Superboy learns how exactly he wound up as a member of the latest Suicide Squad, with links to a familiar foe from his past.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Suicide Squad Annual #1, on sale now from DC.
From the current Suicide Squad’s first teases during Future State, Superboy has been teased as one of the heaviest hitters of the Infinite Frontier era Task Force X. Forced by Amanda Waller to join the team after being held in captivity for an indeterminate amount of time, Conner Kent has proved vital in saving the team from total annihilation as Waller has set her sights on the entire DC Multiverse. And after the team’s recent incursion to Earth-3 to forcibly recruit a new member from the Crime Syndicate of America, Conner makes a startling discovery as the Suicide Squad returns to the main DC Universe.
When confronted by the real Superboy, this Superboy learns that he is really the familiar Teen Titans foe Match in Suicide Squad Annual #1 by Robbie Thompson, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Dexter Soy, Chris Sotomayor and Wes Abbott.
After escaping from the Crime Syndicate following their capture of Black Siren on Earth-3, the Suicide Squad returned to a remote bunker only to be discovered by Superboy. As Task Force X’s Young Adult of Steel confronts this leather-jacketed vision of Conner, it becomes clear that this isn’t the Earth-3 Superboy. And with the leather jacket-wearing Superboy is the original, true Conner Kent of Young Justice fame, the Suicide Squad’s Superboy learns he is the latest iteration of the genetically flawed clone Match as the physical exertion from fighting against the actual Superboy results in him visibly degrading and causing his mental patterns to resemble that of Bizarro.
Created by Ron Marz and Ramon Bernado in 1997’s Superboy #35, the original Match was created by a clandestine organization known as the Agenda from genetic material stolen from a captive Superboy. Implanted with Conner’s memories and boasting improved powers, Match proved to be a formidable opponent until the cloning process behind his creation was revealed to be imperfect, resulting in his genetics beginning to break down and cause him to act more and more like Bizarro. After being recruited by Deathstroke to serve on the villainous Teen Titans East, the original Match was eventually killed by Superboy-Prime, with resulting clones harvested from his raw genetic material destroyed by a Kryptonite blade wielded by Ravager.
The bunker where the Suicide Squad retreated after their time on Earth-3 is revealed to contain a chamber full of Superboy clones, with Waller secretly manufacturing her own army of Superboys as part of her agenda to reshape the multiverse in her image. As the fight between Match and Superboy escalates, the bunker is exposed to the world, forcing Waller and her team to go into hiding as they are now wanted by the DCU’s superhero community for tampering with the genetic material of one of their own.
Waller’s treatment of Superboy was always particularly cruel, dismissing him as little more than a failed clone to his face. With the revelation of what her secret bunker contained, underscores Waller’s assertion and how far she will go on her mission, though this overreach has left her on the run on her own world. And with Match now aware of his true identity, the cloned Superboy remains as unstable as ever. Although he is restored to his normal appearance, the possibility remains that he will eventually revert to his Bizarro-like form once again and turn against the rest of the Suicide Squad… and the woman who oversaw his creation in the first place.
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