Eric was a quiet, shy student at Smallville High with a crush on a beautiful blond girl named Holly. He was taking a geology class taught by his overbearing, verbally-abusive father. During a field trip, Eric wandered away. Clark found him standing in the edge of a dam, the protector barrier was shocked by a lightning, and Eric fell down. Clark grabbed him as he fell, but was struck by lightning at the same time. Eric was holding a bag with a meteor rock in it, and Clark's Kryptonian powers were transferred to him. Eric used his powers far more openly than Clark ever did. When he thwarted a purse-snatcher, Chloe gave him the nickname "Super Boy" in her first byline in the Smallville Ledger. However, Eric soon became violent and unpredictable. His father wanted him to submit to tests; his mother was afraid of him; and Holly rejected him. At school, Clark stepped in to stop him from attacking Holly's boyfriend, Brent. Eric threw him thirty feet, and Clark had to go to the hospital to have his ribs bandaged. When the sheriff came to question him regarding the incident, he tore the street apart in a rage. Clark realized that, unlike himself, Eric did not have a supportive family and thus could not handle the responsibility to handle his powers, and thus sought to reclaim them. Clark guessed that if Eric had his abilities, he also had his weaknesses. He asked to borrow Lana Lang'smeteor rock necklace in an attempt to subdue Eric. As Clark attacked Eric with the necklace, Eric attacked Clark with a live power line. The resulting bolt of electricity reversed the original process.