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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Philip Portelli said:

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?

You mean other than sucking up to his girlfriend's father?

Did they ever do a story where Superboy discovered a new power? "Hey, I got microscopic vision!"

IIRC, Mort would just have Superboy/Man just start using it like he always had it, as "using his (fill in power), Superboy......."

Yet Superboy never acknowledged Lana as his girlfriend and he could have easily done so with her approval. And that makes his relationship with Professor Lang more curious. Why be close to the guy who keeps breaking your daughter's heart?

Philip Portelli said:

Yet Superboy never acknowledged Lana as his girlfriend and he could have easily done so with her approval. And that makes his relationship with Professor Lang more curious. Why be close to the guy who keeps breaking your daughter's heart?

Your response got me thinking. In the Silver Age, did Superman ever acknowledge Lois Lane as his girlfriend? Other than the title of her comic book, was she ever called that? On TV he called her "Miss Lane" and in the comics he called her Lois, but other than imaginary stories did he ever show any real romantic interest in her?

Superman's behaviour toward Lois was odd. There were times when he would take her away to some exotic place on a date and then other times when he acted like she was just an acquaintance. Worse, he would go off with other women and declare his undying love for them, but then seem to totally forget that and make another play for Lois.

As I recall, Lois did her fair share of this herself.

Jimmm Kelly said:

Worse, he would go off with other women and declare his undying love for them, but then seem to totally forget that and make another play for Lois.

Philip Portelli said:

  • How often did the Kents' backstory pop up? Did we learn anything about the Clarks?

 

I don't recall seeing much about the Kents' backstory at all, back then. There was a four-issue post-Crisis miniseries* back in 1988, The World of Smallville (#1-4, April-July 1988), written by John Bryne and drawn by the odd pairing of Kurt Schaffenberger on pencils and Alfredo P. Acala on inks (!). This series tells us that Jonathan Kent was Martha Clark's second husband -- she married one Dan Fordman, the richest man in town, while Jonathan Kent was off fighting in World War II and was missing and presumed dead. After Jonathan unexpectedly returned home, Fordman, dying of cancer, gives his blessing for Jonathan to marry Martha, not that he really had much say about it.

post crisis photo postcrisis.gif

Randy Jackson said:

As I recall, Lois did her fair share of this herself.

Jimmm Kelly said:

Worse, he would go off with other women and declare his undying love for them, but then seem to totally forget that and make another play for Lois.


Heck, Lois got married a couple of times while either trying to make Superman jealous or declaring she was done waiting for him to make up his mind ... and then came right back to their cat-and-mouse routine.

If I was Lois, I'd've done the same. 

But one of the very first Superman comics I read (and the very first issue of SUPERMAN) was 196 (May '67), in which Superman/Clark meets, falls in love with and proposes marriage to Lyrica Lloyd. As rendered by Al Plastino, Clark is really passionate and screaming his love for Lyrica. This was really strong stuff. I may not have read many Superman stories at that point, but I knew Lois was his girl friend and yet he had never married her. But here he was mad with love and ready to marry Lyrica on the spot. Wow. I thought this really changes the whole dynamic in Superman comics. What's going to happen to Superman and Lois after this? Things can't go back to the status quo, because Clark has been through so much in this story.

And nothing happened. The story wasn't even referenced in anything else. It was like Superman/Clark had completely forgotten that he had been so much in love that he was willing to throw away everything just to have this woman in his life.

Being one of my first Superman stories, that really left an impression on me, even if it made no dent in Clark's heart.

Superman's heart has been torn in several different directions in the Silver Age alone with names like Lana, Lori, Luma, Lyra and Sally among others. Even in the Bronze Age there were a couple of alternate love interests but he always gravitated back to Lois. Ironically it was the Post-Crisis era that truly united the pair via a TV series and high profiled marriage.

Today Superman may be in a relationship with Wonder Woman but trust me, Lois will always be around as she was in Man of Steel instead of creating a new love interest.

...Yeah , Jimm , great minds and all that , EXACTLY !
I rather feel that the Superman of '38-'39 and maybe up til' Pearl Harbor or so , whom I have called (jokingly/a " place name " of sorts) " Captain Cleveland " , the much less powerful , much more interventionist and sort of " muscular New Dealer " (and willing to kill , at least in battle to save himself/others - and even in military war-ish situations) may well have wandered around the world some , non-costumed , like those S&S-ers you mentioned...Or like CAPTAIN EASY , to name an obvious influence .
Jimmm Kelly said:

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. 

Philip Portelli said:

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 . . .

I wanted to mention that the other day I did receive through the mail both SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE SUPERMAN FAMILY Vol. 4 and SUPERMAN'S GIRLFRIEND, LOIS LANE No. 21.

For most of the Superman family--in fact for most of comics--it helps if you don't think of them as grown-ups. Lois and Lana are more like Betty and Veronica. But all characters in comics are immature, for the most part. The Elongated Man is about one of the few mainstream comic features I ever read where I felt like the characters were grown-up. The '60s DETECTIVE COMICS Ralph and Sue had a real marriage--not a romantic ideal and not a soap opera either--but basic man and woman normal stuff, even if he was a super-hero.

I think modern day comics are stuck in adolescence and will never get out of it. But then most of North American society is stuck in adolescence. Maybe because people model themselves after reality TV shows.

Fliipping through the SPSF book--I don't have time to read it, unfortunately--I was just knocked back by the volume of pages of great art. This is the absolute best. Pure goodness. Worth so much more than the small amount I paid for the book. With art like this--who needs rational stories or grown up reality?

For the folks who get vexed about these kind of comics, I say let the art take you on the ride. Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream. It is not dying.

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