Subway Shorts – Who is Conner Kent?

Tim Drake’s attempts to escape continue in Detective Comics, as an older version of him from an alternate reality continues to drop some bombshells – like a best friend who seemingly has never existed!

Detective Comics 966
Written by James Tynion IV 
Art by Eddy Barrows and Adriano Lucas

The unlikely team-up between Red Robin Tim Drake and future Batman Tim Drake continues, as the pair spends the first half of the issue battling an escaped Doomsday. Thankfully, a paranoid Bat-Tim has a little something for everything in his utility belt, and the duo manages to get Superman’s former killer back in his cell with a little ingenuity.

Along the way, Bat-Tim explains the circumstances that led him to taking on the mantle of the Bat, including what happened to the other three former Robins: Dick Grayson walked away, Jason Todd got on the wrong side of mystical ninjas and Damian Wayne was taken out, by Bat-Tim, after he tried to burn the city down (meaning the future seen in Grant Morrison’s Batman 666 and the world of the future in Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans (vol. 3) 17 are one and the same). The younger Tim Drake is still horrified, but accepts Bat-Tim’s help to get home to his own world.

Before they part ways, the older Drake gives his younger self some advice.

Of course, Tim has no idea who Conner is… and Bat-Tim realizes that maybe his future isn’t set in stone… and he goes of to kill the person who finally pushed him into the role of Batman – Kate Kane, also known as Batwoman.

This is the second instance in the last few months of Conner Kent – the Superboy of the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe – being omitted from the current continuity. During the SUPERMAN REBORN arc, when Superman’s history was shown, Superboy was conspicuously absent from the recap of the Reign of the Supermen. And after a completely terrible reimagined Superboy was killed during the New 52, he hasn’t been heard from since.

I’ve been open about how much I’ve enjoyed Detective Comics since Rebirth, and if they manage to bring Conner Kent – Kon-El, Superboy, whatever – back into the mix, I may make it my favorite book of the year. Superboy was one of my favorite 1990s-created characters. Whether it was in his own book or Peter David’s YOUNG JUSTICE, and even Geoff Johns’ TEEN TITANS, the character managed to grow from a cocky clone of Superman to a well-rounded character who wanted to make his own way in the world.

And the fashion choices! Those were top notch. Let’s take a look at some of Conner Kent’s costumes through the years:

In his debut, he was a perfect encapsulation of the 1990s – the hair and the earring, the leather jacket and the belts. Is it any wonder no one could take him seriously?

Towards the end of his solo series, he changed things up a bit, most likely after realizing he looked like an idiot…

A much more traditional superhero costume, somewhat reminiscent of the future Superman costumes we’ve seen over the years. Without the cape, though, it just didn’t stand out all that much. Finally, he just gave up trying…

Black T-shirt with a red S and jeans. Simple, unassuming, the perfect costume for a kid who clearly doesn’t give a damn. This is probably his most well-known costume, as it was used in the Young Justice cartoon.

Will Conner Kent show up in the Rebirth era? I have a feeling he will, likely during or as a result of DOOMSDAY CLOCK, which begins next month. But which costume will he be in? I can’t wait to find out!