"Superboy: The Last Boy on Earth" was a four-part storyline that took place in issues #50-53 of Superboy (Volume 4). Written by Karl Kesel with illustrations by Tom Grummett, the storyline was inspired by the works of Jack Kirby; notably his 1970s sci-fi/adventure hero, Kamandi – the Last Boy on Earth. Kesel and Grummett re-introduced many of the characters from the original Kamandi title including Great Caesar, Prince Tuftan and Doctor Canus. Like the Kamandi title, "Superboy: The Last Boy on Earth" borrows many elements from the 1968 film Planet of the Apes.
The Wild Lands is an uncharted island located in the Pacific Ocean between the continental United States and Hawaii. It is populated by a race of evolved animal people known as Furries, who have developed their own society and political structure. The capital city of the Wild Lands is Roam (named for ancient Rome) and is ruled by a tiger-man known as Great Caesar. One of Roam's more disreputable citizens is the serpentine trader, Sacker. Sacker discovered an old energy weapon and tested it by firing it across the sky. The beam struck Superboy who just happened to be flying near the island. The energy ray robbed Superboy of his powers and his memories. Falling into the jungle, Sacker's agents collected Superboy and gave him a serum which rendered him mute.
Before long, the other denizens of the Wild Lands learned of this strange new "boy savage". Great Caesar ordered his son, Prince Tuftan, and his royal bodyguards the Wild Men, to hunt the boy down, because he believed that he might be the one spoken of in their prophesied Articles of Faith (which were really just discarded copies of the Daily Planet).
Superboy was captured and brought back to Roam. He was subjected to a battery of tests to prove whether or not he truly was the "Mighty One". The drugs soon wore off, and Superboy's memories and powers returned. Fearing that he might be trapped in some far-distant future, he agreed to complete Caesar's tests and convinced nearly everyone that he was in fact the Mighty One.
Because he had saved Great Caesar's life, Superboy actually befriended Prince Tuftan and the Wild Men. They raided Sacker's warehouse and liberated several of his human slaves including Adam Winterbourne and explorer Lee St. Lawrence.
Superboy became caught up in the machinations of an evil bat-woman named Nosferata, who had aligned herself with the militant General Killa and his gorilla soldiers. Nosferata coveted the throne of Roam and had an inside man, Ratsputin, feeding her information. Ratsputin eventually betrayed Great Caesar and stabbed him through the heart, killing him.
While all of this was taking place, Superboy, Tuftan and the Wild Men committed themselves to bringing the freed humans back to the United States. They found a crude sailing vessel, and Superboy tugged them back to Hawaii.
Nosferata then made her move. She sent her bat-men and Killa's soldiers to Hawaii to invade Pearl Harbor. Superboy and the Wild Men fought against them and with the help of Guardian and members of the United States Navy, succeeded in stopping Killa's invasion party.
During this time, Prince Tuftan learned that his father was dead. Nosferata appeared and blackmailed Tuftan into marrying her, thereby making her the queen of the Wild Lands. The Wild Men were cast into exile, never to return to their land of origin. The instead decided to undertake a mission on behalf of Superboy. Along with Lee St. Lawrence, they agreed to search the world for Superboy's missing girlfriend, Tana Moon.
- Superboy (Volume 4) #49 (Prologue)
- Superboy (Volume 4) #50 (Part I)
- Superboy (Volume 4) #51 (Part II)
- Superboy (Volume 4) #52 (Part III)
- Superboy (Volume 4) #53 (Part IV)
- No special notes.
- Many of the elements of the proving grounds in Roam were named after famous Superman-related icons. The gauntlet tower was called the Fortress of Solitude; the catapault test was called the Daily Planet; and the volcano test was called Doomsday.
Links and References