Howdy and Hello! Welcome back to our coverage of the pilot episode of DC Universe’s Superboy–I mean Titans season 2 episode, “Conner” that focuses on everyone’s favorite Super-clone, Superboy! So kick back and relax and mostly forget about Jason Todd falling in midair from the last episode and let’s get into it. And beware spoilers ahead!
1. I feel like bustin loose
Do you remember the ending of season one of this show when a naked person with a Superman tattoo broke out of a tube and also broke out a white dog? Well here we are nearly a year later and we are ready to pick that story up and run! Subject 13 and the dog have really wrecked Cadmus labs before beefcake Subject 13 finds out Krypto’s name from his tag and looks at the security uniform he has picked up and takes the name Conner from someone who was unlucky enough to have this shift at Cadmus Labs. The two sweet boys shake hands because this episode is catered specifically for me.
The next morning, a hungover lead scientist, Eve Watson is brought in to take control of this situation and to add additional pressure, Lex Luthor has sent his head of security, Mercy Graves. Watson explains Conner’s whole deal in that he’s experiencing everything for the first time and he has the mind of a child.
2. Baby Boy in the Big City
Meanwhile, Conner is walking down the street and getting a sense of his superhearing and starts to hear Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day” as he steps into the sunlight and that is when I personally fell in love with this version of Superboy. Connor then sees his Geoff Johns, Mike McKone era Superboy t-shirt and instantly wants it so he can be #comicsaccurate but the mean vendor man yells at him and triggers a memory from one of his clone daddies of an abusive Lionel Luthor. The vendor calms Connor down and tells him about the worst thing this pure boy has to learn about this world…money.
Connor stops a mugging because Superman is his other clone daddy. During this, he gets excited to learn that the woman the mugger was mugging has money which leads him to throw the whole mugger away and excitedly ask “Can I have your money?!” because he wants his shirt. Yes, he accidentally also mugged this woman but he IS SO CUTE, I cannot be mad!
While Connor is having his big day in the city, Team Cadmus is giving us a lot of exposition on Luthor’s involvement in this project and prepping the strike team to hunt for our sweet Super son. The vehicles for Cadmus’s little squad pass by prompting Connor and Krypto to want to make like a banana and split and what better place than to the home of both of his clone daddies, Smallville!
3. Somebody SAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEE
So Conner enters Kansas with a BAD Wizard of Oz reference and despite the flashback leading him to Kansas being a memory of Superman’s he finds himself on the doorstep of the Luthor residence with an old and blind Lionel Luthor sitting on the doorstep. Connor’s dual clone daddies personas really clash during this scene. He comes in remembering the house as the Kent home and as Lionel makes tea and talks about his son Conner gears up to hit Lionel in the same way he remembers Lionel hitting a young Lex but stops himself before he does.
The two have dinner and Lionel offers Conner a glass of brandy which he then spits back into the cup because he is baby. Lionel is proud of his son and talks of Lex being more than he could ever hope to be to which Conner asks “Why did you beat him?” The mood turns dark as one could expect. Lionel justifies beating Lex because he wanted to beat the evil out of him to which Conner combats because Lex’s memories are his memories. When Lionel finally asks “Who are you?” that’s when Cadmus bursts through the door and we get to have a little fun.
This fight scene is really good. We get a taste of Conner’s full power set and we get to see him learn he’s faster than a speeding bullet in protecting Lionel. Krypto also uses heat vision! Conner gets to put people through walls in slow motion which is very satisfying to watch and he also has my favorite silly Superman ability of super-breath. If all of these elements didn’t make this such an excellent fight, KRYPTO CATCHING A ROCKET LIKE A FRISBEE AND TOSSING IT BACK AT THE PERSON would do it!Continued below
I don’t love Superman characters killing and it does leave a bad taste in my mouth but overall the show keeps Conner earnest enough and maybe the idea that he doesn’t know any better lets me excuse it more so than I can in two major motion pictures featuring Superman in the past decade.
4. Conner and Eve
Following this fight, Conner uses his X-Ray vision (which sounds a lot like the sound effect from Smallville ). Finally the creator and creation meet. She explains a little bit about his origin as a clone of two daddies, Superman and Lex Luthor who she describes as “very smart” and not much else. Cadmus is coming for Conner as Conner yearns to know more about himself. Eve makes the decision to go rogue on Cadmus and the trio of Conner, Eve, and Krypto hit the road.
Eve tries to give more insight into Conner’s origin by saying it wasn’t wrong to create him because there’s no such thing as a wrong scientific experiment. She states that she wanted to be the one moral human being on the Cadmus team. Both statements will be very interesting later.
Conner also asks can he call her mom.
While stopped at a restaurant Conner tries to keep a man hurting his partner but Eve stops him to keep Cadmus off their tail in a mom like fashion. Connor gets angry and frustrated and super yells. Eve’s response is to take him to somewhere where Conner can find out what he is.
In San Francisco, Eve has driven Conner to an abandoned Cadmus facility to show off Lex Luthor’s mad scientist lab. Eve goes back on her words about there not being bad science experiments with examples like Tuskegee, Mk Ultra and the Nazis. Eve is wallowing in the guilt that she gave Lex Luthor the idea to use his own genes to clone Superman and her not going against Cadmus before it got too far. She also shows him a dead clone lab which is…gross. He begins to choke Eve and quotes Lionel Luthor’s “What the hell’s the matter with you” which is a motif of his when it comes to violence. Conner thinks he’s a monster. Eve tries to get him to understand that he’s neither Lex Luthor or Superman, he’s a person and life is complicated. She also gives him a very good lesson that people aren’t what they say they’re going to do, they are what they do. This is a great superhero speech, but she follows it up immediately with a Zack Snyder-Esque “run, do not help people, hide your powers” speech because Cadmus is coming. Conner escapes before Mercy Graves pulls out a kryptonite bullet and says she’s doing this her way.
5. I GENUINELY FORGOT WHAT SHOW THIS WAS
Conner walks down this San Francisco street and forces himself to ignore a man being beaten taking Eve’s words to heart. He then hears an explosion and sees a window washer thingie hit the ground. He then watches the last few seconds of last weeks episodes and hosp, skips, and jumps his way to catch Jason Todd midair and the two smash safely on top of a car. Conner has a really good reply to Jason asking who he was with, “I’m not super sure yet.”
Jason and Connor demonstrate that they have really good chemistry before Mercy Graves busts a Kryptonite Cap into Conner’s chest. Dick and Kori from DC Universe’s hit show Titans come to check on this bleeding sweet child thus beginning the crossover between this pilot episode of DC Universe’s Superboy and Titans .
But no joke I was truly surprised to see the regular cast members of this show at the end. I feel like I have been so conditioned that Superman media is always so self-contained that it feels weird to have such fleshed out and satisfying Superman lore in a tv show that just isn’t about Superman
Overall this was a really solid episode and a very good introduction to the Boy of Steel, but boy oh boy does Titans love to do a cliffhanger and follow it up with a nonsequitur episode. I guess we will have to tune in next week to see if “Bruce Wayne” has anything to do with the events of this episode. See you then!