|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Kon-El is a DC Comics character.
He first appeared in 1993 in Adventures of Superman #500 following the Death of Superman storyline as a teenage clone of Superman, one of the four contenders to the name at the time. After Clark Kent returned from the dead the teenage Superman became known as Superboy. He moved to Hawaii and starred in his own eponymous comic. At that point he had no name other than Superboy, and was sometimes called by such informal monikers as Kid and SB. Later he helped form the team Young Justice. Eventually Superman gave him the Kryptonian name of Kon-El. At that point it had been revealed that Superboy was not a clone of Superman but rather an enhanced clone of Paul Westfield, the director of Cadmus Labs who had created Superboy to mimic Superman.
For a while Kon did not age and was stuck at 15, never to grow up. After the Sins of Youth storyline he began to age again. He also lost his powers for a bit at one point. He has an evil clone called Match.
Young Justice was later dissolved and Kon along with some of its other members joined the newly re-formed Teen Titans. In 2003 it was revealed/retconned that Kon was actually a hybrid of the DNA of Superman and the villain Lex Luthor. This led to a plotline where Kon worried about his own morality and was for a while mind-controlled by Luthor into fighting his friends and fellow superheroes. Also around this time Clark Kent gave Kon the human name of Conner Kent and sent him to live in Smallville with Clark's parents. This was the first time Kon had a sustained secret identity and had to really pretend to be a normal human teenager instead of living openly as simply Superboy. Conner Kent is called Clark Kent's cousin. Lex Luthor, however, has referred to Kon as a son.
Kon's powers are not identical to Superman's. He started out with a power called tactile telekinesis (TTK), which allows him to fly and gives him an invulnerable aura that can mimic superstrength. It also allows him to manipulate objects he is touching in a way that Superman cannot. Over the years since 2003 he has developed more Kryptonian powers such as heat vision.
During the Infinite Crisis event in 2005 Kon was killed by Superboy-Prime, an evil alternate universe version of Superman. Eventually he was resurrected in the 30th century by the Legion of Superheroes with the help of the same technology that earlier resurrected Superman, and he traveled back to the present together with Bart Allen, who was also resurrected from death in the future, to rejoin their team.
Kon's main goals in life are to be awesome, to save the world, and to grow up to be Superman again.
In September 2011 DC Comics relaunched/rebooted their entire universe. There is a Superboy character in the New 52 but his characterization and powers are very different from the original Kon. He is a clone of Superman and an unrevealed human donor.
In November 2010, Kon made his television debut as Superboy in the cartoon Young Justice. Though named after the comic, the members of the team are entirely different, with Superboy being the only person to appear on both teams. The characterization of Superboy is also very separate. He is far more angry and angsty. He does not have TTK and cannot fly, instead he has superstrength and superjumping and superhearing and can see in infrared. He is rejected by Superman in most of the storyline. Eventually he starts using the name Conner Kent as a cover, named Conner by Miss Martian, and with the last name suggested by Martian Manhunter when Superboy was unaware of its connection to Superman. In early S2, which takes place 5 years after S1, Superman does call him Kon-El and refers to him as "little brother". Originally believed to be a clone of Superman, later in S1 Lex Luthor approaches Superboy, reveals that he is the source of half Superboy's DNA, and calls himself Superboy's father.
Conner Kent was also introduced as a character in 2011 in the TV show Smallville in the season ten episode "Scion". In this version he began as a clone of Lex Luthor with implanted Lex memories, but those memories were later wiped and DNA from Clark Kent was added. The new DNA stopped clone degeneration and gave him Kryptonian powers, and Clark took him into the Kent family as a brother.
In general Kon is an upbeat character who likes hitting on people and hitting things.
In DCU fanon Kon is generally portrayed as bisexual/pansexual/omnisexual.
His power of TTK is used in many creative sexual ways in fanfic. It can be used to touch his partner(s) anywhere he wants, all over the body simultaneously, including penetration. It can also be used for ease of undressing or with various sex toys. And it can be used to restrain someone, leading to many bondage possibilities.
Kon entered Smallville fandom after the 2003 reveal of his parentage, long before he actually appeared on the show. The TV versions of Clark and Lex are very different from the comics versions. In comics fandom Kon is frequently the star of fic in his own right and is shipped with various people. In SV fandom he is generally used in fic pairing Clark and Lex (Clex) and treated as their son, though now that he has appeared on the show there is fic about his TV canon characterization and his relationships there. But for the 8 years prior his character in SV fic was either based on his comics characterization or was basically an OMC. Sometimes in Clex fic Kon is the offspring of an established relationship between his fathers, sometimes he appears and is the catalyst that draws the two of them together again after years of distance or enmity, or he has been raised by one and then reaches out to the other and reconciles them. Since Lex in Clex shipping is generally not evil, Kon is frequently created by someone other than him such as Lex's evil father Lionel Luthor when the couple is separated, or he is created by Lex and Clark in tandem when they are together. (Example fics are listed in the Smallville entry.)
In comics canon Kon has had long-term romantic relationships with the journalist Tana Moon and with Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl II). He also had a more briefly attempted relationship with Cassandra Cain (Batgirl II/Black Bat). In fic he is far and away most frequently paired with Tim Drake (Robin III/Red Robin), though there are also reasonable amounts of fic that pair him with Bart Allen (Impulse I/Kid Flash II/The Flash IV) or do a Kon/Tim/Bart OT3. There are also Kon/Tim/Cassie OT3 fics due to the canonical love triangle there. However, his flirtatious nature has led to Kon being a bit of a little black dress and thus he has slept with much of the DCU at least once or twice in fandom.
In the Young Justice cartoon Superboy and Miss Martian (M'gann M'orzz) have a romantic relationship, and in fic for that show he is most frequently written with her or Aqualad (Kaldur'ahm) or Robin (Dick Grayson).
- Living Up to the Legend by joyeuxnoel, a Bart/Kon ship manifesto (Mar 2005)
- I Was A Teenage Superhero by zeelee_penguin, a Tim/Kon ship manifesto (Nov 2004)
- Id, Ego and Superego by derryderrydown, a Bart/Kon/Tim ship manifesto (Dec 2004)