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Drawing Crazy Patterns – Just How Easy Was it to Travel to Krypton Before it Exploded?

by  in Comic News Comment
Drawing Crazy Patterns – Just How Easy Was it to Travel to Krypton Before it Exploded?

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.

This week, we take a look at all of the people (other than Superman, of course, who made a number of trips on his own) who have somehow managed to time-travel to Krypton before it exploded and actually met Jor-El!



First up is a story that I’ve featured in the past in I Love Ya But You’re Strange. It is 1959?s Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #36, by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Ray Burnley. You can read here for more information about the story.

Suffice it to say that Jimmy Olsen, early in his days at Metropolis (before he began to work for the Daily Planet) volunteered for a time travel experiment that landed him on Krypton when Superman was just a wee baby.

Jimmy ends up as Kal-El’s babysitter, even handing out some corporal punishment…

Jimmy even helps to make sure that Kal-El escapes Krypton before it explodes…

As it turns out, Superman’s memories of Jimmy being his babysitter is actually the reason why he decided to make Jimmy his best pal when Jimmy arrived in Metropolis. So that is how Jimmy became Superman’s pal AND how Jimmy got his job at the Daily Planet!


1964’s Superman #170 gave us “What if Lex Luthor Were Superman’s Father?” by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and George Klein. I think that the name of the story confused DC’s production staff, since they labeled the cover as if this were an imaginary story, while really it was a time travel story.

Anyhow, Luthor escaped prison by pretending to volunteer for a scientific study…

I love that Siegel felt the need to have Luthor explain why his clothes grew. It is good to know that even then, writers were being beaten down by nit-picky fans.

Anyhow, now that he is free, Luthor heads to one of his hide outs to do what all villains like to do, check out Krypton in the past through a timescope…

And then, easy as pie, Luthor travels to Krypton with a plan to trick everyone into thinking he is a hero so that Lara will marry him instead of Jor-El…

He actually succeeds in wooing her!

But when he details his plan, it is hilariously insane…

How could that plan possibly make any sense to him?

Anyhow, Jor-El exposes him for the fraud that he is and he has to escape to the present. It is weird how emo Luthor gets here (I’ll always be a loser!)…


The following year, in Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #59, Lois learns about a device that could have saved Krypton, so naturally she decides to go back in time to give it to Jor-El…

She meets Jor-El…

A whole lot of crazy crap goes down. I am not going to get into it, as I will use this story for a future I Love Ya But You’re Strange. So if you want to talk about the specifics of this story, please wait until I get to it for I Love Ya But You’re Strange!

Anyhow, as things end up, Lois’ plans were to no avail, so she heads home but before she can get home, she is accidentally sent to the Phantom Zone…

Superman then frees her (the story opens with Superman checking on the Phantom Zone to see what’s up)…

Which, of course, means that Lois was in the Phantom Zone for decades and Superman missed her for decades, but, eh, who can keep track of those things? Certainly not writer Otto Binder and artist Kurt Schaffenberger!

It’s weird how pissy Superman was at her at the end, right? I mean, I know she’s a pain in the ass and all, but damn, dude, chill out!


At the opening of 1970’s World’s Finest #191 by Cary Batest, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, Batman and Superman encounter time-traveling Jor-El and Lara, who show up quickly and then disappear, but not before mentioning that they’re about to commit their greatest crime. Superman’s all, “Say whaaaaat?” So he decides to go back in time to find out what the deal is. He can’t go without his Bat-buddy, though, right?

Check out their time traveling…

I love the casualness of how Superman mentions he could have messed up. Batman was likely thinking, “Uhmm…was that something that could have easily happened? Maybe you should have mentioned that first.”

So they run into Jor-El, and they provide their cover story…

I love how Batman explains their cover story…

Really, Superman, you think that was GOOD?

Anyhow, obviously, it turns out that the whole thing is some big misunderstanding, and the crimes they’re committing are really for a good cause. Pretty standard fare. However, I love the ending…

“Oh right, I can’t actually get us back from the past.” “Seriously, Superman, you have to tell me these things!”

Luckily, the government’s “time vortex” brings them back (it was what brought Jor-El and Lara to the future) and then it is destroyed so that they can’t be sucked back. How conveeeeeeeeeeeenient!


Here’s a rarer post-Crisis example!

In an 1999 storyline, Jack Knight, Mikaal Thomas and a hologram of Jack’s dad, Ted, traveled through time and space to find the missing Will Payton. At one point, in Starman #51 (written by James Robinson and David Goyer with art by Peter Snejbjerg and Keith Champagne), they end up on Krypton in the past and meet Jor-El…

They get into some trouble with the Kryptonian higher-ups, but Jor-El helps them escape…

It is implied that Jack’s visit inspired Jor-El to look to Earth later on.

Okay, that’s five! I hope you enjoyed ’em! If you have any ideas for future editions of Drawing Crazy Patterns, drop me a line at!

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