View Poll Results: How old should Clark be when he learns details about Krypton?

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  • He should actually remember them from day 1.

    3 7.89%
  • Under 5 - in early childhood

    1 2.63%
  • 5 - 10 - in later childhood

    5 13.16%
  • 10 - 18 - in adolescence

    22 57.89%
  • Before he becomes Superman, but in adulthood

    3 7.89%
  • After he becomes Superman

    4 10.53%
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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Default How old should Clark be when he learns about Krypton and his birth parents?

    This question inspires by the Fortress of Solitude and Earth 2 threads.

    How old do you think Clark should be when he learns the names of his birth parents and home planet and what happened to them?

    Editing for clarity. I am not asking about when he learns he has powers, when he learns he is adopted, or when he learns he is alien. I am asking about when he should learn the specific history.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 12-31-2019 at 10:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    He should learn he’s from outer space as a kid, but not know the full story of what happened until he becomes an adult in my opinion.

  3. #3
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    Kal should have super-memory from birth, but loses it upon arrival on Earth, only to retroactively regain it in full when Clark learns he's an alien (maybe contact with the unearthed rocketship triggers it?), which should happen around age 12.

    The real question is, how old should Clark be when he finds out he's adopted (but not yet alien)? Or should it be a double-whammy at once for greater effect?

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Adolescence should be old enough... the usual start of a JRPG hero lol

  5. #5
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what I like. I know several different versions exist and have a decently in-depth knowledge of at least 4 different ones (day 1, adolescence, before becoming Superman, after becoming Superman) from different continuities. But I never stopped to think what I actually prefer.

    Not before adolescence for me, but am still unsure after that. I strongly dislike the virtual Jor-El or long term teaching versions.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 12-31-2019 at 10:44 PM.

  6. #6
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    Anywhere between 15 to 18. Personally, I've always loved how they did it in the STAS pilot.

    That said, my preference is that he learns the bare minimum about Krypton to begin with from Jor-El and Lara's recording - the fact that they are his parents, his real name is Kal-El and that he's the sole survivor of Krypton which gives him extraordinary powers on earth. For years, that's all Clark will ever know about where he really came from. Its only once he becomes Superman and starts encountering the likes of General Zod and Brainiac, or visits the Bottle City of Kandor, that he really starts to gain a fuller appreciation and understanding of Krypton and his heritage.

    In fact, I rather like the idea of Superman traveling back in time to Krypton and meeting his parents - with that being the first time he really comes to realize the life and world that he has lost, and the need to honor that legacy.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Side note - can anyone tell me the first time we saw Superman (not in a Superboy story) learn this information on-panel?

  8. #8
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    I'd prefer never, but I know I'm in the minority there.

    I'd prefer that he learn about it in pieces. The Kents show him the rocket when he is old enough to be trusted with a secret. So probably around 13, maybe a bit younger if he is already showing powers (and keeping them hidden). But the rocket should not have any messages or history tapes and especially no holographic interactive Jor-Els. Clark should have no idea if he was some advanced science base on Earth, from mars or from some planet far off in space. Maybe a vague memory of Jor-El and Lara plus the explosion but no details to give it context.

    An encounter with Mon-El might convince him he is a Daxamite Or legends about Hugo Danner and Iron Munro might have him thinking he is some offshoot of that science. Hal's ring might identify him as Kryptonian, but not provide any further answers.

    The arrival of Kara would be his first time hearing the whole story of Krypton's destruction and his parents' sacrifice to save him.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Side note - can anyone tell me the first time we saw Superman (not in a Superboy story) learn this information on-panel?
    I think it was Superman #61 (I might have the issue number wrong). As a full grown Superman he has his first encounter with kryptonite and using super-speed he follow the meteor back through time and space to before Krypton exploded. Since the rule about one person not being able to be in two places when time travelling was in effect he remained a fully powered ghost since baby Kal-L existed already in this time. He learned all the details about Krypton at this point. Hilariously the readers had known about it from the newspaper strip, a novel and the radio show a full decade before Superman himself.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Thanks for synopsis. Does sound a bit odd (read:silver age) to modern ears.

    Thematically, I like after he becomes Superman. I hate the Jesus aspect of Jor-El sending Kal-El to earth to be a hero. I like more Moses way that he was sent solely with saving his own life in mind. I like Clark becoming a hero because he can.

    Also, I associate heavy Krytonian influence with the silver age, which I am not fond of. I like Clark thinking of himself as one of us. No doubt being first exposed to that version is an influence. I also think Kal-El being sent in the little pod/rocket usually seen is better suited to there being very little prep time.

    But, pragmatically, there are things I want Clark to know that are better suited to some data being sent in the ship. At least, if I want to avoid him needing to time travel to get that information. In that case, the Kents giving him access to the materials in the ship (once they think he's old enough) also makes a lot of sense, and I would go with early adolescence. Unless he just took a while to figure out the tech.

    I have previously thought of such a scenario (adolescent Clark but with scant info) just for fun, but had forgotten about it. May have to think on it some more to see if I can work out kinks.

    He would know he was adopted and likely alien all along, since I like him having powers young.

  11. #11
    Fantastic Member magha_regulus's Avatar
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    Kryptonians have super memories. He should remember them and all of his experiences on Krypton even if he left as just a baby. He should know that he is an alien from the beginning based on memory alone. There's also the education he should get inside his rocket that should teach him about Krypton and also give him preliminary info about life on earth.

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member Last Son of Krypton's Avatar
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    I prefer him learning about his krypronian origin as a kid/teen and getting more details about his homeworld over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Side note - can anyone tell me the first time we saw Superman (not in a Superboy story) learn this information on-panel?
    In Superman #61 from 1949.

  13. #13
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    It depends on the Superman. The Golden Age Superman and those inspired by that incarnation like Earth-2's Kal-L and Morrison's T-Shirt & Jeans Superman don't really learn much about Krypton until adulthood. Same deal with Byrne's Superman. However, every incarnation aside from those has learned about more detailed information Krypton during adolescence.

    Both work depending upon the story being told and the type of Superman needed for that story. In the current Superman Versus The Klan story, Clark's spotty knowledge of Krypton is crucial to the story. On the other hand, most Superboy stories generally lead to Clark gaining much greater understanding about Krypton.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    It depends on the Superman. The Golden Age Superman and those inspired by that incarnation like Earth-2's Kal-L and Morrison's T-Shirt & Jeans Superman don't really learn much about Krypton until adulthood. Same deal with Byrne's Superman. However, every incarnation aside from those has learned about more detailed information Krypton during adolescence.

    Both work depending upon the story being told and the type of Superman needed for that story. In the current Superman Versus The Klan story, Clark's spotty knowledge of Krypton is crucial to the story. On the other hand, most Superboy stories generally lead to Clark gaining much greater understanding about Krypton.
    I think my lack of love for Superboy and the silver age definitely plays in. Also, in other (non-Superboy) media, he sometimes learns the truth later.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    I always liked the idea of a recording in the ship. Even with something like super-memory, you're not going to come away with very much information if you're relying on the memories of a baby. This is the one thing that always bugged me about the pre-Crisis Superman. He had memories of all these things that happened when he was just two. Including extensive details about Kyrptonian history. How many two year olds can tell you a lot about Earth history? I would say the Kents told him from day one they found him in a space ship but they don't know any more than that. And later, around puberty, they show him the ship and he learns from the recordings. If Jor-El knew that Krypton was doomed, he'd want to preserve not just his son but his culture as well. Ironically the one person I think got super-memory right was Frank Miller. He gets bits and pieces of his memories as he grows up but it doesn't all come back to him until later.
    Now listen to me, Clark! This great strength of yours--you've got to hide it from people or they'll be scared of you!

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