Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at the most powerful, angriest fanboy ever: Superboy-Prime
Appearances in Heroclix: War of Light, Teen Titans, Arkham Asylum
First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #87
Team Affiliations: Sinestro Corps, Legion of Super-Villains, Legion of Doom, Red Lantern Corps, Star Sapphires, Black Lantern Corp
Created By: Elliot S! Maggin and Curt Swan
Superboy Prime comes from Earth Prime, a reality where the DC heroes are ficitonal comic book characters. He is adopted by Jerry and Naomi Kent who are unaware that infant Clark is actually Kal-El, transported away from a dying Krypton moments before its destruction. Prime lives a normal life until his 15th birthday when Haley’s Comet passes overhead and activates his Kryptonian powers. Earth-One Superman eventually makes his way to Earth Prime and meets his younger self.
Prime’s universe is destroyed by the Anti-Monitor during the Crisis on Infinite Earths though Prime himself escapes. Earth-Two Superman, Kal-L, orders Prime to escape with Alexander Luthor, Jr. And other heroes. Prime, however, feels the loss of his home world and fears that Kal-L will die so he refuses to go, instead fighting alongside Kal-L against the Anti-Monitor. The heroes triumph over the Anti-Monitor and Kal-L, his wife Lois, Superboy-Prime and Alexander Luthor, Jr. retire to a “paradise dimension” as sole survivors from their respective Earths.
Prime becomes depressed in this paradise. He constantly replays events from his life on Earth Prime and rarely talks to the others. When it all becomes too much for him, he tries to reach out to Kal-L but his hero is too occupied with Lois’ failing health. Alexander believes that Lois is dying because of the structure of the dimension itself and convinces Prime to “break out” from the dimension by showing him all the negative aspects of the post-Crisis Earth, including the death of Prime’s parents and girlfriend in car accidents.
Slowly, Prime’s powers begin to return and Luthor helps him break through the barrier wall. Unbeknownst to both, these attempts cause universal reverberations that alter the fabric of reality. The two begin “remaking” the universe in their image. Prime pushes several planets into different orbits, including Rann into Thanagar’s, which destroys Thanagar’s ecosystem and causes the Rann-Thanagar War. These rearrangement shifts the center of the universe away from Oa. Prime also destroys the JLA Watchtower and kidnaps Martian Manhunter.
After the work of Luthor and Prime, Kal-L breaks a portal open to the DC Universe where the residents return and meet Power Girl and Batman. Kal-L tells Power Girl, “when the universe was reborn, Earth-One became the primary world. The scraps of the remaining worlds were folded into it. But I finally realized – we saved teh wrong Earth.” Prime is jealous of Conner Kent as he believes that Conner is living the life he should have had. He also believes that the heroes of this Earth act more like villains than heroes. This leads to Prime attacking Conner in an attempt to take his place and brutally beating him. Conner is luckily able to activate his Titans homing signal bringing the Teen Titans, Doom Patrol and Justice Society of America to his aid. Prime accidentally kills Pantha during this confrontation which horrifies him, leading to him killing or wounding several more of the heroes. Feeling that they cannot stop Prime, Jay Garrick, Wally West and Bart Allen drive Prime into the Speed Force and banish him to a parallel world. Once there, they’re able to trap him in a facility bathed in artificial red sunlight where he remains for four years.
Hours later, an older Bart Allen now wearing Barry Allen’s Flash suit, emerges from the Speed Force and tells the female Doctor Light that Superboy-Prime has escaped and she needs to warn the other heroes. Prime reappears while Luthor battles a number of heroes freed from his tuning fork tower, Superboy wearing a power suit that looks eerily similar to the Anti-Monitor’s armor. This new armor feeds him yellow solar energy and boosts his powers to new heights. Superboy-Prime transports Black Adam to Earth-S with a mighty blow and tries to kill Wonder Girl. Conner is enraged and attacks Prime, sending both Superboys into the tuning fork. As they fight, they destroy the device and merge all the returning alternate Earths back into one. The resulting explosion kills Conner. With his tuning fork destroyed, Luthor decides to try and take over New Earth instead. Prime abandons his friend, however, as he believes that New Earth is inferior to any of the Earths from the Multiverse; especially his home, Earth Prime.
Bart Allen attacks Prime for revenge over his fallen friend, Conner. Prime eludes capture and heads towards Oa, hoping to destroy it and start a new Big Bang that would leave him as the universe’s only hero. The Green Lantern Corps creates a 300 mile thick wall of pure energy that Prime breaks through before slaughtering thirty-two Green Lanterns. Kal-El and Kal-L arrive, grabbing Prime and flying him through the red sun Rao in order to melt his armor away and drain him, as well as them, of his powers. The trio then crashes on Mogo where Prime proceeds to beat Kal-L to death. Kal-El battles Prime who claims that he is greater than Superman. Though both are powerless, Superman subdues Prime before collapsing and being rescued by the remnants of the Green Lantern Corps. The Guardians take Prime into custody, placing him in a cell with a red Sun-Eater and guarded by fifty Green Lanters. Alone again, Prime carves the Superman S-shield into his chest.
A year later, the Sinestro Corps attack Oa and release Superboy-Prime. Prime joins them and creates a new suit of armor with the Sinestro Corps symbol on it, becoming one of the Anti-Monitor’s heralds. He begins calling himself Superman-Prime and returns to Earth to attack its heroes. Prime waits for his moment and when the Anti-Monitor is weakened, he flies through his chest and hurls the dying villain into space for revenge of the destruction of Earth-Prime. Prime then battles both the Sinestro and Green Lantern Corps before an Oan sacrifices his life to try and destroy Prime. This fails, however, merely warping Prime back into the Multiverse.
Prime journeys through the new Multiverse in hopes of finding Earth Prime. He destroys Earth-15 in a fit of rage and is continually frustrated by his inability to recreate his “perfect” homeworld. He eventually finds the Monitors’ satellite and demands to be shown Earth Prime. The head Monitor, Solomon, reveals to Prime that Earth 51 is his perfect Earth though it is being ravaged by the Monarch, the heroes of that Earth and the Challengers. Prime goes to Earth 51 and confronts the Monarch, eventually ripping open his containment armor and seemingly destroying the entire Earth 51 universe.
At one time, it appears that Prime will survive all of creation and exist at the end of Time as the Time Trapper. This version of the Time Trapper finds his younger self lost in time and sends him to the 31st Century in order to try and destroy the Legion of Super-Heroes. Once there, the younger Prime learns of the Legion of Super-Villains and frees them, unaware that his villainous acts are what largely inspire them. He then joins them as they battle and killer several Legionnaires and other heroes. Superman (who had been brought from the 21st century), Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy are brought to the end of time by the Time Trapper who reveals himself as an aged Prime, unable to die after being shunted into the Multiverse. When a resurrected Conner Kent is able to scar the younger Prime in the 31st century, with it immediately appearing on the Time Trapper, Saturn Girl creates a plan. She uses the Time Trapper’s portals to recruit every Legion across the multiverse who are able to subdue the Time Trapper before transporting him back to the 31st century. Prime and the Trapper face each other and begin bickering, leading to Prime attacking his older self and creating a paradox that eliminates both and seems to destroy his destiny of becoming the Time Trapper.
This paradox returns Prime to Earth Prime. Once there he learns that his girlfriend and family have read all of his villainous deeds in DC comics and are now terrified of him. He lives in his parents’ basement as they support him out of fear of what he might do. He appears to have lost all of his powers and so spends his days collecting comic books and trolling DC comics online.
Eventually the Black Lanterns make their way to Earth Prime, lead by Alexander Luthor, Jr. Luthor seeks out Prime and returns his powers to him in an attempt to bring him to a heightened emotional state. Luthor then teases Prime with Black Lantern versions of Prime’s victims who Prime cannot damage. In a rage, he flies to New York and attacks DC headquarters in hopes of punishing the writers that he feels “made him this way.” Before he can, Luthor transports Prime back to his basement and begins destroying his comic book collection. Prime is dismayed and feels hopeless, so he puts on the Black Lantern ring. However, the ring reacts to his mixed emotions and shifts between the powers of the emotional spectrum before letting out a massive blast that destroys the Black Lanterns and ring itself. Overcome with emotion, Prime lays curled up on the floor until his girlfriend Laurie arrives with a broken arm. She comforts Prime and promises him that they will be left alone. Though this seems suspect as a Black Lantern ring appears on her hand.
The villain Headcase battles the Teen Titans and opens a wormhole that accidentally brings Superboy-Prime back to New Earth in full power armor. Enraged that he has been separated from his love, Prime vows to destroy the Titans and find a way home. He forms his own Titans consisting of Headcase, Zookeeper, Indigo, Sun Girl, Persuader, Inertia and three clones of Superboy before attacking Titans Tower. The combined might of reservist Teen Titans, Superboy and Supergirl is enough to defeat Prime and imprison him on the Source Wall.