Superman: The Man of Steel vol 1

Date: 2003 (collection), 1986 (original material)
Writer(s): John Byrne
Artists(s): John Byrne, Dick Giordano
Collects: Superman: The Man of Steel 1-6 (of 6)
Storyline: On the sterile planet Krypton, a man named Jor-el told his wife, Lara, about the fate of their home. A plague had been wiping out their people, now a radioactive metal would destroy the entire planet. As the eruptions began, Jor-el launched a pod containing their unborn child. He'd programed the rocket to land on the planet Earth - in Kansas. He told his wife the boy would grow to be a superbeing due to the planet's yellow sun and the way it would affect his biology. Eighteen years later, on Earth, Jonathan Kent showed his son where he came from. In a remote section of their farm, he asked young Clark to move some items, unearthing a space capsule. He and his wife, Martha, had found the vessel and the infant inside. They decided to keep him as their own. Growing up, the boy had showed unearthly strength, the ability to see through walls, and he'd even discovered the ability to fly. Seven years after Clark left Smallville (and three after he'd been living in Metropolis), Clark rescued a crashing airplane. Lois Lane, a reporter for the Daily Planet, was on board and attempted to interview him after the successful landing. Clark returned home and told his parents about the ordeal. His mom made him a costume and Superman was born.
Lois Lane and her boss, Perry White, saw this Superman flying nearby while having lunch. Lois gave chase (and brushed off a meeting with Lex Luthor), but was unable to get a better glimpse. Superman's appearances became more and more frequent in the coming days, and Lois Lane continued to be one step behind him. In order to get an interview with him, she drove her car off a pier and had him rescue her. She got an interview, but was scooped by the Daily Planet's newest employee, Clark Kent.
Superman encountered Gotham City's "Batman." Batman was getting closer to nabbing the jewelry thief / serial killer Magpie. Superman's interference cause a lead to escape. He attempted to apprehend Batman, but was bluffed by the vigilante. He heard a nearby explosion. Superman and Batman teamed up to take down Magpie. After their success, Superman left Gotham City - though not approving of Batman's methods.
Lois met Clark at his apartment to pick him up for their party aboard Lex Luthor's cruise ship. After the helicopter ride there, they met with the billionaire. Lois quickly got fed up and departed with her date. Before they could get away, the ship was hijacked; Clark was thrown overboard. As the hijackers opened fire, Superman got under the boat and lifted it above the sea. Lois got the upper hand on one of the men and secured a gun. By the time Superman got the ship to a secure location, Lois and Luthor's security team had subdued the hijackers. Luthor attempted to get Superman on his payroll and was arrested for reckless endangerment (the mayor was there and deputized Superman) when he admitted he was trying to see the Man of Steel in action. Luthor later promised to be the demise of Superman.
Two years later, in Hong Kong, Luthor hired a scientist to replicate Superman. The replication process revealed that Superman was probably not human. Due to this, the duplicate was flawed. Though Luthor ordered it destroyed, somehow the creature escaped. Having Superman's memories, he traveled to Metropolis. After helping an ambulance with a flat tire to the nearest ER, the duplicate saved a suicide jumper - Lois Lane's blind sister Lucy. It then turned up at the Daily Planet. The two Supermen fought. The real one realized the other was not a "living" being - he studied some dust that had fallen from it during their fight. Flying at it at full speed, Superman destroyed the creature. The dust from the destroyed being cured Lucy's blindness.
While visiting his parents, Clark encountered a vision of his birth parents and was transported to Krypton. Lana Lang found him crazed in a nearby field. She reminisced about their youth and when Clark flew her around the world. She'd been in love with him, but he never knew it. Jor-el visited Clark again later when he was looking for the spacecraft (which was gone). Jonathan was able to get Clark free of it's entanglement, but Clark received it's full message - he was the only survivor of the planet Krypton, son of Jor-el and Lara. For the first time, he realized he was not human.


  • Time frame of issue 1: shows Clark at age 0 (Jonathan telling Clark about when he was discovered), 18 (in highschool), 25 (seven years after he left Smallville). He moved to Metropolis at 22 (Martha Kent: " the seven years since Clark left" + Clark Kent: "...I've been making Metropolis more or less my home base for three years now..."). Conjecture that he was in an unnamed college for the four missing years.
  • Issue 3 takes place eight months after Superman's debut: Batman: "..I read the reports of your debut eight months ago in the Daily Planet..."
  • Issue 4 takes place approximately 18 months after Clark Kent was hired at the Daily Planet: Lois Lane: "...with all the hot stories you've turned in over the last year and a half..."
  • Issue 5 takes place two years after Luthor was arrested by Superman and five years after he first appeared : Lex Luthor: "...the hundred million dollars I committed to this project was wasted?!? That two years of my life has been thrown away?!?"
  • Lois Lane: "...Five years I've been dreaming of being kissed by Superman..."
  • Issue six takes place when Clark is 28: Lana Lang: "...Remember ten years ago...I was getting ready for the victory sock-hop after the big win against Compton High. The game you won almost single-handed." (quote in reference to game shown in issue 1)
  • Return to continuity section 1.