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Silver Age September – Superman’s Sad Return to Krypton

by  in Comic News Comment

After a month of spotlighting the strange (if endearingly strange) history of comic books (and especially the Silver Age), I think it is worthwhile to show the comic books of the Silver Age that are simply great stories period. Here is an archive of all the Silver Age comics features so far!

Today we take a look at the story behind the sad return of Superman to Krypton in the excellent Superman #141 by Jerry Siegel, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye…

Enjoy!

Just a little while back, I wrote about how Jerry Siegel’s Silver Age work on Superman is often over-looked due to his, you know, CREATING Superman, which is a shame as his Silver Age work on Superman was often excellent. The last time around, I featured the imaginary story about the Death of Superman. Today, just EIGHT ISSUES earlier, in Superman #141 (with art by Wayne Boring), we see a “real” story involving Superman traveling through time and “returning to Krypton!”

The comic opens up with a simple enough premise, Superman is sent to check out an alien creature and in a slight fracas, he is sent back in time. He ends up on a pre-exploded Krypton. Robbed of his powers by Krypton’s sun, Superman ends up getting involved as an extra in a science fiction film (where he catches the eye of the female star of the film)…



I love how Siegel insisted on keeping Superman in costume the whole story, so he comes up with the “stay in costume” gag. It is a clever bit.

Superman seeks out his parents and he finds that they are drawn to him as he is to them…



The memory pillow is also a clever bit.

Superman’s mother tries to set Superman up with the actress from his film, Lyla Lerrol (LL, of course), and while Superman is drawn to her, he’s determined not to get too attached to her (good luck with that, Supes!)…


You really should get this story just to see the page I omitted following the page above where Superman and Lyla’s making out gets its own half-page/multi-panel spotlight.

Siegel and Boring really milk the drama for all the pathos they can. Just check out this page…


You can really feel just how brutal this must be for Superman, no?

So Superman decides that he can’t help but NOT try to help his father save the people of Krypton. They finally come up with the idea for a space ark. The only problem is WHERE the space ark is built…


With everything looking grim, Superman interestingly enough basically decided to accept his fate in this brilliantly executed final panel by Siegel and Boring…


Of course, just when he accepts his life (and death), Superman discovers that fate has other plans for him.

Get the full dramatic ending (plus the awesome making out spotlight) and read the full story in the collection Superman in the 60s, available wherever comic book collections are sold!