let him go as he seemingly fades from existence. Luckily, it doesn't stick.
  • The Pollyanna: Even after all the danger and horror he gets put through in his adventures, he still considers himself the luckiest boy in the world to be the son of Superman.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: He's a 21st Century kid who's more than happy to drop references to Star Wars and play any number of games on his Xbox and phone. He's also a Half-Kryptonian Flying Brick who can curb-stomp villains who can take on entire superhero teams.
  • Power Incontinence: Jon is still growing in his powers, so they tend to fluctuate in and out in how strong they are and if they work at all. One moment he can lift a car above his head, the next he's scraping his knee on the sidewalk. They seem to work better when he's emotionally charged, such as when he's angry, determined, scared, or surprised.
    • On one occasion, he accidentally used his Heat Vision while trying to use X-Ray Vision to see who the unexpected visitors were, blasting straight through the door and sending both Wonder Woman and Batman flying backwards. Bruce would have had a hole punched through him if it weren't for Diana's quick thinking.
    • In Superman #17, his Heat Vision goes off again when Kathy rang the doorbell while he was in the middle of watching a horror film.
    • This is mostly phased out by the end of the Black Dawn arc, after which it comes down to teaching Jon how to use his powers properly in order to do the most good. But he falls right back into this trope while being attacked by "Savior" during the Super Sons of Tomorrow arc. When pushed to the emotional brink, Jon loses control of the solar energy within him, unleashing a Solar Flare powerful enough to severely damage Titans Tower even after flying away to limit collateral. While his father is able to control this power, Jon's version is far more unstable due to Jon's hybrid nature, having the potential to kill Jon if he does so twice in a row, which nearly happens after Jon freaks out while seeing his father on the verge of dying due to Red Kryptonite exposure.
  • Power Limiter: Batman notes that Jon's powers should have grown exponentially by the events of Superman #20 due to hybrid vigor, with powers matching or exceeding his father's at this point. Thus, he suspects, that something in Jon's vicinity is keeping his powers from reaching their full potential. Manchester Black had been rewiring Jon's neurons to stunt his development and make him a "better hero".
  • Primary-Color Champion: Like Dad, Red, Blue, and Yellow characterize his super outfit, in contrast to the Black and Red of his predecessors.
  • Put on a Bus: During Dark Nights: Metal, Lois locks Jon in a special safe room designed to be nigh-impenetrable to even Kryptonians in order to save him from the Doomsday Virus that was infecting her and the rest of Metropolis as well as the other members of the Super-Family like Supergirl and Superwoman. As a result, he's absent for almost the entire event.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Completely averted. Jon peppers his dialogue with all sorts of likes, gonnas, wouldas, comin's and other forms of realistic diction. This only highlights Jon's differences with Damian, who speaks with polished prose much of the time due to Damian's classical education under Talia.
  • Reconstruction: Of the classic young superhero sidekick. After years of Deconstruction and cynical depictions, Jon is among the first in recent DC comics to return to the cheerful, naive, and somewhat bumbling child superheroes that drew many children to comics in the first place. Granted, his appearances also showcase the hardships and implications of having powers at his age, but he still remains true to this core concept.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: They're a sign that he's about to blast your face off with heat vision.
  • Retcon: After Superman Reborn ( where Pre-Flaspoint and New-52 Supermen stories merge), the events of Convergence: Superman are undone as Clark and Lois gave birth Jon in the New-52 universe (in the Fortress) and not the Flashpoint Batcave.
  • Rousing Speech: Provides one to Hard Line and Big Shot when they were all under threat from Yggardis.
    Jon: My mom taught me that while I might have a hard time describing just what a hero is... I'll know it when I see it. And I sure as heck see it in you.
    Big Shot: We want to help. But if we're made of magical clay, what can we even do? He can destroy us in an instant.
    Jon: You do what every hero does... the best you can.
    Damian: Jeez, you sound like your dad.
    Jon: Thanks, I'll take that as a compliment.
  • Rude Awakening: The Super Sons preview shows Jon ready to blast Damian with heat vision after he snuck in right before Jon was about to go to sleep.
  • Sadistic Choice: Jon is frequently one of these choices for his father, forcing Supes to choose between going after a bad guy or saving Jon and Lois from a threat they cannot handle. Other times this crosses into Let's You and Him Fight and Conflict Ball, with Jon being forced to fight his father over a particular dispute.
  • Secret Legacy: Is completely unaware of his father's superhero activities until he's around ten years old and his powers begin manifesting.
  • Ship Tease: With Kathy, his Only Friend in Hamilton after they move there. He trusts her enough to be his Secret Keeper and they frequently hang out, clearly enjoying their time with each other. Even after it was revealed that she was deceiving him the whole time, she cherished Jon enough to ultimately try to defend him from Manchester Black, later going so far as to forcibly remove Manchester's consciousness from his body. Afterwards, they part on amicable terms and are implied to talk to each other on the phone from time to time.
  • Signature Attack: Heat Vision, which he uses more than any of his other powers thus far. It's simultaneously the power he has the most control over, being able to activate it at will, and the least control over, often having it go off accidentally and has difficulty turning it off at times.
    • Later issues have him pulling his father's signature "heat up a gun until it's too hot to hold" trick and setting his heat vision to a low enough power setting to burn tiny holes through someone's leg to incapacitate rather than maim or kill.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Jon's strength tends to vary based on how strong the plot needs him to be. For instance, he can lift a car over his head in one issue but has trouble breaking iron chains in another. This becomes particularly glaring after the Black Dawn arc, where he's strong enough to stop a train with ease, but Damian can still punch him hard enough to feel pain. Sometimes justified by the fact that as a Half-Kryptonian, he has to hold back or he'll splatter normal people with a regular punch.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Duh.
  • Superpower Lottery: Is developing his Dad's Kryptonian powerset and is stated to have the potential to become even more powerful than his father. That's not even taking the fact that Jon might manifest unique powers of his own.
  • Super Senses: Like his dad, Jon is armed with Super-Vision of all kinds, from X-Ray to Telescopic. He also possesses his father's Super-Hearing, which also happened to be Jon's first superpower.
  • Superior Successor: As mentioned above, Jon's hybrid nature gives him even more potential than his father, with Batman predicting that Jon would have long-surpassed Superman in power if not for Manchester Black messing with the neurons in Jon's brain to stunt his growth. As of the current comics, Jon can already outrace his dad and can match him blow for blow.
  • Tagalong Kid: Due to the instability of his powers, his dad and mom are reluctant to let Jon get into the thick of the fight, forcing him to stay on the sidelines most of the time. Jon eventually becomes frustrated with this, thinking that his parents are making him hide his abilities for their convenience rather than his own benefit. By Super Sons #5, his parents agree to allow him to go on his own superhero adventures for as long as he sticks with the more experienced Damian.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Complains to Damian in the first few issues of Super Sons that they were going to get in a lot of trouble for their unauthorized escapade.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As time goes on, Jon's mastery of his Kryptonian powers makes him more and more of a powerhouse. In earlier appearances, he could be knocked out by falling out of a tree and struggled to break metal chains. In more recent issues, he's stopping trains, having cars rammed into him, and slugging it out with monsters the size of skyscrapers. By Super Sons #11, he's powerful enough to deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle to a group of supervillains that were overwhelming the entirety of the Teen Titans in less than a minute while being way too fast for even Kid Flash to realize what was going on.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Ice cream. He's always eating scoops or tubs of it whenever he has the chance.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Played with. Jon's powers are most likely to work when he's emotionally charged, but they continue to fluctuate in and out when he least expects it and he has yet to achieve full control over it despite being kidnapped by Intergang, accidentally frying his pet cat Goldie to death with heat vision, nearly having half his genome sucked out by the Eradicator, watching his Dad and Krypto get sucked into the Eradicator.
  • Tsundere: A minor one towards the Teen Titans. After spending most of Super Sons making fun of them due to Damian constantly harping about being older than him, Jon is still clearly excited to be working alongside them and is made an official member in all but name above Damian's protests. Despite this, when Damian goes back to putting Jon down, he calls them Damian's "Glee Club".
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Jon's powers are unstable, making him above average at best and a liability at worst. This is further exacerbated by his inexperience and naivety. Nevertheless, when they do kick in, he's powerful enough to burn his father with his heat vision and even outrace him. After his powers stabilize, he's working on becoming Strong But Skilled, mastering his abilities and gaining more experience to handle himself alone and with others.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Jon naivete makes it easy for Damian to manipulate him, a fact the young Superboy doesn't appreciate.
  • Vitriolic Best Friends: Heavy on the Vitriolic towards Damian Wayne. One minute, they could be saving the world, the next they're slugging each other silly. That said, by the events of the annual holiday special (which is heavily implied to take place a good deal of time after their last encounter) they're close enough to have each other on speed dial and to buy gifts for each other (with Damian buying the two of them a video game they both wanted). Heck, they even have Christmas dinner together! Of course, the front cover of the same comic has Damian kicking a Heat Vision-ready Jon in the face while stealing a present from him, so they aren't that chummy yet. It's also implied that Damian respects Jon deep down, but is too prideful to admit it, as noted by Raven. Eventually, Jon comes to enjoy being around Damian enough to be disappointed when he doesn't get a chance to go out with him on a weekend.
    Raven: Do not let Robin's defensiveness get to you, Superboy. He respects you deeply. We ALL do now that we know you.
    • Their relationship cools off for the most part by the latter end of Super Sons, with their fiery arguments settling into playful jabs like Jon pushing a finger down on a barbell Damian was using. They also regularly risk life-and-limb for each other and are each outraged when the other one is in danger.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Jon is always fighting the temptation to avoid using his powers in school and seems to enjoy letting loose as Superboy, given his eagerness to help. He also hates school as a whole and would much rather be playing video games or being a superhero than reading a textbook.
  • Warrior Prince: As of Superman #36 his dad is the God-King of Apokolips, making Jon the prince of Apokolips. Naturally, Jon can kick ass with the best of them.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Jon knows that he has big shoes to fill after learning about his superpowers and is anxious to get into the thick of things and prove himself.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Jon can be surprisingly mature and thoughtful for his age, usually being able to carry himself so well in the face of danger that his father sometimes forgets that he's only ten years old. Jon also shares his father's empathy and his mom's wit, being able to drop a Rousing Speech when he wants to and think through problems more readily than even his friend Damian is willing to.
    Superman: The way you act and carry yourself like a big guy—sometimes you make me forget.
    Jon: Forget what?
    Superman: That you're only ten years old.
  • Younger Than They Look: When adventuring with Damian, the pair are often mistaken for a Sibling Team due to their similar hair color and age. Since Jon is the taller of the two, he's almost always assumed to be the older brother, much to Jon's amusement and Damian's annoyance. Also a case of Depending on the Artist, since while most comics portray him as clearly having the height and physique of a ten year old, some issues could have him comfortably passing for a teenager, as seen in Action Comics #997, where his chest muscles are prominent enough to show through his sweatshirt.