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CSBG Archive

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So WHERE Was Superman Born?

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at a rare DOUBLE abandoned an’ forsaked, where two independent comic book series both abandoned and forsaked a plot point within a month of each other. The plot point was how Superman’s birth was handled from John Byrne’s Man of Steel reboot. It lasted one way for over a decade before being abandoned an’ forsaked by two different comics….

In Man of Steel #1 by John Byrne and Dick Giordano, we learn that Kal-El was not actually BORN on Krypton. When we are introduced to him, he is still gestating…

As Lara notes, she has never actually even met her son before they send him away to save him…

In Man of Steel #6, Byrne confirms that while Superman was CONCEIVED on Krypton, he was actually BORN on Earth…

This was the status quo for well over a decade. It even played a role in the Action Comics Annual in 1991 that tied in with Armageddon 2001. In the story, Superman (in the future) becomes President of the United States. The Supreme Court rules that Superman WAS born in the United States, making him eligible to be President…

It was not until 2003 that the status quo changed with a pair of #1 issues.

First up, in Mark Waid and Leinil Yu’s re-envioning of Superman’s origin (I am sure Birthright will pop up in a future Abandoned an’ Forsaked, so please don’t bother pointing out other examples from the series. I am already aware of them), Superman: Birthright #1…

And a month later, Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness quickly show us Superman’s origin, as well, in Superman/Batman #1…

The origin was redone a couple more times during the Post-Crisis continuity before the New 52 rebooted everything again, but the “Superman was born on Krypton” thing was never changed again.

64 Comments

…until it changes again.

Does this count as an “abandoned and forsaken” or just a “soft continuity reboot”? I mean, DC is weird in that way: they arguably have an unbroken multiverse continuity from 1938 to the present, but they always have events that “change” what that continuity was (Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and Flashpoint). But then they also have these weird “soft” reboots which maintain continuity but alter what we’ve already known. I always got the impression that the Waid/Loeb/etc. alterations in the early 2000s didn’t explicitly reject Byrne’s stories, but at the same time, they sort of said “it didn’t quite happen the way you remember.”

Well, either that, or Loeb just didn’t give a crap. Waid, I can’t account for–I didn’t figure him to be someone who’d willingly overwrite what came before.

I don’t think it was Waid screwing around; I think it was part of Didio’s/ Johns’ buildup to Infinite Crisis– a couple of years worth of continuity softly reverting to Earth-1 as Superboy-Prime (ugh) punched the walls of reality.

OK, to be fair: I’m looking at the first page of Superman/Batman #1 and seeing that Lara’s ring and Jor-El’s glove from “Birthright” are clearly in that first panel. So Loeb/McGuiness are just incorporating what Waid/Yu had already done.

…one other thought: just a year or two before, the Superman creators teased a return to the Earth-1 continuity when Superman got a “message” from Jor-El saying “Oh, that whole Kryptonian birthing matrix was a hoax. Your real rocket and my clothes looked like the ones from the Silver Age.” Turned out to be a weird alternate universe/Brainiac-inspired plot, but they were REALLY skirting an overwrite of Byrne even then.

It’s interesting to note that at one stage of development, Byrne intended to drive that point further by having the rocket bring a pregnant Lara, who would die of Kryptonite poisoning after giving birth (I think. I’m recalling something from an Amazing Heroes interview from nearly 27 years ago!)

I was always sad to see the Byrne origin get undone; mostly because it was “my” Superman in the same way other eras’ Supermen were the ones for Loeb, Waid et al. Unfortunately they were the ones who created the comics.

Yu really laid it in thick with those Ss, huh?

Graeme – I have no particular problem with the Byrne version but since it is pretty much a straight lift from Asimov’s spacers I am unsure where Byrne’s ideas start.

I remember an analysis stating that this was John Byrne’s way of dealing with his own cultural issues – he was born in Britain and raised in Canada, but always wanted to be American. It was his way of vicariously being born American through Superman.

While I never did like Byrne’s version, I’m not sad to see the “birthing matrix/conceived on Krypton” stuff go by the wayside. Never mind it (and that “I was born in America!” line) seems to go against the “super-immigrant” idea behind Superman. That, and not particularly other-media-friendly (“Hey kids, Superman was sent to Earth as a fetus!”), given every media incarnation since the 80s has ignored it in favor of the traditional “sent as a baby” version..

“Waid, I can’t account for–I didn’t figure him to be someone who’d willingly overwrite what came before.”

Seek every place where Waid wrote about Byrne’s Superman reboot and you’ll see that he MOST DEFINITELY would – and did – do so!

I always liked the Byrne origin because it allowed for the cool origin of the Cyborg Superman and so many other awesome stories like LAST DAYS OF KRYPTON.

Birthright… Mark Waid’s greatest crime.

I think we need to see Lara holding baby Kal. You need that “human” touch. I can see why DC moved away from the Byrne version. But I can also see how the Byrne version might have seemed like a good idea at the time.

Sat in on some Q/As with Waid back in my con days. Let’s put it this way, he hates John Byrne. I much prefer the Byrne version.

Making him a fetus in a jar sucks all the pathos out of it. It makes for a great “Krypton was weird and different” point, but lessens the emotional connection between parents and child that makes every other scene of Krypton’s destruction into an instant tearjerker for me.

Look at that incredible Byrne art . Why isn’t anyone doing that lately? Why isn’t Byrne doing it lately?

The birthing matrix/born IN ‘MERICUH! origin is terrible. It just makes it almost good that ‘that awful Krypton gone blown up’ and how little Superman even seems to care that his home planet was destroyed. Certainly cuts away his sadness over Krypton’s destruction that so well colours the character.

Notice the yellow and red coloring of the test rocket and launch platform in the Birthright version? At one time Mark Waid also intended for the Legion of Super-Heroes’ yellow and red rocketship headquarters to be a follow-up rocket sent by Lara with baby supplies!

I also remember that Byrne wanted a pregnant Lara to give birth on Earth. I think it was the only thing DC balked at. So then we got the matrix chamber.

John Byrne has commented about this a few times on his website. Here is one of them.

“When I was gearing up to do MAN OF STEEL, I presented a list of things I wanted to modify in the Superman mythos. One of these was to have the pregnant Lara being sent to Earth, rather than the baby Kal-El. This was to provide us with someone who could die from kryptonite poisoning, since in my version Superman was restored to being the “sole survivor of the doomed planet Krypton”, and it would not have been practical to demonstrate the lethal nature of kryptonite using him!

This particular idea was voted down, as being TOO different from what had gone before, and other ways of showing the lethal nature of kryptonite were concocted.”

It was Jenette Kahn who suggested what ended up being used in the comic

Oh, the ‘born in America’ bit was terrible, it really did seem like change for the sake of it and the cold, inhuman Krypton really didn’t seem worth mourning. Byrne’s Superman seems barely interested that his parents managed to save his life. So hurrah for Birthright (except for that nutty business about Superman being a veggie cos he sees auras or something).

Strange that Kal-El would say Kryptonians were somehow inhuman in such a derogatory way. It seems more like the authors voice speaking than the characters to me.

BTW, a little off-topic, but notice that when Byrne has Superman’s rocket leaving Krypton, a chunk of kryptonite hits it. This came up later in the issue, when kryptonite weakens an adult Clark who sees his rocket for the first time…and it goes on to become the chunk of kryptonite in Metallo, and later in Luthor’s kryptonite ring.

Byrne used to be pretty good at dropping a subtle clue in a single panel so it could go on to become something important later. It’s the kind of thing you’d go flipping back through an issue and say, “Oh yeah…he DID set that up way back when.” You don’t get a lot of that these days (even from when I last read Byrne, which I’ll admit was over a decade ago).

Hated Birthright!

Man of Steel is still my definitive origin of Supes.
Hated Birthright!
Hate It!
Hate It!
Hate It!

Kinda Liked Secret Origin thou.

I was going to post my thoughts about Birthright vs Man of Steel, but apparently Jarrod Egerton got to it first.

Man of Steel was great for several reasons, one of them being Superman being the last survivor, another being that Clark Kent did NOT know Lex Luthor growing up (I never liked all that convenient pretense), and Byrne’s storytelling is just so much better at establishing Superman than any writer since (with the possible exception being the first episodes of STAS). I’ve no interest in Clark Kent’s adventures in Africa and his vegetarianism.

I was reading a Superboy story with flashbacks to Jor-El the other day. It strikes me that Jor-El as the greatest genius on a planet of geniuses has faded away which is kind of a shame. Instead from Byrne’s icy and rather colorless figure (I never cared much for Byrne’s writing on the character) through the vaguely godlike being in SMALLVILLE.

I agree with everything that Jarrod and penguintruth said.

Byrne’s Man Of Steel remains my favourite Superman origin. Jor-El’s compassion and love for his wife and son, in a world that had become emotionless and cold, really resonated with me at the time. Got me to tear up a little as well. Waid and other creator’s rebooting the concept to bring back the silver age concepts were the final nail in the coffin for me regarding Superman. The New 52 even worse. I really cherish John Byrne, Roger Stern, and Jerry Ordway’s runs back in the eighties.

I really bought into Byrne’s re-imagining of Superman. Although, I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled with the cold, emotionless Krypton.

And that pose at the end of Man Of Steel?! Now THAT’s Superman! Dan and Jim!, please take note.

And Birthright? I always took that as a bad alternate universe retelling of the origin.

“In Man of Steel #6, Byrne confirms that while Superman was CONCEIVED on Krypton, he was actually BORN on Earth…”

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. I was ten when Man of Steel came out, too. But stupid ideas are stupid ideas, nostalgia be damned.

I suppose Man of Steel was kinda unavoidable at that point.

But boy, was it a weaker implementation of Superman than anything from the previous twenty years or so, most notably Martin Pasko’s Superman.

Superman from the mid-to-late 1970s was the ultimate source of inspiration, the ultimate immigrant. Having Krypton be so soulless and Superman so pseudo-American was very much shooting at his own foot.

For that matter, so was the insistence in having him be the sole survivor from Krypton. And then there is the silly quasi-enmity with Batman… although that is mostly Frank Miller’s fault.

At the time I loved Byrne’s pencils, and for good or worse it was very much a major shake-up. But one meant to be discarded sooner rather than later, far as I was always concerned.

Does anyone remember Superman #200 (dated Feb 2004)? It was a time travel story that opened with three versions of the rocket from Krypton (the silver age version, Byrne’s version, and the Birthright version). Superman was told that “time was in flux” which was causing “variants in history.” By stopping Braniac, Superman was told that he would “solidify the past.” The implication, even if it came a few months after Birthright came out, was that this time travel story caused Birthright to over-write what happened in Byrne’s telling.

Mr Rob Peters is correct.

Byrne’s decision to have Superman born on Earth was his response to “psychobable about adopted children longing for and seeking out their adopted parents” who he described as “ungrateful little shits”. Not sure if any version Superman should really be defined by such an igorant and offensive point of view which may be why Byrne’s interpretation of the character always left me cold.

And what is tyhe primary resource ?

The era from Man of Steel through, roughly, the Milestone crossover Worlds Collide had better-written Superman stories, for longer, than any other stretch I can think of in the character’s history. Byrne (for all of his faults), Stern, Ordway, Kesel, and Jurgens (!) (and Gibbons, in the World’s Finest mini) turned out great stuff for seven years across 2-3 books at a time, and got a lot of great storytelling mileage out of the new world that Byrne built. It all went to hell starting with Conduit in 1994, and proceeding through an endless series of each-worse-than-the-last crossovers for years thereafter– Dead Again, Millennium Giants– but 7+ years of mostly excellent stories in multiple books is, I think, better than Superman ever got at any other time.

That said, I’m on Team Mark Waid/ Elliot S. Maggin and not on Team John Byrne about how to *think* about Superman. I’d rather have a physically near-omnipotent Superman who couldn’t save the adoptive parents he loved, the homeworld he grew to love the memory of, his beloved cousin, or the friend he had to sentence to a thousand-year imprisonment, and who couldn’t ever really be with the woman he loved, rather than a physically much weaker Superman who has no a homeworld that wasn’t worth saving, the world’s greatest (living) parents, an awesome girlfriend/wife, Pulitzer Prizes, etc. The Superman of What Ever Happened…? is the “real” one to me, even though few besides Maggin had the knack of getting excellent ongoing stories out of him.

Chaim Mattis Keller

December 30, 2012 at 12:13 am

Byrne’s Krypton was awesome, if only for the fact that it fed into James Robinson’s Starman # 51. Now, THAT’s how you use continuity rather than abuse continuity, as seems to be the current fashion.

SHAMELESS PLUG: I have that Armageddon 2001 annual, and just recently reviewed it on my blog:

http://iblogalot.com/2012/12/18/presidentsuperman/

Luis, that was the same period they decided Green Lantern wasn’t interesting if there was more than one GL out there. By which logic Sgt. Rock is a bad character as there’s an entire US army.
I suspect it’s the same logic by which writers keep defaulting to “get rid of the Amazons” as a game-changer for Wonder Woman.

I always liked the Byrne origin, but the issues themselves show their age. That said, outside of the Bruce Timm animated version (my favorite take on the origin, especially since they included Brainiac as the explanation for why no one believed Jor-El when it came to Krypton’s eminent doom — which both gives Superman a solid arch-enemy and gives the Krpytonian higher-ups a legitimate reason for why they ignored Jor-El, other than they’re idiots, or that it’s just the way the story goes), and the recent Grant Morrison take (which eschews the nostalgia-for-the-sake-of-nostalgia that overrides most retellings of the origin (see: Secret Origins)), Man of Steel is the most solid, forward looking version of the origin story.

And for all the attempts to look backward to the silver age, it’s influence and takes on Ma and Pa Kent, Luthor, Lois Lane, Lana Lang, and Clark Kent are the standards for the characters now. That’s probably why these three are my favorites — they emphasize Clark Kent as the man, Superman as the alter-ego (so to speak), Luthor not as the childhood friend but as the shrewd brilliant businessman who hates Superman (for any number of reasons, but not because he caused his hair to fall out), Lois Lane as a strong-willed reporter who stands apart from Clark or Superman, and Lana as the childhood friend who’s the only one who knows his secret. That said, I think Morrison made a bad call when he decided not to have Ma and Pa around into Clark’s adulthood, but he’s shown he understands the characters and what they mean.

But yeah, Man of Steel has a permanent place on my bookshelf.

…BIZZARO! Almost forgot — Bizarro as a failed attempt to clone Superman instead of an alien from a square planet? Perfection.

Have a good day.
G Morrow

…BIZZARO! Almost forgot — Bizarro as a failed attempt to clone Superman instead of an alien from a square planet? Perfection.

Appropriately enough for Bizarro, you have that backwards. Pre-Crisis Bizarro wasn’t from a square planet. The square planet was from Bizarro.

Bizarro had always been a failed attempt to duplicate Superman, although originally it was through a faulty “duplicator ray” rather than cloning per se. Bizarro Lois, Blue Kryptonite and the other Bizarros were created through the same process. Bizarro later created an entire planet for himself through the duplicator ray. That’s why he was called Bizarro #1 on Bizarro World (or Htrae, as it was sometimes known)–because he was the first from which all others sprung.

You saved me the trouble Buttler.
I know the humor of Jerry Siegel’s Bizarro stories isn’t the kind of thing comics go for these days, but it was much more enjoyable than the Bizarro as Tragic Figure we’ve gotten since the reboot. Probably one reason I enjoyed Steve Gerber’s A. Bizarro so much.

Didn’t Byrne’s Bizarro stay really very close to the first Bizarro story in Superboy? Biz didn’t start out as a comedic foil.

It’s actually pretty amazing how LITTLE Byrne changed of the Superman mythos. Especially when you compare his to more recent origin updates like Secret Origin and New 52 Superman (Kryptonian battle armor? One of the most ridiculously silly ideas I’ve heard. I mean, I don’t mind it if it was some one-off thing that Superman uses when he is facing some super-duper enemy, but as his everyday costume? Blech!).

I don’t think it was Waid screwing around; I think it was part of Didio’s/ Johns’ buildup to Infinite Crisis– a couple of years worth of continuity softly reverting to Earth-1 as Superboy-Prime (ugh) punched the walls of reality.

I think you’re giving Didio way too much credit when you speculate that Birthright was created to lay ground for a later Infinite Crisis retcon, because it makes it sound like Didio thinks years down the line. I don’t think he plans anything beyond 6 months. The idea that he was softening things up and laying groundwork for something 2 years later is way beyond him. Look at the reboot for example. It’s SO clearly rushed, maybe 5 months preptime MAX. Up until right before the reboot was announced they were making major announcements and clearly developing long-term plans and story initiatives within the pre-New 52 continuity, as seen in the introduction of the new Aqualad and much of what was happening in Birthright.

I think it was just typical Didio bouncing around at random like a pinball. He just did Birthright because he wanted to shake things up, then spontaneously decided to shake things up again at the drop of a hat a few years later with Infinite Crisis and Superman Secret Origin because Hey! Why Not?

When examining Didio’s DC, when multiple explanations are possible always choose the explanation that favors incompetence, shortsightedness, random, spontaneous decisionmaking, excessive micromanagement, and self-contradiction.

Re: Buttler — to be fair the I didn’t start reading comics until the mid-90s when all of that silver age, Bizarro #1 stuff was firmly out of vogue, so I never got a chance to read it (and even then, up until, maybe 2004 I was strictly a Marvel guy). Unless you want to pretend my getting it backward was intentional, in which case… yeah, let’s go with that.

That said, I’ll reiterate how nicely elegant Byrne’s update to Bizarro was — Luthor can’t control Superman so he tries to make his own not realizing the problems with attempting to clone Kryptonian DNA. It gives what should be a completely goofy idea, a backwards speaking Superman double, a realistic grounding that makes it palatable (especially for a wider audience not used to all of this stuff — I’d love to see this in a Superman movie). It’s probably my favorite idea from Man of Steel now that I think of it, the redefinition of Clark Kent the man aside.

By the way Buttler, like the new look to your site. Haven’t stopped by for a bit so I’m not sure how long you’ve had it, but it looks good.

Have a good day.
G Morrow

tdsacomic.com

RE: Abandoned and forsaked,

Would Steve Rogers’ American Revolutionary ancestor (Captain Steven Rogers of the Continental Army ) count? in CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON 194, Jack Kirby established that Steve had a namesake ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War. Roger Stern followed up on this and depicted Captain Steve Rogers in action in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY 7-8. Plus, Captain Rogers was also depicted in X-MEN: HELLFIRE CLUB.However, ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY, depicted Cap as the son of two Irish immigrants.

Now, it is possible to square both accounts (one of Captain Steven Rogers’ descendants immigrated to Ireland, etc), but I am curious as to what counts as official MARVEL canon (or whatever counts as canon these days).

G Morrow: Thanks! My wife volunteered to give the site a revamp a few weeks ago, and I’m pretty thrilled with what she did to spruce it up.

Hey, look! Thought balloons! How things have changed.
At the time, I did have reservations over some of the changes Byrne made, but as Jacob T. Levy pointed out, the creators involved gave us years of very good stories.

Actually even Bizarro’s first story had some comedy as Biz tries to act “normal.” But no, not as funny as the later stuff.
The 1980s Superboy series (which is great after the dreadful first season) did a good job with Bizarro, even marrying him to a Bizarro-Lana.
While I didn’t care for Byrne’s reboot, I did feel undoing it all was pointless. Much like bringing back Barry, Ollie and Hal and replacing their successors.

I *loved* Byrne’s Man of Steel, and it’s still *my* Superman. I agree, Robinson’s Starman only added depth to both the origin and the man himself.

Hey, look! Thought balloons! How things have changed.

Not really. Comics still have them in disguise, except as first person narration captions. Seriously, take all of that thought balloon dialogue and imagine it in colored boxes instead of white clouds and I could totally see it in a modern comic.

People act like the disappearance of thought balloons is the biggest change in modern comics, but thought balloons were just first person narration, and we still have that in droves in modern comics. The real big change in modern comics is the disappearance of third person narration.

I remember Alan Moore saying he wanted to dispense with captions because they’re “cheating” but I honestly don’t see using first person narration or song lyrics as some kind of ground-breaking departure as much as nitpicking (“Look! No third person narration! Aren’t i groundbreaking!”).

I can’t stand Man of Steel. I never read it until a year or two ago, and when I finally did I couldn’t BELIEVE that that was supposed to be the origin story of the Superman I’d been reading aboust since childhood. I’d always just kind of assumed that the original one was since, you know, it was perfect and all. Byrne’s cold, sterile Krypton doesn’t even seem like a big loss. What was he thinking?

I’ve read that a major influence on Byrne was the crystalline look of Krypton in the first Reeve movie. It may also reflect that, as someone said above, he wanted to make it clear which planet was Superman’s real home.
As far as the Lana-dying-of-green k idea, that seems gratuitous. Even if the book drew a lot of new readers, it’s unlikely they’d need to be shown what kryptonite does–it’s one of those “everyone knows” details like Superman being Clark Kent.

I love the Byrne Superman era. Not that he did everything right, but it was a great run to me. Man though when bringing up Armaggeddon 2001 makes me all bitter again that they changed it from Captain Atom to Hawk. And yes I know they tried to “fix” it after but not really good enough

And then Hawk gets rug pulled out from under him in Zero Hour. Hah

As a fan of the Kesel Hawk and Dove (the only time I’ve liked any version of them) I really, really, really hated that.

Comic-Reader Lad

January 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm

For those of you asking what Byrne was thinking when he made Krypton so cold and sterile that it was no big loss, that pretty much IS what Byrne set out to do.

He wanted to humanize the character and make him an American citizen, so having him born here and creating a Krypton that Superman didn’t feel drawn to accomplished that. That’s why Supes basically dismisses Krypton as “curious mementos of a life that might have been” in the last Byrne page. Byrne is clearly wanting to de-emphasize the alien-ness of Superman.

It’s likely that this was his solution for Marvel fans who didn’t want to read the character because he was “unrelatable” and an alien. Superman’s vastly reduced power level of the Byrne era was also due to this.

Actually every reboot seems to depower Superman–it happened when Julie Schwartz took over the character too.

I personally prefer Kal-El being born on Krypton to loving parents before they popped him in the rocket myself, but I think we’ve shown (through 58 comments that are about 50-50 split) that we could argue preference all day, with no “right” answer.

Also, on an unrelated note, “Comic-Reader Lad” is the raddest screenname ever.

I always like the comparison panels of Batman and Superman with Batman the dark and Superman the light, but noting their similarities along with being opposites. I remember it being done before in a “Worlds Greatest” with among other things having Supermans rocket and the bullet that killed Bruce’s parents side by side, and I still like the way they did it again in Superman/Batman 1.

I have no particular love for Byrne, or anything against Waid, but all the Birthright love seems surprising to me. I mean, I think the origin of superman you could tell in one page was pretty close to good enough, so I don’t favor one over the other. But it always came off to me (even if maybe it wasn’t the actual intent) that Birthright was just a typical comic book company move to get their property more closely aligned with their mass media version. In this case “Smallville”, with knowing Lex, who’s a lot more like Smallville Lex than early I LOST MY HAIR Lex. no different than dorky costume Cap now at Marvel, leather suit X-Men, all black no trunks Batman, or any number of other needles changes to not “confuse new readers from the films.” Which is always some marketing guy’s idea because people aren’t that stupid, and even if they are, there’s so little translation of audiences that it’s a waste of time. The biggest movie in world was Avengers last year. Avengers comics aren’t suddenly at the top of the NYT best seller list.

Kevin Williams

March 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

The problem with this question/premise is even including the Byrne “reboot,” which never should have happened. This was supposedly a return to Superman’s “roots” (Byrne’s own words, not mine), but Siegel and Shuster must have been turning over in their graves even just noting the inconsistency of an adult Clark Kent’s adopting parents still among the living (check out Action Comics #1).

Byrne’s bad-to-mediocre art aside, his writing was even worse, and his run on the Superman title and his abysmal premise for that character and universe should be totally ignored. I’ve “Mort Weisenger-ed” Byrne. That was an Imaginary Reboot that never occurred and should never count for anything.

@Kevin Williams – Both Siegel and Shuster were still alive when MAN OF STEEL came out!

Making him a fetus in a jar sucks all the pathos out of it. It makes for a great “Krypton was weird and different” point, but lessens the emotional connection between parents and child that makes every other scene of Krypton’s destruction into an instant tearjerker for me.

Agreed. I always hated the idea of Superman being sent to Earth as a fetus and being born there. It makes thing more convoluted than they need be and means that technically Jor-El and Lara never met their son.

MoS was a combination of bad ideas (this being one of them) and good ideas, but both were poorly handled. For the best Superman origin, the one that kept the good ideas, handled them correctly, and scrapped the bad ones, I’d recommend to watch The Last Son of Krypton.

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