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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Jameszahra's Avatar
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    Default Secret origin or birthright?

    Which one of these 2 stories is considered supermans pre 52 origin? Or they both work well with each other?

    I'm new to superman and I'm looking at picking up I big heap of titles. Just trying to decide between these 2.

    Thanks ahead

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    My friend, that's a complicated thing to ask, to a certain extent.

    See, after Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted the DCU in 1986, the canon origin story was The Man of Steel. That lasted for a very long time, from '86 to at least 2003. In 2003, DC published Superman: Birthright, which was not considered to be canon originally, but lots of writers sort of started just using it as background material. Then DC decided that neither The Man of Steel nor Birthright was the canon origin, and they started sort of alluding to an origin story without actually having it published. Then eventually they published Secret Origin which was supposed to be the new origin, but only lasted a few years before the New 52 took over.

    If you want to start at the beginning of the post-Crisis world, I'd go with Man of Steel and move forward from there with the comics as they were published chronologically. They really did form a coherent timeline for well over a decade. If you just want to have fun, I'd say just read everything you can get your hands on and don't bother reading too many origins. Superman's origin has been retold so many times, and it isn't one hundred percent crucial to enjoying the character as long as you know the broad strokes version of who he is and how he came to be.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Doctor Know's Avatar
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    Both technically. Secret Origin was drafted to reintroduce Superboy (teenage Clark Kent) to the canon of the Superman Mythos. Superboy was removed from Clark's history in 1986 for the revamp series Man Of Steel by John Byrne. Birthright does not have Superboy in Clark's history but instead begins his story as Superman in his 20's.

    Check them both out.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char Aznable View Post
    Both technically. Secret Origin was drafted to reintroduce Superboy (teenage Clark Kent) to the canon of the Superman Mythos. Superboy was removed from Clark's history in 1986 for the revamp series Man Of Steel by John Byrne. Birthright does not have Superboy in Clark's history but instead begins his story as Superman in his 20's.

    Check them both out.
    I agree 100% Char. I say check them both out. Both are well written and show different times in Superman's history.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member Jameszahra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    My friend, that's a complicated thing to ask, to a certain extent.

    See, after Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted the DCU in 1986, the canon origin story was The Man of Steel. That lasted for a very long time, from '86 to at least 2003. In 2003, DC published Superman: Birthright, which was not considered to be canon originally, but lots of writers sort of started just using it as background material. Then DC decided that neither The Man of Steel nor Birthright was the canon origin, and they started sort of alluding to an origin story without actually having it published. Then eventually they published Secret Origin which was supposed to be the new origin, but only lasted a few years before the New 52 took over.

    If you want to start at the beginning of the post-Crisis world, I'd go with Man of Steel and move forward from there with the comics as they were published chronologically. They really did form a coherent timeline for well over a decade. If you just want to have fun, I'd say just read everything you can get your hands on and don't bother reading too many origins. Superman's origin has been retold so many times, and it isn't one hundred percent crucial to enjoying the character as long as you know the broad strokes version of who he is and how he came to be.
    Great info. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member Jameszahra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexrules View Post
    I agree 100% Char. I say check them both out. Both are well written and show different times in Superman's history.
    Good idea I might just get them both.

  7. #7
    Junior Member InsanityIsTrueSanity's Avatar
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    I prefer Birthright over Secret Origin. Both are great! I have yet to read Man of Steel.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Dispenser Of Truth's Avatar
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    Secret Origin was the 'official' origin, but Birthright was tremendously better. It was the best 'realistic' Superman origin I've ever seen, still respecting the fundamentals of the character and lending an emotional weight that hasn't really been in any other comic takes on it. Secret Origin is just elements from a bunch of other versions (the Donner movies and the animated series pilot for the most part, with bits of Birthright and the Silver Age also thrown in) welded together into something less than the sum of its parts, though it's still worth checking out the gorgeous Gary Frank art.
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  9. #9

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    If I could only pick one, I'd say Birthright (even tho there are some aspects which annoy me) ... while Secret Origins is good, it was overall a little too campy for my taste

  10. #10
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    I'd say Birthright, purely because it is a lot better than Secret origin. On the other hand, Birthright didn't really have an on the ongoing comics, whereas Secret Origins was the origin from Geoff Johns' run up to the New 52.

    Neither are fantastic, though.

    At the end of the day, Superman's origin is pretty simple and anything else you need to know will usually be reference in the story. I'm a Man of Steel man, myself.

  11. #11
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    No poll? I vote Birthright.

  12. #12
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    No need for a poll. Let the man read both and enjoy everything he can about the character. The more you read about Superman from all era's the better off you are I say. Never limit yourself from any story.

  13. #13
    Incredible Member Jameszahra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexrules View Post
    No need for a poll. Let the man read both and enjoy everything he can about the character. The more you read about Superman from all era's the better off you are I say. Never limit yourself from any story.
    Great advice thanks

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    As usual, I tend to agree with Dispenser and Duper.

    Birthright is pure genius for the first half. It delves into Clark's youth and his world view in a way that feels contemporary and modern without betraying any of the fantastical elements that make up what Superman should be. It also explores an often-ignored time in Clark's life, between high school and his arrival in Metropolis; filling in those "traveling years" more than almost any other version of the story. Then it largely falls apart towards the end, mainly with a less-than-satisfying ending "battle" that skews the entire thing off center. Still good, but it goes out with a whimper instead of a bang, so to speak.

    Secret Origin was a terrible mish-mash of other people's stories that Johns cobbled together like a poor man's jig-saw puzzle. It was meant to incorporate many versions of Superman's history and combine them into one, fully serviceable tale. It failed. There are a handful of good ideas in that story, a couple moments or scenes or concepts that work really well. And Franks' art is amazing as always. But ultimately, as someone else said, Secret Origin proves to be less than the sum of its parts.

    To defend SO however, right before that series came out, the official origin for Superman was multiple choice. See, during the very late 90's, Jeff Loeb (among others I think?) started to weave older Silver Age concepts, which had been missing since 1986, back into Superman's story. The sterile and cold version of Krypton (from Bryne's Man of Steel) turned out to be a lie; something Jor-El concocted so Clark wouldn't miss his homeworld as much (or something stupid like that). The "real" Krypton was revealed to be much like the Silver Age version. Little re-visions like that started to grow like weeds. Then Birthright came along and several people latched onto that as the "official" origin. But we still had Bryne's Man of Steel floating around. And Smallville was running hot at this point and little bits of that kept working their way into the comics. And eventually DC just said "screw it. Whatever origin works for you personally, run with it." So Secret Origin really was working against the tide and trying to clean up a huge mess with a single vision that fit all the various stories being told at the time. It's no wonder it failed. It tried to make everyone happy, and largely seems to have satisfied no one. Or at least a small percentage of the fans.
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  15. #15
    Mighty Member andersonh1's Avatar
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    I didn't like either one, honestly. Man of Steel works best for me.

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