One of the cool things about having three "super" characters with their own ongoing titles at DC is the potential for cross-over stories, and since the 'New 52' launched over a year ago, we haven't seen much of that until recently. Right now, DC is in the midst of their H'el On Earth story arc that follows Superman, Supergirl and Superboy in a big cross-over story that features the three characters' appearances in all three titles. In this story, the three have been fighting together against (or on the side of) H'el, a character of Kryptonian origin that seems to be on the attack against Superboy because he is a clone developed by N.O.W.H.E.R.E. But who exactly is H'el and why is he all of a sudden on the offensive against Kon-El? More importantly, will his actions serve to drive an even larger wedge between Superman, Superboy and Supergirl?
In the H'el On Earth story arc, H'el appears on the offensive against Superboy, hell-bent on eradicating the character due to the fact that he is a clone. Yet one of the interesting things about the portrayal of this character in the series is that he has given us some insight into Superboy's character. For example, in issue #14 of SUPERBOY, H'el analyzes Superboy mid-fight through dialog, revealing that Superboy is "both Kryptonian and human musculature," and that he "detects subtle but profound differences on a molecular level." Now, H'el could be referring to Superboy's telekinetic powers and the way that his power set varies from that of both Superman and Supergirl's, but that's not necessarily set in stone either. Could H'el be analyzing Superboy on a completely different level? Could he be seeing the character and his power set and observing him in ways that not even Superman can? Is it possible (and we know, we know...this is not likely) that Superboy could be stronger in some ways?== TEASER ==
In that same issue of SUPERBOY we see Superboy and Miguel out and about while Miguel tries to clear his friend's mind after a pretty traumatic experience. In the following scene, H'el appears before Kon-El and he begins speaking to him but he doesn't appear before Miguel -- meaning that H'el can choose who can see and hear him. That in itself is a pretty crazy power! H'el then proceeds to physically move Superboy to a different plane and challenge him to a fight since he is, after all, "an abomination to the House of El."
That got us thinking: what exactly are the extent of H'el's powers? Well, we know he is a telepath considering he clearly depicted the extent of his telepathy in SUPERBOY #14. And if he can communicate with other characters telepathically, there's a chance he can also read their minds, right? That would explain the scene we saw in SUPERMAN #14 where H'el explains his connection to Kal-El and his father. The question is, though, was H'el really Jor-El's "most prized and honored student, chosen to represent all of Krypton," or is he just using his telepathy so he knows what he needs to say? And if he did have that connection to Jor-El, and he was "chosen to represent Krypton," why doesn't Supergirl remember him?
H'el also seems to boast some telekinetic powers. In SUPERBOY #14 H'el is fighting Kon-El and Kon uses telekinesis against him, sending debris flying towards H'el's face, but H'el stops the debris and reverses it, hurling it in an attack against Superboy. Superboy also indicates that H'el is "stronger" than he is, right before his attack against H'el using his own T.K. fails.
However, perhaps his most interesting power is put on full display when H'el manipulates Supergirl, taking on the appearance of Superman following an explosion amidst a fight with the character. He is intentionally rude and abrasive towards Kara in an attempt to turn her away from Superman -- and it works. With the release of SUPERBOY #15 set to hit stores tomorrow, it's likely that we might see Superboy and Superman against Supergirl and H'el, and it will certainly be interesting to watch. Regardless of the outcome, it's interesting to see that this character who claims to be Kryptonian may actually drive these three to work together -- perhaps not now, but eventually. What do you think of H'el and the current H'el on Earth cross over story? Are you looking forward to see Supergirl and H'el take on Superboy and Superman? What do you think H'el's influence will be? Will it bring these characters together or serve to drive them further apart? And do you think H'el is really Kryptonian or do you, like Superman, also have your doubts?