Villain Overview

Cold? COLD?! You don't know cold. Cold is being the only survivor of a dead world that got obliterated in a multiversal holocaust. Cold is being locked up because you tried to do the right thing. Cold is what this universe has made me. Cold is what you all made me.
~ Superboy Prime's most famous quote.
I'll kill you! I'll kill you to death!
~ Superboy Prime to Monarch.
~ Superboy Prime
I want to say yes. And I see a world where I do and I'm loved by everyone. I'm accepted. I become a hero again. The kind of hero I always hoped to be... but wasn't. But it's a world without my parents. Without Laurie.
~ Superboy Prime

Superboy-Prime, whose real name is Kal-El, was one of the many variations of Superman in the DC universe, but became unhinged following the destruction of his world and became one of the main antagonists of the Infinite Crisis storyline. He had even more power than the current Superman and was comparable to the Silver Age Superman in terms of power, making him easily one of the most powerful supervillains in DC Comics. He makes his debut in DC Comics Presents #87.


Crisis on Infinite Earths

The Crisis on Infinite Earths, a multiversal catastrophe in the form of a wave of anti-matter, consumed parallel dimensions by the Anti-Monitor. Superboy aided hundreds of worlds during the crisis, but was ultimately unable to prevent the destruction of the Earth from his own dimension. Superboy later took part in the battle against the Anti-Matter in the Antimatter Universe. After the defeat of the Anti-Matter, Superboy and the others escaped to a Paradise Dimension offered to them by Alexander Luthor, Jr.

Superboy-Prime secluded himself from others within the Paradise Dimension, opting to replay events from his life on Earth Prime using crystals. Over time, Superboy-Prime becomes frustrated and attempts to reach out to Kal-L, the Superman of Earth-2. Superboy-Prime was then persuaded by Alexander, who had come to believe that the Paradise Dimension was the reason for Lois Lane's failing health, to help him return to reality. When Superboy-Prime hesitated, Alexander showed him the negative aspects of the Post-Crisis Earth, including the deaths of his parents and girlfriend in a car accident.

Altering Reality

Superboy-Prime, infuriated, shattered the barrier of reality. This assault resulted in shifts in DC continuity, including the resurrection of Jason Todd, the combining of Superman's origins, the Doom Patrol's rebooting as new characters, Donna Troy's multiple origins, the various incarnations of Hawkman and the different incarnations of the League of Super-Heroes.

Countdown to Infinite Crisis

Eventually, Alexander reveals to Superboy-Prime that his powers are returning, and the two combine forces to break through the barrier wall. Together, they set into motion the events that culminate in Infinite Crisis. In quick succession, Superboy-Prime destroyed the ecosystem of Thanagar, initiating the Rann-Thanagar War, and attacked the JLA Watchtower, capturing Martian Manhunter in the process.


Originally destined to be the greatest superhero and the world's chosen champion in the fight against evil, Superboy-Prime, left scarred by the traumatic events he witnessed, has become a brutal killing machine. Years of isolation in the paradise dimension while endlessly viewing the events of a life he could no longer have put severe stress on his already fragile mind. During Infinite Crisis when the turning point came and he accidentally killed several heroes his mind finally snapped and he retreated into denial of the horrific nature of his actions.

After being further imprisoned by the Flashes and spending three more relative years imprisoned again, Prime has buried any remorse or compassion under an insane belief that since he is a Superman, everything that he does is right and views any other reality apart from his own as an imperfect duplicate of his world. All of this has left Prime in a psychotic state of mind unable to distinguish the morality of his own actions and the ability to commit even the most heinous of deeds with no guilt at all. Hellbent on nothing but killing numerous superheroes while also leaving an endless wave of utter destruction in his wake and as such, he is one of the most dangerous villains in the universe.

Powers and Abilities

Superboy-Prime has had a collection of powers over time, being one of the many alternate Supermen of DC comics he possesses standard Kryptonian powers but was able to amplify them via power-armor and other devices: over the course of the Crisis Superboy-Prime became more and more powerful, at the peak of his power he had absolute control over time to the point he could create pocket universes.

Also, due to Superboy-Prime being from another universe, he was immune to most of Superman's weaknesses, such as magic and kryptonite - his power-suit was also designed to constantly feed him yellow sun radiation and keep him at peak power even when exposed to red sun radiation.


I do hate myself. I hate what I've become. They turned me into this monster. They turned me into a villain. I was Superboy once. I was a hero once. And they all took it from me. And for that, they're all gonna pay.
~ Superboy-Prime.
You fooled everyone into believing you were actually Superboy. You don't even have a cape. You're a loser, Conner. A fake. You don't deserve to wear that symbol. You're not special! YOU'RE NOT SUPERBOY! I AM!!!
~ Superboy-Prime to Kon-El.
Hey. HEY! Don't think I can't hear you out there, you stupid worm! Don't think I don't know who you are. From Venus or the Wildlands, it doesn't matter! I see you to, y'know. I can't believe...after everything they've're all still here. Well GOOD! Just wait until you see what I'm gonna do to Billy.
~ all of us.


  • He was created by Elliot S. Maggin and the late Curt Swan.
  • Superboy-Prime wasn't born with his superhuman abilities, as he was a normal being unlike most Kryptonians in the pre-Crisis era.
  • The reason the character's name temporarily changed from "Superboy" to "Superman" was because of a real-life legal battle between the Siegel family and DC/Timer-Warner. However, after certain legal decisions were made concerning the trademark, the character was allowed to be called Superboy-Prime again.


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Theatrical Movies
Superman: Lex Luthor | Otis | Eve Teschmacher | General Zod | Non | Ursa
Superman II: General Zod | Non | Ursa | Lex Luthor | Otis | Eve Teschmacher | Rocky
Superman III: Ross Webster | Corrupted Superman | Vera Webster | Lorelei Ambrosia
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace: Lex Luthor | Nuclear Man
Superman Returns: Lex Luthor
Man of Steel: Sword of Rao (Zod, Faora-Ul, Nam-Ek, Jax-Ur, Tor-An, Car-Vex, Nadira & Dev-Em II)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev | Mercy Graves | Cesar Santos | Amajagh | Joe Chill | Zod | Steppenwolf

Direct-to-video Movies
Superman: Brainiac Attacks: Brainiac | Lex Luthor | Mercy Graves | Mister Mxyzptlk
Superman: Doomsday: Lex Luthor | Superman Clone | Doomsday | Toyman | Mercy Graves
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Lex Luthor | Major Force | Metallo | Amanda Waller | Toyman | Solomon Grundy | Gorilla Grodd | Killer Frost | Lady Shiva | Giganta | Mongul | Captain Cold
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Darkseid | Female Furies (Granny Goodness, Gilotina, Mad Harriet, Lashina & Stompa) | Doomsday
All-Star Superman: Lex Luthor | Solaris | Parasite | Bar-El & Lilo-El
Superman vs. The Elite: The Elite (Manchester Black, Coldcast & Hat) | Atomic Skull
Superman: Unbound: Brainiac
The Death Of Superman: Doomsday | Lex Luthor | Intergang (Bruno Mannheim) | Mercy Graves | Cyborg Superman
Reign Of The Supermen: Cyborg Superman | Darkseid | Parademons | Lex Luthor | Mercy Graves
Superman: Red Son: Superman | Brainiac | Lex Luthor | Batman | Superior Man
Superman: Man of Tomorrow: Parasite | Lobo | Lex Luthor

Video Games
Emperor Zaas

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