Superboy (Kon-El) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the DC Comics universe. A modern update of the original Superboy, who is a younger version of Superman, the character first appeared in Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993), and was created by writer Karl Kesel and artist Tom Grummett.
Originally a metahuman clone of human origin genetically engineered to look like Superman with simulated powers, he was retconned in Teen Titans (vol. 3) #1 (September 2003) as a Kryptonian/human hybrid of Superman and his arch nemesis Lex Luthor.
After Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday, Executive Director Paul Westfield of Project Cadmus wanted to create a clone replacement of Superman that would follow the agendas of Project Cadmus as well as his own personal agenda. Failing to acquire the bodies of Superman and Doomsday by federal authority when Lex Luthor (in a clone body posing as his own son) and his security force Team Luthor puts a halt to their plans, a Cadmus team secretly steals Superman's body from the tomb with Westfield overseeing the entire operation. Superman's body was sent to the Project Cadmus genetic research facility to begin the planning stages of creating the clone in secret via a DNA sample from Superman and implanted brain pattern scans taken when Superman was alive by the genetically engineered "DNAlien" Dubbilex. After the Guardian discovered what Westfield had done, Westfield was able to convince him that it was for a noble purpose. Unable to create a clone because it was impossible to obtain a direct DNA sample from Superman's indestructible body, and because the usual cloning techniques were useless on his alien physiology, Superman's body was given an electron capillary scan by the other directors of Cadmus formerly known as the Newsboy Legion. They were able to use the results of the scan along with educated guesswork to create data stored on a disc that contained a close approximation of Superman's actual genetic code data. While the scanning team wanted to test the experimental "digital DNA" and thought about a suggestion made by the Guardian to make clones of the Guardian to fill the void during the DNA testing, Westfield wanted to create the clone of Superman immediately. He sends Auron, a cybernetic super-soldier cloned from the Guardian and created by Westfield's secret genetic engineering team, to retrieve the disk by force via the code word "Sanction Blue". Before Westfield could obtain the disk, the clones of the original Newsboy Legion convinced Auron that he was just like the original Guardian based on having a link with him via his DNA. He rebels against Cadmus and departs with the digital DNA disk to protect Superman's legacy.
After the Auron situation and the retrieval of Superman's body by Lois Lane, Supergirl, and Lex Luthor, Westfield and his secret genetic engineering team went by other means to create a Superman clone that they could immediately rush into production. Instead of a direct clone of Superman, they decided to genetically alter a human clone to look like Superman and made the clone to be the closest human equivalent to a Kryptonian as they could based on their research. Carl Packard, the project head of Auron's creation, was the project head for the clone's creation and was given full authority to explore whatever methods to create the clone while Westfield provided him with the sole DNA cellstock that he felt would make the clone easier to control. During their research when they had Superman's body, Westfield's scientists discovered an "aura" surrounding Superman's body that provided some of Superman's powers. The aura was translated into a telekinetic field for a human that would give the clone the ability to simulate Superman's powers such as flight, invulnerability, and strength. This was later known as "tactile telekinesis" by the scientists. After twelve failed attempts, the clone known as Experiment 13 was grown from a single cell to a teenage boy in less than a week and was a complete success. The clone was given implanted memories and underwent an artificial maturation process to match the age of the original Superman. This clone would later be known as Superboy.
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