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. #1
    Amazing Member Alkaeus's Avatar
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    Default What's your favorite (or least favorite) origin story?

    Having recently read Birthright for the first time and having finished Morrison's run on Action Comics, I was thinking about how many origin/"Year One" style stories there are for the Man of Tomorrow. I wondered what people's thoughts were on those different origins. I haven't read all of them (Man of Steel, Secret Origin, etc.) but of the ones I have:

    - It's been a while since I've read All-Star, but famous condensation of the origin is rightly famous. Not much more to add.
    - Birthright, imo, is probably my favorite of the ones I've read. It's comprehensive, has a good character arc for Clark, and has some interesting ideas of its own (vegetarian Superman, Martha as a UFO enthusiast).
    - Morrison's Action Comics isn't completely an origin, but reworking Golden Age sensibilities in a modern context is definitely an interesting idea; if nothing else the T shirt and jeans look is pretty great.
    - American Alien, if you can stomach talking about it given its author, is definitely an alternative take and has some sharp deviations from more traditional versions, like the proto-Superman suit being inspired by Batman. I think it works as its own thing but I don't know how good it would be if Landis got to do his whole "Kryptonian epic" thing.

  2. #2
    Fantastic Member The Frog Bros's Avatar
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    Morrison All-Star. The single page origin is the epitome of simple yet effective storytelling at its very best. Concise and tells you everything you need to know in a mere few panels on a single page. Sets up the ensuing story perfectly.

    After that, I'd go Birthright.

    Not sure about an actual least favorite, but Miller's Year One was not great. Seemed bizarre just for the sake of being bizarre.
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  3. #3
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    1. Birthright is one of the all-time best origins, and started the trend in the comics of incorporating Pre-Crisis elements into the Post-Crisis Superman mythos, something which continues to this day. Its lasting contribution to the Superman mythos was making the S symbol a Kryptonian symbol for ''Hope'', taking things one step further than the family crest explanation from the Donner movie.

    2. Morrison's New 52 run was more about the transition from the social crusader Golden Age Superman to the sci-fi oriented Silver Age Superman (a story which Superman Smashes the Klan has arguably handled as well if not better), but I'd argue it still works as a pretty good origin story.

    3. Miller's Year One is...an interesting alternate take on the character. Clark's 'Superboy' adventures in the military and in Atlantis gave a more epic scope to his pre-Metropolis years. I did like Miller's take on the otherwise silly ''super-memory'' concept from the Silver Age. His interactions with Batman and Wonder Woman were almost a playful parody of his other work! Its not the best origin but perhaps one of the most interesting ones, shall we say.

    4. American Alien is another interesting alternate take, and possibly one of my personal favorites. One of my favorite parts of this one is how it highlights the idea of Clark not as some messiah or alien God or paragon, but just as a guy who wants to help. An everyman who happens to have alien heritage. Sadly, given the situation with Landis, we're unlikely to ever see a follow-up, and frankly, some of the stuff I've read about his sequel ideas doesn't make me too enthusiastic.

    Honorary mention: John Byrne's Man of Steel. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking or exciting about it in hindsight, but it did basically invent the modern Superman that ALL subsequent versions across media have borrowed from, so I think it deserves kudos for that.

  4. #4

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    All-Star Superman closely followed by Grant Morrison's Action Comics.

  5. #5
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    The one page All-Star Superman one has to be my least favorite as it is so bare bones. Even Action Comics #1 in 1938 had more depth to it.

    My favorite has to be Action Comics #500, but the basic origin that was done in 1948 then updated twice in the Silver and Bronze Ages is a close second.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Birthright or Morrison Action are my favorites. Both feel like great answers to the question of “what would Superman look like if he debuted today?” and of the two I think Morrison Action is my favorite.

    Least favorite is Frank Miller’s Year One, lousy story with meh art from Romita Jr. Hope that’s the last one we get for a long time.
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  7. #7
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    I prefer the original origin story by siegel and shuster...And all star..
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 06-19-2021 at 07:40 AM.
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  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Most of my favorites are outside the comics:

    1) Ruby Spears Family Album segments.

    2) Smallville

    3) Donner movie.

    4) New 52. I love the starting out with the T-shirt and jeans concept. I wish that was something Rebirth had kept.

    5) Birthright.

    Honorable mention: Earth One. This doesn't make the list directly because I don't like his attitude but as far as his origin goes, it's pretty straight forward.
    Last edited by superduperman; 06-10-2021 at 06:43 AM.
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  9. #9
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    ACTION COMICS 500 for the comprehensive story. AMAZING WORLD OF SUPERMAN [METROPOLIS EDITION] for the glorious artwork.
    WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    In a lot of ways, I guess I have to go with Byrne's. I hardly find it perfect, but it's still my default. I always liked the idea of comics when I was a kid, but I didn't have an allowance back then and my folks would only buy stuff for me on special occasions (but when they did, they went big, so no complaints here ), so I didn't get into comics for real until teen years and later. I knew Superman had various origin stories, but I decided I would start with Byrne's, and whether or not I think it's the best (I don't), every new Superman origin I read inevitably gets compared to Byrne's. Every other origin story I rate as being this much better or this much worse than Byrne's.

    Birthright was OK for me, but the thing that bothered me was that they insisted on making Luthor from Smallville. That's almost an automatic dealbreaker for me. Considering how important Luthor is to Superman, I can look at Birthright as an interesting story, but not as a definitive origin story.

    Landis' Death of Superman video kind of biased me against his ideas so I didn't pick up American Alien. Then the bad news about him came out, so I ended up being even less interested in reading his story. Anyway, the idea that he based his costume on Batman's is also so unappealing that it feels like a dealbreaker.

    I didn't bother with Secret Origins. Literally have no opinion on the matter.

    I would probably say Morrison's origin is my favorite from the last 35 years. I am combining New 52 and All-Star here, though I guess technically they have discrepancies that making them the same continuity has some issues to be resolved.

    The only new Superman origins I'm interested in now are Elseworlds.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    My favorite is Morrison's Action Vol 2. Best mix of old and the new by far to me, repackaging classic elements anew and even referencing the sillier stuff in fun ways. And I personally loved the way it told its total story through time hopping like it did. Essentially getting to see a seasoned Superman of a few years right alongside the fleshing out of his beginnings in a way that was significant to the plot as opposed to just flashbacks. I know that wasn't an appeal to everyone, but it was totally my alley.

    My least favorite now would probably be Man of Steel 1986. Only for the long-term effects. If it didn't remain so prominent even today I wouldn't have as much an issue as for its time it was a well-crafted story.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 06-10-2021 at 12:14 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Birthright for me. Every character popped. Few write characters as likable and interesting as Waid.

    MOS is my least favorite. IMHO, it's just so...bland. And as mentioned by someone else, it took years for that blandness to wash away from the books.
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  13. #13
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    Birthright and Morrison Action felt right,
    some others like Superman Earth One felt different.

  14. #14
    Amazing Member Alkaeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    Birthright was OK for me, but the thing that bothered me was that they insisted on making Luthor from Smallville. That's almost an automatic dealbreaker for me. Considering how important Luthor is to Superman, I can look at Birthright as an interesting story, but not as a definitive origin story.
    I'm curious, why is that a dealbreaker for you? Not saying you're wrong, just want to understand the reasoning behind it.

  15. #15
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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.
    BR made a pretty good case for it. Secret Origin not as much, imho.
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