Reign of the Supermen #260: Supermaid's Boyfriend, Kal-El

Source: Superman vol.1 #159 (1963)
Type: Imaginary storyBefore Elseworlds, there was... the brazen, no-explanation-required, Imaginary Story...

If you really NEED an explanation, I blame it on the possibility that Lois ate something that didn't agree with her just before bed. The tale tells, in the way tales often do, of baby Lois growing up on a farm where her scientist father is working in secrecy disguised as a farmer. He's discovered that Earth's sun is gonna BLOW. He's also devised a "Power Ray" that can push a spacecraft to the inhabited Krypton AND give the astronaut super-powers so he or she can survive both the trip and his or her new home. Of course, he doesn't share ANY of this information with his fellow Terrans (they "wouldn't believe" him), so he ends up saving his only daughter, pushing baby Lois off the planet in the nick of time.
Her spacecraft is found by a couple of zookeepers from Kryptonville who are amazing at deciphering primitive Earth messages.
Khal Kan and his wife adopt the super-powered child (she's handy for corralling zoo animals) and of course call her Kandi. (Pause inserted her so you can smirk at the pun.) Asked to hide her powers, she obeys and is enrolled in a school for tots where she inevitably meets... Kal-El!
And that little ginger boy who doesn't like girls - but will inevitably fall for her when they're both older - is Len Landor. He'll grow up to constantly question whether Kandi Kan and a certain "Supermaid" are the same person DESPITE the uncanny disguise known as glasses. But I'm getting ahead of myself! You're probably wondering why Krypton doesn't blow up immediately after Lois reaches the planet, right? Well, it's a Silver Age imaginary story, not an Alannis Morissette song. In this "reality", Jor-El prevented the catastrophe, though his fatalistic interest in armageddon still makes him watch the destruction of Earth on a loop (even though Lara plainly can't STAND it... is there divorce on Krypton?). Anyway, Kandi and the Skoobi Gang grow up and when she's teen enough, her parents give her a costume made from her super-powered blanky, with a big ol' Earth on the chest. The legend begins! She does many amazing deeds while living in Kryptonville, like rescuing Krypto from the rocket he jumped into, to sculpting likenesses of her birth parents out of asteroids, to breaking Kal-El's heart.
But she also discovers her only weakness: Earthite! Thankfully, Jor-El figures out she can protect herself from it with silver. Then, her adoptive parents die from virus-x offscreen. She leaves Kryptonville for the big city... Kryptonopolis! There, she becomes a nurse working at the same hospital as Dr. Kal-El, and a couple of dead ringers for people who are supposed to be, well, dead!
The narrator even feels the need to tell us they look exactly like Perry and Jimmy. (Pause while I take the force-feeding spoon out of my throat.) Also working at the hospital is the evil Dr. Lu Thoria who has always been jealous of Supermaid and lost her hair when a destructive beam bounced off Kandi's chest and back at her.
Brainiac's also in this, coming in late to put Kandor in a bottle and getting his ass shunted to the Phantom Zone for his trouble. As for Kal-El, he dreams of being a superhero on bygone Earth where Kandi is the one pining away for HIM, and he more or less gets his wish when he gives himself temporary powers by recreating Professor Lane's Power Ray so he can save Kandi.
In the end, his self-sacrifice isn't necessary or particularly helpful because Supermaid got herself some silver dust to face Dr. Thoria's arsenal of Earthite. Then with Jor-El's help, they cure Thoria of both her evil and her baldness. Yay! But it doesn't end there. As Kal and Supermaid look for medical herbs in the jungle, they come across a huge chunk of Purple Earthite.
It's like Red K but permanent! The effect: Transferring Supermaid's powers to Kal-El, turning him into Superman. Also: From pathetic lovelorn loser to Super-dick.
It WAS an Alannis Morissette song after all!


LiamKav said...

Wow. Kal-El really is a dick, isn't he?

Does Kandi ever exclaim "Great Earth!" at any point in this story?

Michael Hoskin said...

This is absolutely fascinating! I'd like to read this one.

Siskoid said...

Liam: Looks like a missed opportunity, but I'd have to check again.

Michael: I know for a fact it's reprinted in Showcase Presents Superman vol.4!

Craig Oxbrow said...

Showcase - because they're proud of this story!

(Or because they're being thorough.)

Siskoid said...

Craig: Showcase Presents is reprinting all Silver Age stories from Action Comics and Superman, in order (and in black and white). So, thorough, I guess is the answer.

Maki P said...

God, this Imaginary Stories are crazy (and sexist, but let's not dwell on that). But I admit it bothers me that this story doesn't follow Kryptonian naming conventions

Anonymous said...

Wait, Krypto is still named Krypto, even on Krypton? If I ever get a dog I'm totally naming it Eartho.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Late commenting, but I honestly read it as if you typed that her name was Kamandi.

By the way, re: the Showcase volumes, do the Superman issues start with those published in 1955? That's how it was with Strange Adventures.

Siskoid said...

Anon: Seeing as EVERYTHING seems to be named after Krypton in this story, it's not surprising.

Wayne: It starts with what is considered the first Superman Silver Age story, Action Comics 241, June 1958.

LiamKav said...

I'm not sure when Superman started to say "Great Krypton!" again (although I do want to blame Grant Morrison), but I've always hated it, especially the modern version. Superman is human, damnit! He's just an immigrant human who happens to be the most awesome human of all time and shows us how good we can be! Saying "Great Krypton" emphasises that he's different from us.

Also, it sounds stupid.

Siskoid said...

If you want to modern-psychologize it, you could say it's something he developed for when he really needed to cuss. Superman's too good say anything that might be considered "strong language" or even taking the lord's name in vain.

Probably stole the idea from Aquaman.

Now, exclamations of "Rao", THAT'S silly.

Craig Oxbrow said...

I dunno, just once I'd like to see him sigh "oh, crap" as a huge tentacular abomination bursts out of the ground.

Siskoid said...

I'm pretty sure those stories exist too.


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