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

Voters
38. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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%
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 51
  1. #16
    Mighty Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,895

    Default

    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.
    That's actually pretty true.

    Its hard to imagine a Superboy story where Clark doesn't know about his Kryptonian heritage - especially if he also hangs out with the LOSH.

    On the other hand, I actually wonder if the Golden Age Superman would have operated the way he did if he was aware of his Kryptonian heritage. Its worth noting that both the Golden Age Superman and the Morrison T-shirt wearing Superman aren't aware of their heritage when they start off...and they are also the versions who start off as vigilantes prepared to use brute force to bully the bullies. One can imagine Clark Kent, Kansas farmboy who's been raised to use his powers for good, deciding to deliver some good old-fashioned vigilante justice. A little harder to imagine Kal-El, sole survivor of the planet Krypton, deciding to use his powers to blatantly impose his own brand of justice on humanity.

  2. #17
    Mighty Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,907

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    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.
    The super-memory didn't give him the historical details, that was his own research from time travel, other survivors and relics. Remember Pre-Crisis Krypton blew up but every other week Superboy/man met another survivor whether it was a next door neighbor (Dev-Em), a time traveler (Krypton Kid, Jor-El) or a Phantom Zoner (Jax-ur. Zod, Faora). And when it wasn't a person it was a box of weapons, an El family museum, a whole city or his dad's diaries on mental tape.

    And he also created some device that pulled every last detail out of his memories.

  3. #18
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    824

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    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.
    I like this answer.

    My further answer is that Iíd prefer he only learns about the good stuff at that age and anything darker or more disillusioning gets saved for when heís an adult.

    So his youth syncs up maybe with stuff like Jor-Elís Golden Folley or whatever (romantic stuff about Jor and Lara first meeting) and then he learns the darker stuff from Eradicator/Cleric and then when Kara comes along maybe heís a bit skeptical. (Supergirl: Is she friend or foe?) And she opens his eyes to Krypton having a light and dark side.

    More or less that lets his career mirror publishing history. Iíd also have him fight Mala and U-Ban first who were cryogenically frozen and then Jax-Ur and then Zod after Supergirl arrives.

    For my money, I like character timelines to approximate publishing history. And that also means Dick Graysonís career as Robin predates Hal and Barry so you have an era pre-JL with Superman, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman as the main active heroes with Green Arrow, Speedy, The Challengers, and maybe Captain Comet and so on.

  4. #19
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    1,815

    Default

    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.
    I've been contemplating the idea that Krypton was not an interstellar society - have made arguments why before - but did use some superduper scifi telescope sort of thing that somehow lets them see earth from the relatively recent past.

    Jor-El (or a colleague) wants to send a golden record type of thing to earth. It's the brain-interface type computer seen in New Krypton arc (that Thara gives Chris to tell legend) and it basically has a very broad, very shallow amount of information about Krypton (including the language). Jor-El, being the all-rounder type scientist common to fiction, comes to realize the truth about the imminent demise of Krypton while working on this project. Authorities do not listen. Jor-El then spends the following days/weeks (they have so little time left by time he learns the truth) frantically modifying the ship, adding life support, etc. He sends the already-compiled data along with Kal. To it, he and Lara add one message: they've learned their world is doomed, and they are sending their son to safety, please look after him. They may include the symbol of hope with him, their hope for him. It is not the symbol of the house of El.

    Alas, they could only see humans from their surveillance, and the human brain turned out not to be compatible with the device with all the info, and it does not active. Which, to be fair, Jor-El knew was risk. But that's just how they consume data. Jonathan and Martha don't really know anything. Only once Clark is older (early adolescence, perhaps), and they think him responsible enough to be given the items, does he learn anything.

    I'm just very fond of Jor-El having a very limited amount of time to prepare.

  5. #20
    Unstoppable Member KC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Somewhere with Internet
    Posts
    1,752

    Default

    In his childhood or early teens. He should then go on to become Superboy.

  6. #21
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    1,815

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    In his childhood or early teens. He should then go on to become Superboy.
    While I don't like him being Superboy at all, I deeply dislike the idea of cause-and-effect, where knowing about Krypton or being exposed to teaching from birth parents makes him decide to be a hero.

  7. #22
    Unstoppable Member KC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Somewhere with Internet
    Posts
    1,752

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    While I don't like him being Superboy at all, I deeply dislike the idea of cause-and-effect, where knowing about Krypton or being exposed to teaching from birth parents makes him decide to be a hero.
    It does not have to be one thing that caused him to want to be a hero. There is a nuance that can be had where, while his genuine want to do good is the main reason, the idea that he is a survivor from a disaster where not many people were saved and that leading him to want to save people could be another good reason.

  8. #23
    Spectacular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    133

    Default

    I maybe in the minority, but I liked how Byrne did it.

  9. #24
    Incredible Member OpaqueGiraffe17's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    881

    Default

    My favorite version was in American alien when Lobo gleefully told him. Only version where the truth actually felt like a gut punch even though we all knew it was coming.
    I’m good with him learning as an adult.

  10. #25
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    7,461

    Default

    I go both ways on the idea of some other character knowing more about his history than he does, but I'm committed to the idea of him not only learning after becoming Superman, but learning of being an alien and learning of Krypton separately. I guess it's outdated but I don't like that destiny stuff bearing on his decision to be a hero. He has powers, so he puts on a costume and starts saving people. He wasn't sent to show us a better way. Earth saved him first, but he doesn't do the right thing out of obligation. He does it because he can and he should. The costume has an S on it because he's super.
    Welcome or welcome back! Please check out the updated
    CBR Community STANDARDS & RULES

  11. #26
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    13,587

    Default

    I think it depends on the kind of Superman you're working with. I'm fine with anything from "remembers everything from day 1" to "not until he's a full adult and already in the cape."

    I voted for "After he becomes Superman" but mostly just because that's how it went originally, back in the Golden Age.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

    Bridge Four!

  12. #27
    Mighty Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,895

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    While I don't like him being Superboy at all, I deeply dislike the idea of cause-and-effect, where knowing about Krypton or being exposed to teaching from birth parents makes him decide to be a hero.
    I get what you mean. Its one of the things I don't care much about when it comes to the Donner movie - his entire identity and crusade as Superman is basically something Jor-El made him do. He has to be Superman on Jor-El's terms, and when he chooses not to be Superman, he has to lose his powers and the identity.

    I'm a fan of the idea of his upbringing by the Kents being what gave Clark an inclination to help people, with his travels across the globe and exposure to the tragedies that humanity faces cementing his decision to become a superhero.

  13. #28
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Metropolis USA
    Posts
    4,195

    Default

    I think something closer to TAS might be more along the lines of what should be done. He learns about Krypton from a recording but other than telling him not to use his powers in anger, his parents leave it up to him to decide his own fate.
    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!

  14. #29
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    8,404

    Default

    When he learns everything is actually really solid ground for some character work, so I tend to not like it when everything is dumped on him in one go regardless of when it happens.

    So, for me I say that he knows he's an alien between ages 9 and 12. All he's got is a hologram recording with a man and woman who look like him, wear funny clothes, and speak a language no one's ever heard before. Then from then on it's Clark's imagination filling in the blanks of who these people are, why they sent him hear, and what it was like on that world. Growing up, on his worse days--the days where it feels his most awkward and out of place-- he hope they finally come get him and take him to somewhere he doesn't have to feel like this anymore. But in five minutes he regrets the thought. Other days he's actually scared they might come for him. He lets all manner of science fiction TV show, movie, and comic flue his imagination on who they could be, and often times he ends up scaring the hell out of himself. And some of the same can be said for Jonathan and Martha. There were days where they'd live in a bit of unease wondering if someone were coming to take their boy.

    Something cool you could do would be to condense some of the more outlandish and odd Krypton related Superboy stories into the daydreams and imaginings of Clark as a boy (or his parents). Then you could reimagine others as Clark writing out his outlandish stories with stand-ins for himself, his parents, and his town. That gives Clark a tangible nudge towards writing.

    But the main thing is that it's all also a persistent mystery for nearly over a decade of his life that culminates in his first Big adventure as Superman (hot specifically his first appearance, but rather the first Big--likely alien--adventure he has) with it ending on the bittersweet note finding out how wonderful his place of birth could be, and that his birth parents sent him to Earth to give him a chance at life, but also that he's all that's left.

    Very specific take, but the main idea is that I'd like him to learn everything from childhood to adulthood.
    #MakeAlexGreatAgain

    "Your videos give us hope. They give us strength in these times of slow normals, Chun-Li costumes and rampant New York fires.
    We shall overcome. The day will come when we are all warmed up."


    -Coffee That

    Who tryina throw some hands in SFV or Granblue Fantasy Vs?

  15. #30
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2,013

    Default

    I don't have a hard and fast, one-size-fits-all answer for this. I think Frank Miller does a remarkably good job in the ill-named Superman Year One with depicting how a very young Clark, say under age ten, might behave in regards to simply remembering Krypton, and it came across as more in-depth than the Silver Age version. The memories are dreamlike and distant, influenced by the uncertainty and incomprehension of Kal's young mind, but he knows the broad details and knows from arrival both how and why he's so different from Earth people. I really, really liked it.

    At the same time, I also love Grant Morrison's Action Comics, where as a young man in his early 20s, Clark learns about Krypton, having already become Superman, and having known from childhood what he wants "Superman" to be. I appreciate the moral certainty and brashness of Morrison's young Superman, with Krypton coming in as sort of a bonus to how he already knew he'd spend his life. My other favorite is probably Zack Snyder's movie Man of Steel, where discovering his heritage is what enables an adult Clark to both act more publicly as "Superman" by making Superman a reflection of Kal-El, and to fully become the Clark Kent he's always been, as he settles down for the first time.

    All these takes are very incompatible, and they're all, if not equally good, at least good in ways that other approaches can't cover. This applies to other takes as well, though. Silver Age Superman always knew, but his memory was near perfect, and because of these memories, being Superboy was natural. As with everything from this age, there's a certain charm to the Silver Age take on Kal's Kryptonian knowledge that just makes the setting more fun and bombastic. None of the first three takes are nearly as charming as the Silver Age. 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.

    Anyway, yeah. Different answers to the question for different effects. I didn't vote, because I didn't have one answer.
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •