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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Default Favorite Superman origin!

    Which version is your favorite origin for Superman? The rules are, you can only pick comic versions. No TV or movies. Special consideration for things like Elseworlds will be considered if there is something unique about it. The choices are:

    1) The Golden Age
    Action/Superman #1 1938/39

    2) Silver Age
    Superman #146 1961

    3) Post Crisis
    Man of Steel #1-6 1986

    4) Birthright
    #1-12 2003/04

    5) Post Infinite Crisis
    Secret Origin #1-4 2009

    6) New 52
    Secret Origin #1 2014

    Honorable Mention:

    Amazing World of Superman 1973


    Superman: Earth One 2010

    If you feel there are any I forgot, feel free to post it!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Which version is your favorite origin for Superman? The rules are, you can only pick comic versions. No TV or movies. Special consideration for things like Elseworlds will be considered if there is something unique about it. The choices are:

    1) The Golden Age
    Action/Superman #1 1938/39

    2) Silver Age
    Superman #146 1961

    3) Post Crisis
    Man of Steel #1-6 1986

    4) Birthright
    #1-12 2003/04

    5) Post Infinite Crisis
    Secret Origin #1-4 2009

    6) New 52
    Secret Origin #1 2014

    Honorable Mention:

    Amazing World of Superman 1973


    Superman: Earth One 2010

    If you feel there are any I forgot, feel free to post it!
    Bronze Age: Action Comics #500 1979

    Honorable Elseworlds mention: Superman #300 "Superman 2001" 1976
    Last edited by Jon Clark; 03-22-2015 at 11:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    4) Birthright

  4. #4
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    Birthright. As much as I disliked how it was willy nilly dropped into continuity in 2003, effectively plunging Superman into a muddled continuity hell for most of the next decade, it is the first real "origin" tale Superman had since the 70's. Byrnes MAN OF STEEL beyond the first issue feels like a mere check list than an organic story. It was really what MAN OF STEEL should have been in 1986. It definitely tweaked and augmented certain aspects of the back story without betraying the very underpinnings of the character. The art is sketchy towards the end, and the last act feels rushed and out of place in parts. but overall It was the best modern origin reinvention. If only it was kept it's own separate ULTIMATE SUPERMAN thing for Waid to handle himself.

    Honorable mentions: ACTION #500
    The first pages of ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #1

  5. #5
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    There have been several Superman origin stories in comics. I don't have a complete list, but one of the most significant was in SUPERMAN No. 53 (July-August '48) by Bill Finger, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. This one set the template for many of the later origin stories.

    I'd also say that the origin in THE AMAZING WORLD OF SUPERMAN (Metropolis Edition, 1973)--by Carmine Infantino, E. Nelson Bridwell, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson (based on the origin from SUPERMAN 53)--deserves more than an honourable mention. This became the significant origin story for the '70s--reprinted in colour in LIMITED COLLECTORS' EDITION C-31 (1974) and SECRET ORIGINS OF DC SUPER HEROES (1976). Although ACTION COMICS No. 500 (October '79)--The Life Story of Superman by Martin Pasko, Curt Swan and Francisco Chiaramonte, itself reprinted in THE SUPERMAN STORY (1986)--did give a fuller account of the origin story, including things left out of previous origin stories.
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  6. #6
    Not a Newbie Member JBatmanFan05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    There have been several Superman origin stories in comics. I don't have a complete list, but one of the most significant was in SUPERMAN No. 53 (July-August '48) by Bill Finger, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. This one set the template for many of the later origin stories.
    Come to think of it, I'd love to see someone research up a complete list of origin tellings for Superman.

    I'd also say that the origin in THE AMAZING WORLD OF SUPERMAN (Metropolis Edition, 1973)--by Carmine Infantino, E. Nelson Bridwell, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson (based on the origin from SUPERMAN 53)--deserves more than an honourable mention. This became the significant origin story for the '70s--reprinted in colour in LIMITED COLLECTORS' EDITION C-31 (1974) and SECRET ORIGINS OF DC SUPER HEROES (1976).
    The Amazing World of Superman is my favorite telling.

    DC's I think only modern reprint of it is in: Superman Returns:The Movie and Other Tales of the Man of Steel TPB
    Thank you AMericA for votinG for chAnge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBatmanFan05 View Post
    Come to think of it, I'd love to see someone research up a complete list of origin tellings for Superman.

    The Amazing World of Superman is my favorite telling.

    DC's I think only modern reprint of it is in: Superman Returns:The Movie and Other Tales of the Man of Steel TPB
    Apparently it was also reprinted in a 48 page comic called SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES (2007). But I never saw or heard about this comic--or I would have picked it up.
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  8. #8
    Nostalgia Fanwanker Pharozonk's Avatar
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    Action Comics #500 for me.
    Last edited by Pharozonk; 03-23-2015 at 02:23 PM.
    "In any time, there will always be a need for heroes." - the Time Trapper, Legion of Superheroes #61(1994)

    "What can I say? I guess I outgrew maturity.." - Bob Chipman

  9. #9
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    This version:



    Modern (enough), but clutter-free.

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive)
    Buried Alien - THE FASTEST POST ALIVE!

    First CBR Appearance (Historical): November, 1996

    First CBR Appearance (Modern): April, 2014

  10. #10
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    The interesting thing about the Origin of Superman in AMAZING WORLD OF SUPERMAN is that there's almost nothing about Superboy in it and when Clark visits the dying Jonathan Kent in the hospital, Clark isn't wearing any glasses. This is probably because that origin used SUPERMAN 53 as its model and that one has nothing about Superboy in it and shows Clark without glasses in the hospital scene, too--although Superboy was already a thing by that time.

    There was another telling of how Superman came to earth, in "The Kid from Krypton," ACTION COMICS 158 (July '58). I've never been able to find the full story, however this Spanish website gives an overview of it: Regresando al Pasado (1951)/Back to the Past (1951). Anyone who understands Spanish could take a crack at reading the synopsis on that website. This one seems to incorporate some of the Superboy continuity--with Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye providing the art.
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  11. #11
    Mighty Member andersonh1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    1) The Golden Age
    Action/Superman #1 1938/39
    I would add the Golden Age version from the newspaper strips, which significantly fleshes out the origin. I think it's the first time Jor-L and Lara are depicted, along with Kal-L's name. It's also the first time we see the Kryptonian science council reject Jor-L's hypothesis about the planet's destruction, and the reason that only Kal-L was launched into space without his parents. It also depicts the journey of the rocket to Earth. And it's by Siegel and Shuster to boot, so we get the original creators and their take on Superman's origin. Good stuff.
    "Why do the trunks not "hold up with the times"? What exactly is the problem with them? And don't tell me "nobody wears them" because nobody dresses in a blue body suit and red cape and boots either.

    It's a superhero costume. It's the original superhero costume. It's not real clothing, it's not bound to the ever-changing fashion trends of real life. It's nothing like real life clothing. How exactly can it become outdated?"

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    I actually have a dog eared copy of the 1976 Secret Origin of the DC Superheroes. Apparently the golden age Green Arrow had a completely different origin from the SA one in that there was no island and I guess he met Speedy on a mountain top. He was already an expert archer when he crashed there. I got the whole book for about $8. I also have the Superman Through the Ages comic. It's based on a fan run website. Ironically, most of the stories in it I already had as well! You can actually find the 1948 origin in the original Best Superman Stories Ever Told from 1987. Which is odd that they didn't include Superboy since he was already created by then. And yes, the Amazing World of Superman origin is based on it. I also wish I'd put the first Superboy origin from 1945 and the Sunday newspaper strip origin from 1943.

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel1979 View Post
    Birthright. As much as I disliked how it was willy nilly dropped into continuity in 2003, effectively plunging Superman into a muddled continuity hell for most of the next decade, it is the first real "origin" tale Superman had since the 70's. Byrnes MAN OF STEEL beyond the first issue feels like a mere check list than an organic story. It was really what MAN OF STEEL should have been in 1986. It definitely tweaked and augmented certain aspects of the back story without betraying the very underpinnings of the character. The art is sketchy towards the end, and the last act feels rushed and out of place in parts. but overall It was the best modern origin reinvention. If only it was kept it's own separate ULTIMATE SUPERMAN thing for Waid to handle himself.

    Honorable mentions: ACTION #500

    The first pages of ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #1


    The reason I didn't include ACTION #500 was because, to me, it just seemed a retelling of the origin from 1961. I loved Birthright and never understood why it came under so much criticism when it first came out. I assumed it had something to do with the fact that it had so much in common with Smallville. But what I remember most from that time was that so many post-Crisis fans were unhappy their version was gone. The whole thing was handled poorly, IMO. There was no announcement they were going to do it, they just dropped it into already established continuity and expected everyone to just accept it. The references to terrorism and hints about 9/11 also made it look like all of Superman's history had to be condensed into a three year time frame. There was no planning at all. As comic origins go, it was my favorite and I was upset when they got rid of it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    The reason I didn't include ACTION #500 was because, to me, it just seemed a retelling of the origin from 1961. I loved Birthright and never understood why it came under so much criticism when it first came out. I assumed it had something to do with the fact that it had so much in common with Smallville. But what I remember most from that time was that so many post-Crisis fans were unhappy their version was gone. The whole thing was handled poorly, IMO. There was no announcement they were going to do it, they just dropped it into already established continuity and expected everyone to just accept it. The references to terrorism and hints about 9/11 also made it look like all of Superman's history had to be condensed into a three year time frame. There was no planning at all. As comic origins go, it was my favorite and I was upset when they got rid of it.
    ACTION COMICS 500 used SUPERMAN 146 as its model, but it greatly expanded on it and revised a lot of detail. Which is pretty much what all the origin stories do. They take the previous origin stories, add to them, revise them and update them. In particular, I'm interested in how Ma and Pa Kent changed and evolved each time they were featured in one of these origin stories.

    There was a new telling of the Earth-Two Superman origin story in SECRET ORIGINS No. 1 (April '86)--by Roy Thomas, Wayne Boring and Jerry Ordway. Since it was already retro when it came out, I don't know if it counts.

    Were there any retellings of Superman's origin in the various Secret Files?
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