I have just realized that there are only four issues that are usually used to summarize Tim and Kon’s Friendship. Batman-Superman #26 (Tim’s eulogy at Kon’s funeral), Teen Titans #37 (cloning Conner, though it started in 34), Adventure Comics #3 which I’ve talked about in length myself (the “I know you and support you” issue) and Red Robin #9 (the hug and gazing at each other’s eyes issues). But besides AC#3 they’re all mostly about Tim, so how about I give you one good “summary” issue of their relationship but for Conner.
Superboy v4 (2011) #7.
In this issue Conner helps Psionic Lad who intercepted a space ship calling for help. Basically Conner ends up being a victim to the lifeform found on the ship which makes him see his worst fear play out as if he was in a virtual reality game. In his case, he “travelled to the future” only to find that he really is Lex’s boy and he ended up destroying the JLA and most of the other heroes only leaving “C-list” ones.
Basically this nightmare could have taken him at any point of this ‘future’ but he ended up in a destroyed Smallville with one of his civilian friends (his cousin, no matter how they try to pass it since she is Lex Luthor’s niece : Lori) being deadly afraid of him (for good reasons, as I said, Conner has killed pretty much every one and everything he loves). Which is when we get this :
Here we see that Conner truly believes that Tim can turn any one into worthy heroes, that’s his level of faith in the guy. He also believes that if anyone can survive him, it’s Tim because he’d have the knowledge (as his bff) and the intelligence to deal with Superboy but also because obviously it didn’t happen all at once which means that the little ‘good’ part that was left in him is what kept Tim from being a direct victim…. at first.
Mostly, as I said, this nightmare could have taken him at any point in time during his killing spree :
He could have found himself at the moment he killed Cassie (while I don’t like the ship and think they were mostly crushes and not actually in love -which is another story- they still cared a great deal about each other and at this point either were together or had just broken up). But he didn’t.
Because his worst fear is the moment he gave up enough good that he tried to kill Tim, that Tim Gave Up on Him. Tim doesn’t give up on Kon. He’s the one person whom Conner trust to keep him from going too far, to stay by his side. But here ? Tim gave up to the point that he doesn’t hesitate to get Conner killed. Tim ! the one person who couldn’t stand Conner’s death.
It also shows how well he understand Tim, again. That he knows Tim can get to the point where he’ll have someone killed if they go too far, as we see in Red Robin #26 which was released 4 months after this issue, but in RR he’s still at the point where he gives himself excuses, where it’s insidious. Here Conner drove Tim to the point where he asks for Conner to be killed without a second thought, without an excuse, directly. Well he still asks for someone else to do it which supposes that maybe Tim can’t bring himself to do it.
And Tim gets killed because of him. Because of his plan.This is Conner’s worst fear. Not just killing everyone he loves. Being responsible for Tim’s death, for Tim’s descent into “coldness” (here’s the guilt for dying on his friends yay), for taking away everyone Tim loved.
Despite being about Conner’s general fear of his Luthor genes taking over :
[BTW this is Simon, Conner’s best (and pretty much only aside from Lori) civilian friend who apparently goes on to become Conner’s greatest friend and greatest enemy according to the Legion (which I will only accept if this is because his friendship with Tim can’t be put into this simple of a category). He’s pretty much a boy genius. Apparently he’s been helping Conner wipe out everyone.]
So as I was saying, Despite it being about Conner’s general fear of turning into a Luthor, it focused heavily on Tim, on how this change would affect Tim, on how Tim is used to represent the effect on the hero community and the world in general.
Bonus point of this issue : when Psionic Lad tried to reach Kon through his “dream”, his voice took Ma Kent’s form instead of Superman, making Ma Kent the Anti Lex Luthor in Kon’s eyes.