I was a bit leery of talking about the Man of Steel because so much has been written about Kal-El and there are so many experts on him here. But SUPERBOY? Except for his Legion appearances, very little of the Boy of Steel has been reprinted in the last thirty or so years so, perhaps, I can come up with some decent queries.

  • When did Superboy (of Earth-One) know that he was from Krypton? I know the Golden Age version but was there that moment with young Kal? He did invent a memory-prober so he could recall his life on Krypton as an infant but was there anything that prompted him to do so? In other worlds, when was the first time Krypton appeared in the Superboy features?
  • One of the quirky parts of the Silver Age Superboy stories was that he built a time telescope so he could view the future. That way he already knew that he would become Superman and learnt about the destines of BATMAN, LOIS LANE and even GREEN ARROW. He encountered an adult Luthor during his time travels. Does that seem right? Should he have that much knowledge of his future. The Legion prevented that in the 30th century yet he had free rein to do so in the 20th.
  • Obviously there was a LOT of Kryptonian/future/advanced tech in the Kent home. Remember Superboy's "Fortress" was his basement!!

Have to recharge! Be Right back!

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RE: Beppo-- I do recall that he was named far later than his debut. He didn't even have Krypto's romps through space as to explain his not being seen. He stayed on Earth or was in the 30th century. I doubt that he ever appeared solo in a Superman story but for the Man of Steel NOT to keep track of Super Monkey is very irresponsible. And he was responsible since Beppo belonged to Jor-El.

The Lookalike Squad--I could appreciate it more if some Kandorians volunteered to get cosmetic surgery to become doubles for Superman's supporting cast. I wonder if there were ones for Lana, Lucy and Professor Potter?

And you have to wonder what these people did in their tremendous amount of downtime. Star in their own version of The Adventures of Superman?

Didn't Don-El go crazy once? Probably out of sheer boredom! 

Lucy Lane--I feel that her main purpose was to give Jimmy a relationship similar to Superman and Lois, only with the genders reversed. Lucy knew that Jimmy was at her beck and call so she always took him for granted. Of course, I remember the "Magi & Sandra" storyarc. The ending was probably Lucy's finest moment but her fickleness left a lot to be desired.

Htrae--I also remember Superman's terraforming but I don't understand the physics of it! How do you keep an ocean on a perfect cube?

Anyway the thing I object to most is the existence of dozens/hundreds/thousands of whacked out beings possessing Superman's powers with only a very rare substance, blue kryptonite, capable of harming them. Any alien race would be frantic and on guard constantly should even one decided to leave!

There was one story that Smallville was secretly protected by a Superboy robot after Clark left for college. And the townspeople just went with it.
Hoy Murphy said:

Smallville was almost destroyed or invaded by aliens on a nearly monthly basis when Superboy lived there. Did that all just stop when he left for college and Metropolis?  No wonder the good townsfolk were always trying to chase him away!


Both Lana Lang and Lucy Lane had doubles in Kandor.

Lana Lang's Kandorian double made several appearances as a member of the Look-Alike Squad, but she wasn't given a name---Ti-Arra---until Lois Lane # 78 (Oct., 1967)


Lucy Lane's Kandorian double was introduced in Jimmy Olsen # 53 (Jun., 1961).  Her name was Lona Lemais, and although she wasn't specifically mentioned as being a member of the Look-Alike Squad, there was a Lucy Lane-double as part of the Squad when it appeared in Jimmy Olsen # 83 (Mar., 1965), so presumably, it was Lona.


Professor Potter never made the cut as far as having a member on the Look-Alike Squad.


As I said, if we allow that some of the Squad members had cosmetic surgery---and Kryptonian plastic surgery was undoubtedly more advanced than the techniques on Earth---then I can go with the concept.  What's unswallowable, however, is the notion that Kandor was the home to so many natural doubles of Superman . . . .



His twin brother, Dik-Zee (from the southern part of Krypton, no doubt)




And that's not to mention the fact that the number of Superboy/man and Clark Kent doubles on Earth were more than double that!


Ralph Bridgson  (Adventure Comics # 191 [Aug., 1953])

Mark Benton  (Lois Lane # 3 [Aug., 1958])

John (Metallo) Corben  (Action Comics # 252 [May, 1959])

Roger Warner  (Lois Lane # 24 [Apr., 1961])

Tom Tanner  (Adventure Comics # 290 [Nov., 1961])

Prince Mark of Sardonia  (Adventure Comics # 303 [Dec., 1962])

Roz-Em  (Adventure Comics # 304 [Jan., 1963])

Ned Barnes  (Superman # 169 [May, 1964]; O.K., that one was the result of plastic surgery)

Gregory Reed  (plastic surgery again; he first appeared with his reconstructed-to-double-Superman face in Action Comics # 445 [Mar., 1975])


And that's just off the top of my head.  I'm sure there's a few more I've forgotten.




I didn't know that Van-Zee had a twin brother. That's interesting because Jor-El had a twin brother, too: Nim-El who was the father of Don-El, making him Superman's first cousin!

To continue with twins, there's this classic imaginary story!

As for another of Jor-El's brothers, I remember Zor-El and Allura being on Earth full size in the late 70s. The implications of two more Super-People flying around boggles the mind!

Also, after his first appearance, was Van-Zee ever normal size again?

BTW, Lona Lemais hardly sounds like a Kryptonian name. In fact, it's very similar to Lori Lemaris!

I have an easier time accepting that Kryptonians have doubles. We don't know what that place is like--maybe it's natural for them to have doubles.

I liked Sylvia DeWitt, so I accept her as a double for Lois Lane. But it does get a little crazy with all the other doubles.

I guess the Kandorians being doubles for Earthilings is the hardest to accept. How that happens without medical intervention is hard to understand. But who would deliberately want to look like Perry White?

The preponderance of doubles for Superman does make it understandable why Clark Kent's resemblance to the Man of Steel would not ring any alarm bells.

I always thought one of the things that John Byrne did right with his revamp of the Superman titles was to dispense with the notion that everybody and his brother ever thought Superman had a secret identity, and just assumed he was Superman all the time. 

That said, I still want superheroes to have secret identities. But a secret identity seems more effective to me if the larger-than-life persona is so grand that nobody assumes the person isn't larger than life all the time. I mean, does anybody figure Steven Spielberg drives a cab in his spare time or Halle Berry is a waitress in a diner?

...As far as changing versions of the legend/origin , for Superboy/-man , what about the period when Lara was to have been able to have gotten into the rocket and left Krypton , but declared " My place is with you ! " to ZorEl ?

  What about Superboy's stories tending to take place in a " good old days " early-ish 20th Century past ?

[ Of course , there was the Superbaby story where he was catching World War II rationing black marketeers ! Never mind !...]

  That said , it was a 1930s that apparently included mass television...The past-time setting actually got re-emphasized in the last years of the Sixties , presumably a decision made after Murray Boltinoff came in ???????

  There were Bonnie & Clyde & Depression hobo-ing-inspired stories , and during relevance , Pete Ross was written out by his family having lost all of their money , and leaving town , Grapes Of Wrath-like , with some Okie-types .

Not to thread jack my own thread, but last night I was skimming through Showcase Presents Superman Family Volume 4 which contains Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #21 (N'60), the first appearance of Van-Zee's twin brother Dik-Zee. This story is remarkable for three reasons:

1) Dik-Zee spends the entire story wearing Superman's costume! He says it's to amuse his niece and nephew but he wears it 24/7! Even at work (next item!). Considering that Van-Zee spent his first appearance dressed as Superman AND that the Superman Emergency Squad all have them as well, it makes you think that Kandor must sometimes resemble a Monty Python sketch!



Dik-Zee? He must have been from the south of Kandor.


2) Dik-Zee works at The Kandor Press, a newspaper for Kandorians. Think about that for a minute!

Business: Hundreds of Window Washers Needed!

Traffic: There Are NO Alternative Routes!

Weather: Whatever Superman Programmed For Us Today! Head's Up! Make No Outdoor Plans For Next Tuesday!

Travel: There's No Where Else To Go!

Science: Decades Old Fossils Found!

Sports: Kandor Beats Kandor 3-2!


3) This is the kicker! Lois has to beam herself to Kandor to escape the poisonous cleansing gas of the Fortress (Superman is also a Super-Germophobe!). She accidently transports Sylvia, the Earthwoman who married Van-Zee and Lois' perfect double (*sheesh*) and Lois is horrified that she has doomed Sylvia! However Van (who it should be noted is Superman lookalike! *double sheesh*) reminds her that in order for Sylvia to safely live in Kandor's Kryptonian environment, he gave her his Korium-66-Beta Serum that adapted her body. A side effect of this is that she has superpowers on Earth. She has SUPERPOWERS on Earth!! AS A RESULT OF THIS SERUM, SHE HAS SUPERPOWERS ON EARTH!!!!!!

Superman has always said that he could never marry Lois because of her safety, that he enemies would try to get back at him by hurting her. In fact the second story of Lois #21, "The Battle Between Super-Lois and Super-Lana!" has it as a major plot point as the two gain temporary superpowers. The Man of Non-Commitment again states that he could never marry either of those pain-in-the-@$$e$ (to be fair to the Big Guy, both of them were really obnoxious here!) until he could find a way to give one of them permanent superpowers.

But Van-Zee already found a way! A successful way! And even if there was a problem with the Korium-66-Beta serum and apparently there was NOT, it would still be one heck of a starting point!

Thus, Superman has been lying to Lois and Lana the whole time! Yikes!

Another thing about Ol'Dik-Zee: he wanted to marry a woman who looked identical to his brother's wife! They must have had some really awkward family dinners! ;-)

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