BEING A SLIGHT
EXPLANATION OF THE REAL STORIES
BEHIND SOME COMIC BOOK "SUPERHEROES" IN THE WNU
A graphic for the Superman Family is available.
The major super hero of the age and for all ages, the zenith of power and strength in the Wold Newton Universe was
Clark . When he was in his prime he was truly the strongest man on Earth. Even those who subsequently bore the name have never equaled superman's prime. Kent
An extensive background of the Kryptonians in the Wold Newton Universe is on the Kryptonian section of the Aliens Among Us article. A small recap of Superman's origin is as follows. The Kryptonians were a genetically tailored race derived from Capellean and Eridaneans stock, all of which were originally Earth human stock. The Kryptonians had been genetically altered to survive in the harsh climate of KrypT'n, a predominately crystal world with high gravity, harsh radiation and odd meteorological conditions. The mining colony was considered necessary for KrypT'n was rich in the crystals used in hyperdrive ships.
The Kryptonians were in a state of self-imposed isolationism for centuries and were unaware that the Capellean and Eridanean civilizations had fallen.
The planetary core of Krypton underwent a dramatic event and began to decay. This dramatic event may have been the result of a dimensional rift accidentally opened in the planetary core of Krypton that occurred around the earth year 1912. The planet Mongo from the Barsoomian Universe had achieved a method of opening extra-dimensional rifts successfully opened extra-dimensional rifts into the Wold Newton Universe. Although the rifts closed once the ray creating them is shut down, their effects were sometimes long lasting. This rift led to a long lasting geological instability that eventually led to the planet's destruction.
Jor-El discovered the geological instability that threatened the planet of Krypton shortly after his son Kal-El was born. Because he could not pinpoint the exact cause or development of the instability his findings were refuted. Jor-El began to study forbidden space flight technology as a means of saving his family. His brother Zor-El joined him in this effort. They created two prototypes ships both with the same design.
There was no time to test the ships and Jor-El bundled his infant son into one rocket and Zor-El his thirteen-year-old daughter into the other.
Around the earth year 1917 Krypton blew up and Kal-El was sent to Earth in a prototype warp capsule. The capsules had been designed to search for either Capellean or Eridanean warp signatures or subspace broadcasts. A small beacon still broadcast from one of the spy satellites circling the Earth.
Clark's ship landed on the Earth. He was discovered and adopted by the Kents who named him Clark and kept his alien origins a secret. As Kent Clarkgrew he found that his Kryptonian enhanced physiognomy and genetic alterations make him the strongest, fastest man on the planet. However, the built in affinity that the Kryptonians have for the fuel crystals turned out to be a liability. Many of the crystals that found their way to earth had undergone transformations due to various celestial contaminations and often had deadly or peculiar effects on Kryptonian biology.
Clark Kent probably never intended to become "Superman" but when circumstances forced him to use his innate Kryptonian abilities to save a couple of lives, he realized that he could do some good by using his "super powers". When the press had dubbed the super powered mystery man Superman, he adapted that as his nome de guerre. The infant comic book industry picked up on this and used some of his exploits as material for their story lines. Superman threatened to sue and eventually worked out a licensing deal with National Periodicals. For an annual fee based on sales, they could use his name and likeness. If they used story lines that he provided they would also pay an additional bonus. This money went to various charities. Many other heroes made similar deals with the comic companies. From various statements about his alien origin, the comics built up an elaborate mythology about Krypton and they kept increasing his powers.
The actual truth of the matter is that when he was younger Superman did in fact patrol Metropolis and nearby environs fairly often. He would attempt to stop everything from petty crime to major criminals but what he did mostly was rescue people from various disasters. However this period only lasted a couple of years and he was not as busy as was portrayed in the comic books. There were other mortal crime fighters in the Greater New York area at the time including the Shadow, The Spider, the Batman, The Avenger, Doc Savage and others. Actually a lot of the rescues that Superman undertook in this period were from collateral damage caused by the various villains fought by the other crime fighters. Superman fought against a few major villains such as The Ultrahumanite, Braniac, Lex Luthor, the Toyman and Prankster but only when he was directly challenged or in the nearby vicinity.
The comics portray him as dashing out of his guise as
Clark to assume his identity as Superman. This is a somewhat false premise, in that it makes it appears as though Superman was his true identity and Kent Clark was merely a false identity he assumed to fit into normal society. In reality he was of course Kent Clark , thought of himself as Kent Clark and lived his ordinary life as Kent Clark . The Superman identity was just a lark, something as a young man he did for excitement and fun. Kent
When his powers had become much stronger in his adolescence, his father had told him about his alien origins. Being a normal teenage boy, Clark of course had shown off enough to make him noticed, to impress his peers and the girls but he was smart enough not to draw an exceeding amount of attention to him. He realized how unique he was and knew that to be an integral part of society, he would have be seen as normal.
Clarktook great pains to disguise his great strength in order to be seen as a normal man. He took more pride in achieving summa cum laude status than he did at picking up a full grown horse with one hand.
The point is that it was being Clark Kent that mattered the most to him, so despite what the comics might have depicted, he did not go running off every time there was a disaster in the city. Like everyone else who liked his job, he wished to keep it and in fact needed it. He still had to pay rent and buy food and clothing like everyone else. If he was in the vicinity of a disaster or actually saw a crime being committed he would act. If he had time to change he would do so, otherwise the rescue would be done as
Clark and explained away. His adventuring tapered off as his career and his family life took up more of his time. Kent
The comics also depict Superman as being a worldwide traveler, dashing off to disasters around the world. This is not the case either. Being a correspondent, Clark
was on occasion sent on stories abroad. A few times he did in fact act as Superman on these trips but he realized that he could be endangering his true identity by doing so. How many times could Superman, who usually haunted Metropolis, appear in a foreign land at the same time that Clark Kent did before someone put two and two together? Kent
However there was a person doing these super deeds in various locations around the world. This brings us to a sort of distant cousin to Superman. There were incongruent stories about Superman being declared unfit for the Armed Forces during World War II because he flunked an eye test by reading the wrong chart. Yet there are also stories about him being seen on the front lines and attacking German or Japanese tanks, submarines etc. While the latter can be construed as merely jingoistic propaganda, there does appear to be an element of truth to them.
In 1894, chemist and biologist, Abednego Danner having corresponded with Marra (then using the name Moreau) was given a sample of an unstable "serum" that Moreau had created that would give mammals the proportional strength of an insect. The "serum" was actually a non-specie specific genetic virus based on the DNA of the Kryptonians. Marra had been one of the biologists that had helped to develop the Kryptonian genotype. This virus was based on an earlier version of the genotype and so did not have many of the later modifications. Basically what it did cause muscular and bone density to increase giving human beings the ability to withstand high gravity. Danner successfully stabilized it and tested it first on kitten and then on his unborn child. After Danner was forced to destroy the kitten by poisoning it, he knew the "serum" was too dangerous for general use or knowledge. (1)
He destroyed all his notes and the rest of the "serum" The son Hugo Danner grew up to have abilities close to Clark Kent's he had more trouble hiding them. He killed a boy during a college football game. Guilty he spent time during menial labor. When World War One broke out, he found that his abilities made him a deadly fighting machine. His heroic actions did not bring him the acceptance and acclaim he desired but rather made him feared as freak of nature. This may have had more to do with his personality and comportment rather than it had to do with his great strength. After the war he became an embittered man. He traveled away from civilization and went to live in
South America. A lightning bolt in South Americapurportedly killed him. However in the 1940's a young man having abilities close to Hugo Danner's appeared. The young man, Arnold "Iron" Munroe was Hugo Danner's natural child sired prior to Danner's trip to South America.
This Iron Munroe became an operative for the
and worked on many missions. His superpowers were a widely known secret, but like OSS Clark he had learned from Hugo Danner's mistakes. He did not flaunt his strength nor did he allow himself lose control in unrestrained violence. Munroe continued to work for the Kent government after the war as a semi-detached Intelligence operative. His job took him to every corner of the globe. It was the combination of Hugo Danner's legendary exploits in WWI, Iron Munroe's exploits in WWII that gave rise to the stories of Superman having fought in WWII. It was Munroe's later exploits in various worldwide locales that gave rise to the notion of a globetrotting Superman. These notions of course were picked up by and expanded upon by the comic book tales of Superman. U.S.
Clark eventually married Kent Lois Lane, a "typical" earth human with genetic ties to the mutant Wold Newton family. They had two children, Joel born 1949 and Kara born in 1953. Although Joel born typically human this has been attributed to Lois being exposed to gold kryptonite while Joel was still a fetus. The more likely explanation is that being a hybrid, Joel merely took more after his mother whereas his sister, Kara took more after their father. (2)
In 1955, they had another addition to the family.
Clark picked up a wire story of a young girl found near a plane crash site who spoke a foreign tongue which linguists could not identify. She had been hurt in the plane crash and was being held in at a hospital in Kent . Indianapolis Clark noticed that the wire photo of the plane crash resembled the remnants of his spacecraft. Kent
traveled to Kent but was not allowed to see the girl. He visited the crash site but could not get very close because of the kryptonite scattered about the site. He did however manage to purchase some of the salvaged items from the ship. The ship had broken up on impact; it was a miracle that the girl had survived. One of the items that Indianapolis Clarkpurchased was a teaching machine that responded to his touch. He was taught the history of Krypton and the Krypton language in several sessions.
The log of the ship stated that this ship and his had departed from Krypton simultaneously but hers had veered off course slightly to avoid a meteorite storm. The automatic correction had caused her ship to warp towards the sun. Pulling out of the fatal course had made the ship slingshot around the sun creating a temporal rift that had flung her ship forwards in time. She had been wounded in the crash because several of her prize crystals had become kryptonite. The crystals had not been in direct enough proximity to kill her but they had weakened her to the point that she could be hurt or killed by something that a Kryptonian at full strength would have shrugged off.
Having mastered the Kryptonian language,
Clark finally convinced the authorities that he was a relative of hers. The teenage girl was shocked to find someone who could speak Kryptonese and even more shocked to discover the identity of the speaker. The fact that this middle aged man was the same infant she had played with was something that took her years to deal with. Kent convinced her that to fit in and to have as normal a life as possible among the population of this planet they had to hide their special abilities. Realizing that he spoke the truth, she readily agreed. Kent
Clark used his connections with the government and working through the Kent foundation to create a new identity for Kara. She was given the identity of a girl who had died in an orphanage fire. The comics portray Kara as living at an orphanage for a while before being adopted by a childless couple. This was only partly true. She did live at an orphanage for about six months while Clark and Lois Kent arranged for her legal documentation. Wayne
The comic book version of these events has Kara adopted by another couple, the fictitious
. This was because Superman was a confirmed bachelor in the comic book continuity. In those days it was rare for a single man to adopt a child, especially a teenage girl. In the comic books the single male heroes adopted young boys or teenage boys, which gave Dr. Wertham something to sweat over. Danvers
took in Linda Danvers but there were problems almost from the start. Kara resented not being able to use her real name when a two-year-old child was already using the name. There was also a cultural clash. Kara had been raised in an advanced civilization where equality of the sexes was unquestioned normality. She found herself in a primitive male dominated society which was only beginning to grow out of the notion that a woman's lot in life was to serve men by bearing children, raising children and making the home a refuge for the male breadwinner. The phrases "It's a man's world, girls" or "Don't worry your pretty little head about it" rankled her and confirmed her suspicion that women were seen as having about the same abilities and mental capacity as children themselves. Kents
Clark had overcome much of this cultural imprinting but he was still a man raised in a small rural area at the time of the First World War. Many of his notions were hard set. Although he had met and married a feisty, independent working woman in Kent Lois Lane, he had expected her to put her career on hold until the children were at least of school age. Being a product of her time as well, Lois was happy to do so. She also unconsciously indoctrinated her children in their specific gender roles. This was something that Linda pointed out to her constantly. Being a teenager, Linda was quick to point everyone's mistakes. Lois and the teenage girl did not see eye to eye on a lot of issues.
Linda knowing of her cousin's and of her abilities, had very little trouble discerning who this legendary Superman character that appeared every so often was. Linda told him that she thought that sounded like fun and wanted to help out.
Clarkwas afraid that this would be too much exposure and told her that it was too dangerous for a girl to do, especially not on in full command of her abilities. Infuriated Linda defied Clarkand designed a costume based on his and began making secret forays into crime fighting and disaster relief.
Reports of a Super-girl filtered through to the newspapers. After enough of these sightings, Superman was forced to admit the existence of an orphaned cousin who came from the same planet and had many of the same powers that he did.
The comics picked up on this and Superman was forced to work out a deal similar to his for Kara, with her monies being held in trust.
As Linda grew older her clashes with
Clarkand Lois became ever more frequent and intensified until they had a major falling out. The falling out was over a dog.
Of all the members of the Superman "family" you would not expect to have a basis in reality, one might think that the Super Pets would be one of them. However this is not the case. Their origins, powers and exploits were however bore little relationship to how they were portrayed in the comics.
Krypto was one of several laboratory animals stolen by the Ultra-Humanite on a raid to the Centre. It is unknown whether the Centre itself knew of his remarkable heritage or if Krypto was merely among a lot of dogs acquired for experimentation. Krypto's father was Kelly a remarkably long-lived and intelligent white German Shepherd. Kelly was an early star of talking motion pictures with his partner/master Len Carmody. To say that Kelly was outwardly German Shepherd is more accurate, since Kelly's Grandsires were White Fang, a Wolf mix owned by Weedon Scott and Silverchief. Krypto's mother was a Beagle-Labrador mix whose mother was from the same litter that produced the wonder dog Rover (3). Krypto was at the outset of nearly human intelligence, and was stronger and faster than an average dog. So even if he had not been experimented on Krypto would have been a remarkable canine.
The Centre received funding from a variety of sources including the United States Military and they wished to create a strong, intelligent K-9 Corps animal. (4) To this end Krypto had been injected with a modified version of the "supersoldier" formula. After he was kidnapped from the lab the Ultra-Humanite noticed Krypto's superior skills and decided to use him as bait to kill his enemy Superman. He injected the already enhanced dog with a serum derived from Abednego Danner's but one that would burn out the dog's nervous system.
The Ultra-Humanite had rocket launched to arc down towards Metropolis. The rocket was built in a similar style as described by Superman in the published reports of his arrival on Earth. If everything went according to plan the crashed ship would yield up an unharmed dog with powers beyond those of mortal dogs. The Ultra-Humanite wished for Superman to get close enough to the ship to examine the dog. Superman's presence would trigger panels of lead to slide up, revealing a deadly amount of kryptonite.
Superman came bounding into the crash site as the Ultra-Humanite had planned. Only the mangy mutt had burst out of the crashed ship, barking and leaping at Superman, keeping him away from the ship. Believing the dog was attacking him; Superman tossed it away and discovered that it bounded back with amazing strength and speed. Despite the dog's constant attacks, Superman managed to get close enough to the ship so that the panels were triggered. He swooned from the intense kryptonite radiation. The damned dog then began carrying the pieces of kryptonite away from the ship. He dug a hole, pushed the kryptonite inside the hole, placed a torn piece of lead over the kryptonite and buried it.
When Superman examined the ship he found it to be a hoax of purely terrestrial origin. The dog however puzzled and intrigued him. The dog seemed to understand everything that Superman said to him but of course could not speak or write. He did quickly learn to respond to two barks for yes and one for no. Superman and the white dog went bounding out of the city to a wooded area where over the next days would spend a few hours teaching the dog to communicate in Morse code, barks for dots, whines for dashes.
Superman learned the dog's origins and of the Ultra-Humanite's plans. With the dog as his guide, Superman sniffed out the Ultra-Humanite's current lair. The dog proved to be bullet proof but the Ultra-Humanite escaped justice once again. Clark had talked to Lois about taking in the dog, not wishing for it to have to fend for itself. She agreed reluctantly. However it would not be seemly for the Kents, whom many suspected of having strong ties to Superman anyway to suddenly adopt a white dog. Clark dyed the dog's fur black. The dog allowed himself to be picked up by the Metropolis dogcatcher. After a week, Clark and Lois Kent adopted the black furred mutt.
Despite Lois' initial reluctance, the dog who took the name King, humility not being one of his faults, fit in very well with the family. All he really desired was to live with a regular family, something he had only briefly as a puppy. The dog proved his worth when he had defeated a group of thugs sent to scare Lois and the children to keep Clark from writing an expose on the Cobra Cult. He also detected and disposed of a bomb sent in the mail by an anonymous source. King's coat faded to white after a while but since the Kents lived in a rather secluded suburban area with a high fenced yard. Clark did not think anyone would think about the color of the dog. He even put a small cape on King when they went adventuring, believing that people would be more intrigued by the fact that the dog was wearing cape than by the dog's looks.
King would occasionally accompany Clark when he went on the increasingly infrequent forays as Superman. Yet he seldom asked his cousin to accompany them. This infuriated her until she asked him point blank why he took the dog and not his own flesh and blood. He answered matter of factly, the dog listened to him, and she didn't. He found her to be rash and warned her that she would be exposed if she continued with her manner of doing things.
Linda would retreat to her room and sulk, playing with her only friend, the cat Streaky. The cat Streaky was Super-Girl's superpet; he was super strong, super fast and bulletproof. He also a super nuisance, having to be closely supervised by Supergirl when not kept in a special cage. Otherwise he would destroy parts of the house or injure other animals.
Streaky's origins are not all that mysterious. You will recall that Abednego Danner first tested his serum on a cat, which he then poisoned. The Ultra-Humanite acquired the corpse. The high doses of arsenic, which Danner had given the cat, had help preserve the corpse. He isolated the Kryptonian DNA and made synthesized reproductions of it with varying successes, none of which resulted in super powered individuals. The batch that had been given to the white dog had evidently reacted with some of the treatments that it had received while at the center so instead of having his nervous system burned out the dog had acquired superpowers.
Part of Danner's dead cat was harvested to make clones. Because of the damage to the cellular tissues and because of the complex gene engineering that had gone into making genetic virus that Danner had used as a base of his serum the clones usually never made it to full term or came out deformed or powerless. There was one kitten that had lived from one of the experiments that showed promise. However the snooping Superman and the white dog had showed up at the Ultra-Humanite's secret lair. The Ultra-Humanite was forced to abandon his lair and torch the place to safeguard his plans. Unfortunately the cell samples of Danner's cat and the Ultra-Humanite's notes for his experiment were also consumed in the fire.
The kitten however survived and fell into the hands of the Prankster, who had heard about Superman's raid on the Ultra-Humanite's secret hiding place. The Prankster had come looking to see if there was anything useful in the debris. He found the kitten. He was somewhat at a loss at how to use a super powered cat. He had an inspiration while reading the Daily Star. Clark Kent had recently taken in an orphaned cousin; the Prankster used that as an excuse to send the kitten to the teenage girl. The Prankster felt that the kitten would at least seriously injure the Kents, if not kill them before it was put down.
Linda fell in love with the sedated kitten, even when it had awakened and gone on a small-scale rampage of destruction, she had refused to give it up. Fearing to lose his cousin over this Clark agreed under certain conditions, it had to be either held by her or caged. If it caused harm to the children it would be put down, if it brought unwanted attention to the family it would be put down. For the most part, Streaky lived in Linda's room or in a specially constructed cage. When Linda went out adventuring as Super-Girl, usually against her cousin's wishes she would often take the cat along. This was not usually a problem but being a cat, Streaky was prone to be independent and did not obey her
One day as her high school graduation approached, Linda accidentally left the cage door unlocked. The cat crept out of the cage, apparently saw a bird and jumped out the window, smashing the thick, bullet resistance glass. He was spotted clawing up a tree, raking huge gouges in an ancient oak, he killed two dogs that attacked him and finally killed a prize calf at a New Jersey dairy farm. He carried the carcass home.
Clark Kent put his foot down. Superman took Streaky to the vet and had the animal put down as a menace to society. It was not anything he necessarily wanted to do but thought that unlike King/Krypto, since Streaky did not have a large mental capacity he was just too dangerous to be allowed to live. This caused a major rift between Linda and himself. She refused to understand the difference between King and Streaky.
Upon graduating from high school, Linda Danvers moved out of the Kent house and moved across country, attending college in Berkley. She hid her powers and lived as a normal college student in the early sixties.
As stated Joel Kent never had the full Kryptonian physiology of his father, however he was not a weakling by any means. His bone structure and muscle tissue was slightly denser than that of normal men, which meant he was stronger, faster and less prone to injury. When had had bulked up from intensive muscle training, he was about equal to the strength of the legendary Doc Savage.
There was a scurrilous report put out a few years ago, which had Joel betraying his family to the point of allowing his mother to be killed and to himself killing his sister. The reason given that he had turned bad was because his father had not told him about being Superman. This had unhinged him to the extent that during a tour in Viet Nam he had carried out a My Lai type massacre. All because his father had not told him about being Superman. This was just another example of one of the smear tactics launched against the Kents in the early nineties by the coalition of Ultra-Humanite, Lex Luthor and Wilson Fisk. The comic book company that Superman had dealt with for many years was no longer owned or controlled by the same people. He suspected that Fisk or one of his other enemies had a hand in it. Perhaps even Kane/Vandal Savage. They found loopholes in their contracts with the superheroes to publish books filled with slander and libel and even made films portraying Superman's friend and relative by marriage Batman as either a stiff, pompous boob or a dark edged near psycho.
The fact of the matter was that Joel of course was well aware that his father was Superman, even if he wasn't specifically told until his sister's powers began to manifest he did pick up on some things that his father or aunt Linda did around the house. Some people believe that a child could not be able to hold in a secret of this magnitude. Children are very smart and they quickly learn what family secrets must be kept secret at all costs. Granted these are often rather sordid secrets such as alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse, etc but the point is children have and do keep family secrets very guarded.
Although it was true that Joel did have a bit of trouble adjusting to the fact that he would never have superpowers like his sister or aunt would, he made the best of what abilities he had becoming an all around athlete and scholar. Joel filled in for Robin when Robin was laid up by injury with an injury
When Joel graduated from High school he attended West Point Military Academy. He was recruited by Military Intelligence upon graduation. One of his first assignments was to go undercover as a recruit and investigate a possible drug/contraband smuggling ring operating among the combat troops in Vietnam. He is attached to a platoon run by a Lieutenant Conrad Morgan who was a stone addict. His supplier and right hand is the lethal Sgt. Joshua. On a raid against a village of purported communist sympathizers Sgt. Joshua rousted all of the people from their homes. Joshua was convinced that they were hiding a huge supply of heroin slated for shipment overseas. The villagers refused to give it up and Sgt. Joshua began killing villagers one by one, starting with the old and infirm. Joel protested and was ordered to stand down. He refused and was jumped on by Joshua's men. Although Joshua easily fought off most of them he was clubbed several times with a gun butt. Joshua had him chained up. Lt. Morgan was deep in the throes of a withdrawal and became paranoid, convinced that these villagers were deliberately keeping his drugs from him. He gave the order to wipe out the village. Sgt. Joshua carried it out efficiently. After razing and carefully examining the village, they failed to find a cache of drugs. They did however find twenty to thirty orphan children, two nuns and a priest hiding in various hidey-holes in the village.
The priest was an elderly French national who told them in accented English that these children were the result of French Soldiers and Viet-Namese women, unwanted by either. Their orphanage had been burnt down by the Viet Mihn as being a remnant of Colonialism. This Catholic village had taken them in. Sgt. Joshua machined gunned the Priest, Nuns and children. He then had the village burnt to the ground. He shot and killed most of the platoon, leaving Joel Kent concussed and chained. He kicked Kent to semi-consciousness and told him he would make certain Kent got the credit for this little affair. Lt. Morgan agreed to corroborate Joshua's story after Joshua gave him a fix.
Joel Kent was soon captured by Viet Mihn and spent time in a prison camp. After a few weeks he had gotten his full strength back. He managed to escape from the camp, freeing as many other POWs before the Viet Mihn came to full alert. Joel ran away from the prison camp towards Saigon. He felt two sharp pains in his right side as bullets perforated him. He continued running and fell into a rice field before collapsing from the pain.
After the Viet Mihn patrols have passed Mei-Lai, a young woman about his age rescues him, Mei-Lai was of Chinese descent her parents having immigrated to Viet Nam after Japanese had conquered much of China. Her antecedents are interest to those who study the Wold Newton Meteorite Family. Mei-Lei was the descendent of one of the two remaining brothers out of ten who had fought against a soul clone of Dracula and Seven Golden Vampires under his command. The brothers were called by the last name Tsi in the film version of these events but their sister is named Mei Kwai. Since the brothers were incognito at the beginning of the film the Tsi surname is probably a pseudonym and their true family name was Mei.(5)
The brothers all exhibited superior strength, speed, stamina and eye hand coordination, which is attributed to mastery in several martial arts. This is probably true but their training brought out the full potential of their heritage. These brothers were descendents from one of the warriors exposed to The Lu Ming-yueh meteorite of China 616 A.D. In AD 616 it was reported that "a large shooting star like a bushel fell onto the rebel Lu Ming-yueh's
camp. It destroyed his wall-attacking tower and crushed to death more than ten people." (6)
This makes them distant relatives of Charlie Chan, Kai Lung, Judge Dee, Fu Manchu and others.
Mei-Lei nursed Joel Kent back to health after which she helped him to return to Saigon, where he was finally able to report. He discovered that Lt. Morgan and Sgt. Joshua had blamed the massacre on Joel Kent. They had been reported missing in action shortly thereafter. Kent's superior in Military Intelligence had sent a friend of his, Colonel Hugh North to investigate the killing. He had returned with evidence that exonerated Joel Kent. Colonel North also believed that shortly before their disappearance Sgt. Joshua and Lt. Morgan who were seen talking to a Captain Willard. Willard susequently disappeared into Black Ops. (7)
Joel Kent married Mei-Lei shortly after their arrival in Saigon. She presented him with a child some six months, later. They named the child Samuel Clark Kent, b. 1968.
Joel Kent spent the rest of his tour with Military Intelligence working with Colonel Hugh North, honing his detective skills. Mei-Lei proved to be a very good teacher of martial arts. He also took several journalism classes while serving in the Military Intelligence, while undercover on a couple of college campuses looking into draft card forgery or fraud. In late 1969 with Army Intelligence's permission he assumed the identity of one of its covert operatives, The Question. The Question had been started by Military Intelligence as a means of uncovering a group of radicals who were using television broadcasts as a means of relaying sensitive military information.
The "secret identity" of The Question as related in the comic books was entirely fictional, as were most if not all of his adventures. The one of few facts that they did get right was that The Question's alter ego was a television journalist/commentator who had been trained by a female martial arts master. Joel Kent became a feature television reporter upon his leaving the service. His first job was in New Orleans where he exposed corruption on a daily basis. He then moved to Chicago where he spent nearly a decade. In 1974, Steve Rogers disgusted by the Watergate affair, by way the war in Viet Nam was being fought, by the CIA's dirty tricks and by their domestic spying program quit being Captain America for a while. The OSI contacted Joel Kent told him that Rogers was suffering from a form of stress and needed time to recover. They asked if he could fill the slot for a while.
So Joel Kent took a sabbatical from television work to write a book and also to fill in for Captain America for a two years. Shortly after the election of 1976, Rogers contacted Joel and told him the full story. He said that he would probably resume the role even if it were without official government sanction.
Joel was tired of the constant adventuring and when he returned to his regular life; he became fairly domesticated, only venturing out as the Question on rare occasions.
Joel's younger sister Kara had inherited much of their father's strength and power, which began to manifest slowly through her childhood, escalating as she reached puberty and beyond. Under her father's tutelage, she acquired the talent and skill to become his successor. Clark realized he had made a mistake with his cousin Kara was did all he could to prevent a re-occurrence. While Kara began her career as Supergirl fairly young and enjoyed it as an adolescent as she grew older the lure of being a costumed adventurer faded, possibly because she was around so many growing up. There were also other reasons involved; she took more pride in her scholastic career and later in her journalistic career than she did in her work as Supergirl. The main thing was however was that she had fallen in love at an early age with another costumed adventurer, Bruce Wayne Jr. The Supergirl and Robin team ups had made the papers just about every time they happened. Although Supergirl had gotten Robin out of some tough scrapes and he was grateful, Kara always felt that there was a bit of a resentment there. Although they had dated briefly prior to her debut as Supergirl he became a bit distant from her after she had worked with him once or twice.
They retained a friendly yet distant relationship when he managed to free her from one of the Joker and Green Goblin's deadly traps. Although Kara was not as susceptible to kryptonite poisoning as Clark or Linda, it did remain toxic to her so a prolonged exposure could kill her. Kara had been lured into attempting to rescue Batman, who was Bruce by this time. Bruce had managed to rescue Kara and carry her to safety while she slowly recovered from her poisoning.
While she was lying on a rooftop resting she confronted him about his resentment towards her. Bruce, like his father was direct. He told her that he did not resent her but he resented the idea that she did not have confidence that he could escape death traps on his own. Each time she had rescued him he had been on the verge of escaping. Twice she had rescued him when he had been in no real danger, but had been lulling his quarry. It galled him because it meant that she did not have any confidence in his abilities or ultimately in him. Kara told him that she might have overreacted because she did not want to lose him. She never meant to demean his abilities. Emasculating him was the farthest thing from her mind. After she had regained her strength, she demonstrated how much of man she thought Bruce was.
Super-Girl's appearances became less frequent after that, helping out Batman or others only by request and helping out at disasters when she was the only available person or if Superman was busy or needed assistance. Kara Kent married Bruce Wayne jr. in 1971. While it is true that a person interrupted their wedding claiming to have proof that they were in fact Batman and Supergirl, the person's photographic proof blew away in a sudden gust of wind. Some people claimed that rapidly moving white dog had grabbed the photos and jumped out of the yard.
They had one daughter, Lana Wayne. Lana Wayne was like her Uncle Joel, outwardly a normal human being but having a denser structure and faster reflexes than most persons. In 1985, after the tragedy that struck the Superman family, Lana Wayne became the third Batgirl.
As we begin to move to the close of this article about the Superman Family, we pick up the story of Kara Zor-El or Linda Danvers once more. While she attended Berkley in the early 1960's Linda Danver's became involved in the free speech movement, the anti-war movement and the women's movement. After being arrested at an anti-war rally and receiving an admonishment (and bail money) from her cousin. Linda decided to break ties with the Kent family once and for all. Using some connections he created a new identity for herself, Karen Starr. After seeing her fellow students get attacked by the police with little or no provocation, she decided to use her powers to further her goals of non-violence and social progress. Donning an outfit that consisted of blue go-go boots, a white mini-skirt, a white scoop neck blouse and a red cape, she began showing up in the Bay Area. Since Kara's figure had developed quite a bit since she had last donned the Supergirl outfit, people were not certain if she was indeed Supergirl.
Kara began showing up at protests quickly quelling any confrontations between the police or students by interposing herself between the combatants. She was interviewed a few times by papers but refused to give a name. She stated that her name was not important, she was merely there to ensure that flower power was not crushed by the power of the gun, that the people's power was not vanquished by the power of tyranny. To her dismay, the press dubbed her with the sobriquet of Power Girl. She also failed to realize that the staged protests needed the theatre of confrontation to help spread their message. In other words, the protest leaders wanted trouble with the cops; it brought more attention to the Cause. When Power Girl began showing up at protest rallies, she began to be booed by the protesters and cops alike.
Karen Starr curbed her activities as Power Girl after that. After graduating from college she began working at IBM in the computer field.
While she was welcomed when aiding in disasters, in San Francisco or Oakland, she was regarded with suspicion if she tried to watch for police brutality in Oakland, or tried to effect urban renewal by knocking down condemned buildings. Power Girl's approach to social ills was seen by many as merely another white liberal attempting to score points with the minorities. When Watts exploded in 1965 Powergirl hurried down to Los Angeles. Although she saved several people from burning buildings, prevented a few civilians and police officers from getting shot, she received abuse from all sides; from the African-American rioter who threw bottles, bricks, molotov cocktails at her, calling her every racial slur in the book. They refused to listen to her protests that she was not a representative of the White Power structure. The police on the other hand called her hippie, interfering do-gooder, they attempted to arrest her on several occasions, a couple of trigger happy police officers fired at her.
Shaken by these revelations, Karen Starr stopped being Power-Girl for some time. She worked at IBM for several years, adding a great deal to their theoretical and practical uses of computer science. Yet she remained an assistant to a man not as intelligent or skilled as her. He told her that he tried his best for her there were no advancement opportunities available at the time. Karen finally went over his head and discussed the situation with his boss, who we will call Mr. W. He suggested that they discuss the situation over dinner.
Karen found Mr. W. to be charming and attractive, until he told her that a girl with a figure like hers could go far in the company, if she played the game right. Infuriated she refused. He told her that she get accustomed to her spot then, the best paying jobs were reserved for men because they had families to support, not for single women who played at having a career until they settled down into their true job of raising a family.
Karen began talking to other women at the office and gathered up a list of suggestions to make the working environment for equitable for both genders. Her ideas were taken under advisement. When she persisted in asking upper management about them, she was terminated.
It was 1971, Karen started her own computer business, specializing in helping small to medium size businesses computerize their records and finances. Karen Starr also joined NOW and became an ardent feminist. Although she was nearly thirty she looked like she was still barely twenty. (8) In 1974, Joel Kent, who was currently filling in for Captain America, contacted Kara. He was looking for information about a charismatic leader of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization called Symbion, which had just declared itself a religion. Fingerprints proved that the leader of his cult was a psychiatrist named Henry King. He had been a government employee and had worked for the MK Ultra program. Rumor had it that the same chemical agent accidentally sprayed on an U.S. Infantry troop in Viet Nam were used by King in his experiments. (9) The government suspected that King used a front man for the Symbion organization for the leader was described as a strapping, youthful tall, red haired man.
The reason that the government was interested was because the cult had formed an shock troop of armed followers, several former followers were found dead and people with connections to this organization were robbing banks and causing other problems such as arson, murder and assasination. Captain America was involved because the Cult's leader was supposed to have some sort of mind control powers which allowed him to easily recruit and make people do as he wished. An off shoot of the organization, to which Symbion disavowed, kidnapped a publishing heiress and held her captive. She was eventually convinced to join their cause to the point of participating in a bank robbery. The government and her parents suspected mental coercion.
Captain America and Power Girl helped to raid the Symbionese Liberation Army hideout. The terrorists chose to take their lives rather than be captured.
A few days later Power Girl managed to free the captured heiress from her captors. There were definite links between the Symbion organization and this terrorist offshoot, despite claims to the otherwise. When Captain America and Power Girl went to the Symbion Compound, they found Dr. Henry King gone, as was his front man. Many of the cultists had however poisoned themselves by drinking doctored coffee.
To promote the feminist cause and to prove the worth of women, Karen Starr began a more active role as Power Girl, calling herself Power Femme. To her irritation, the media kept calling her Power Girl. She also began to receive condemnations from some of the more radical feminists who stated that her outfit was demeaning to women and merely helped perpetuate the sexual subjugation of women. She eventually stopped insisting that the Power Femme name be used having became less concerned about labels and because it irked her critics to no end.
Karen enjoyed her role as Power Girl, er Power Femme, and persisted this time despite all the opposition, although she stayed on the West Coast. As she grew older she realized that her cousin had not such a pigheaded fool after all. This was brought home when a journalist began to poke around into the Karen Starr identity, having placed computer entrepreneur Karen Starr at several Power Girl sightings.
In the early eighties she relocated to the East Coast. Lois was diagnosed with cancer and Kal was concentrating on helping her with chemotherapy. He had also just taken on the responsibilities as Managing Editor of the Daily Star so had curtailed his activities as Superman. Kara Kent-Wayne had her hands full being a mother and a prize-winning journalist so her activities as Super-Girl were at a minimum.
Surprisingly Joel's son had begun exhibiting powers like Clarks and Karen's but at a slightly diminished level. Joel attributed Samuel Clark Kent's abilities to be partially Kryptonian and partially from his wife's remarkable family.
Joel had once again become a television reporter and acted as the Question, living in the Chicago area, in a small town. His wife and he were training their son in martial arts to perhaps one day take Superman's place, should he ever retire.
Metropolis once again had Power Girl and on occasion Superman helping curb disasters and aiding law enforcement.
In 1985 that all changed. A rampaging monster suddenly appeared in the outskirts of Metropolis and created an unswerving path of destruction straight for the heart of the city. Hearing about it Karen donned her Power Girl outfit and bounded out to the monster. It resembled the monster that Batman and other heroes had fought on occasion. (10) However it was covered an armor of what appeared to be sharp bone spurs growing right out of his flesh. There were also some metallic and ceramic enhancements.
Power Girl punched monster and barely fazed it. However she did cut her hand. Stunned by this she took a powerful punch to the face that sent her flying into a building, damaging it and knocking her wind. Power Girl found herself in the battle of her life, for her life. She only run up against foes that could withstand her full might once or twice. She felt herself weakening with every punch or kick she took or gave. Yet kept fighting in order to get a school and a retirement home that was directly in the monster's path time to evacuate.
Karen had never felt pain like this before, every breath was a knife to the chest, every movement an utter agony. Bones were broken and she was exhausted. Karen fell to the street unable to move. She blacked out just as she felt the monster's foot plant a hard kick to the small of her back.
The monster moved on over the fallen body of Power Girl and continued on his path of destruction.
Clark had seen the desperate battle of Power Girl and the monster and had hurried to the scene. He arrived too late. Superman cradled Power Girl's lifeless body in his arms and screamed his agony to the universe. Placing it gently on the ground he had bound after the monster, his heart filled with hatred, rage and grief.
Power Girl had slowed down the monster, although it did not appear so outwardly. Her battle had damaged several internal systems. Yet because of the monster's kryptonite laced bone spurs, the battle was a deadly one for Superman as well. Despite this fact, Superman fought the creature to a stand still, although a six-block area of downtown Metropolis was destroyed and hundreds were injured. Superman fell and lay unmoving.
He never stirred again. However the monster stirred and rose again. It took the combined might of three costumed adventures, the elderly yet still strong Wonder Woman, the Spider and Captain America to bring down the creature. (11)
Superman and Power-Girl both died as a result of this encounter. Both were placed in tombs, however both bodies disappeared. Some say their enemies stole them to wrench secrets from their dead flesh, others believe that the government had them removed and studied or secretly buried in space. Others believed that their families had the bodies secretly removed and buried in private grounds. A journalist posthumously exposed Power Girl's identity as Karen Starr. He was roundly criticized and the paper that ran the article, the Midnight Star was lambasted by the mainstream press.
About six months later a younger, less powerful Superman began appearing in Metropolis. He was derisively called Superboy until he earned the respect of the city that had lost their beloved hero.
The truth of the matter was Superman and Power Girl were both critically injured. They went into healing comas, which to all appearances was death. The bodies were indeed taken by members of the family but Kara Kent Wayne detected faint life signs and so Clark Kent and Linda Danvers were set up in a hospice funded by the Wayne foundation. In Clark's room was his wife, Lois. Upon hearing the news of Superman and Power Girl's death, Lois Lane having successfully fought off cancer suffered a stroke that although not fatal did incapacitate her for months.
Clark and Kara suffered tremendously at the hands of the monster. The Kryptonite poisoning prevented their metabolisms from healing at their normal rate and so their injuries were permanent ones. It had also markedly aged them. Clark suffered some hearing loss, lost the use of his left eye and was permanently lamed from a crushed left foot.
Kara suffered the most grievous of the injuries in that she was left a paraplegic, losing the use of her legs. She suffered a great deal of depression during this period but was helped through the difficult period by her friend and sometime colleague, Barbara Grayson, who as everyone remembers was paralyzed by the Joker in front of her father and children. (12)
The younger Superman who appeared was Samuel Clark Kent. He continues the family tradition to this day. (13)
1. How exaggerated was Mr. Wylie's account of Hugo Danner's life in Gladiator? I believe that it was accurate so far as he knew it to be. I believe that Hugo Danner may have exaggerated the stories of his youth to Professor Hardin to get a more sympathetic ear. Danner was attempting to show that he had always been a freak. It is more likely that Hugo developed more rapidly than most children so far as muscle tone, motor skills and bone development after his delivery. The same goes for the kitten Abegando Danner tested the formula on. Since a cat has a much faster maturation period than a human being it probably grew to full strength rather rapidly. Danner probably compressed the time frame of his maturation process for dramatic purposes.
2. A word about the Kryptonian and Human physiology. In his classic essay Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex, Larry Niven details why a Kryptonian Human Hybrid would be physically impossible. The main thrust of the argument is that the Kryptonian fetus would either kick his mother to death or fry her with his heat vision. This is of course correct, if you took the exaggerated, comic book version of Superman as literally true. It also supposes that a fetus or fully developed child had the full strength and powers of an adult Kryptonian, which is almost like believing that baby lion claws its way out of the womb killing its mother. Despite being genetically altered, Kryptonians are still of human stock and their powers and strength develops gradually over time, escalating after puberty. Even allowing for the increased muscular density of the Kryptonian human, it is important to remember that fetal bone structures are not fully developed, fetal muscular development is minimal, the fetus is parasitic in nature depending on its mother's blood for oxygen, nutrient and elimination of its wastes. Fetal circulatory systems are quite different from children who have been born. Once a child is born and its lungs begin the work of oxygenation, changes to the circulatory system take place, the heart and lungs begin to function. Once all of the circulatory system begins to function, the newborn undergoes rapid changes in its muscular skeletal and neurological development.
3. For more on Rover and other canines of the Wold Newton Family, please visit Jess Nevins, "You weren't nuthin' but a hound dog."
4. The Centre K-9 program was eventually taken over by a Dr. Jarrett and culminated in the dog Max, Man's Best Friend New Line Cinema (1993) A related program was the Watcher's Program which culminated in Einstein, the super intelligent and Golden Retriever as seen in Dean R. Koontz, Watchers
5. For more information on the Mei family please view the film, The Legend of Seven Golden Vampires, Hammer Films, 1974 or read the entries pertaining to it on Chuck Loridans, Children of the Night:
6. For more information on this and other "Wold Newton" type meteorites please view, Rocks and Trees
8. The comic book stories about the Superman family were known to have stated that Kryptonians had a life span of 1000 years, this was true in that the Kryptonians had the same life extension Nanite formula that the Eridaneans and Capelleans possessed. However this was administered at puberty and Kal and Kara had not yet received their dosages. Yet even the normal Kryptonians had life spans of 250 or so years due to their original physical enhancements. This was the main reason that Kara retained her youth for so long. The observant reader will note that Kal on the other hand showed signs of aging even in his Superman persona. The reason for this is Kryptonite. Even though Superman fully regained his physical strength, the kryponite poisoning did have lasting effect in that it caused him to age at a more rapid pace than he would have otherwise. Kara was not exposed to kryptonite as often or as frequently as Kal and so aged more as a normal Kryptonian would.
10. For a bit more background please see, Hyde and Hair Part Three Hydden Self.
12. More information is located on the Batman article in this series.
13. The observant reader might be asking why didn't anyone notice the Asian features of the Superman II? Because to further disguise his true family history and as a tribute to the original Superman, Joel Kent used his connections with the government to get in a supply of IMF masks modeled on the original Superman. However on some occasions when Sam was not able to don a mask in time, he was observed. It is perhaps most telling that rumors of his ethnicity lead to the casting of an actor with a multi-ethnic background in the nineties television series, Lois Lane, Superman's Girlfriend, which is an updated nineties romance series based on the book written by Lois Lane in the early sixties. To further complicate matters, Lois Lane, Superman's Girlfriend, is of course the Wold Newton Universe analog of our universe's television show Lois and Clark. Our universe's Lois and Clark was based in part on the adventures of Sam Kent and his girlfriend, later wife, and in part on ideas cobbled together from the decades of fiction related in the Superman comic books. Sam Kent was not a newspaper reporter but rather a television news journalist working for a major network for news magazine which was broadcast three times a week. His girlfriend and later wife, was also a reporter on this show. We will not relate her name or the name of the show due to her wish to remain anonymous. We can related that she was of Latin heritage and was descended from Rita Escobar, a young lady who husband had been rescued by John Henry Douglas and Barton Swift in Wild Wild West (1999)
In 1999, Sam Kent and his wife had their first child, a girl, which unfortunately succumbed to crib death within three month. This is at least what they and the world believe. The truth of the matter is that the Centre was alerted by Mrs. Kent ob-gyn of the unusual properties of the Kents fetus and of the baby. The ob-gyn in concert with a pediatrician suggested to Mrs. Kent administered the zombie drug to the Kent baby.
When the baby was taken to the funeral home it was substituted for the corpse of another. The baby ended up in an operation that was partially funded and operated by the Centre and partially funded by a black ops version of the Unisol project. Using modern techniques of gene splicing they were attempting to not only create soldiers which would be physically superior to ordinary forces but also which would obey without question and with all necessary ruthlessness the orders given to them. To this end they wished to create and raise super soldiers from birth. The Centre had gotten hold of genetic material from the recently defeated Supermen lead by Khan Noonien Singh, to this they also spliced in the unusual genetic material found in Sam Kent's child. To further enhance their abilities they were given feline DNA. This feline DNA was also quite unusual, being remnants of Abednego Danner's dead cat. The degenerated DNA however caused the children of Manticore to undergo seizures that could only be controlled by medication. This was seen as a control feature and so allowed remaining in their coding.
The project was known as Project Manticore. Blind Seers working for the Nine (none of whom were original Niocene members) had predicted two seperate apocalyptic futures with high probabilites that such soldiers would be needed. In one of these possible futures, a group of the children from Project Manticore escaped in 2009, among them was Sam Kent's daughter, who adopted the name Max Guevera. In 2009, an electromagnetic pulse weapon knocked out much of America's electronics, in one fell swoop, crippling it and turning it into a third world nation. In 2019 Max Guevera works with a parapeligic newscaster to make the world at least a little better place and to help restore a sense of purpose to a downtrodden, depressed America.
Special thanks to Brad Mengel for suggesting the "Dark Angel" connection
Byrne, John Generations. D.C. Comics, 1999
D.C. Comics, Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told, Warner Books, 1990
D.C. Comics, Great Superman Comic Book Collection, Warner Books, 1981
D.C. Comics, Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, Warner Books, 1987
D.C. Comics, Greatest Team Up Stories Ever Told, Warner Books, 1989
Siegel and Schuster, Superman Archives 1, DC Comics 1989
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