View Poll Results: Favorite origin?

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  • All-Star

    8 18.18%
  • Birthright

    14 31.82%
  • New 52 Action Comics

    13 29.55%
  • American Alien

    2 4.55%
  • Year One

    2 4.55%
  • Byrne Man of Steel

    15 34.09%
  • Earth One

    3 6.82%
  • Secret Origin

    3 6.82%
  • Other Comic

    9 20.45%
  • Adaptation (Smallville, Movies, etc)

    7 15.91%
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  1. #16
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    It's stretching the suspension of disbelief rule a bit much. He and Luthor knew each other as kids? Really? The pre-Crisis version made a little bit of sense. He was Superboy's enemy in Smallville and when he moved to Metropolis, Luthor just followed him to keep trying to kill him. SO it makes no sense because it really is just random coincidence. Which is one of many reasons why I don't like it.
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  2. #17
    Extraordinary Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Probably Man of Steel or the Earth One books.

    I liked the first half of Birthright more than the second half. It did good of doing Lex and Clark knowing each other as kids even if that's a development I don't care for.

  3. #18
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkaeus View Post
    I'm curious, why is that a dealbreaker for you? Not saying you're wrong, just want to understand the reasoning behind it.
    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    It's stretching the suspension of disbelief rule a bit much. He and Luthor knew each other as kids? Really? The pre-Crisis version made a little bit of sense. He was Superboy's enemy in Smallville and when he moved to Metropolis, Luthor just followed him to keep trying to kill him. SO it makes no sense because it really is just random coincidence. Which is one of many reasons why I don't like it.
    Yup, this is it. I probably have some latent Byrne bias, so that likely plays a small part of it, but the reason I liked it in the first place because it tells a logical story about Clark Kent coming from a small town in the middle of nowhere moving into the biggest and most future-minded city, where all the faces are new. Making Luthor from Smallville rips that concept I like to shreds. The world's most brilliant man and the world's biggest wonder come from the same tiny town in the middle of the rural US. What are the odds of that?

    And yeah, you could argue that Superman is full of dumb coincidences like why do Kryptonians look just like humans, or that Superman happened to land in a primarily-white community instead of an Asian or African one, etc., but those are things that you need to make the story possible. Making Luthor from Smallville is not necessary for the story, and kills some of the relatable elements of the Clark Kent story, namely as you get older and move on in life you meet knew characters.

    I mean, I can understand telling a kid-friendly story that takes all of the older characters you know but de-ages them like Flintstone Kids or A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. But if you're trying to tell a "serious" story, giving Superman and Lex origins from the same small town seems at best pretty pointless and at worst too lazy to come up with compelling villains to fill the early years of the Clark Kent story.

  4. #19
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Favorite: Man of Steel (Byrne)
    Least favorite: Man of Steel (Nolan)

  5. #20
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    See, all the reasons some hate the idea that they grew up together is exactly the reason I like it.

    Anyway, in a fictional world where a dude can shoot lasers from his eyes the last thing that's going to stretch the limits of credibility with me is two guys from the same hometown moving to the same city.
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  6. #21
    Amazing Member Alkaeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    Yup, this is it. I probably have some latent Byrne bias, so that likely plays a small part of it, but the reason I liked it in the first place because it tells a logical story about Clark Kent coming from a small town in the middle of nowhere moving into the biggest and most future-minded city, where all the faces are new. Making Luthor from Smallville rips that concept I like to shreds. The world's most brilliant man and the world's biggest wonder come from the same tiny town in the middle of the rural US. What are the odds of that?

    And yeah, you could argue that Superman is full of dumb coincidences like why do Kryptonians look just like humans, or that Superman happened to land in a primarily-white community instead of an Asian or African one, etc., but those are things that you need to make the story possible. Making Luthor from Smallville is not necessary for the story, and kills some of the relatable elements of the Clark Kent story, namely as you get older and move on in life you meet knew characters.

    I mean, I can understand telling a kid-friendly story that takes all of the older characters you know but de-ages them like Flintstone Kids or A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. But if you're trying to tell a "serious" story, giving Superman and Lex origins from the same small town seems at best pretty pointless and at worst too lazy to come up with compelling villains to fill the early years of the Clark Kent story.
    Thanks for the response. I'm not sure I totally agree with you (at least with respect to Birthright) but those are totally understandable reasons.

  7. #22
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkaeus View Post
    Thanks for the response. I'm not sure I totally agree with you (at least with respect to Birthright) but those are totally understandable reasons.
    You're welcome, and I appreciate how you respectfully asked my opinion.

    I should add my opinion is probably also influenced by Superman: The Movie, which was my real introduction to Superman. Also, I think making Luthor's origin in Smallville is probably just a part of the trend of relying heavily on Luthor as a Superman villain. If you wanted to tell a longer story of Superman's Smallville days, there's a big temptation to make Luthor a part of it instead of making a new villain altogether.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    Yup, this is it. I probably have some latent Byrne bias, so that likely plays a small part of it, but the reason I liked it in the first place because it tells a logical story about Clark Kent coming from a small town in the middle of nowhere moving into the biggest and most future-minded city, where all the faces are new. Making Luthor from Smallville rips that concept I like to shreds. The world's most brilliant man and the world's biggest wonder come from the same tiny town in the middle of the rural US. What are the odds of that?

    And yeah, you could argue that Superman is full of dumb coincidences like why do Kryptonians look just like humans, or that Superman happened to land in a primarily-white community instead of an Asian or African one, etc., but those are things that you need to make the story possible. Making Luthor from Smallville is not necessary for the story, and kills some of the relatable elements of the Clark Kent story, namely as you get older and move on in life you meet knew characters.

    I mean, I can understand telling a kid-friendly story that takes all of the older characters you know but de-ages them like Flintstone Kids or A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. But if you're trying to tell a "serious" story, giving Superman and Lex origins from the same small town seems at best pretty pointless and at worst too lazy to come up with compelling villains to fill the early years of the Clark Kent story.
    I can see your point, but at the same time Lex never bothered me the way the other coincidences did (meeting half the JLA while he was still Superboy, for example). It seemed to make sense that if Superman had any enemy who would have been present from early on through his adult years, it would be Lex.

    Now if I was trying to update it I might rearrange things so they didn't both live in Smallville. With Clark able to fly I see no reason the two might not meet wherever Lex lives. Or that Lex might not come to Smallville investigating something and encounter this super-powered teen. Lex might even be the first person to meet the non-Clark persona that becomes Superman. But I find the Luthor/Kal-El rivalry of the Silver Age more intriguing than the Post-Crisis Byrne/Wolman version where they meet after Lex is already "King of Metropolis".

  9. #24
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    Yup, this is it. I probably have some latent Byrne bias, so that likely plays a small part of it, but the reason I liked it in the first place because it tells a logical story about Clark Kent coming from a small town in the middle of nowhere moving into the biggest and most future-minded city, where all the faces are new. Making Luthor from Smallville rips that concept I like to shreds. The world's most brilliant man and the world's biggest wonder come from the same tiny town in the middle of the rural US. What are the odds of that?

    And yeah, you could argue that Superman is full of dumb coincidences like why do Kryptonians look just like humans, or that Superman happened to land in a primarily-white community instead of an Asian or African one, etc., but those are things that you need to make the story possible. Making Luthor from Smallville is not necessary for the story, and kills some of the relatable elements of the Clark Kent story, namely as you get older and move on in life you meet knew characters.

    I mean, I can understand telling a kid-friendly story that takes all of the older characters you know but de-ages them like Flintstone Kids or A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. But if you're trying to tell a "serious" story, giving Superman and Lex origins from the same small town seems at best pretty pointless and at worst too lazy to come up with compelling villains to fill the early years of the Clark Kent story.
    For me, it's just that I very much do not like Lex as part of Clark's "before" life - before he became Superman. I especially hate them ever being friends, because I really don't like the friends-to-enemies tropes. I don't want Clark meeting Lois or Perry or Jimmy before he moves to Metropolis. I like these as people introduced into his adult life, not in his backstory. They come along in his life, essentially, when he becomes Superman, that that's the start of this important time in his life. I don't like Lana in his present, either, as prefer her as part of his past. But I know I'm in the minority in not like Superboy, and wanting Superman the world's first hero. Not that I'm saying his past doesn't matter at all. He had friends and parents he loved and experiences that mattered and helped shape him. But I prefer that not to be part of his story today very often, to be his past, not his present.

    Oh, I also like Lex significantly (10+ years) older than Clark, too, though part of that is just to further eliminate the past-tense friendship or hatred in boyhood.

    Also, while I don't like major retcons that shove a character into someone's past when they were originally introduced much later in said character's life, I also very much feel like that gives Lex precedence over Lois (and everyone else except his parents) as the most important/pivotal/long-lasting relationship of Clark's life. I know a lot of people love that, but I am definitely not one of them. It makes Lex part of what shapes Clark, and I really, really hate that. I hated it when they made Bruce part of what made Selina become Catwoman, too, but that's a whole different topic.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 06-12-2021 at 06:36 PM.

  10. #25
    Not a Newbie Member JBatmanFan05's Avatar
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    Technically, Superman #53: "The Origin of Superman" (1948) has got to be the best origin telling IMHO, but if had to pick something later than that....

    “The Amazing World of Superman – Official Metropolis Edition” (1973) is probably my favorite of all origin tales told after 1948.

    Had I to do a more modern telling of the origin now, I'd go with using/combining Superman #53, Amazing World, and if I included Lex in the origin tale, I'd pull from Smallville since that's definitely the best and fullest incarnation of Lex.
    Last edited by JBatmanFan05; 06-17-2021 at 12:42 PM.
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  11. #26
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    My knee jerk would be Byrne's The Man of Steel, I like the basic set up and the time skips to leave room for expansion.

    I LOVE the birth of Luthor's hatred for Superman. It is so petty and small but comes directly from Luthor's core as a person so is perfectly set up to fester and grow with each new defeat or setback building this core of hatred into something all consuming.

    I also used to be a fan of having no other Kryptonians, but I've come around to having more out there (the New 52 went way too far the other way, though).

    There are great things in almost all interpretations both in comics and outside media.

    That said, I found nothing of any worth in Secret origin. I really disliked Johns run on Superman, and I find Gary Frank's drawing him as Christopher Reeve creepy.

    I echo the sentiments of disliking Luthor being in/from Smallville (except in the show Smallville. Rosenbaum was awesome). I find the tropes of everything from Smallville/Krypton tiresome, lazy and contrived.
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  12. #27
    Extraordinary Member Doctor Know's Avatar
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    Anytime I see Superman and origin in the same sentence, I get sick. There are way too many day-one origin stories for Superman in recent memory.

    1. The Man of Steel by Byrne - 1986

    2. Superman for All Seasons by Loeb - 1998

    3. Birthright by Waid - 2003

    4. Secret Identity by Buisek - 2004

    5. Secret Origin by Johns - 2009

    6. Earth One by Straczynski - 2010

    7. New 52 by Morrison - 2011

    8. Man of Steel film - 2013

    9. American Alien by Landis - 2015

    10. Rebirth by Tomasi & Gleason - 2016

    11. Reborn by Tomasi & Gleason - 2017
    *Where they combined New 52 and Post-Infinite Crisis Supermen into one.

    12. Year One by Frank Miller - 2019

    13. Man of Tomorrow DTV film - 2020


    Like the other trend of Superman seemingly fighting Doomsday at least once every year now. The back to back and sometimes overlapping releases of origin stories for Superman is obnoxious. And yet, Supes hasn't reached peak absurdity with origins like WW. Diana had 4 different origins released in one year, 2016.

    Rebirth by Rucka, Earth One by Morrison, True Amazon by Thompson and Legend of WW by De Liz. The solo WW film missed being in the gang of 4 by one year.


    As to the topic. My favorites would be Byrne's MOS and Snyder's MOS. Those are the ones that I revisit the most. With Birthright being a strong runner up. I just lose it with the faux-Kryptonian invasion.

    Least favorite is definitely Secret Origin. It's just a greatest hits origin with elements from Waid, Byrne and Timm (Superman TAS) versions. With lose ties to the fizzled out ideas of New Krypton and Action Comics #900. I don't remember much about American Alien, and haven't been motivated to revisit it. I'll do that likely this afternoon.
    Last edited by Doctor Know; 06-19-2021 at 12:27 AM.

  13. #28
    Ultimate Member Vordan's Avatar
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    I get the complaints about Lex being from Smallville, and personally I think a good compromise is Clark meets Lex during his college years/travels abroad is a good compromise. I feel like Clark knowing Lex before he was “Lex” when it wasn’t set in stone that the two had to become mortal foes, that Lex wasn’t thoroughly rotten to the core always, is a good concept, it helps Clark look less naive for wanting to believe there’s good in him.
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  14. #29
    Extraordinary Member Doctor Know's Avatar
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    Thinking about Smallville (the show), Birthright and Secret Origin, that put Lex in Smallville during Clark's early years. I think the best compromise would be to put Lex in Smallville for either one school year or one summer vacation. Keeping the time there to a minimum. That way it's not like Lex took stupid pills when Superman debuts in Metropolis and he seemingly forgot all about Clark and his odd way of always being in place for extraordinary events. I believe Busiek's Up, Up and Away post-Infinite Crisis series had an issue with Lex narrating that he genuinely forgot what Clark's name was. Similar to what happened in Birthright. Clark introduced himself to Lex and Lex was unfamiliar with him.

  15. #30
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    I get the complaints about Lex being from Smallville, and personally I think a good compromise is Clark meets Lex during his college years/travels abroad is a good compromise. I feel like Clark knowing Lex before he was “Lex” when it wasn’t set in stone that the two had to become mortal foes, that Lex wasn’t thoroughly rotten to the core always, is a good concept, it helps Clark look less naive for wanting to believe there’s good in him.
    Clark meeting Lex in some sort of advanced theoretical physics course or something would make all kinds of sense.
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