Villain Spotlight: Superboy Prime (Part I)
Why hello there my beautiful minions! I know in recent times, I have been labeling a bunch of things as special or fuckawesome, but today, I actually have something for you that is really special…to me at least. It’s a wonder I haven’t profiled him yet, but today, you all get to bear witness to one of my favorite characters of all time. Most of you know I am not a Superman man. Not really a character I can get behind. I appreciate what he is and what he has done, but he is not for me. However, there is a member of the “Supes” family that I absolutely adore and can’t get enough of. Ladies and Germs, I bring to you the emotional unstable, super strong , hater of speedsters…Superboy Prime!!! Big Evil, this one is for you.
Crisis on Infinite Earths was released back in 1985, the year of the birth of your lord (myself of course) in a bid to streamline the ever growing, and somewhat confusing DC continuity. A huge mash up of every character you could possibly imagine, all appearing in one book (albeit a big book) as a way to sort of organize and introduce you to all the characters in the DCU, and kill off most of them at the same time. It is a pretty awesome read, and it gave birth to a brand new Universe for the DC characters to play around with. There were multiple versions of Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Superman, and a slew of others. One character however stood out to me more than the rest. Pariah, god bless that cursed man, was the leading character in the story, as he was shifted from universe to universe, simply just to watch it die, and hopefully warn others of the coming doom. Funny thing is, one of the Universes visited was one that included no heroes whatsoever….except one, but we didn’t know about it.
Before the first Crisis, Superboy Prime was just a regular kid, and by regular I mean a kryptonian who had no idea he was an alien, much like the heroes in his comic books. His parents, initially not wanting to name him Clark, gave him the name and a future villain was born. But not all started out all dark and gloomy. Prime loved reading comics, and loved the stories of heroes and villains battling it out for victory and freedom. At a party one night, a comet passes by the Earth and in the process, activates his powers. He soon after meets a version of Superman who made a crossover into his dimension, and Prime uses his powers to stop a tidal wave from destroying a city. Not a bad start right? Here is where things start getting real fucky and awesome. Prime’s universe is swallowed up by the Anti Monitor (oh how we love you AM, you’re a great plot device) during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and he is drawn into the fight against the Anti Monitor. He is upset at his world being erased from existence, but finds solace in the fact that he is fighting the good fight with the heroes. Oh how I love a decent fall from grace. Or shall we say a plummet? At the end of the Crisis, Prime, Alexander Luthor Jr, Lois Lane, and one of the other Supermen get encased in a paradise bubble that separates them from the rest of the DCU, as they felt they had no place after the Crisis. This leads into Infinite Crisis, and the glory that is Prime.
Infinite Crisis came out in 2005 and ran into 2006, and did another sort of retcon to the DCU in terms of killing off a bunch of characters and streamlining the universe again. In the process though, Prime was born out of his growing frustration and anger at being trapped in the paradise dimension, which doesn’t really sound all that fun to me. When I think of paradise, I think of Norway with delicious coffee and incredible books, but then again, I hate the sun and prefer the colder weather. Also, the machinations of Alexander Luthor Jr. drive Prime forward into his descent and give birth to one of the most feared villains in the DCU. If there is one thing comics have taught me, it’s never trust a Luthor. What comes next is so brutally sweet that I can almost barely put it into words. Prime, tired of being in the pocket dimension, begins to punch the ever loving shit out reality, and causes things to happen that really should not be happening. People come back to life, other people are erased from existence, and Prime begins a conquest of the Earth under Luthor’s sly suggestions. Kidnapping the Martian Manhunter, fighting Connor Kent while declaring the Earth only needs one Superboy, and it is Prime. He declares that every hero on the planet is acting like villains, and the only one who can stop them, is motherfucking Prime, which he does with brutal efficiency. He even kills a Teen Titan by punching her head off. This shocks him and he tries to explain his actions , but they are having none of it, and they go at him in full force. Big Mistake. You never try to fight an emotionally unbalanced near Demigod when he is crying. Trust me, that is not a battle you want. The whole time, I was rooting for Prime to beat the ever loving shit out of everyone, because that’s the shit that gets my pants all tight. Fantasy violence…and don’t judge me. Eventually, the Flash family is forced to use their speed to fight and trap Prime in an alternate dimension after ruining Luthor’s plans, and a hatred of the Speedsters is formed in Prime. That will come into play later, as they seem to be the only guys who can stop Prime (unfortunately).
A little while later, actually almost in the same battle, an older Bart allen comes out and tell the female Dr Light to warn everyone that Prime has escaped, and apparently has a new suit that just feeds him yellow sunlight, which enhances his already massive power. Fuck. Yes. He beats up some people, and then winds up getting angry with Luthor Jr. as he feels all of the Earths he has been stealing, are inferior to his Earth, but winds up meeting a furious Bart Allen, who after finding out Connor Kent is dead, proceeds to look for vengeance. Prime, now showing his true weakness, speedsters, flies off towards Oa in an attempt to start a new big bang in hopes of bringing his world back. This happens to be one of the most insane scenes in comic history, as Prime literally bulldozes through a wall of solid will energy, and proceeds to kill more Green Lanterns than has ever been recorded in history. He is then ambushed by two Supermen and pushed through Rao, a red sun that drains him of his energy. He beats the one Supes to death (YES) but is having a difficult time with the second. The second wounds up passing out from the fight, but not after delivering a boring as shit line telling him how truth, justice, and sucking balls is the right way to do things, but not before knocking out Prime as well. He is then carted off by more Lanterns, and imprisoned in a container surrounded by 50 Green Lanterns at all time, and a sun eater than constantly keeps him depowered. Total Bullshit. This is the last time we see Prime for a while, but not before he carves a sick looking “S” into his bare chest with his finger, leaving a bloody scar in the shape of the superman symbol. Fucking hardass.
So I was going to give you guys one long article, but I have since decided to cut this into two. Mainly because I do not want to overwhelm you all with the sheer evil majesty that is Prime. But trust me, next Friday, I will give you another dose of Prime, and his adventures in being one of my favorite villains. I’ll also give you guys some insight into why he has a king’s seat in my heart as a character, and why he is such a great character in general. Until next week geeks! Follow me on Twitter in the meantime! @ArthurHarkness
For further reading, check out Part II
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