Conduit, a Superman villain not seen in nearly 25 years is back, and has brought the wrath of the Superman Family down on his head in Action Comics.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Part Two of “A World Without Clark Kent,” in Action Comics #1045 ahead!
The Superman family is rallying together to stop the last villain fans expect: Conduit, who has not been seen in over 25 years! Conduit has returned with a vengeance: stealing the Genesis Fragment, which could potentially save Superman’s life; however, Lois Lane is not going down without a fight, bringing together the Man of Steel’s allies, including Jon Kent, Superboy, Supergirl and The Super-Man to track Conduit down in Part Two of “A World Without Clark Kent,” appearing in a backup feature in Action Comics #1045, on sale now in print and digital.
Conduit first appeared in 1994’s Superman: Man of Steel #0, created by Dan Jurgens and Louise Simonson. Conduit’s alias was Kenny Braverman, a childhood friend of Clark Kent. Exposed to Kryptonite radiation as an infant, Braverman developed special powers–and a deep hatred for Superman. Conduit was intended to be a major-league threat for Superman, on par with more established villains such as Lex Luthor, Brainiac or Doomsday, but fell flat on his arrival and after the “Death of Clark Kent” storyline in 1995, Conduit slipped into obscurity and has not been seen since. All of that has changed, as Conduit has returned, still motivated by his hatred for Superman–and willing to do whatever it takes to kill him.
Superman is away on Warworld, which has robbed him of his powers. Steel has created a machine, called the Genesis Reactor, powered by the mysterious Genesis Fragment, that could potentially give Superman back his powers and turn the tide of events on Warworld. Before the heroes can celebrate the good news, Conduit breaks into Steel’s lab, stealing the Fragment, calling it a “threat to national security.” As Conduit escapes, Lois Lane tells Steel that Conduit has no idea “what he just brought down on himself.” Lois then sends a signal out to various members of the Superman family, rallying them to search for Conduit and the Genesis Fragment. The story is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, illustrated by David Lapham, colored by Trish Mulvihill and lettered by Dave Sharpe.
DC had major plans for Conduit upon his first appearance, positioning him as a Doomsday-level threat, but this never materialized and Conduit would be yesterday’s news less than a year after his debut. Now, Conduit has another chance at the big-time, and he has made the most of it, stealing the Genesis Fragment–a move that could potentially doom Superman to his death. Furthermore, in Conduit’s hands, the Fragment could potentially be even more harmful–a fact Lois acknowledges. Lois knows how powerful Conduit is, and knows it will take the combined might of the entire Superman Family to stop him. Lois is right–Conduit has no idea what he has gotten himself into.
Since last year’s Infinite Frontier, many long-forgotten characters have returned to the DC Universe and now Conduit, the last character anyone expects, has joined their ranks. He has returned in a grand fashion, bringing down the collected wrath of the Superman family on his head.
Action Comics #1045 is available now from DC Comics.
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