I posed this on the JLA-JSA thread, and am giving it its own post here at the Captain's suggestion:

"I can see a reading of the "Luma Lynai" scene from another direction.  Remember, Supergirl is the one who's messing about in Superman's love life a little before he utters the fateful words.  Maybe the writer-- Binder, I think-- was implying that Supergirl was "shipping" (as they call it now) her cousin through an intermediary.  If so, then Superman's words might be a way of diplomatically letting her down.

Not that there aren't lots of other weird incest-y motifs in the Superman Family.  Can we talk about the wedding of Jimmy and Lois?  Well, maybe on another thread."

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Also, the scariest thing to human beings, now that we've basically killed off other big predators, is other human beings. Who's still scared of wolves, for example? They're basically gone. But there are 6.5 BILLION other human beings out there, who all want our stuff!

Dave Elyea said:

There has long been the question of why Krypton could have been so scientifically advanced, but had no space program to speak of--sure, we know that Superman's origin hinges on that fact, but still.

Actually, Mr. Elyea, there was an in-story reason provided for why Krypton did not have an active, advanced space programme at the time of its destruction. I addressed it several years ago, on another board, when a poster there raised the same question:

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To answer [the] question requires wading through several Silver-Age and Bronze-Age stories involving Krypton. Written by different writers over the span of years, nevertheless, they manage to merge into a comprehensive tapestry regarding Krypton's attitude toward space travel.



Obviously, at one time, Krypton did have a fledgling space programme. Because its society preferred to concentrate its development toward bettering life on its own planet, Krypton's space programme, while more advanced than Earth's, was not at the same level as the rest of its technological development.



Still, it had made some advances. Before Jor-El's discovery of the Phantom Zone and his invention of the Phantom Zone projector, Krypton's criminals were punished by placing them in suspended animation inside satellites and rocketing those satellites into orbit around the planet. ("The Crimes of Krypton's Master Villains", Superboy # 104 [Apr., 1963], et al.)



And it had made progress toward manned space travel to other planets. In fact, when Jor-El met Lara Lor-Van, the woman he would eventually marry, she was an astronaut in training. And Jor-El himself had built an experimental anti-gravity device for Krypton's space programme. ("Jor-El's Golden Folly", Superman # 233 [Jan., 1971])



However, the renegade scientist Jax-Ur, working on his own private rocketry programme, launched a nuclear-powered rocket into space and that rocket went off course and destroyed Wegthor, one of Krypton's two moons. Wegthor had been inhabited by colonists and the ruling Science Council decided that further experimentation into space-capable rocketry was too hazardous and banned any future efforts into space travel. ("The Babe of Steel", Action Comics # 284 [Jan., 1962]; "The Last Days of Krypton", The World of Krypton # 3 [Sep., 1979])



After Jor-El had discovered that a chain reaction in Krypton's nuclear core was leading to Krypton's imminent destruction, he approached the Science Council several times, entreating them to reverse its prohibition of space travel, so efforts could be devoted to building a fleet of space ships to save their people. Since the Science Council did not believe Jor-El's prediction of doom, and since it was also suspicious that Jor-El was trying to revive his own space-exploration efforts, it refused. (The World of Krypton # 3)



In defiance of the space-ban, Jor-El, along with several others who believed that Jor-El's prediction of Krypton's doom was accurate--including his brother Nim-El, Professor Ken-Dal, and a time-displaced Superman--constructed a giant "space ark" in Kandor, designed to save thousands of Krypton's people.



When the ark was completed, hundreds--mostly those who believed in Jor-El's deduction that Krypton was doomed--travelled to Kandor to board the giant ship. However, the boarding took place on the same day that Brainiac arrived and captured Kandor with his shrinking ray. Thus, Krypton's last great hope of escape, along with almost all of the people who believed in Jor-El's prediction of doom, were taken away. Because of the rare materials and time required to build the ark, there was no hope of building another one. ("Superman's Return to Krypton", Superman # 141 [Nov., 1960]; this incident was also iterated in the story "The Greatest Green Lantern of All!", Superman # 257 [Oct., 1972])



Thus, Jor-El was forced to continue his efforts at designing a working rocketship in private, and one large enough, he hoped, to bear just him, Lara, and their infant son. Jor-El was required to labour under secrecy, since the suspicious Science Council continually monitored his actions, including, at one point, hiring a detective, Par-Es, to spy on Jor-El. ("The Last Scoop on Krypton", Superman # 375 [Sep., 1981], et al.)

 

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Hope this helps.

 

 

Commander, I suspect that you have a greater love for the Bronze Age than you let on! ;-)

Philip Portelli said:

Commander, I suspect that you have a greater love for the Bronze Age than you let on! ;-)

No, Philip, it's just that the Superman series in Superman and Action Comics was DC's only series I felt to have improved in the Bronze Age (once it got past that ridiculous "Sand-Superman" nonsense and forgot about it).

 

 

Actually, I never said that the question of Krypton's space program had never been answered, just that it had been around for a long time :)  And it played well into the point I was making.  After all, if the people making Smallville, Man of Steel, and most of the Superman related comics over the past 10 years or so could ignore those answers to present us with versions of Krypton with so many people zapping around thru space that it's a mystery that any of them were on-world when the place blew up, why shouldn't I join the fun?  Oh, yeah, because I like the old comics better.  Heck, my favorite part of the latest movie was seeing the fragments of Wegthor hanging in the Kryptonian sky!

Since my misremembering the introduction of Kandor helped derail this thread, why don't I try to get closer to the original theme?  Of all the "too close" Superman Family relationships, what about Supergirl & Super-Horse?  I've never made up my mind if the concept of a teenage girl with a pet horse who periodically morphs into a handsome man she can date is either the most brilliant idea for a comic presumably aimed at pre-teen girls, or the squinkiest idea ever aimed at anybody.  Any thoughts?

Speaking of the Phantom Zone and space travel, how did the Phantom Zone villains get from drifting around Krypton to drifting around Earth? Did they actially have to log the miles, or is there some more metaphysical way of getting from one place to another in the zone?


Dave Elyea said:

 

Since my misremembering the introduction of Kandor helped derail this thread, why don't I try to get closer to the original theme?  Of all the "too close" Superman Family relationships, what about Supergirl & Super-Horse?  I've never made up my mind if the concept of a teenage girl with a pet horse who periodically morphs into a handsome man she can date is either the most brilliant idea for a comic presumably aimed at pre-teen girls, or the squinkiest idea ever aimed at anybody.  Any thoughts?

Just this: It gives new meaning to the phrase "hot to trot."


A lot of people seem to hate the Weisinger era with all the craziness, but I kind of those comics.  To me they're a lot more fun than the current Superman comics - I'm not much of a fan of anything from Byrne's revamp on, to be honest.

Supergirl and Super Horse - hm, I'm not sure!  Depending on how the transformation works, the only problem I guess is for the poor bastard who has to follow that act!


Dave Elyea said:

I like the old comics better.  Heck, my favorite part of the latest movie was seeing the fragments of Wegthor hanging in the Kryptonian sky!

I've never made up my mind if the concept of a teenage girl with a pet horse who periodically morphs into a handsome man she can date is either the most brilliant idea for a comic presumably aimed at pre-teen girls, or the squinkiest idea ever aimed at anybody.

Kara had some strange boyfriends, to say the least.

Bronco Bill Starr AKA Comet the Super Horse was weird, no question, and it made you a bit angry at Bill/Biron. He was satisfying his needs but knew he could never stay with her. Yet he kept "turning up" out of the blue. And how many comets were passing by Earth?

Jerro the Mer-Boy pined for Kara but as his aunt, Lori Lemaris must have realized that they could not live in each others' environments for long.

Brainiac 5 was an alien from the future who knew her fate though he never mentioned it. She cared for Brainy but that caring was never strong enough for her to visit the 30th century for long.

Dick Malverne was originally her Lois Lane but he lacked any real depth as a character.

And that's not counting Mister Mxyzptlk, Jimmy Olsen, some Phantom Zoner who wanted to marry her, a monster from space and a robot!

Yes, Supergirl had some wacky suitors, but I think Jimmy tops her in that department. And Lois wasn't far behind!

The Weisinger Era started off like a great ball of fire--Brainiac, the Phantom Zone, Red Kryptonite, etc.  However, at a certain period of time it just started repeating itself.

Jim King said:


A lot of people seem to hate the Weisinger era with all the craziness, but I kind of those comics. 



Jim King said:


A lot of people seem to hate the Weisinger era with all the craziness, but I kind of those comics.  To me they're a lot more fun than the current Superman comics - I'm not much of a fan of anything from Byrne's revamp on, to be honest.

I love the Weisinger era! Mostly that's nostalgia, I'm sure -- it was the Superman I grew up with.

But I think there was an underlying appeal to the Weisinger books to kids I don't see mentioned, which is that it offered a safe environment with solid rules. Kids like rules, and knowing that Superman was COMPLETELY invulnerable (except to magic! And kryptonite!) was reassuring. There were no shades of gray. If it wasn't magic or kryptonite, it didn't even muss his hair. If it was magic or kryptonite, he was COMPLETELY helpless! Like an on/off switch! And YELLOW suns meant super-powers, but RED suns meant no powers. GREEN kryptonite made Superman sick, GOLD took away his powers, WHITE killed plant life, and THESE THINGS NEVER CHANGED. These were RULES, and they were ALWAYS TRUE. In the real world, Mommy and Daddy might stop loving each other, but the rules never changed in the Superman world (including that Lois always loves Superman.

Further, with Superman around, no one ever got hurt. It was the safest world you could imagine, because no matter what, Superman could fix it. Bullies got their comeuppance, crooks were nabbed, kids were protected. Always. When Superman showed up, it was game over bad guys/bad luck.

Greatest dad in the world!

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