61 years ago - The Eradicator Matrix is designed by the Kryptonian extremist scientist Kem-L as a safeguard for Kryptonian cultural purity.
56 years ago - The Eradicator Matrix corrupts a Kryptonian hyperspacial teleporter, killing hundreds of thousands and displacing the planet Bgztl into the Phantom Zone. The disaster leads the high Kryptonian counsel to recall all Kryptonians to Krypton, despite Jor-el's warnings that this will overstress and destroy the planet.
45 years ago - David Connor is born.
35 years ago - The Eradicator uploads itself into Jor-el's hyperspace pod to escape the destruction of Krypton, but is locked out of the pod's higher functions by Jor-el's datacore.
27 years ago - 18-year-old David goes to college to study Biology & Computer Science.
23 years ago - 22-year-old David graduates with a double major & goes for a masters in Biotechnology.
20 years ago - 25-year-old David begins his doctoral studies.
17 years ago - 28-year-old David gets his doctorate & becomes a researcher at Star Labs.
11 years ago - 34-year-old David becomes senior researcher at Star Labs. Superman realizes the extent of The Eradicator's intentions to restructure Earth into Krypton when it converts Krypto into a Kryptonian creature. Superman must undergo an old Kryptonian rite of passage to earn the name of El and stop it.
8 years ago - The Eradicator rewrites Superman's personality to remove his humanity, but he is defeated & placed into secured memory.
5 years ago - The Eradicator is released from secured memory when Superman dies. It recovers his body & makes it's own to replace him, eventually helping him defeat Hank Henshaw before he is destroyed.
4 years ago - 41-year-old David contracts a degenerative neurological disease.
2 years ago - The Eradicator grows a new body to help defeat the Doomsday clones launched at earth by Darkseid. Dying, it bonds with 43-year-old David, interlacing it's encoding into his DNA. David commits to star labs.
1 year ago - 44-year-old David helps fight Maggeddon.
The early 90's featured a wave of updates to classic characters. The "Reign of the Supermen" was one of the weirdest of those stories, and while it gave us the innovation of the 'John Henry Irons' Steel and the Clone Superboy that would one day become Connor Kent, but the absolute wildest part of that story was the 'Son of Krypton', the character that we would come to know as the Eradicator.
He was clearly the character that was really meant to eventually take Superman's place in the same way that Jean Paul Valley replaced Batman and Artemis replaced Wonder Woman. There isn't any specific evidence to back this theory up, but we agree that the moment when that plan actually derailed is when the writers of Superman comics simply couldn't pull the trigger on the transition, and chose to instead bring Clark back. Suddenly the character shift was incomplete, and the other classic characters came back shortly after.
We're not complaining, mind you. As interesting as this era of comics is, we're better off having the original versions of the characters in place. Still, this is a really cool chapter of their stories.
Meanwhile, Eradicator opens up a lot of really interesting story opportunities, but most of them actually come before he ever adopts his 'Son of Krypton' appearance.
The Eradicator actually had several comic appearances before the Reign of the Supermen ever happened. He was an Kryptonian computer program designed to preserve Kryptonian culture. He was responsible for the construction of the Fortress of Solitude , but wound up threatening to rebuild Earth itself into a new Krypton. We've used that story moment as an explanation for Superman's dog, Krypto, and also incorporated a later story in which he actually rewrites Superman's personality. He's a great utility in expanding the actual mechanics of Superman's story.
In fact, we've used him to go further, and actually explain a major part of the story of the destruction of Krypton. In order for Superman to be unique in the universe, it's vital that he's the ONLY surviving Kryptonian. Every exception we allow, like Kara or Zod, all complicate the story. Given that the Kryptonians were an advanced race, how were they ALL killed when their planet was destroyed? The existence of a computer program built by an extremist actually gives us an explanation. If the sabotage and subsequent deaths of thousands of Kryptonians could lead to their governing body's decree that all Kryptonians must return to the home planet, which would also explain why they overtaxed their planet to the point of destroying it. This also explains the coup led by Zod, and the fact that Jor-el is the only Kryptonian to defy the counsel and try to save his child.
While all those stories really expand the utility of the character, there remains the question of what exactly happens to the Eradicator after the return of Clark Kent. In the comic, he sacrifices himself to accelerate the return of Clark's powers, but eventually shows up in several different forms. While he HAS played a more villainous role in the past, the fact that he was so instrumental in saving the world during the Reign of Supermen means that he clearly has heroic potential, and Superman is a character that will always choose to see the good in someone, so it makes sense that he's work to find a way to save him.
Of the various stories that were told in Eradicator's post-reign appearances, we gravitated toward the idea of his bonding to the human scientist, David Connor. We liked the black and red version of his costume for this, because it reminds us that he's a computer program while still evoking his black, red and yellow look from his early appearances. We actually imagine that his presence and consciousness is actually dormant most of the time. By bonding with David Connor he gets a unique story and circumstance to make him separate from the rest of the Superman supporting cast.