Superman is considered the primary hero of the DC Universe, and in places, the first super-hero of the DC Universe.
But, for a time, there were heroes on Earth that predated Superman, but not the younger version of Superman, Superboy.
Here's a quick bit of history on two of DC's founding super-heroes, and a unique thing that links them together!
Superman First Appearance
Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1
(June, 1938) by Jerry Siegel
and Joe Shuster
, with the basics of his origin (coming from another planet, with strength and speed beyond those of ordinary men), fighting against injustice, working as reporter Clark Kent for the Daily Star, working along side Lois Lane.
As the years went by, more details were added to the origin and life of Kal-L of Krypton, and he helped found the Justice Society of America
, joined the All-Star Squadron, and even married Lois
, as well as meeting many heroes from other worlds as well, as the world which this Golden Age Superman grew up and protected had come to be referred to as Earth-2.
Superboy First Appearance
On the other hand, there was a world where Superman was just one of many heroes around, but young Superboy (Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El) was a lone hero for a time, first appearing in More Fun Comics #101
(January-February, 1945) by Jerry Siegel
and Joe Shuster
(though Green Arrow and Speedy got a rare cover), with Jor-El fighting the Science Council about the end of Krypton, and sending his son to Earth, where he would be found and raised by the Kents in Smallville, growing up and learning to use his powers, meeting the Legion of Super-Heroes
from the future, and eventually being the Superman who helps found the Justice League of America
, and meeting even more heroes, as this Superman on the world which was called Earth-1.
But, since being Superboy was a unique trait of the Earth-1 Superman, who trained young Clark Kent on Earth-2 to use his powers and be a hero?
Why, Superboy of course!
In the New Adventures of Superboy #15
(March, 1981) by Bob Rozakis
, John Calnan
and Tex Blaisdell
, "Superboy Meets Clark Kent". While fighting a freak tornado in Smallville, Superboy finds himself transported to another Smallville, but earlier in time (the early 1930s), and figures out he has not only transported in time, but to another dimension. While checking around, Superboy meets the young Clark Kent of this world, who has strength and speed beyond those of normal men, but was planning to join the circus.....so, Superboy starts to train young Clark in the use of his powers.
Then, in the New Adventures of Superboy #16
(April, 1981) by Bob Rozakis
, John Calnan
and Dave Hunt
, we see the results of "The Superboy Training Of Clark Kent". While training young Clark, Superboy meets his parents, John and Mary Kent (similar to his John and Martha), then tries to return to his own world. Young Clark tries to join the circus as the Masked Wonder, but instead saves the day as the main circus pole cracks. Instead of joining the circus, Clark decides his future would be better off being a hero. Superboy returns at this time, enlisting young Clark's help to crack the dimensional barrier to get home. The two Kryptonians succeed, with both ending up on their own Earth, wondering how the other fared, and continuing their growth into the Superman they will be, proving any Superman will help anyone, even himself!
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