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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...Huh , huh . huh .

  You said ~ " wood " . Huh huh huh...........Waaallyy !!!!!!!

Richard Willis said:

Jimmm Kelly said:

Also, if someone had a wood stove and a fireplace--quite common in the early 1900s--even if they lived in town they would have a woodpile outside and might have either taken delivery or driven out to pick up their wood.

I think toddler Clark carrying all that wood in from outside works better in a farm setting. It is more likely in a town that a neighbor would have seen him pick it up and carry it inside.

Obviously, the farm setting was way more convenient for writers to explain why no one saw young Clark doing super feats as opposed to living in town, regardless of how small Smallville was. Still the Kents had to get some interaction with their neighbors whether through the market, school or church.

Now that's an interesting thought. Were the Kents ever seen in any church? They celebrated Christmas, after all.

Granted, I didn't grow up in Manhatten but in Queens, but I had/have a backyard with trees and shrubs. I even got a koi pond with robins, bluejays and cardinals living around it. So urban life is not exactly urban blight.

From a situation comedy perspective, it's better to be closer to your neighbours.

Sure, Samantha Stevens could have twitched her nose and put her family on an acreage--but then there'd be no Gladys Kravitz. Why was wealthy comedian Jerry Seinfeld living across the hal from Kramer? If the Keatons lived on a farm, Mallory might have avoided "Skippy" Handleman.

More reasonable, maybe, but far less entertainment for me, I think.

What the Kents should've done and what writers would have them do are two very different things. Thankfully.

Obviously, the farm setting was way more convenient for writers to explain why no one saw young Clark doing super feats as opposed to living in town

As we noted, the most interesting thing is that was never exploited early. Most of Clark's more "civilian" stories started with him in school, palling around with kids at the ole swimming hole, or just walking down a town street.

It may have been Mort's infatuation with Super-Baby that brought on emphasis on a farm setting. There are only so many hilarious gags you can show if Super-Baby is living in an apartment. That may have been the impetus for those initial panels, because it's easier to dream up super stunts to show us of him growing older in an isolated outdoor setting.

But after letting him show off, having nearby people to interact with was more important that showing him on the farm, so that setting kind of disappeared. I'd still think showing him doing super-fast chores on the farm, like Clark liked to do on Smallville, would've been worth a page every so often.

-- MSA

...I guess the U.S. popular culture standard - certainly in an earlier era - of " not mentioning any religious affiliation/observation on the part of the Kents , though it is , sort of , assumed that they have some..." prevailed , as far as your second-paragraph question goes , Philip...

Philip Portelli said:

Obviously, the farm setting was way more convenient for writers to explain why no one saw young Clark doing super feats as opposed to living in town, regardless of how small Smallville was. Still the Kents had to get some interaction with their neighbors whether through the market, school or church.

Now that's an interesting thought. Were the Kents ever seen in any church? They celebrated Christmas, after all.

Granted, I didn't grow up in Manhatten but in Queens, but I had/have a backyard with trees and shrubs. I even got a koi pond with robins, bluejays and cardinals living around it. So urban life is not exactly urban blight.

...Thank you , MSA . I don't know why that linked stopped working , and I didn't see this post from you till now .

  Now , the reason I put that link up , really?? , was to complain about something not really related to any manifestation of Superboy...but to media coverage of pop culture in general, actuallly  !!!!!!!!!

  To wit:

  Why did the article refer to the SMALLVILLE comic book as " the popular digital comicbook series " , thusimplying (at that point) that the Smallcomic is digital-only ? It is not !!! (I acknowledge that a reference to there being a paper version of the comic is made , later on further down , in the piece .)

  Now that I have put up my main point , I now will post this and expand upon it ~ I hope ~ real soon .

  WAS the Smaillcomic , in fact , at any time a digital-only comic/promoted by DC as being so ? I do recall that BATMAN '66 was , originally , described/promoted as a digital-only comic book before a magazine version was announced .

Mr. Silver Age said:

ED, don't know what happened to your link, but here it is alive: http://tv.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-smallville-comic-book-changes-fo...

I've really enjoyed Smallville, as in comic-book form from DC they had no limitations on SFX budget or characters, so they've brought in Batman, Kara, the Legion and Wonder Woman. The likenesses aren't dead-on, but I can hear the voices, so it's a Superman comic I can read and enjoy, if only because I know it's not crossing over somewhere or having key plot points come up in other comics. Plus, he doesn't have his underwear on the outside, so everyone in the whole freaking world is happy.

I'm not crazy about switching to mini-series, as I'm not a new reader who needs 20-30 pages of each new adventure to bring me up to date, thank you. I don't know that readers who haven't followed it so far will want to jump on this far into it, but maybe if they see it for the first time and it says "#2" on it, it's better than #10. Or something. But it's not that big of a problem, either, and I'm glad to hear it's continuing. It and All-Star Western are the only DC comics I'm reading.

Obviously, Kirk, the goal was to avoid attention, since allowing their secret out would no doubt ruin their lives, which might even be quite short. Getting attention for suddenly being flush is often how bank robbers get caught, and someone wondering where the Kents got so much money could be even more fatal for them.

And, of course, the Kents liked doing what they did, hard labor earning a fair return, etc. I don't actually know when the farm to general store switch got made, as it was long before I started reading and a lot of stories from that period haven't been reprinted. I imagine it was done to bring Clark more into contact with his classmates and generate more interaction and plot ideas than an isolated farm could offer. But the farm made more sense outside of that.

Of course, Superman often used his powers for personal gain, it was just never noticeable or materialistic. If the Kents were about to lose the store to foreclosure, I'm betting a piece of coal might get picked up. Besides, what's the point of having COMBINED telescopic and x-ray vision if you don't use them to look into the girls' locker room on occasion? 

-- MSA

 WAS the Smaillcomic , in fact , at any time a digital-only comic/promoted by DC as being so ?

I don't know how it's promoted digitally, or how it appears online. It was digital only when it first started, of course, until they had enough episodes to collect in a comic, and it continues to be that far ahead of the print version. I'm not sure if the Specials are online too or not.

I've read some comics collections of digital comics, and it's pretty apparent how the online versions are broken down, but I don't see that with Smallville. DC has several comics that are digital first, with a print version later, and maybe the thinking is that digital is the main format with a later comic to pick up the geezers who don't like reading on their phone. Kind of like the TPB version isn't referenced when they talk about an issue of a comic, because it's a later collection.

The last few pages of each issue show the digital "covers" and sketches, so they don't try to hide the digital connection. I don't know if there's other online stuff that isn't included in the comics. We do get a segment of the total episode guide each issue, so we comics readers have got that going for us, unless that also is shown online.

-- MSA

...Thank you , MSA .

  My complaint is about the tendency of the media to try to , even if (likely) is is , largely , unconsious , " bury the old formats " by only referring to the " modern " carrier that the item being written about is on , and leave out the fact that the item also appears in the " older " format .

  Such as referring to " the popular DIGITAL comic book series " (emphasis mi9ne , when it does come out in a paper version .

  It seems that something being digital-only is " kewweell " .

  I remembe ran early write-up about Batman '66 (I suppose before a paper version had been announced .) that went out of its way to say that it was " digital-only (like it seems so many of the best comics are being these days) .

  I also remember (I can't quite reconstruct the background here now .) something about spin-offs to a series of (non-comics) YA genre novels that spoke of " E-book only novels "...It seems that media coverage/perhaps publishers' publicity as well?? tends to encourage the " with-it "-ness of something - at least appearing to be - only on the " kewwll " format , just as in the last 80s/early 90s people would start referring to recording artists' " new CD " - an " album " is a quantiative measure in popular music , the phrase was first used to refer to 78-era multi-disc " album " collections of Bing or Lena or whoever - 4 or so 10-inch 78s in a photographs-type " album " holder .

...Taking a break from the above , I

d at least like to bring this back to matters Earth-Kryptonian by remembering what my (FROM MEMORY - i.e. , it's " IIRC " time now here folks .) observation of the earliest versions of Superman's origin ~ The original , shorter , version that was printed in ACTION #1 but especially the " director's cut " version of that first story as printed in SUPERMAN #1 suggests about earlier versions of Kal/Clark's pre-seeking employment at the Star life .

...I recall that the two-page origin in the Supie' #1 version ~ just does not seem to make the Kents (if they're called that there) look particularly like farmers more like suburbanites .

  Could they have lost all of their money Depression-ward ?

  The story's description of the Kents' death definitely appears to suggest that the Kents' death happened sometime after Clark/Kal left home not either side of his HS graduation ~ and that their deaths helped influence him in his decision to become (Not so " Big Blue " then :-) .) Big Blue !!!!!!!!!!!

Looking at the two versions there are actually more differences than I remembered. SUPERMAN No. 1 establishes that the Kents were the passing motorists who found the rocket and then later adopted the baby. And it shows them telling the young Clark that he has to hide his super-powers.

I always got the feeling that Clark was cut from the same cloth as Slam Bradley, Bart Regan and other Siegel and Shuster manly men. He probably kicked around the world, slugging guys and falling into nests of spies, before he dedicated himself to being a Superman. In the early stories, Clark goes undercover and then he acts like the typical tough guy hero. 

Wouldn't it have been neat if Slam Bradley was an early disguise for Superman before he went to Metropolis as mild mannered Clark Kent?

Anyway some more questions if you please:

  • Lana's father, Professor Lewis Lang apparently made quite the impression on the Boy of Steel as he was one of the few who could summon him in an emergency. Was there any reason why? Obviously Superboy holds him in high regard. Did he appear much or was he just a way to start a story by finding stuff on a dig? Did he show up in any Superman stories?
  • Besides Lana, did Superboy show any romantic interest in anyone else? (And if anyone brings up the Super-Teacher debacle, I'll......) ;-)
  • Did they ever do a story where Superboy discovered a new power? "Hey, I got microscopic vision!"
  • How often did the Kents' backstory pop up? Did we learn anything about the Clarks?
  • Was Superboy really eight years old when he began his super-heroic career?
  • Should there have been other heroes on Earth-One at the same time as Superboy? (This is a big topic for me!)

 

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