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"Superboy: "The Boy of Steel, Part Five"": At the old Luthor farm, Superboy is lying in the foyer, suffering the effects of kryptonite exposure at the hands of Lex Luthor. This is coupled with the shock of the revelation that Luthor is
- Whisk fern tea helps me think. And I need to think.
Appearing in Superboy: "The Boy of Steel, Part Five"
Synopsis for Superboy: "The Boy of Steel, Part Five"
At the old Luthor farm, Superboy is lying in the foyer, suffering the effects of kryptonite exposure at the hands of Lex Luthor. This is coupled with the shock of the revelation that Luthor is the uncle of his classmate Lori. Luthor explains he took pains to hide his connections to Smallville, and muses that he should have also buried his sister and her daughter. He is interrupted by Lena Luthor descending in her wheel chair.
Superboy asks Luthor what he wants, which leads to him interrupting Luthor's normal rant that Superman is a menace that holds mankind back and preventing him from being the humanitarian he should be. Superboy calls him on it stating that he cannot even cure his invalid sister. After some goading, and having it pointed out that Superman is not currently on Earth, he agrees to, but holds his niece at gunpoint. He threatens to kill Lori unless Superboy not only helps him, but does so without telling anyone else. Superboy dislikes it, but agrees to Luthor's terms.
The first task Luthor gives him is to collect a fresh sample of a prehistoric whisk fern. Superboy is incensed when he and Krypto return with it to learn that Luthor wanted it to make himself some tea. Luthor explains that it is part of his though process.
He then sets Superboy a series of tasks to collect ingredients for the serum to cure his sister. These include:
As these are collected, Lori asks her uncle why he left, He explains that after their father's death, their aunt volunteered to care for Lena. This freed him leave for the outside world and his dreams of building an empire. Lori then asks if he misses talking with her mother. Luthor is about to answer, but is interrupted by Lena rambling that she is glad their father is gone and that her big brother is watching out for her. This prompts a moment of silent reflection from Luthor.
Once the components are collected, Luthor turns to concocting the cure. Superboy questions what he is doing though, pointing out he may have requested the components for a weapon or a new form of kryptonite. Luthor answers back that Superboy will just have to trust him.
Eventually he produces a syringe full of a green liquid. He injects Lena with the compound and its effects rapidly become apparent. She stands and finds her mind has cleared. As she and Lori talk, Superboy acknowledges that Luthor has worked a miracle. This is short lived. As Lena thanks Luthor, he injects her with a second, purple compound. This undoes the effects of the first. Superboy flies into a rage, slamming Luthor into a wall and demanding to know why. Luthor's simple answer is "Lex giveth-- --and Lex taketh away." And that he will keep the secret until Superman is dead. Superboy throws Luthor through a window and takes the fight outside. He is interrupted from seriously hurting Luthor by Brainiac. The fight culminates in Lori pointing a gun at Luthor and threatening him to help her mother again, or else. Unmoved, Brainiac teleports himself and Luthor away.
Later, Superboy recounts the events around a campfire with his friends. He noted the worst of it that Luthor produced the cure and used it, only to take it away again. The encounter did clarify something else for him though, that he would never be like Luthor.
Aboord Braniac's ship Luthor and Brainiac argue about the value of the encounter. Luthor maintains that it was necessary as it has allowed him to stop thinking of Superboy as his son and as only a mistake, a failed experiment. He turns to Project "Alien Farm", his current attempt in which he is using Coluan DNA rather than Kryptonian.
- The two serums are green and purple. These two colours have long been the palette associated with Lex Luthor's technology, most notably his power armor.
- This issue would be #509 under the Volume 1 numbering.
- No trivia.