(I thought I’d have a shot at re-writing this into a more comprehensive form. This whole Earth-44 business grew out of an attempt to combine all of the various Superman continuities into one coherent timeline, that just sort of grew. Of course, it’s impossible to combine them as they are, there’s too many contradictions between them. Thus, some of these characters are going to bear only a tangential relationship to their actual comics counterparts. Note also that I haven’t included every variant Superman that I’ve heard of, let alone the many I’m sure I haven’t. I had to stop somewhere, this thing is pretty convoluted as it is. The footnotes will be there to explain some of my reasoning behind the way I’ve fiddled and diddled – to quote Johnny Most – with the various characters.)
A Timeline of the Superman Family
- Alexei Luthor is born, somewhere in Eastern Europe. (1)
- Kal-El is born on Krypton to Jor-El and Lara. Jor-El, a leading Kryptonian scientist, becomes convinced that Krypton is doomed but is unable to convince the Kryptonian leadership. Jor-El conceives the idea of escaping Krypton by using rockets. (2)
- On Vathlo Island on Krypton, scientist Val-Zod hears of Jor-El’s theory and believes it is true. He constructs an experimental rocket of his own, and test-launches it with himself inside. It goes off-course and he is believed lost. (3)
- Jor-El launches his family's pet dog Krypto into space while testing a prototype rocket. A meteor deflects the rocket into deep space, and Jor-El considers the dog lost. (4)
- Jor-El launches Kal-El into space as Krypton is destroyed. Kal-El lands on Earth and is adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent of Smallville, KS, who name him “Clark”. (5)
- Norma Pickman, the kid sister of Richard Upton Pickman, has a brief affair with Alexei Luthor, who soon abandons her. The affair results in her son Norman. Rather than face the stigma of single motherhood, she gives him up for adoption and moves to California. (6)
- Norman Pickman is adopted by a couple named Osborn, who give the boy their last name. (6)
- Norma Pickman marries a man named Bates. (6)
- Norma Bates has a son she names Norman, after her other son. (6)
- Clark Kent moves to Metropolis, IL, where he debuts as Superman.
- He meets George Taylor and Lois Lane. Taylor hires him to work for the Metropolis Daily Star. (7)
- One of Superman’s first major public exploits occurs when the tripod-riding Martians invade New Jersey. (8) Superman meets Popeye the Sailor, and the two drive the Martians off. (9)
- The Daily Star is renamed the Daily Planet.
- George Taylor retires and is replaced by Perry White, an experienced newsman.
- Jimmy Olsen comes to work for the Planet.
- Alexei Luthor returns to Metropolis after having spent several years in Europe. He meets Superman. The two are destined to become arch-enemies.
- Superman travels to the New York City World’s Fair. (7)
- Superman helps found the Justice Society of America, although he is never a regular member. (10)
- Superman pays a second visit to the New York City World’s Fair. (11)
- Kara Zor-El is born in Argo City, a surviving fragment of Krypton. (12)
- Superman first meets Mister Mxyztplk. (13)
- Clark Kent marries Lois Lane. Lois soon becomes pregnant, and they make the decision to move back to the Kent farm in Smallville to raise their child there. Their son, Clark Kent Junior, is born inSmallville. He is eventually found to have full Kryptonian powers. (14)
- Alexei Luthor has a son, Alexis (called "Lex") by an unknown woman who puts the child up for adoption. Lex is adopted by a Smallville branch of the Luthor family. (15)
- The alien Klaatu and his robot guardian, Gort, visit Earth to warn humanity about the dangers of nuclear war. They are met by a delegation including Uncle Sam, Superman, Captain Marvel, the Human Torch, and Wonder Woman, who see to it that Klaatu is able to deliver his message to the U.N. and then depart safely. (9)
- Clark and Lois Kent's daughter, Karen Kent is born. She is found to have full Kryptonian powers. (16)
- Krypto arrives on Earth, where he takes up residence with the Kents. (17)
- Clark Kent Junior debuts as Superboy. (18)
- Kara Zor-El arrives on Earth, where she encounters the Superman family. After arranging a suitable cover story, they bring her to live with them as Clark's orphaned distant cousin “Linda Lee”. In time, she begins fighting crime as Supergirl. (19)
- Norman Bates kills Marion Crane and Milton Arbogast. (6)
- Superman helps found the Justice League of America. (20)
- Kara Zor-El begins calling herself “Superwoman”. (21)
- While visiting the bottle city of Kandor, Superboy and Jimmy Olsen Junior temporarily adopt the identities of Nightwing and Flamebird. (22)
- Along with other members of the JSA and JLA, Superman travels to the Mirror Universe, where they battle the Crime Syndicate of America, and he meets his villainous counterpart, Ultraman. (23)
- Jimmy Olsen Junior marries Lucy Lane. (24)
- Clark Kent Junior becomes Superman II. (25)
- Lex Luthor has a son, also called Lex. (26)
- F.G. Superman becomes Bicycle Repairman. His relationship to Superman, if any, is unknown. (27)
- Clark Kent Junior marries Lana Lang. (28)
- Linda Lee marries Steve Rogers. (29)
- Clark Junior and Lana Kent’s son, Clark Kent III, is born. He appears to have super-powers, although whether he will have full Kryptonian powers is not yet known.
- Karen Kent becomes Power Girl.
- Steve and Linda Rogers’ son, Clark Rogers, is born. He appears to have super-powers, although whether he will have full Kryptonian powers is not yet known.
- Two Kandorians, Van-Zee and Ak-Var become Nightwing II and Flamebird II.
- Helena Wayne marries Harry Sims. (30)
- Steve and Linda Rogers’ son, Frederick “Freddy” Rogers is born. He is born fully human, and is, in fact a bit on the sickly side, much as his father was when he was young.
- Harry and Helena Sims daughter, Helena Sims the Younger , is born.
- Clark Junior and Lana Kent’s (non-identical) twin daughters, Lois Kent II and Lana Kent the Younger, are born. They are both fully human.
- Karen Kent marries Andrew Vinson. She begins calling herself Power Woman. (31)
- In the Mirror Universe, Alexander Luthor becomes his world’s first super-hero, and meets his world’s Lois Lane.
- Kristin Wells, a descendant of Jimmy Olsen from the 29th Century, travels to this time and becomes Superwoman II.
- Karen and Andrew Vinson's daughter Karen Vinson the Younger is born. She appears to have super-powers, although whether he will have full Kryptonian powers is not yet known.
- In an other realm where Earth is inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, Super-Squirrel helps found the Justa Lotta Animals.
- Clark Junior and Lana Kent’s second son, Colin Kent, is born. He appears to have super-powers, although whether he will have full Kryptonian powers is not yet known.
- Clark Kent III becomes Superboy II.
- Lex Luthor Junior’s son, Lex Luthor III is born. (32)
- Clark Kent III begins calling himself Superman III.
- Hank Henshaw becomes the Cyborg Superman.
- The Eradicator adopts the identity of David Conner.
- John Henry Irons becomes Steel.
- The Cadmus Project creates the teenage clone who will be known as Superboy III. In time, he adopts the secret identity of Conner Kent. (33)
- Lois Lane II becomes the Green Lantern VIII. Her relationship to the original Lois Lane, if any, is uncertain. (34)
- Linda Danvers merges with the protoplasmic being Matrix and becomes Supergirl II. (35)
- Clark Rogers becomes the government-sponsored super-hero known as the Super-Soldier. He helps found the JLX. (36)
- Lex Luthor Junior becomes the Green Skull. (37)
- Conner Kent begins calling himself Superman IV. (38)
- The Chinese government attempts to create a “Supergirl” of its own, but the experimental subject dies shortly after its creation. (39)
- Uncle Sam, seeing heroic potential in Freddy Rogers, grants him the powers that enable him to become Captain America Junior. He helps found the X-League. (40)
- Harvey Dent II becomes Superman V. (39)
- The Chinese government creates a “Powergirl” of its own, who rebels against their control. (39)
- Clark Kent III marries May Parker, daughter of Spider-Man. (41)
- Karen Vinson the Younger becomes Power Girl II.
- Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Cosmo Kramer and Elaine Benes are released from prison. They move to Metropolis, where, having become hardened criminals, they are recruited by Intergang. (42)
- Clark (III) and May Kent's son, Jonathan “Jon” Kent, is born. (43)
- Sharon Vance becomes the Strange Visitor.
- Clark Rogers marries Shannon Carter. Their daughter, Kara Rogers, is born the same year. (44)
- Freddy Rogers begins calling himself Captain America II.
- Helena Sims the Younger becomes the Huntress IV.
- Salden, a policeman from a planet that was originally colonized by Krypton, comes to Earth and becomes Superman VI. He helps to found a Los Angeles branch of the JLA. (45)
- Clark (III) and May Kent’s son, Clark Kent IV, is born.
- Helena Sims the Younger marries Hal Stark. Their daughter, Maria Stark II, is born. (46)
- Natasha Irons, daughter of John Henry becomes Steel II.
- Brainiac genetically alters a young human, calling her “Cir-El”, and having her pose as Supergirl III, attempts to use her against the Superman Family. The attempt fails, and the girl is freed from Brainiac’s influence.
- Jerry Seinfeld becomes the new head of Intergang, with George Costanza, Cosmo Kramer and Elaine Benes as his lieutenants. (42)
- Karen Vinson the younger begins calling herself Power Woman II.
- Colin Kent obtains a Rhodes Scholarship, he travels to the U.K., where he becomes Superman VII. (47)
- The Tenth Doctor and Superman prevent the space vessel Titanic from crashing on Earth. (9)
- Inspired in part by Superman, Heino Ogata becomes the Most Excellent Superbat. He helps found the Super Young Team.
- The now quite elderly Lois Lane Kent’s consciousness is downloaded into the android Red Tornado III, giving her a new lease on life. (48)
- Tanya Spears gains super-powers while doing research with Power Woman. She becomes Power Girl III.
- Val-Zod’s rocket arrives on Earth. He becomes Superman VIII.
- Jon Kent becomes Superboy IV.
- Lex Luthor III, seeking to redeem his family name, becomes Superman IX. (49)
- Kong Kenan becomes the New Super-Man of China.
- Lois Kent II and Lana Kent the Younger gain super-powers after being exposed to unusual Kryptonian energy and become Superwoman III and Superwoman IV. (50)
- Kara Rogers becomes Supergirl IV. (51)
- Jon Kent begins calling himself Superman X.
- Clark Kent IV becomes Superman XI. (52)
- Jon Kent marries Maria Stark II. (53)
- Jon and Maria Kent’s daughters, Lois and Lara Kent, are born.
- Lois and Lara Kent become Supergirl-Red and Supergirl-Blue. (54)
- A time-traveling Superboy joins the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- Klar Ken T5477 becomes Superman XII.
- Laurel Kent, distant descendent of Superman, begins her super-heroic career.
- Superman XIII debuts. He helps found Justice Legion A.
(1)This is a combination of the earliest Golden Age Luthor and what would later be the “earth-Two” Luthor, that was killed off in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. In other words, the red-haired, somewhat thuggish Luthor. I don’t have any canonical support for my placing his birth in Eastern Europe. I recall that in one of his earliest stories, he was said to have been causing trouble over in Europe, and “Alexei” sounds Eastern European to me, so that’s where I placed him. I thought about making his birthplace Latveria and possibly even making him a relative of Victor Von Doom, but I thought that might be a little too “Uncle Roy ties it all together for you”.
I imagine this Luthor as a wanderer, quickly outstaying his welcome wherever he goes. He’s been just about everywhere, and isn’t welcome back.
(2)I picked 1913 as a date because it seemed to me that 25 was a good age for Clark to be when he started out as Superman. At least, in the earliest superman, he didn’t look to me to be any younger than that. I went with “Jor-El”, “Lara” and “Kal-El” simply because I preferred those names to “Jor-L”, “Lora” and Kal-L”.
(3)This character is roughly analogous to the character from the Earth 2: Society books, with his backstory largely re-written.
(4)To the best of my knowledge, this is largely as things were presented in Silver Age continuity.
(5)Is three a little old for Kal-El to be arriving on Earth? I dunno, but I went with it. Also, I went with “Jonathan and Martha” over “John and Mary” or “Eben and Sarah” just out of personal preference.
(6)The whole business of Luthor’s liaison with Pickman’s sister, and who her children turned out to be. Was not my idea, but I can’t remember whose it was to give proper credit. I realize it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Superman as such, but I included it for amusement value.
(7)To the best of my knowledge, this is largely as things were presented in Golden Age continuity.
(8)In the Earth-44 universe, there are several different kinds of “Martians”.
(9)This is just for amusement value. I just figure that if all these characters did exist in one universe, these kinds of odd meetings would happen all the time.
(10)I’m sticking with the notion that while Superman was always a friend to the JSA, he was never a big part of it.
(11)Superman spent a lot of time at the World’s Fair in those days.
(12)I picked this year so that Kara would be about 16 when she arrived on Earth, which was the age she seemed to me to be in her early Silver Age stories.
(13)Personally, I always preferred the Golden Age version of the character.
(14)This child will largely have the childhood that the Silver Age Superboy had, only with Clark and Lois as “Ma and Pa Kent”. I imagined them moving back to Smallville with the idea that the relative isolation of the farm would be a better place to raise a potentially super-powered child.
I will take this moment to address the issue of interbreeding between humans and Kryptonians.
In the Earth-44 Universe, Krypton genetic coding is carried on what I am calling “Plotconvenienceo Nucleic Acid” (PNA). PNA mixes unpredictably with human DNA, so that offspring of a human/Kryptonian union may be fully human, fully Kryptonian, an admixture of both, or have unpredictable other powers.
As regards the “Man of Steel, woman of Kleenex” issue, we are assuming that they found a safe, reliable method for humans and Kryptonians to “procreate” and for a human woman to safely bear and deliver a Kryptonian baby, or for a Kryptonian woman to safely bear and deliver a human child, if it came to that. We are not going to get into the details of said method, however.
(15)This child will grow up to be the “criminal scientist” Luthor of the late Silver and Bronze Ages.
(16)This child will grow up to be Power Girl. I made her Lois and Clark’s daughter mostly because I didn’t want Kal-El to have two separate cousins named Kara arrive on Earth. I picked this year for her birth since I figured it be about right for her to be grown up by the year that the character debuted in real life
(17)Of course, a super-boy is going to love having a super-dog to play with!
(18)I realize that this year has no real connection to any year Superboy might have been said to “debut” in the actual comics. It just seemed to fit for me.
(19)I figure with two super-powered kids, Clark and Lois would be glad to have a live-in super-powered babysitter.
(20)I would have preferred to have a second-generation Superman be a founder of the League, but for Superman to have an adult son but 1960, I would have had to marry him off several years sooner than I would have liked.
(21)I figured Kara would have made this shift around the time she reached adulthood.
(22)I haven’t worked out who Jimmy Junior’s mom would have been.
(23)I thought about having the Crime Syndicate exist in the “main” timeline, but decided to keep them in their own universe. I imagine that the Earth-44 “Mirror Universe” (Earth Minus-44?) combines elements of the Mirror Universe as initially seen in Star Trek (and later in Mystery Science Theater 3000 and South Park) and the “Earth-Three” universe as seen in DC Comics.
(24)From what I’ve found, Lucy Lane debuted in 1959, which would have made her a bit young to marry Jimmy Olsen Senior (He’d have been at least 38 by 1959), so I married her off to Jimmy Junior.
(25)Note that if a character has a Roman numeral after their name, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they call themselves by that number all the time. For example, Clark Kent Junior doesn’t necessarily call himself “Superman II”.
(26)This is the character that will someday grow up to be the “evil businessman” Luthor of the post-Crisis years. I haven’t worked out who his mother was, or who brought him up. I don’t imagine Lex Senior being a “Father of the Year” candidate.
(27)The Baron is an extremely silly person.
(28)TheEarth-44 Lana Lang is of an age with Clark Junior. I realize that probably doesn’t fit in well with her debut year in the comics, but I decided it would be amusing to have Lois and Lana each get a “Superman” of her own, not to mention having Lana end up as Lois’ daughter-in-law.
(29)I thought Cap would make a good match for our Linda.
(30)What’s she doing in a Superman timeline? We shall see.
(31)I am assuming she would change her code name as she got a bit older.
(32) No notion as to who Lex III’s mom would be.
(33) While the four characters that sprang from the “Death of Superman” storyline, we can assume that their back stories are a touch different in the Earth-44 universe, as when Doomsday came to Earth, he encountered three generations of Supermen, a Superwoman or two, Power Woman, the Marvel Family, Supreme, the Samaritan, Thor, the Hulk, the Thing, the She-Hulk, then Martian Manhunter, the Vision, some Wonder Women and old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all, who beat the living snot out of him, then gave him some lunch money so that he would have some that they could take it away from him.
(34)This is the Tangent Green Lantern, who had multiple possible origins, one of which was that she was an archaeologist called Lois Lane. Who is she to the original Lois? I haven’t decided yet.
(35)I’m choosing to ignore the period that Matrix was “Supergirl” on her own.
(36)While there occasionally are corrupt government agents in the Earth-44 universe, they’re not nearly so widespread as they are in other comics universes. There will still be some who – although well-intentioned – are antagonistic towards super-heroes.
(37)This is a variation on the Amalgam version of the character. I assume he had an accident with some Green K at some point.
(38)I seem to recall that in the comics, the Conner Kent Superboy didn’t age. If so, that doesn’t apply here.
(39)This character is from one of the Tangent books.
(40)This character is from one of the later Amalgam books, where he was a combination of Captain America and Captain Marvel Junior.
(41)May Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Woman III) is the daughter of Peter (Senior) and Mary Jane (Watson) Parker.
(42)This really has nothing to do with Superman, but I through it in as a tangential thing. It grew out of my thoughts on two ways one might write a Seinfeld reunion. One would be that they would come out of prison ridiculously reformed, and the comedy would stem from watching them crack as they slowly reverted to their old selves. The other would be that they would come out of prison ridiculously hardened, and the comedy would stem from seeing what kind of criminals they would be.
(43)This character is from the Son of Superman graphic novel.
(44)Shannon Carter is the heroine known as the American Dream.
(45)This is the “Just Imagine” version of Superman. The business about his home planet being a Kryptonian colony is my own invention.
(46)Hal Stark (a.k.a. The Iron Lantern) is the son of Tony Stark. No idea who his mother was.
(47)This is a variant on the character from “Superman: True Brit”.
(48)Based on the character appearing in the “Earth 2: Society” book.
(49)This character is meant to be roughly analogous to the “heroic” Luthor in current continuity. My take on him is that he sincerely means to do well, but that he still has a certain amount of “traditional Luthor arrogance” which will cause him problems sometimes.
(50)These characters are counterparts to the current day Superwomen, only instead of being friends, they are sisters.
(51)I see this character as roughly analogous to the “New 52” Supergirl, only a touch less harsh. Basically good-hearted, but not handling being the child of “super-hero royalty” as well as some of her siblings or cousins.
(52)This character is, of course, the Superman of 2020.
(53)Yep, eventually, the Kent, Wayne, Rogers, Stark and Parker families will all end up connected.
(54)These are counterparts to characters from John Byrne’s Generations books.