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  1. #1
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Default Elements from outside comics that you include as part of your head canon?

    I just finished the Smallville episode "Ryan" with a pair of my students and there was not a dry eye in the class. It got me thinking that the idea of Ryan, another lost orphaned kid with strange powers being adopted by the Kents who dies, is something that I'd slot right into my own personal history of Superman that exists only inside my head, free from the restrictions of whatever DC is currently deeming "canon", which seems to be everything at the moment, but I'm sure will become a whole lot more codified and walled-in soon enough.

    I also quite liked the idea from the CW Supergirl of Kara's mother being a prosecutor on Krypton, as that dovetails nicely in how Jor-El was involved in sentencing criminals to the Phantom Zone. I'm generally in favor of anything that gives the female characters in the Superman mythos more agency than simply being "the wife".

    What about you guys? Is there anything that you've seen from outside the comics that you include in your Superman head canon that the comics might not necessarily include?

  2. #2
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    The "Panic in the Sky" episode of the 1950's TV series. Sometime early in his career Superman encountering a meteor asteroid (probably with some small embedded kryptonite) that leaves him unsure of his ability to stop it. And a climactic moment of making a second try convinced he might die in the process.

    The way Jonathan Kent died in Superman the Movie. Sudden non-Superman related death with Clark simply unable to prevent it. No car crashes arranged by 5th dimensional imps. No killed by Brainiac. No killed by a tornado while Clark stnads by because it isn't time to reveal himself yet. No time travel trips and mysterious illnesses that haven't been seen in over a century.

    Chloe Sullivan from Smallville. Never really took to Lana being the "secret keeper", especially when she was also the love interest in his teen years. So Chloe serves as a female Pete Ross and a proto-Lois (but without any serious romance). And we really need more female classmates of Clark's

  3. #3
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    A lot of the stuff from Smallville is filed away in my head canon. The meteor shower accompanying the ship. Lex Luthor's relationship to his father and the general arc of his "fall". Clark operating under the radar as a hero in Smallville, never actually being Superboy per say,but the Legion history reinterpreting what few scraps of history that remain into their era into basically the silver age status quo of classic Superboy. The aforementioned asteroid incident (which Lois and Clark also did btw).
    When it comes to comics,one person's "fan-service" is another persons personal cannon. So by definition it's ALL fan service. Aren't we ALL fans?
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  4. #4
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    The idea of Brainiac being involved in some way with Krypton's destruction, or at least being aware of it and foiling Jor-El's attempts to stop it. This is something from the TAS (the first full version of Superman's origin that I was exposed to) which has always stuck in my mind. While I don't think Brainiac should be Kryptonian in origin, I like the idea of him infiltrating Kryptonian society somehow and becoming a powerful and influential factor, with Jor-El being one of the few on the High Council (maybe the only one) not taken in.

    I love the costume from the Flesischer cartoons with the black in the chest symbol, and the idea that it was one of Superman's suits during his early career. Something which I'm glad to have heard that the new Superman & Lois show is going along with I'd love to see the comics include that suit too in flashbacks to more Golden Age-inspired early adventures.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Everything about how It’s Superman! deals with the Kents political and personal beliefs.

    I like Smallville’s idea of Lionel moving the Luthors to Smallville because he was tracking Clark’s rocket, although I’d have had that happen after Clark’s arrival with Lionel tracking said rocket after it landed and showing up years later hoping to find out if his theories on the “meteor’s” true nature are correct.
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  6. #6
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel1979 View Post
    A lot of the stuff from Smallville is filed away in my head canon. The meteor shower accompanying the ship. Lex Luthor's relationship to his father and the general arc of his "fall". Clark operating under the radar as a hero in Smallville, never actually being Superboy per say,but the Legion history reinterpreting what few scraps of history that remain into their era into basically the silver age status quo of classic Superboy. The aforementioned asteroid incident (which Lois and Clark also did btw).
    Yup. The meteor shower as an explanation for why, in later restarts, radar did not track the ship. Lex Luthor with a real explanation for how he became who he was.

    It's appropriate when you think of all the stuff that started in other media and became comic book canon.
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  7. #7
    Astonishing Member John Venus's Avatar
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    -Brainiac being on Krypton and having a role in it's destruction.

    -Zod and Jor-El knowing each other before their friendship turned into enmity.

    -Argo being a sister planet to Krypton and Clark discovering Kara when he returned to look at Krypton's remains. I would keep their blood connection but I think take from S:TAS is more original than another rocket ship landing on earth.

    -Toyman, Metallo, Parasite, Livewire- I prefer their animated incarnation in Superman: TAS over their comic book counterpart.

  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    The Family Album segments, obvs.

    A weird combination of the Donner Krypton, Byrne Krypton, and Birthright Krypton.

    Christopher Reeves look.

    Tom Welling look as a teenager.

    More recently I've started head cannoning the S&L Smallville and farmhouse.

    Lane Smith as Perry.
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  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Everything about how It’s Superman! deals with the Kents political and personal beliefs.
    I agree, that book has a phenomenal Jonathan and his unorthodox, syncretic belief system is a really cool way of treating them. Reminds me of my own dad in some ways, which might be part of why I like that so much!

    Let's see what else...

    Oh, in the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon, Jor-El created a sort of geo-nuclear regulator device to turn back the "green death" that eventually caused Krypton's destruction, but he installed the machine underground in Kandor, so when Brainiac stole the city, it made Krypton's destruction inevitable, as there was no longer time to create another device. I think that's a neat idea.

    I also prefer the Legion cartoon's idea that all Coluans are simply robotic, as opposed to the comics' numerous complex strategies to explain how Brainiac can be a machine while most Coluans are not, or later, how Brainiac can be from a machine-ruled planet despite not being mechanical himself... I always thought the cartoon had the most elegant solution. Brainiac is still from Colu and not Krypton (I always thought the DCAU approach was a little heretical despite being an obviously great approach to the character) but he's still mechanical and there's literally no complex reason why. He's just a robot man from a planet of robot people.

    I think in the Supergirl movie, Zal-Tar proclaims that Kara is an artist. In my mind, that's her "Guild" under the "Man of Steel" style caste system, and in any version of Krypton that has such a system, Kara is part of the "Artist Guild."

    You know how in "Superman: Man of Tomorrow", Kal is kind of framed as the Champion of the Outsiders? I think that perfectly fits within his original Champion of the Oppressed purview and it's certainly been done before in stories like his first movie, "Superman and the Mole Men" but I think "Man of Tomorrow" most overtly positions him in that cultural space, moreso than any other media, and it so purely reflects how I think of Superman's character that I think it's kind of perfect.

    That scene in Smallville where Clark reveals his secret identity to Lois is so absolutely perfect in every way, except that he's called "the Blur" in every moment when they should be saying the word "Superman". Which honestly, feels like my brain just went over a speed bump at 80 miles an hour when I hear it, but regardless, it's awesome.

    Oh and lastly, my second-to-fourth favorite super-villain, The Yellow Mask, only exists on radio. So obviously... that's part of my "mental map" of Superman's world.
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  10. #10
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Superman landing in metropolis fully growb with Jimmy and his dad being the one to show him around from the radio show
    "I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice! And my sons, and their sons, shall follow me!"

  11. #11
    Traveler of omniverses Thor-Ul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I just finished the Smallville episode "Ryan" with a pair of my students and there was not a dry eye in the class. It got me thinking that the idea of Ryan, another lost orphaned kid with strange powers being adopted by the Kents who dies, is something that I'd slot right into my own personal history of Superman that exists only inside my head, free from the restrictions of whatever DC is currently deeming "canon", which seems to be everything at the moment, but I'm sure will become a whole lot more codified and walled-in soon enough.
    That reminds me a lot of those old silver age Smallville stories, where in the Superboy stories every week a new "Superboy" appeared to become either a lost friend to Superboy or to be adopted by the Kents.

    I also quite liked the idea from the CW Supergirl of Kara's mother being a prosecutor on Krypton, as that dovetails nicely in how Jor-El was involved in sentencing criminals to the Phantom Zone. I'm generally in favor of anything that gives the female characters in the Superman mythos more agency than simply being "the wife".
    I like to see the female characters in different ocuppations, but I'm not friend to see in the same context. I confess I don't follow the Supergirl series, but to imagine her in the same role than Jor-El is give again the feeling than Supergirl lacks any story of his own and have to adapt anything from Superman to make any story. In New Krypton Supergirl mother was a member of the military guild, and that was more interesting because we had not seen any other member of that family in that guild before.

    What about you guys? Is there anything that you've seen from outside the comics that you include in your Superman head canon that the comics might not necessarily include?
    The meteor shower from Smallville as an explanation to the overabundance of kryptonite on earth.
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  12. #12
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    Never heard of IT'S SUPERMAN. I'll have to put that on my reading list.

    For me my canon is the classic Earth-One Superman (1955 - 1985) in the comics and there's not a lot whole from the cartoons, movies and T.V. shows that affect that.

    I saw some of the George Reeves version and the 1966 Filmation cartoon before I started reading the comics, so those are the biggest influences.

    The idea that Clark and Lex are close to the same age and friends is something SMALLVILLE got the from the comics. But in the comics, the Luthors were good people who were ashamed of their son and changed their name to Thorul, so their daughter grew up as Lena Thorul. I like the idea that Lionel was not a good father, as in SMALLVILLE--and I like the idea that both Lillian and Lena were just as smart (as seen in SUPERGIRL). But Thorul is an interesting name, given it sounds like Jor-El. The most important detail to keep is that the father is a very hairy man and the son has no hair (not even eyebrows, as seen on LOIS & CLARK).

    Pa Kent dying and Ma Kent surviving is something that happens in the pilot episode of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN--and it's the same in the 1978 movie, SMALLVILLE and MAN OF STEEL. But I hate that idea. Either the Kents both die or they both live. I'm not into the half and half solution--and it makes it seem like Jonathan Kent is the most expendable of the two. Nor do I like the heart attack angle.

    In SUPERBOY, the 1980s series, I remember Clark having this conversation with his dad about the difference between anaerobic and aerobic exercise--and that working on the farm is anaerobic exercise but what Jonathan needs is aerobic exercise to keep him heart healthy. It seems to me that, with his super-senses, Clark would always be doing things to keep his parents in top health. If they die, then it has to be something he couldn't possibly prevent like an attack from space or an incurable illness.

    Of course, another change that the on-screen adaptations have made is that Jonathan and Martha are a lot younger. It makes sense with the original Superman story that his parents died of old age--but if they were still only in their forties of fifties, then you need another option.

    Lana Lang being Eurasian was a good move on the part of SMALLVILLE. But like with everything else they screwed it up as the series went on--because it turns out her biological father was white, so that would mean that she was Asian-American on her mother's side. The name Lang then had nothing to do with it--even though that's a Chinese family name. Yes it's a German family name, and they got it from Fritz Lang, but it seems just as likely it could be Chinese. This doesn't mean she can't have red hair--that kind of thing does happen--and I like Lana to have red hair.

    Brainiac should be from the computer planet, Colu--and connected with Brainiac 5. However, he's essentially a computer program which can exist in any form (both cybernetic and biological)--so when Brainiac stole Kandor (or uploaded it), he infected the computer systems on Krypton. The Science Council didn't realize the trick until it was too late and their entire system was corrupted by the Brainiac program. Thus they had no defenses against him and all their ships were grounded. They are still recovering from the Brainiac attack--with an unreliable computer system still controlled by the invasive virus--when Jor-El is trying to get funding for his mission to save the planet.

    The onboard computer that pilots Kal-El's model rocket would therefore also be infected by Brainiac, with Jor-El having unwittingly sent a copy of Brainiac to Earth along with his son.

    SMALLVILLE also had the idea that Phantom Zoners have no corporeal body and must take over the bodies of others--which I like. But again the show wasn't consistent with this.

    Radio, T.V. and movies have introduced characters that became part of the Superman family. Inspector Henderson comes from the radio show. I like that Inspector Henderson is African-American--as he's been in different screen versions--giving the comics some more diversity where it's needed.

    Perry White was the version that the radio show had instead of George Taylor; however, had the editor stayed George Taylor I don't think that would have been a loss. The Daily Planet instead of the Daily Star came from the radio show--and it's probably a more distinctive name for the newspaper. And there was also Kryptonite.

    I feel that Jimmy existed in the comics first--but the name Olsen was from the radio show. Jimmy Olsen probably wouldn't have become so popular if it wasn't for the George Reeves T.V. series. That's no doubt why he got his own comic. Several stories from the T.V. show were adapted for the comics.

    I like how Bud Collyer was able to change his voice (mid sentence) to portray the difference between Clark and Superman. That seems to me something that should be canon.
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