September 25, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #332: Match

One Superboy was a clone. He later had one of his own.

After Superman died, DC Comics did something kinda neat and brought back four different Superman replacements.  In the end, none of them were the real Superman, but two stuck around for a while as good heroes in their own right.  One of those was Superboy, a clone copy of the original Superman…sort of.  Kryptonian DNA is hard for human scientists to replicate, but Conner Kent got to stick around for a while.

Of course, if you clone someone once, you can make some more.  That is what got us Match.

Now, to be clear, Match wasn’t a clone of Superman.  No,  he was a clone of Superboy created by a group of villainous cloning types calling themselves The Agenda, a name that is both horrifying and generic at the same time.  Match was, initially, something like an albino copy of Superboy, only somehow his own tactile telekinesis (Superboy’s actual superpower) was a lot stronger than the original’s, and it took a lot of power and smarts for Superboy to take him down.

Match, it should be noticed, was a rather smart villain, and when the Agenda actually kidnapped Superboy, Match even replaced Superboy for a time on the Young Justice team…probably when he did something about the white hair and pale skin.

Now, something like this would be the sort of character that might stick around, but he was also something of a favorite of his creator, then-Superboy writer Ron Marz.  It would stand to reason that Match would be forgotten about when Marz was no longer writing Superboy’s solo adventures.  And that is more or less what happened…until Geoff Johns brought the character back.

Johns at the time was writing Teen Titans, and in that book, Deathstroke decided to put together his own Titans team called “Titans East”.  Superboy was on the heroic version of that team, so Deathstroke recruited amongst his Titans Match.  Small problem:  Match wasn’t what he used to be.  Apparently being a copy of a copy isn’t a good thing to be.because Match was basically turning into a Bizarro.

I think this came from the Young Justice animated series tie-in book, but the point stands. He was a Bizarro.

That version, much dumber than he used to be, hung around for a while, even being possessed by sometime good guy, sometime bad guy Jericho for a while, until eventually he was incinerated by Superboy-Prime.  That is more or less the end of the character.

You know, until you consider he also appeared in the animated Young Justice series.

Then again, since Jimmy and I have moved on from the DCAU to Young Justice, that might have a lot to do with why I wrote this week’s column.

If so, maybe next week, I’ll cover Tigress.

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