Why the Titans TV Series Is Using Superboy's Young Justice Origin

Young Justice Superboy Cadmus

The casting of actor Joshua Opin as a series regular on DC Universe's Titans confirms the post-credits scene of the Season 1 finale wasn't mere fan service, or a preview of a secondary storyline. Instead, the live-action series will make the origin of Conner Kent, aka Superboy, an integral part of the second season. And not just any version of Superboy, either, but one that's very close to the one on the animated Young Justice.

Of course, the similarities were apparent in that finale stinger, set "Somewhere in Metropolis," in which a shadowy figure in a white body suit lays waste to Cadmus Laboratories after breaking out of a containment pod, before freeing a dog with glowing red eyes (that is, Krypto). Given that brief tease, it was clear Titans would borrow its Superboy origin from Young Justice more so than from the comic books. And there's likely a good reason for that, beyond merely the popularity of the animated series.

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Also known as Kon-El, Superboy made his comics debut in 1993 as Cadmus' 13th attempt to clone Superman following the hero's death in his battle with Doomsday. Superboy took to the skies of Metropolis in a very '90s leather jacket and sunglasses in hopes of replacing the Man of Steel as the city's guardian. It was only later he learned he wasn't 100 percent Kryptonian, but rather a human/Kryptonian hybrid created using the DNA of Superman and his archenemy Lex Luthor.

Superboy 1990s

However, Young Justice omitted Superman's actual death from the backstory, instead depicting Superboy as a 16-week-old genomorph clone created by Cadmus to replace the Man of Steel in the event that the hero fell in battle, or else went rogue. Similar to the comics, Conner's Kryptonian DNA was patched with that of Luthor. But, while still in stasis in a containment pod, he was liberated by Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash.

The character description of Superboy in Titans reveals that Conner "is the angsty teenager of steel searching for purpose and the truth about his past. While looking for answers, he crashes into the world of the Titans, where he finds an unlikely home and surrogate family as well as revelations that carry more complications than he ever bargained for."

Titans - Cadmus Labs

By hewing close to Superboy's Young Justice origin, Titans presents viewers with a familiar version of the character while avoiding the necessity of wading into the death of Superman, or explaining who, or what, Doomsday is. Like Wonder Woman, the Man of Steel has been mentioned on Titans, but has yet to be depicted; it would be a shame to kill him off before he even makes his debut.

RELATED: Titans Releases First Official Look At Krypto

Following Young Justice's path allows Titans to streamline Conner's origin: He's a living weapon created in a laboratory using the DNA of Superman (and possibly Lex Luthor). It allows the would-be Superboy, who bears the iconic "S" emblem on his arm, to swiftly enter the action of Season 2 without being weighed down by the baggage of backstory. No Doomsday, just Superman.


Now streaming on DC Universe in the United States and Netflix in the rest of the world, Titans stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Anna Diop as Kory Anders, Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth and Ryan Potter as Garfield Logan, and guest starring Rachel Nichols as Angela, Seamus Dever as Trigon, Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger, Alan Ritchson as Hank Hall and Curran Walters as Jason Todd. Season 2 doesn't have a release date yet.

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