Ed offers an (admittedly lengthy) explanation as to the importance of one of his favorite Silver age Superman books:
Superman #137 May 1960
The detailed cover of issue #137 was cut-off & reprinted (with just the scene of a flying Superman with a thin black mask) in the MORE well read & popular issue of 80 Page Giant #1, from 1964, shown below for readers who may not be as detailed in their love of Superman as a fan like Crazy Ed:
NOW do you recognize the "Superman in Criminals eye-mask"?
Because Superman #137 is one of the most famous & recognizable Silver Age Superman stories of all!
Because Comics.org (the recognized detailed Comics database) has this indexed info for Superman #137 May 1960:Credits Script: Jerry Siegel [The origin of Superman is retold (by Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel) with new details] :
Pencils: The classic cover and interior art for this work was drawn by (arguably) the greatest Superman artist of all time -- Curt Swan
Super-Menace: Wolf Derek; Bonnie Derek; Jor-El (Flashback; Cameo); Lara (Flashback; Cameo); Jonathan Kent (Cameo); Martha Kent (Cameo); Superbaby [Clark Kent]
A freak accident creates a duplicate of Kal-El's rocket including a double of it's tiny passenger. On Earth, Kal's doppelganger is adopted by a crooked couple, the Dereks, and becomes Super-Brat...(& later) Now grown to manhood and significantly, immune to Kryptonite, Super-Menace battles the Man of Steel, however on the verge of victory he learns the truth about himself and the evil Dereks.
Reprinted: in 80 Page Giant (DC, 1964 series) #1 (August 1964)(OK, with all that background): From here on in...it's Ed's embellishment!
- In retelling the origin of Superman, Superman
Co-Creator Jerry Siegel asserts a new set of details of the baby
Kal-el's trip to Earth from doomed Krypton; he passed
through a "cosmic space cloud" of unknown energy--and an
artificially created duplicate of the rocket & it's contents
(including Kal-el) was formed, who (unlike the Bizarro imperfect duplicate
formed of Superboy in Smallville) was a PERFECT copy of Superman, although
a living essence created by chance in space of pure "cosmic force."
- This "creature" landed on earth in its duplicate rocket, but while the "real" baby Kal-el fell into the hands of the loving Kents, the "other' super-being infant was found by & went in the care of Wolf and Bonnie Derek ('Bo Derek' ? you must be kidding...no, in 1960, that was the adopted-mothers name!), a husband & wife team of evil (but VERY small-time) criminals, who raised the super-powered being in direct opposite standards to the good values of the Kent family.
Written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel & a full book length drama (rare for 1960 DC story lines) that ends in a battle to the death between the 2 adult Super-beings; it was NOT written or offered as an imaginary story...but an untold event in the Superman continuity.
The Overstreet Guide does NOT recognize issue #137 with any "breakout" guide notes. The Guide has issue #137 "buried in the grid" between #131-139 without #137 being highlighted at all!
ANOTHER TWIST TO THIS story by co-creator Jerry Siegel: "a cosmic cloud in space that alters humans in a rocket flying through it" was published by DC a full year or more BEFORE the origin story told by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby in the 1st appearance of the Fantastic Four (#1).
- LAST Point to consider: If "Elseworlds" (DC's answer to "WHAT IF?" tales of Marvel) succeed beyond DC's own well loved (see 80 Pg Giant #1 again, for proof of this!) so-called 'imaginary stories' of the 1960's, how does this story from 1960 compare to 2 other VERY popular ELSEWORLD plots: "what if the rocket carrying baby Kal-el had landed elsewhere...?"
"SUPERMAN: Speeding Bullets" and "SUPERMAN: Red Son"
both "elseworld's" stories are 'highly sought after' 'well reviewed' and 'widely popular' tales, TODAY, 50+ years after Superman #137?
C 2008 by Crazy Ed Savitt; updated Feb 2012