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"Superboy" is the result of attempts commissioned by Lex Luthor to clone Superman, and the only known attempt to have not deteriorated into hideous mutant. Shortly after Superman was killed in battle with Doomsday, the clone awoke and escaped from his containment pod, picking up a nearby jacket before exiting the lab. Six months after the death of Superman, the clone was trained to master his superpowers and educated in social graces by watching television shows from the 1990s. He gained popularity and intrigue stopping petty crimes in Metropolis, dubbed by the media as one of four new "Supermen," alongside the Eradicator, Steel and Cyborg Superman. Lex Luthor officially introduced him as the official, LexCorp-affiliated Superman at a private gala, but the event was attacked by the Eradicator. Superboy tried to fight him back but was quickly overpowered, only managing to not be killed thanks to Steel's timely intervening.

Lex Luthor conducted a publicity campaign for Superboy as mass opinions swayed in favor of the other Supermen, naming him head of LexCorp Global Security. Superboy was instructed to, alongside the Justice League, guard President Dale during the launching of the new Watchtower. A strange portal suddenly opened in the sky, from which emerged Parademons. A battle ensued where Superboy was knocked unconscious while Cyborg Superman rescued the President, and the portal fell to the ground, swallowing the Justice League.

Days later, the Justice League was presumed deceased and Cyborg Superman was widely accepted as the one, true Superman. Infuriated by the latter, Luthor took Superboy down to the company laboratory where he was born, and prepared a syringe of kryptonite to kill the young clone with. Luthor told Superboy the truth: His genetic makeup was half Superman, and half DNA from Luthor himself. Fortunately, Dabney Donovan, a scientist behind Superboy's creation, convinced Luthor that he was too great an advancement in cloning to simply kill. Instead, Luthor released the mutated clones from stasis, and left Donovan to be killed while he and Superboy left in the elevator.

Shaken and disillusioned by the nature of his relation to Luthor, Superboy shut himself up in his penthouse. Lois Lane snuck in looking for Lex, and Superboy confided in her. She buoyed his faith in himself with kind encouragement, and when Steel contacted her while under attack by the Eradicator in the Fortress of Solitude, Superboy decided to go help him. As a show of deviance to Luthor, Superboy tore off the LexCorp brand emblems from his jacket before departing. He reached the Fortress in time to discover Superman had been revived via Kryptonian technology, and agreed to help him, the Eradicator and Steel stop Cyborg Superman, now revealed as a vindictive Hank Henshaw, from opening a portal for Darkseid's legions. While Superman and Lois battled Henshaw, Superboy and Steel fought humans empowered and brainwashed by Apokolips tech.

Following the victorious battle, Superman introduced Superboy to Jonathan and Martha Kent, who accepted him into their family. He was then given the name "Conner," and settled into life as a normal teenager.

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