Krypto #89: Family Member in Full

From: Superman #309 (March 1977)

Looking at his Bronze Age appearances, one might conclude that while they don't mind Krypto having solo stories, they don't really want to pollute Superman and Supergirl strips with his silly existence. One rare exception is "Blind Hero's Bluff!" by Gerry Conway, Jorge Luis Garcia Lopez (praise be his name) and Frank Springer, an adventure Superman shares with both his cousin and his super-pet.

This is a very weird time for the Man of Steel, during which he's dealing with more earth-bound, even city-bound, threats, like SKULL and other organized crime, having been convinced by Supergirl that Krypton was a delusion and that he's really a mutant born on Earth. So he has very little interest in helping out other planets now, and that forces Kara and Krypto to go protect the planet Xonn from alien invaders, his refusal putting his whole "family" in danger (see panel above). With personal stakes now in play, he breaks a date with Lois and rockets to the stars to help, but the orange sun cuts his powers in half and blinds him. He's captured too, and while in captivity, he puts 2 and 2 together and realizes Supergirl's cover story was full of holes. One important clue is that Krypto was never explained away.
So Superman goes a little berzerk, breaks a few buildings, defeats the alien invaders, and along with his restored family, goes home. And home is Earth, no matter where he was born.
So you see, you didn't need to concoct a lie of Silver Age proportions to do away with the Silver Age plots writers were perhaps still keen on submitting to the Superman offices. Nor do away with everything Kryptonian, as Byrne did post-Crisis,, including our boy Krypto, to tie him to our planet. Just stronger characterization (give or take).

7 comments:

LondonKdS said...

So why did Supergirl try to make him think he wasn't from Krypton?

Siskoid said...

Did I skip that part?

Well, the Kandorian psychologists don't make you confront your trauma, they take it away. So this was a plan between the surviving Kryptonians to make Superman happier and more content. It ultimately backfired.

Anonymous said...

More on this comic:

http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/2011/03/back-issue-box-superman-309.html

Brendon Wright said...

It's interesting that there are so many GREAT artists in the bronze age whose names I never knew... I didn't pay attention to those details when I was 8!
Sure, there's yer George Perez who I DID know about at the latter end, but I've yet to learn the names of those treasures. I took it for granted as a kid that comic art would naturally be of a certain quality.
Seen a lot of stuff which HASN'T lived up to the level since and realised the bronze age was a real...er, golden age(?)... of perfect line work.
They spoilt me so much I thought anything which didn't reach the level was (obviously) just filler; and the writer was probably rubbish too or they would have given him a better artist...
Funny how young teens think.
"Dark Knight Returns" challenged me on that concept. Great story, artwork was... not very slick... but perfect for the tone of the story which beat the heck out of my glam super ideals.
After that time I moved to 2000AD where some of the artwork, intended to be black&white, had even more detail, fully shaded. Some was a shock because it didn't evolve from the slick American look but from British art schools!

googum said...

One of the earliest comics I can remember! Still pretty good, if a lot is crammed in that issue.

LiamKav said...

How much Superman should be "Kryptonian" and how much he should be "human" is an interesting question. I think the character works best when he's respectful of his origins, but considers himself human. His is the story of the successful American immigrant, after all. And I can see the argument that Wolfman/Byrne went to far, but I do prefer that to the "great Rao"s of the past. Of course, like everyone else I suffer from "first exposure bias" so growing up with the Byrne/Lois & Clarke "Superman is what I can do, Clarke Kent is what I am" is obviously going to affect me.

Anonymous said...

Superman #307-309 is a weird, nutty story, but it's one my favorite Bronze Age Superman stories.

"So you see, you didn't need to concoct a lie of Silver Age proportions to do away with the Silver Age plots writers were perhaps still keen on submitting to the Superman offices. Nor do away with everything Kryptonian, as Byrne did post-Crisis,, including our boy Krypto, to tie him to our planet. Just stronger characterization (give or take)."

Word.

You didn't need to kill Supergirl and erase anything Kryptonian or do away with his history only because you think more Kryptonian survivors made him "less unique". Honesly, I don't get why keeping his "uniqueness" is sooo essential; moreover, in the Post-Crisis continuity he wasn't the first or mightiest super-hero, and there was a Supergirl around anyway. Even without Kara, Krypto, the Kandorians or the Phantom Zoners Superman wasn't unique AT ALL, so what was the point?

"I think the character works best when he's respectful of his origins, but considers himself human. His is the story of the successful American immigrant, after all. And I can see the argument that Wolfman/Byrne went to far, but I do prefer that to the "great Rao"s of the past."

I also think Clark Kent isn't liable to utter "Great Rao" after growing up in Kansas. And I also think Superman should consider himself human but respecting his origins. Yet Byrne/Wolfman's Superman did NOT respect his origins. He couldn't care less about them. Byrne said himself Krypton is "anathema" to him.

"Of course, like everyone else I suffer from "first exposure bias" so growing up with the Byrne/Lois & Clarke "Superman is what I can do, Clarke Kent is what I am" is obviously going to affect me."

Ironically I dislike Man of Steel even though was my first real exposure.

Back when I was a little kid I was obsessed with Superman. I watched the movies -including Supergirl- and cartoons reruns, but I barely read any comic. I was in my twenties when I decided to get into Superman comics.

I started out with "Man of Steel". I wanted to like it... and it wasn't bad per se, but... There was something missing. There was ALWAYS something missing. I wasn't sure of why, but it didn't click with me. Then I read Pre-Crisis comics and I realized wyhat I was missing, exactly.

I like some changes introduced by "Man of Steel". I don't like a Superman who shuns his origins. I don't care for a Luthor who is more one-dimensional than his Pre-Crisis counterpart. I dislike that sterile, warmless, dull and boring Krypton. And I hate that creatively-bankrupt "Superman must be the last and only survivor of Krypton" policy that limited the character and the stories, ruined iconic characters and damaged the mythos.

Superman never being Superboy because Byrne considered him unnecessary and hated the Legion is further evidence of how short-sighted and character-damaging was the reboot.

Moreover, I used to regard MoS as a decent story that shouldn't have been the canonical origin... until I found out Byrne wanted to remove Lois entirely and replace her with Lana. So now I think MoS was bad and potentially disastrous and I dislike Byrne's run.

The underlying sexism doesn't help. Big Barda turned into a sex toy, Zaora kneeling and crying she'll be Superman's sex slave if he spares her... ¡Ugh!

 

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