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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Are Lex and Clark around the same age? If so, was Lex the President or has that been taken out of continuity?
Howard Bagby said:
Are Lex and Clark around the same age? If so, was Lex the President or has that been taken out of continuity?

Lex and Clark seem to be around the same age. Lex may be a year or two older. They're still in the high school years - no mention of whether the Luthor presidency is still canon.
Commander Benson said:
Except that this is one of those things that annoys the blazes out of me, and is really the reason I added the "But I Always Thought . . . ." sub-set to my Deck Log column.

The name of the scientist who accidentally brought J'onn J'onzz to Earth was Mark Erdel. It says so right on the first page of that first story, from Detective Comics # 225 (Nov., 1955). And that wasn't the only time. His forename of Mark was mentioned as late as Detective Comics # 500 (Mar., 1981)

So why did they change it, post-Crisis? I don't know, but I would be willing to be more than a few dollars that whomever the writer was that wanted to give him a name didn't bother to do the research---even though that first Manhunter from Mars story has been reprinted several times. No, he just looked up the title of that first story, "The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel", and presumed that Erdel had never been given one.

Commander - why did they change it?

Maybe we ought to ask Jules and Arlene Luthor... sigh.

x<]:o){
Thank you Baron. If they are that close to the same age they will almost have to take that out unless they establish Superman is in his 40's.

The Baron said:
Howard Bagby said:
Are Lex and Clark around the same age? If so, was Lex the President or has that been taken out of continuity?

Lex and Clark seem to be around the same age. Lex may be a year or two older. They're still in the high school years - no mention of whether the Luthor presidency is still canon.
Howard Bagby said:
Thank you Baron. If they are that close to the same age they will almost have to take that out unless they establish Superman is in his 40's.

The Baron said:
Howard Bagby said:
Are Lex and Clark around the same age? If so, was Lex the President or has that been taken out of continuity?

Lex and Clark seem to be around the same age. Lex may be a year or two older. They're still in the high school years - no mention of whether the Luthor presidency is still canon.


The Silver-Age Superman was established to be over thirty years of age (Superman # 180 [Oct., 1965], et al.), so if they did the same thing with the current incarnation, it wouldn't take that much of stretch to make him and Luthor thirty-five years old, which is the Constitutional age requirement to be eligible for the Presidency. In fact, I would find it harder to swallow that this country would elect a thrity-five-year-old president. The public would go for a candidate looking like he's thirty-five, but I believe it would want him at least five or six years older.
I never was wild about the idea of Luthor as President. It could work as an "Elseworlds"/"Imaginary Story", I suppose, but for me at least, it never worked as an on-going part of continuity.
I never was wild about the idea of Luthor as President. It could work as an "Elseworlds"/"Imaginary Story", I suppose, but for me at least, it never worked as an on-going part of continuity.

Ah, but once the initial phase of the Byrne reboot was over, the template for Superman stories in the 90s was to do the imaginary stories in really loooooong form. What they took an issue to do in the 60s supplied years of 'actual' continuity during the triangle era.

Superman Red/Superman Blue, Lois and Clark get married, Superman dies, etc etc.

I don't know if the 60s ever came close to a 'Lex Luthor rules America' imaginary story, but it fits the mold. The kind of thing that wouldn't pass in Superman's stable and comforting 'reality'.

The editors in the 90s had the good sense to recognise that the imaginary stories were more memorable than the run of the mill in-contuinuity stories.
You know, I never thought of those stories in that way, but you're right. Well, pretty much everything since the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is an "Imaginary Story" to me, anyhow.
The Baron said:
You know, I never thought of those stories in that way, but you're right. Well, pretty much everything since the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is an "Imaginary Story" to me, anyhow.

Aren't they....





I'll get my coat.
No, the stuff before the Crisis actually happened. :)
Figserello said:
I don't know if the 60s ever came close to a 'Lex Luthor rules America' imaginary story, but it fits the mold. The kind of thing that wouldn't pass in Superman's stable and comforting 'reality'. The editors in the 90s had the good sense to recognise that the imaginary stories were more memorable than the run of the mill in-contuinuity stories.

The Silver Age Memory tells me that there were no Silver or Bronze Age imaginary stories in which Luthor became President. Back then, everyone pretty much realized that Luthor was just a bad guy who wanted to rob, steal, and terrorize. You know.. a well balanced bad guy. Well, except for that obsession about killing Superman... but then, everyone needs a hobby.

x<]:o){
Eric L. Sofer said:
Figserello said:
I don't know if the 60s ever came close to a 'Lex Luthor rules America' imaginary story, but it fits the mold. The kind of thing that wouldn't pass in Superman's stable and comforting 'reality'. The editors in the 90s had the good sense to recognise that the imaginary stories were more memorable than the run of the mill in-contuinuity stories.

The Silver Age Memory tells me that there were no Silver or Bronze Age imaginary stories in which Luthor became President. Back then, everyone pretty much realized that Luthor was just a bad guy who wanted to rob, steal, and terrorize. You know.. a well balanced bad guy. Well, except for that obsession about killing Superman... but then, everyone needs a hobby.

x<]:o){

But he did run an entire planet in the silver age...one where he was the greatest hero. He ran it, that is, until a Luthor-Superman fight...uh-oh...irony alarm...destroyed the planet (killing Lex's wife).

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