"The Secret Origin of the Golden-Age Superman": The planet Krypton is in its death throes with only hours before its Uranium core explodes. Respected scientist Jor-L and his wife Lara place their infant child, Kal-L inside of a
- Up, up –- and away!
Appearing in "The Secret Origin of the Golden-Age Superman"
- Evelyn Curry
Synopsis for "The Secret Origin of the Golden-Age Superman"
The planet Krypton is in its death throes with only hours before its Uranium core explodes. Respected scientist Jor-L and his wife Lara place their infant child, Kal-L inside of an experimental rocket and launch him into outer space just as the planet explodes.
After hurtling through space, it touches down in the wooded areas of Smallville on the planet Earth. John and Mary Kent discover the rocket and rescue the child. They admit the infant to a local orphanage but when the agency fails to adapt to Kal-L's physical peculiarities, they decide to award custody of him to the Kents.
Naming him Clark, the Kents raise him as their own son and raise him to be an honest and noble human being. As he grows into adulthood, Clark discovers that his strange alien powers have only made him more powerful than ever.
Following the natural deaths of his parents, Clark relocates to the city of Metropolis where he attempts to get a job as a newspaper reporter at the Daily Star. Managing Editor George Taylor denies him the opportunity, unless he can somehow prove himself as a reporter.
Clark begins investigating the local crime scene. Rather than track down clues as a mild mannered reporter, he instead dons a colorful costume and becomes the super-hero soon to be known as Superman.
Superman learns that a woman named Evelyn Curry is to be executed for the murder of a labor leader named Jack Kennedy. A man named Sims tells Superman that Evelyn is innocent, and that the true murderer is a lounge singer named Bea Carroll. Superman interrogates Bea and forces a confession from her. He then races to the governor's mansion where he personally delivers the signed confession in the hopes of granting Evelyn an 11th hour reprieve. Evelyn is found innocent and the governor grants her a full pardon.
Changing back to Clark Kent, he delivers the story to George Taylor who rewards him by making Clark a full-time staff reporter. Clark meets fellow wordsmith, Lois Lane, and takes notice of her sudden fascination with Superman. However, understanding the need to protect his secret identity, Clark forces himself to play the part of a bumbling coward – a demeanor that quickly earns him Lois' enmity.
A few nights later, Clark and Lois attend a nightclub and a group of goons (led by Butch Mason) begin hassling them. They push Clark aside and kidnap Lois. Clark changes to Superman and follows their car down the highway. He quickly captures them and rescues Lois. After which, he makes quick work of the thugs' vehicle. Superman flies Lois back to her home, warning her not to put this account in the newspaper.
The next day, Lois tries to convince George Taylor about her encounter with Superman, which he doesn't believe. As Lois ponders about doing an interview with Superman, Clark arrives in the Daily Star office, with Lois giving a rather low opinion about him. Clark suspects that she is thinking about Superman.
- This book was first published on January 9, 1986.
- Cover artwork: the image inside the crystal ball is by Boring and Ordway, the rest of the cover is by Ordway.
- This is a retelling of Superman's origin and first adventure from Action Comics #1 with information from later stories incorporated. It was intended to be the definitive version of the origin of the Superman of the recently-destroyed Earth-Two.
- The cover to this issue features cameo appearances by: Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson), the Flash (Jay Garrick), the Huntress (Helena Wayne), the Spectre (Jim Corrigan), and Wonder Woman. None of these characters actually appear inside the comic book.
- This issue includes a Superman pin-up with a dedication to Superman-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
- This issue includes a three page article written by Roy Thomas entitled, "The Secret Origin of Secret Origins".
- There are many differences between the Golden Age version of the Superman mythos and the subsequent retellings in both the Silver and Modern Age continuities.
- The Golden Age Superman did not originally possess the ability to fly. Rather, he could only take giant leaps of no more than 1/8th of a mile.
- There were also subtle differences in costume design between the original Superman and later versions.
- The original subtitle to this story was Revolution in San Monte (Part I).
- The name of Kal-L's mother is given as Lara throughout the story, despite the fact that it was Lora in the very earliest stories. However, it did change to Lara after a couple of years, still in the Golden Age.
- Butch Matson is mistakenly called "Butch Mason".
- A lookalike of Billy Batson can be seen peddling papers in Metropolis as Clark Kent passes him by, contemplating becoming a reporter.
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Links and References
- Secret Origins #1 entry at the Grand Comics Database
- Secret Origins #1 entry at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Read the story online