Every day we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator. These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Pre-Crisis Superboy Stories Ever Told!
10. “Pete Ross’ Super-Secret!” Superboy #90
For awhile there, Pete Ross actually seemed like he was going to be a really interesting character. His intro four issues earlier was a good story (where Pete seems like he’s learned Superboy’s secret but really didn’t) and then you have this tale, drawn by George Papp, where Pete discovers Superboy’s secret but is such a good guy that he decides to keep it a secret from everyone – INCLUDING not letting on to Superboy that he knows! Interesting set-up that they never really did a whole lot with over the years (although one of the stories on this list DID use it well).
9. “The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent!” Superman #161
Leo Dorfman and Al Plastino tell this tragic tale of when Superboy’s parents lost their lives to deadly virus. Their deaths shake Superboy’s world so much that he briefly quits being a superhero (as he believes that they caught their virus in the past when he took them time traveling).
8. “Judge, Jury and No Justice!” DC Comics Presents #14
This issue is technically part two of a story, but this is the only issue that Superboy appears in it. Pete Ross switches bodies with Superboy in an attempt to punish Superman for Superman not protecting Pete’s son, Jon. Paul Levitz wrote it and Dicks Dillin and Giordano drew it.
7. “The Super-Dog from Krypton!” Adventure Comics #210
Krypto makes his debut in this delightful tale by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Sy Barry. Here, Krypto is just a standard dog and he can’t help but accidentally almost ruining Clark Kent’s secret identity repeatedly. Luckily, eventually Krypto goes off on a space adventure. He doesn’t return for many years, at which point he is Superman’s problem to deal with (Superboy likely noted, “Phew, let future me deal with this.”
6. “How Luthor Met Superboy!” Adventure Comics #271
Jerry Siegel and Al Plastino reveal how Lex Luthor came to hate Superboy (and therefore, Superman).
The top five is on the next page!
5. “Mordru the Merciless!” Adventure Comics #369-370
Most Legion of Super-Heroes classics tend to de-emphasize Superboy a bit. He is often more of a supporting player in the proceedings (partially because he is so powerful that he doesn’t give the others much to do if he is more actively involved). In this story, which introduced the classic Legion villain, the sorceror Mordru, Superboy gets more of a spotlight, as a group of Legionnaires travel through time to Superboy’s time to hide in Smallville from Mordru. Things don’t go as planned and Superboy’s memory is lost, leaving it to his friend Peter Ross to save the day. Jim Shooter wrote it and did layouts for it, Curt Swan and Jack Abel drew it.
4. “Superboy’s Big Brother!” Superboy #89
This is not the first and nor would it be the last time that Superboy encountered mysterious teens from other planets. Mon-El, though, stood out from the rest. His set-up is great, with Superboy thinking that he is a fellow Kryptonian, only to learn that he is actually from another planet – just in time for Mon-El to nearly DIE! And only by sending him to the Phantom Zone can Superboy keep him alive! Classic stuff. Robert Bernstein wrote it and George Papp drew it.
3. “The Boy of Steel vs the Thing of Steel ” Superboy #68
Otto Binder and George Papp introduced Bizarro for the first time in this classic tale, which greatly evokes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
2. “The Legion of Super-Heroes” Adventure Comics #247
Otto Binder and Al Plastino introduce Superboy to a group of young super-heroes from the future who invite him to become a member. In this story, Superman becomes the first of many Legion characters to get jerked around by his teammates for some mysterious reason (here it is to test Superboy’s ability to deal well with his teammates messing with him).
1. “The Impossible Mission!” Superboy #85
Jerry Siegel and George Papp gave us this classic where Superboy goes back in time to prevent the assassination of Abraham Lincoln only to run afoul of the adult Lex Luthor, who happened to be hiding out in the time stream. Luthor incapacitates Superboy and then gloats over his victory before realizing (too late) why, exactly, Superboy is in the past. It is always interesting when Lex shows other sides to his character, like how he wants to support the president.
That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let us know!