Cloned from cells stolen from Superman, Superboy escaped from Project Cadmus a teenager with no identity. Nevertheless, the Metropolis Kid has found in himself a strong desire to do good and a strange kinship with Superman.
The Cadmus Project was interested in cloning their own superhero to serve their interests and as a defender for Metropolis who was firmly under their control. They looked at what was out there and thought:
"Who's better than the original super hero - Superman?"
Their agents followed the Man of Steel everywhere they could, keeping out of sight and monitoring as he fought various and sundry villains. It took several months but finally an enemy managed to wound him. It was a superficial wound, of course, but a few drops of blood were all they needed. They gathered up their genetic samples and skittered off to their lab.
It took tireless research and the best minds in the world (and even some from elsewhere) to decode the dense and complicated Kryptonian genome. But they did it, and the end result was Experiment 13 - the first successful attempt at a cloned Kryptonian.
Experiment 13 floated in a tube, plugged into a machine that fed him knowledge while chemicals and other technological wonders artificially aged him. Within half a year he was a teenager and his brain was full of all the knowledge and information that a human being needs to function.
The original intention was to age him to his mid-twenties so his powers would (theoretically) match those of Superman. Unfortunately, during his 'gestation', they discovered that Kryptonian powers required exposure to a yellow sun. Given that their lab was far below ground, they brought in lamps to generate yellow solar radiation and bathed the teenager in the tube in it.
This may have been a very big mistake, depending on who you are.
The radiation invigorated him not only physically, but mentally as well. His mind racing faster than the mental programming software could keep up; he woke up in his tube and was quite startled to find himself there. Doing what his teenaged instincts told him to do, he broke free.
Experiment 13 may not have known who he was or what he was, but he still possessed an incredible suite of powers and the knowledge built in to his head of how to use them. He fought his way out of the underground complex and broke free to the surface where he went into hiding, Cadmus unable to track him down.
While he was in hiding, Experiment 13 saw numerous television broadcasts about Superman. He felt a kinship with him and a little research showed him that he possessed the same abilities. He unlocked 'memories' implanted into his head of the experiment that birthed him, realizing that he was a clone! Wanting to do good like his genetic exemplar, he took the name of Superboy and a t-shirt with Superman's trademark S-shield and set out into Metropolis!
Superboy is capable of flying at incredible speeds, capable of surpassing the speed of sound and flying around the Earth in a matter of hours. He can also hover in place, too, but where's the fun in that?
Power:Heat Vision (4)
Superboy is able to fire beams of heat from his eyes, capable of melting through toughened steel. He lacks control of them, however, and they're more a means of wholesale destruction than a handy-dandy laser tool.
Superboy's tactile telekinesis generates a skin-tight bubble around his body that protects him from damage. This 'force field' is incredibly powerful, capable of resisting phenomenal amounts of damage. He could even withstand a low-yield nuclear blast, though chances are it would knock him unconscious, break a few bones and leave him incapacitated for a little while.
Superboy's Kryptonian heritage grants him the ability to think and react at incredible speeds. This allows him to dodge bullets (not that they would harm him) and even pluck them out of the air if he chose.
Power:Super Breath (-)
Superboy has super lungs, allowing him to create hurricane-force winds or freeze things solid using only his breath. He doesn't have a mastery over this power yet, however, so it is very much either normal breathing or blowing your house in with little in-between.
Power:Super Senses (-)
Superboy has keen senses that enable him to see all across the electromagnetic spectrum and even view things on a microscopic level. He's also able to produce x-rays that can see through almost any substance (except lead and other super-dense materials that reflect x-rays). His other senses, most notably his hearing, are also greatly enhanced and he is capable of hearing radio signals as well as picking out distinct voices from across the city.
Power:Super Strength (-)
Superboy is possessed of incredible strength, his cells enhanced by Earth's yellow sun. While he has not had as long to absorb the ambient radiation and therefore build his powers (like Superman), he is still capable of lifting hundreds of tons and inflicting devastating amounts of force with his fists. It is important to notice that his strength stems from tactile telekinesis, allowing him to extend invisible bubbles around objects and therefore keep them stable and prevent them from collapsing in on themselves when he lifts them.
Superboy is in possession of a full suite of teenage knowledge including how to speak English, high school level mathematics, geography and a few other odds and ends to help him survive. Unlike most teenagers, however, this was downloaded into his head while he was incubating and as such is fresher and more easily accessible.
Superboy is a clone with experience in the world that began about seventeen years later than it does for even the most sheltered person. To this end he knows very little about the world save what was programmed into his head and even then it was only basic skills that kept him from being a blithering idiot or breaking too many laws. He doesn't know about bands, movies, fashion or even slang. It makes for a very steep learning curve.
Superboy is a clone of a Kryptonian but as far as nature is concerned, that makes him just as much a Kryptonian as Superman. As a result, Superboy suffers the same weakness to Kryptonite. Thankfully, the substance is meant to be rare but the truly villainous always seem to get their hands on it. When exposed to Kryptonite's unique radiation, Superboy grows sickly, incredibly weak and is rapidly drained of his powers until a stiff wind might knock him over. Prolonged exposure, perhaps several hours worth, would likely kill him.
Flaw:Mind and Soul
Mysticism (and psychic abilities to boot) does not influence the physical realm. Instead, they get inside and affect the soul (if you believe in that sort of thing) and the mind. None of Superboy's powers defend against that. So psychic attacks will cut through and affect him just like they affect any other person with his level of willpower. Mystical attacks completely disregard how tough and strong he is.
He might not have the pop culture knowledge of a teen but Superboy still has the body chemistry of one. This makes him very vulnerable to a pretty face and gives him a strong penchant towards believing that he knows everything and is always right. It also means he can't drink or do a few other things legally but that is the least of the world's concerns compared to a teenager who can hurl buildings into orbit.
Superboy knows what his powers are thanks to his programming but the people who programmed him were not entirely aware of the nature of Superman's abilities. Because of this, he lacks that subtleties and finesse with his powers. Because of this, he takes a very all-or-nothing approach to combat. This means that he generally causes more damage than he intends to and could even be viewed as more of a liability than a great force for good.
Superboy's powers are fuelled by the solar radiation of a yellow sun. He needs continued exposure to it to maintain his powers. Luckily, he lives on Earth and this radiation is ambient in the atmosphere. But if he is somehow kept from the radiation (the sun disappears or he's on a planet with a red, white or blue sun) his powers will slowly begin to dwindle until he loses them and is like any other teenage boy his age.