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. #31
    Astonishing Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    I voted for adolescence because it makes for a better story, imo. It provides more suspense and angst and discovery when he is old enough to understand the consequences of his powers and the conflict and pain in trying to hide it from the world and especially the people around Clark.

  2. #32
    Traveler of omniverses Thor-Ul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    The radio show's Superman has an interesting permutation, arriving on Earth having grown to manhood in his ship, and so he knows he's from another planet and sometimes, as Golden Age Superman occasionally does, seems to look upon Earth men like an anthropologist, studying us to a certain extent. And yet he doesn't know his name is Kal-El, he thinks he doesn't have one. His knowledge of Krypton is presumably extant, because I believe he's taught onboard the ship, but his knowledge is probably very broad if he never even learned his name. I think this version has a value of making Superman kind of interestingly distant both from Earth and Krypton, and I sort of like the effect. It's unusual. They later retconned it, of course, but I still like it.
    Well, intresting fact. I would like to read about that interpretaion in a Black Label mini maybe.
    Back on topic...
    I voted adolescence too. I liked when Byrne did the revelation later in adult life, but discovering in the adolescence I suppose is meaningful in the way as in that age there is a period of selfdiscovery and affirmation of the identity. Or maybe I'm just too much influenced by Smallville.
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  3. #33
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    It's impossible to give one answer, because we have so many different versions of the origin story.

    If Kal-El wasn't actually born on Krypton and his birthing matrix was sent to Earth and he was only "born" once he arrived on Earth, then it makes some sense that he didn't learn his origins until later. But even then for the sake of the MAN OF STEEL six issue story, I think Byrne delayed that revelation too long. It seems likely that some of his origins would have been revealed to him when he was younger.

    If baby Kal-L was discovered on his lonesome in a field by a passing motorist (who apparently had no idea that this was an alien), who brought the infant to a foundling home, then there would be no one on Earth that would have an inkling of his alien origins. The Kents would not have known--but they must have been astounded when this kid started doing amazing feats.

    If the baby was born on Krypton, how old was he when he was sent to Earth--and was he conscious during the voyage? I remember some key details from when I was a little baby that no one could have told me. And Kal-L/Kal-El had a more tumultuous infancy--which would leave an impression on his young mind. Did he just not understand the things he remembered, did he have brain damage from the voyage, did he have PTSD?

    From being a simple missile, the rocketship has developed into a complex piece of technology over the past few decades. And given how much other stuff Jor-El was able to do, it's hard to believe that there wasn't a lot of information being fed to Kal-El by the rocketship.

    In the Donner movie, it doesn't make much sense that we see the baby being instructed by Jor-El on his voyage to Earth, yet growing up as Clark Kent he hasn't retained that information and he has to discover it all over again later in the movie.
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  4. #34
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    The younger the better. I just prefer he has a varied childhood with a wealth of different experiences to grow and pull from, and helps him to be a more multifaceted character. The "farmboy at heart" take is a little too simplistic for me.

    I figure that Jor-El probably puts some kind of system in the ship that fed infant Kal-El a long form, encyclopedia like bevy of information about the world of Krpton. It's history, it's culture, technology, religions, holidays, etc. When baby Kal arrives on Earth and is found by the Kent's he doesn't immediately remember much at all but over time as the Sun's energy begins to strengthen his mental faculties he'd start to remember this stuff at around 3-4 years old with more coming back as his life progresses. By the time he's in his early 20's he has a complete knowledge of Krypton in an encyclopedia like way, i.e. he's never actually seen any of this stuff but he could build an exact replica of it.

    I'd figure Clark would be a rather bookish type so I could see him being rather drawn to learning about his own science fictional backstory.
    Last edited by The World; 01-06-2020 at 02:50 PM.
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  5. #35
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    5-10 for any preferred incarnation of mine. The earlier the better but not so young that he doesn't quite grasp what it is he's learning. Really 8-10 is the sweet spot, but that wasn't available as a choice. He needs to be young enough where the Kryptonian influence and heritage is there and available in whatever ways possible (it doesn't matter to me if he learns pretty much everything right then and there, or starts with just very general pieces of info) right alongside his adopted human heritage, and old enough to be scared, mystified, and wondrous about it.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 01-06-2020 at 04:54 PM.
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  6. #36
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    It's hard to say. I would say in his early adulthood would lend itself best to entertaining comics.

  7. #37
    Fantastic Member magha_regulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The World View Post
    The younger the better. I just prefer he has a varied childhood with a wealth of different experiences to grow and pull from, and helps him to be a more multifaceted character. The "farmboy at heart" take is a little too simplistic for me.

    I figure that Jor-El probably puts some kind of system in the ship that fed infant Kal-El a long form, encyclopedia like bevy of information about the world of Krpton. It's history, it's culture, technology, religions, holidays, etc. When baby Kal arrives on Earth and is found by the Kent's he doesn't immediately remember much at all but over time as the Sun's energy begins to strengthen his mental faculties he'd start to remember this stuff at around 3-4 years old with more coming back as his life progresses. By the time he's in his early 20's he has a complete knowledge of Krypton in an encyclopedia like way, i.e. he's never actually seen any of this stuff but he could build an exact replica of it.

    I'd figure Clark would be a rather bookish type so I could see him being rather drawn to learning about his own science fictional backstory.
    I absolutely agree with you. Krypton should fascinate him. I said it earlier, but I also think that the lynchpin for the logic of this is his super-memory/intelligence. He should have a photographic memory of everything that happened to him while he was on Krypton. He might not . understand the context for everything, but he should definitely remember it.

  8. #38
    Mighty Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    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.
    Basically this. He learns from the Kents that he's adopted and was found in a rocket from the stars. Ideally this would be around puberty when his powers traditionally manifest post-Crisis. I don't imagine the Kents know much else and that's fine. I would wager that the Legion protect him from learning more during their adventures as well simply because he's not supposed to know that much as Superboy, thus protecting the timestream.

    When he's older, he'd learn about it via the Fortress or some other intervention. It's more or less the Donner film, but without him sitting around the Fortress for a few years.

    That said, I'm not against Silver Age Superbaby shenanigans. That's a lot of fun, but given comics tend to try and play up drama, it doesn't lend itself as well. If you want to contrast his maturing powers to Jon's, however, then perhaps as a pure Kyrptonian his would manifest as a child whereas Jon's came towards 10-12, thus slightly slower, but if we're going down that rabbithole we should discuss other ways to differentiate Clark and Jon.
    Last edited by Robanker; 01-08-2020 at 07:00 PM.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    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.
    This is the winning approach, in my mind. It should be an evolving process of discovery. But he doesn't put on the suit and cape until after he learns most of the full story.

  10. #40
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    I like it being different for different versions.

  11. #41
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    My own personal version is that the infant Kal-El was already super-intelligent owing to the advanced science on Krypton. Maybe babies there are educated at birth--their minds improved by medical enhancements. But when the rocket had to escape Krypton, and it went through some kind of warp in space, it dragged a cloud of radioactive Krypton particles with it, and consequently Kal-El suffered some brain damage during his flight to Earth. So his memory wasn't perfect and there were patches that were blank--later as Superboy, he developed a machine to try and retrieve those memories.

    However, there was an advanced AI and computer on board the rocket and this was a kind of "robot teacher" that instructed Kal-El during his entire time growing up on Earth. But some of what the robot teacher taught Kal-El might have also been incorrect, because there was a Brainiac virus that had infected all computers on Krypton during the Kandor invasion--so what Superboy thought was the truth about Krypton was distorted. As Superman, he realized that his knowledge was imperfect, so he was always doing research to work out the complete history of Krypton.
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  12. #42
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    A robot teacher? Sounds like a good one to me!��✅

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by lam View Post
    A robot teacher? Sounds like a good one to me!��✅
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  14. #44
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Oh Boy! It feels strange. I have just had discussion regarding this very issue and its problematic portrayal of woman character, a day ago. It feels like with Earth 1985 being a thing, we have started to discuss more and more older stories recently. Ultimately, i think kelex should do the job in modern stories.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Oh Boy! It feels strange. I have just had discussion regarding this very issue and its problematic portrayal of woman character, a day ago. It feels like with Earth 1985 being a thing, we have started to discuss more and more older stories recently. Ultimately, i think kelex should do the job in modern stories.
    No, the Robot Teacher appeared at least three times and the story you were discussing was the last of the three. He trained/tested Superboy early in his career, did the same to Supergirl, and then was shown having returned in between to retest Clark when Clark was on the verge of becoming Superman. If he came back on Earth 1985 we might get him testing the pre-Crisis Supergirl again.

    I think if such a thing existed in Earth-Rebirth Mr. Oz eliminated him

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