Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pete Ross

Pete Ross was a moderately interesting character in the Superboy/Superman mythos. Young Clark Kent meets Pete in Superboy #86, when a couple of bullies pick on Clark in a theatre line. Ross soon sends the bullies packing and a friendship is struck.

But Clark has always avoided close friendships for a good reason: Because a buddy would notice if Clark suddenly disappeared all the time whenever an emergency came up requiring Superboy's services. And it turns out that Pete has a hobby that makes Clark a little nervous. He's recording information on Superboy's attributes and comparing those to Clark's. However, it all proves to be innocent, as Pete wants Clark to portray Superboy in a school play.

In Superboy #90, Pete discovers Clark's secret identity. Pete and Clark are camping out together when an emergency call goes out for Superboy. As Clark changes, a lightning flash reveals him in his Superboy costume.

This was a pretty big deal for DC, because Superman, their signature character, had never had anybody know his identity at that time aside from the Kents and Batman. Thus it would seem that Pete would become a significant character in the DC universe.

But as it worked out, there really wasn't a lot of use for him in the stories. In Superboy #94, Pete helps Superboy protect his identity, but you can only do that so many times before it becomes tiresome. At one point he was inducted into the Legion of Super Heroes because of his nobility in knowing Superboy's identity and not announcing it. But of course, once that's done, there's not much use for Pete in the Legion.

He did appear a few more times in Superboy and in Superman (as an adult) as well, but he was pretty much a marginal character despite what seemed like an exciting and promising beginning.

No comments: