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Superman 141
"Superman's Return To Krypton! (Part 3)"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND November, 1960 Part III "The Surprise Of Fate!"

Story: Jerry Siegel Art: Wayne Boring

(Originally Reviewed On 06/28/02)

With the disappearance of the space ark, and the hope of escaping Krypton's fate, The Man of Steel resolves to spend his last days on the planet of his birth with Jor-El and Lara, and Lyla Lerrol, the girl he loves. Each of them plan to face Krypton's impending doom, but even such as they have not counted on "The Suprise of Fate!" At night, beneath the three moons of Krypton, Lyla tells Superman that if they had not met on the movie set that day, it would have been far worse than not being able to travel to Earth. He seeks to tell her about the unfairness of their situation, but she kisses him, and thinks that every moment they share together is worth twelve lifetimes, while The Man of Steel knows that Lyla loves him for himself, on this planet, where he is an ordinary man.

As they continue to kiss, Superman is determined that they share their lives and face whatever lies ahead together! At the home of Jor-El and Lara, Lyla tells the couple about her and Kal-El's impending nuptials, and Lara is pleased to hear it. After they have left, Lara tells Jor-El about a dream she had the previous night, where she and Jor-El had a son, who grew up and became their friend, Kal-El! She figures that the dream meant that she hopes that they will have a child who will grow up into a fine man like Kal-El, and if it's a boy, they'll name him after their friend. Jor-El refuses to give up on making a spaceship to save them, and the following day at the missile base, he tells Kal-El that they must learn how much time Krypton has left. He figures that a good spot to find out by seismographic readings would be Meteor Valley!

On their way to Meteor Valley, their air-ship passes by Gold Volcano, which to Superman's astonishment, is erupting gold, and to Jor-El, it's a shame, because gold is commonplace on Krypton, and is valueless. Minutes pass, and they soar past Fire Falls, where Jor-El shows Kal-El that the planet's inner fires are passing through a fissure, creating quite a view! Parking their vehicle on the rim of Meteor Valley, Jor-El tells him about how the valley was created when a gigantic meteor glanced off the surface of the planet before life existed on Krypton. They walk down into the valley with their equipment, and Jor-El records the mild tremors, which are occuring quite frequently, and senses that one is beginning now... and Suiperman knows that this one is not mild! Large boulders have been loosened at the rim of the crater, and are crashing down towards them, and The Man of Steel knows that if he had his super-powers, things would be much easier...

An crevice created by the earthquake suddenly opens at their feet, and Superman tells his father to jump down into it, thankful that he retains his keen wits. The two crouch on a ledge on the inside of the crevice, with Jor-El watching the boulders flying overhead, and Kal-El assuring him that it'll be safe to climb out shortly. The ledge begins to collapse beneath their feet, and both men must climb out swiftly! No sooner do they make it out safely, that the crevice closes shut again! Jor-El notes that Kal-El's space costume has been torn, but he's fine, while Superman sees that his costume is no longer invulnerable, and he'll have to mend it. They board their plane, and head for the missile base, with Jor-El aware that the quakes will increase in intensity until the day comes that the planet will explode!

At the base, Kal-El has received a message from the emotion movie film production company, and after reading the message, he calls Lyla on the tele-phone, and tells her that he also has been called back to shoot the movie's final scenes. After the filming is done, they are to be married. At the Sky Palace Nightclub, which floats above Krypton on anti-gravity forces, he tells her that when they are man and wife, this will matter above all things, even against what they face ahead. Lara has regrets, but Jor-El tells her that though their world will end, their civilization will cease, but love such as theirs and that of Kal-El and Lyla will always endure in the universe. For the moment, Krypton spins on, towards its inevitable destiny, but at The Sky Palace, two couples propose a toast to the present moment they share, no matter what tomorrow may bring!

The following day, Superman reports to the "Space Explorers" set, where the director tells him that although their set is make-believe, the space-creature they borrowed from the Kryptonian zoo is real, and whatever he is to do, don't anger it! The creature breathes super-powerful flame, and should it become enraged, and the flame-nullifying muzzle come off, they'd all be finished! He heads to Lyla and tells her that they're about to shoot the scene he's in, but may he, as a lowly extra, be allowed to kiss the loveliest, most glamourous star on Krypton? She tells him that if he doesn't, they'll have their first argument! As they kiss, Lyla suddenly feels uneasy, as if something awful were going to happen, and Superman senses that Lyla doesn't want to let him go. Ignoring her premonition, Lyla watches apprehensively, as Superman enters the "spaceship", when a camera operator accidently overturns the camera, and it strikes the space creature! The director reminds the frenzied crew that the creature breathes super-powerful flames! The angered creature dashes into the spaceship, where it charges at Superman, who manages to dodge, but now it is heading into the false rocket-chamber!

Crashing against the rocket-tubes, the creature's muzzle falls off, and it breathes its super-powerful flames into the tubes! The "spaceship" is then propelled upwards by the creature's jet-like flame breath, with Lyla looking on in horror, for Kal-El is on board with the beast, and begs the crew to help him! The crew manage to keep Lyla away from the all-consuming flames, but she cries that she doesn't want to live without Kal-El, and as the ship continues its ascent into space, she knows that she'll never see him again... never again... ever! The tears on Lyla's face begin to fall, while in space, Superman looks out a porthole, and sees that he has lost her, just when he was certain that he, too, would be on Krypton with her and his parents, but to a surprise of fate!

Further out in space, the spaceship is brought near to the gravity of a yellow sun, and his super-powers have returned! He hesitates, for if he should return to Krypton, he'll lose his super-abilities once more, and knows that fate cannot be changed. It is an impossible task for him to save Lyla and his parents, and his adopted world has need of him. He travels through the time-barrier at super-speed, then materializes in the present, where he manages to avoid a swarm of deadly green kryptonite meteors, which is all that remains of the planet Krypton, its people long gone. The Man of Steel soars towards Earth, knowing that he'll alway treasure the time he spent on Krypton with his parents and his love, Lyla, whose courage is as apparent as her radiant beauty. Upon reaching Metropolis, he regards his time on Krypton as a dream, but soon, he'll see Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and his other friends once more. He is pleased to have... a second... home.

I'm impressed by the robot musicians at The Sky Palace, playing their drums and trumpets.

Superman gets many kisses from this particular "L.L." gal, while Lara dreams that the boy that she and Jor-El will have shall become their friend, Kal-El.

Gold was plentiful on Krypton, and therefore worthless.

Lyla Lerrol resembles Marilyn Monroe,but would this make Superman Joe DiMaggio?

The space-creature resembles a pink canine with a unicorn horn. Never mind putting a tiger in your tank! If you put one of these babies near your rocket tubes, you'll blast off for sure. The space creature would also appear in "The Secret of Kryptonite Six."

That one panel with a tearful Lyla wondering what happened to Kal-El stands out in this story.

Upon returning to the present, Superman sees all that remains of Krypton. His return to Krypton seems like a strange, incredible dream, which was the premise of the classic Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons story, "For The Man Who Has Everything," where Krypton did not explode and Kal-El was married to Lyla Lerrol.

On an episode of The Super Friends, aliens are sending green kryptonite into a black hole, and Superman uses the Supermobile to save them from being pulled in, but is sent into it, instead. He arrives before Krypton is to die, attends Jor-El's conference, where the young scientist seeks to assure his fellow members of the council that Krypton does not have long to live. He thanks the young stranger for his support, and wonders if there's a connection between the two of them, but Superman assures him that he is just a friend. He uses the radioactive element in the Supermobile's power source to prevent Krypton's sun from going nova, saving the planet. Upon his return to the present, The Hall of Juistice is in ruin, and Robin is the only surviving member of The Super Friends. He realizes that since Krypton never met its end, his father never sent him to Earth as a baby, and the world never knew a Superman. Soaring through the black hole, he removes the power source, and watches as his father sends Baby Kal-El to safety in a rocket.

In the letterspage of Superman #232, Richard H. Morrisey of Framingham, Mass writes: "Dear Editor, In "theme" Giants, the best stories are too often not chosen - but this was not the case with Giant Superman #227. this was the second best Superman Giant I've ever read, being surpassed only by last year's #217.

Many of that issue's memorable features were dropped. For example, you gave the date and issue of original publication - an excellent idea that should be brought back. (I'd like to see the names of the artist and author, but I don't want to ask too much.) You actually admitted that you edited "The First Supergirl," and your choice of reprints was excellent.

This last advantage, at least was still present. I had read "The Super-Powers of Perry White" in the syndicated newspaper strip, but I enjoyed reading it again in its original form. "The Great Kryptonite Mystery" was new to me, and absolutely intriguing. I hope to see those crooks appear in a Superman story shortly. I'd also like to see more of Quex-Ul from "The Super-Revenge of the Phantom Zone Prisoner."

I've read "The Invasion of The Super-Ants," but I don't have it in my collection, and didn't mind seeing it again at all. For some reason, this story's greatest fame, among newer readers, is the bizarre effect of the Red K, but I loved the whole thing, especially the moral. And as for "The Secret of Kryptonite Six," I own it, but it was a good story.

In future issues, I'd like to see the Lyla Lerrol stoyr, which I haven't read, and "When Superman Defended His Arch-Enemy," "Superman Under The Green Sun," and "The Showdown Between Superman and Luthor," whcih introduced the planet Lexor.

I suggest the introduction of a new kind of Kryptonite, as only Green K and Red K can be used on Superman. Blue K, White K, and Jewel K have no effects on him. And Gold K is useful onbly as a threat - if Supie were ever exposed to it, you'd have no strip. (HMM... wait - suppose an elderly Oriental instructed Clark in Karate. Then, when an international spy ring killed Lois, Clark could - No, it'd never sell."

The editor replies: "We WONDER where you got that idea? Anyway, we don't need to invent a new hue for the Kryptonite rainbow to give Supie a new weakness, as you'll learn when you read the January issue of Superman. Meanwhile, as new editor of this mag, E.Nelson Bridwell (the Big E) has instituted a policy of telling where each story was originally published. We don't have records of who authored each story, but in this ish, "Superman's Return To Krypton" (the Lyla story you requested) was illoed by Wayne Boring, "The Wizard City" by Curt Swan, "The Fugitive from The Phantom Zone" by Al Plastino, and "Father's Day on Planet Krypton" by George Papp. - Ed."

This Review Is Dedicated To Rich Morrissey.

Steve Chung
"Superman's Review To Krypton!"