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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So HOW Old Are Superboy’s Parents?

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at how the age of Superboy’s parents changed and how that affected some previously written stories…

Our story begins with 1963’s Superman #161, where Leo Dorfman and Al Plastino tell us the whole (ridiculous) story of how Ma and Pa Kent died.

It starts with Superboy taking them on a super-style trip to the Caribbean…


Uh oh, what’s in the chest?


Makes sense, right?

Well, while there, they eat some tropical fruit. They return to the present and get quite sick…


After going through exhaustive attempts to save their lives, it is finally too late…


Blaming himself for the fruit they ate in the past that supposedly gave them their illness, Clark spirals with guilt…


But then he discovers something interesting…


They were dead as soon as they opened the chest! It had nothing to do with Clark…


Note that they never would have been there to open the chest if Clark had not taken them there, but let’s overlook that, don’t want to give Clark any more guilt issues!

Okay, so in Superboy #145 in 1968, Otto Binder, George Papp and Frank Springer give us a fairly meta-fictional look at Superboy, as an alien is using video of Superboy he took from a far-reaching telescope and pretending that it is a fictional show…


But (I presume, just like the Superboy books), people complain about how old Superboy’s parents are. He decides to fix it…


Long story short, his parents are de-aged (as well as some of their friends, so it doesn’t draw attention to just the Kents)…


However, if they’re now de-aged, how could they die when they were so old?

So in one of the most literally examples of “writing over” a story, 1970’s Superboy #165 reprints the Superman tale, only with some changes…






Other reprints got similar treatments at the time.

In Action Comics #500, the edits in Superboy #165 were themselves abandoned and forsaked as the life story of Superman in that issue (by Marty Pasko, Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte) show that the Kents’ youthful appearance DID wear off…


Thanks to Graeme Burk, Michael and Commander Benson (who made an extensive comment you should read in the comments section) for their head’s up on the Action Comics issue. I believed it was revealed that the de-aging wore off, I just couldn’t recall WHERE.