Starting from Superman: Secret Origin #1:

(Obviously, these will be corrected and updated as the series goes along. Stuff in italics is my commentary.)

1)Young Clark Kent lived on a farm with his Ma and Pa. Ma's given name is "Martha". Her grandmother came to America from Germany.

2)His friends included Pete Ross and Lana Lang. Clark and Lana have at least the stirrings of romantic feelings towards one another.

3)His powers - particularly his strength and resistance to injury - developed at a fairly young age. Other powers, such as X-Ray vision, heat vision and flight seem to have first manifested themselves while he was in high school.So far, at least, there doesn't seem to be any indication that he was a "Superbaby" or "Supertot".

4)When Pete suffers a broken arm, one of the names on his cast appears to be "Chloe S". The name "Chloe" is clear, the first initial of her last name is partially obscured, but it appears to be "S". I believe this to be a reference to the Smallville television program, which I have never seen. Whether this is simply a gag, or if the "Chloe" character is going to become a part of the "comic book" mythos, seems unclear at the moment.

5)He attended Smallville High.

6)Lana is aware that Clark has super-powers from a fairly young age.

7)The day he landed on Earth was December 1st.

8)Pa kept the rocket that Clark landed on Earth in hidden in the barn.

9)The Kents revealed Clark's alien origins to him when he was in high school.

10)Touching the rocket triggered a holographic message from Clark's biological father. Clark's biological parents were Jor-El and Lara of the planet Krypton. Clark's Kryptonian name was "Kal-El". Jor-El and Lara don't exactly resemble any version I've seen before, but their "look" appears to me to be influenced by the Superman movies.

11)Jor-El described Krypton as having been a victim of its red sun.

12)Jor-El described his family as the "House of El".

13)Jor-El wore a symbol that resembles what will be Superman's "S" - shield.

14)Jor-El foresaw that Kal-El would have super-human powers on Earth, owing to Earth's "environment" and "the yellow rays of Earth's sun".

15)Lex Luthor also lived in Smallville. He had a heavy-drinking, abusive father, and a more sympathetic sister. He discovered a chunk of glowing green rock(what I am assuming is Green Kryptonite) one night while fleeing his father's wrath.

16)Martha made Clark a pair of "eyeglasses" - the lenses were made from material from Clark's rocket - to help him contain his heat vision while he learned to control it. (And, not, as such, to create a "secret identity").

17)When Martha touched the rocket again, she was vouchsafed a glimpse of various elements of Kryptonian history and life - including Brainiac's "robot skull" ship, Doomsday and the three "Krypton criminals" (looking like more recent versions of Zod, Ursa, and I forget the third one's name)), as well as a scene of Kryptonian daily life where passersby are shown to be wearing styles from various "Kryptons" from the Silver Age up to the Byrne re-boot. One family is shown wearing clothes that strongly resemble what will be the Superman costume. Krypton is also shown to have had an animal strongly analogous to the dog, that was kept as a pet.

18)Clark met Lex at the county fair, where the latter was selling off excess books to raise money to leave town. Luthor was very intelligent and very arrogant, and was even then extremely interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, even having read a book by Saul Erdel on the subject.

19)Exposure to Luthor's "Green Kryptonite" weakened and disoriented Clark immediately.

20)Upon Clark's determination to help people with his powers, Martha made Clark a "costume" from the extremely durable blankets that were in his rocket. She based the design on the Kryptonian clothing styles she had seen in the hologram. She made it initially to spare Clark's "day-to-day" clothes and not as a "super-hero costume" as such. Clark was extremely reluctant to wear it at first. I find it interesting, the idea that the Superman costume was here said to be designed as a sort of "Kryptonian national costume" - as if, had he come from the Netherlands, Martha would've sewn him a little "Dutchboy" costume, with wooden shoes and all.

(From Issue #2)
21)Lex Luthor killed his father, making it look like an accident, using the insurance money to move to Metropolis.

22)The Smallville Chief of Police is named Parker.

23)Superboy initially operated secretly.

24)Superboy initially met the Legion of Super-Heroes while he was still in high school, when Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad came back in time. They took him to the 30th Century. The Legion was based in 30th Century Smallville, and was not officially sanctioned by the Science Police. The Legion formed when the Legionnaires mentione dabove saved the life of R.J. Brande. Other members at the time included Chameleon Boy, Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl and Brainiac Five. The Legionnaires spoke among themselves of things that lay in Kal-El's future, including "The resurrection of Doomsday, Kandor, General Zod and the Earth/New Krypton War, the Super-Sun, the death of Lex Luthor".

25)A second Kryptonian rocket landed on Earth while Clark was in high school. The rocket's inhabitant said "ARRF" at Superboy.

26)Clark Kent went to live in Metropolis as young man. Metropolitans are presented here as resembling the negative stereotypes of New Yorkers - rude, self-absorbed, abrasive, and so on.

27)Luthor was established as an extremely influential businessman, the head of Lexcorp, headquartered on Luthor Avenue. Among the products Lexcorp produced are weapons systems. Sigh. I'd hoped we'd seen the last of the "Luthor-as-businessman" gimmick. I've always felt that Luthor works best as a criminal scientist.

28)Clark was hired by Perry White to work for the Daily Planet, to replace a reporter who went to work for the rival Daily Star. Planet staffers included Ron Troupe, Steve Lombard, Cat Grant, intern/photographer Jimmy Olsen, reporter Lois Lane and editor Perry White. The Planet was doing badly at the time as a result of its opposition to Luthor.

29)Upon meeting Clark, Lois immediately drew Clark into a scheme to infiltrate a Lexcorp reception. I note that Luthor's face is obscured in this issue - I assume they're saving that for a big "reveal".

30)Clark made his first public appearance in costume when Lois' scheme backfired and she fell off the Lexcorp building and he rescued her. Thus he made his first public appearance in costume on his first day in that Planet.

31)Luthor was in the habit of choosing one Metropolitan a day to "help" with their lives. Many of these subsequently dropped from sight. Rudy Jones, a custodian for the Daily Planet is so chosen one day, and becomes the power-draining Parasite after eating a doughnut that was accidentally dropped with some chemicals. Jones is portrayed as a hateful, lazy, obdurately stupid, gluttonous fat guy, to the point where, as an actual gluttonous fat guy, I began to feel mildly offended. Let me state for the record that many of us gluttonous fat guys are quite intelligent, and only intermittently hateful.

32)Luthor's first public confrontation with Superman came after Superman's initial defeat of the Parasite. Luthor is shown with an almost Dalek-level hatred of aliens.

33)Jimmy Olsen was originally from Yonkers, NY, where he grew up over a news-stand, and moved to Metropolis over his parents' objections.

34)Lois' father was a general. He always wanted a son. Lois' mother died when she was quite young. Lois had a younger sister, Lucy. General Lane was hostile to Superman. General Lane's personal name is not given, though I imagine it will still be "Sam".

35)Sgt. John Corben was one of the deadliest soldiers in the US Army. General Lane was quite fond of him, thinking of him as the son he never had. The General had hoped that Lois would hook up with Corben. General Lane sent Corben to attack Superman using a kryptonite-powered Lexcorp battlesuit, but Corben was defeated and severely ijured. Luthor promised to save him, however. Corben is depicted as Metallo on the cover of issue #5, but he is not so called inside. However, I'm sure he will be more like the traditional Metallo by the time Luthor is done with him.

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18)Clark met Lex at the county fair, where the latter was selling off excess books to raise money to leave town. Luthor was very intelligent and very arrogant, and was even then extremely interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, even having read a book by Saul Erdel on the subject.

Was this done earlier outside the series? Sounds familiar!
Figserello said:
18)Clark met Lex at the county fair, where the latter was selling off excess books to raise money to leave town. Luthor was very intelligent and very arrogant, and was even then extremely interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, even having read a book by Saul Erdel on the subject.

Was this done earlier outside the series? Sounds familiar!


Dunno. I haven't seen it before, but then, I haven't followed Superman regularly since the "Reign of the Supermen" storyline.
The Baron said:
Figserello said:
18)Clark met Lex at the county fair, where the latter was selling off excess books to raise money to leave town. Luthor was very intelligent and very arrogant, and was even then extremely interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, even having read a book by Saul Erdel on the subject.

Was this done earlier outside the series? Sounds familiar!


Dunno. I haven't seen it before, but then, I haven't followed Superman regularly since the "Reign of the Supermen" storyline.

I don't know either, but the famous incident that led to Lex Luthor losing his hair stemmed from his successful experiments in creating protoplasmic life. (As dedicated comics scholars know, after creating said protoplasmic life, Luthor went on to create a Kryptonite antidote, but accidentally started a fire in his laboratory. Superboy came along and blew the fire out, but an acid bottle hit the antidote bottle and they both broke, destroying the formula for the protoplasmic life -- and the gas fumes made Luthor's hair fall out, to boot. Read the original story here, at the ever-wonderful Superman Through the Ages website, now back in business.)
Luthor still has a full head of hair at this point. Dunno yet whether they'll include the "protoplasm" story or whether they'll just have him go bald naturally, as in later versions.
So does Clark know that Lana knows he has powers, or is that a secret like Pete Ross's knowledge used to be?
Rob Staeger said:
So does Clark know that Lana knows he has powers, or is that a secret like Pete Ross's knowledge used to be?

Each is aware that the other knows. Clark's heat vision manifests when he kisses Lana.
To clarify - Clark saves Lana from a thresher when they are still children, by shielding her with his body, which breaks the thresher's blades. Later, in high school, she is a witness when his heat vision, and later his power of flight, first manifest.
The Baron said:
Rob Staeger said:
So does Clark know that Lana knows he has powers, or is that a secret like Pete Ross's knowledge used to be?

Each is aware that the other knows. Clark's heat vision manifests when he kisses Lana.

I hope he's one of those guys who tilts his head ... a lot.
He really should *close* his eyes, don'tya think?
There was a similar exchange at a school science fair in Elliot S! Maggin's novel, Superman-Last Son of Krypton. And I'll put another plug in for It's Superman! by Tom DeHaven which tells the origin story as if it took place in the 1930s

Figserello said:
18)Clark met Lex at the county fair, where the latter was selling off excess books to raise money to leave town. Luthor was very intelligent and very arrogant, and was even then extremely interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, even having read a book by Saul Erdel on the subject. Was this done earlier outside the series? Sounds familiar!
Geoff Johns’ Superman: Secret Origin seems to me to be an amalgam of superman’s pre- and post-Crisis origin stories, which is precisely what I expected and hoped for. Much of what John Byrne established in his landmark Man of Steel mini-series is still valid, but the events have been moved earlier and the discrepancies with pre-Crisis continuity have been smoothed over.

For example, Lana knows Clark’s secret but Pete Ross does not. That’s a post-Crisis element, but Johns has moved Lana’s knowledge of Clark’s powers much earlier, to their childhood rather than high school graduation. Clark childhood accident with the thresher (a post-Crisis element) is still intact, but now Lana was present when it happened. Similarly, Clark excelling at football is likewise still intact, but that element, too, has now been moved earlier in his life. Les Luthor’s formative years have been reinserted into Smallville (a pre-Crisis element), but I suspect he will not encounter Superman for the first time until adulthood.

The pre-Crisis elements surrounding Superman’s costume and eyeglasses have been reintroduced, but have been given a decidedly post-Crisis spin. His costume is again indestructible and made from the blankets in which he was wrapped inside the rocket which brought him to Earth, but a more logical tie to the “S” symbol and design of the costume has been inserted. Pre-Crisis, Clark’s eyeglasses were said to have been made from the glass of his rocket’s viewport (in order to explain how Superman could use his heat vision as Clark Kent without melting the lenses), but post-Crisis they were used solely for disguise and he had to adjust them to fire his heat vision above or below the ordinary lenses. Now they are again made of spaceship glass, but used to control his developing heat vision.

I wanna know what’s in continuity and what’s out. This is the series I’ve been waiting for, and so far I’ve not been disappointed. Next issue: the LSH!
General question: If the blankets in the ship are indestructible, how did Martha sew them into a costume? (This is not an issue new to this series, of course, and I'm sure it's been addressed — paging Commander Benson? — but it's not one of the bits of minutia I've ever learned but always wondered about, so I thought I'd ask.)

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