Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and sixty-fifth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
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Superman’s mom was originally going to make it to Earth in Man of Steel.
So I figured, hey, let’s talk a little more about Byrne’s Man of Steel reboot!
As you may or may not know, one of the big changes to Superman’s mythology in Man of Steel was that not only was Superman the SOLE survivor of Krypton (as pretty much everyone at DC, including Byrne, hated how many people seemed to have somehow survived the explosion of the planet. Byrne once joked that it seemed like the Science Council were the only people to actually die) but they wanted to no longer glorify Krypton. Instead, it was a sterile, almost love-less place. However, Jor-El and Lara shared something unusual on the planet – they actually loved each other!
Here they are in the last moments of Krypton…
Damn, that’s an awesome last page by Byrne, isn’t it?
What’s particularly interesting about the Byrne reboot is just how closely it followed the original Superman story. The only major change from Superman’s original origin was that Ma and Pa Kent didn’t die when Clark Kent became Superman (even that wasn’t mentioned either way in Action Comics #1, but when the origin was expanded in Superman #1, their graves were shown. Do note that the original origin never mentioned Superboy). Otherwise, the Byrne origin was pretty darn close to the basic idea of the original Superman origin (albeit with a distinct version of Krypton).
However, initially, Byrne wanted to do something a LOT different. Byrne wanted a pregnant Lara to land on Earth and give birth on Earth. Byrne’s logic (besides the cool idea of Superman being born ON Earth – something that they ended up sort of doing anyways ,as the genetic matrix technically “birthed” Superman when he landed) was that a piece of Krypton would land on Earth and it would become kryptonite and we would see how deadly kryptonite was by seeing it kill Lara.
The idea, though, clever, was seen as just too different from the original origin, so it was scrapped and Byrne had to come up with another way to show the deadly effects of kryptonite (he made it a major piece of his first issue of the Superman ongoing series)…
It was a clever idea, though!
Thanks to John Byrne and Peter Sanderson for the information (from Sanderson’s classic article on the reboot from Amazing Heroes #96).
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed – How did James Bond lead to the creation of Darkwing Duck?
Part 3 will be up soon! Feel free to write in with suggestions for future legends to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!
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