free web hosting | free website | Business WebSite Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting
Superman 193
"Clark Kent's Lost Parents!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND January/February, 1967

Story: Unknown Art: Al Plastino

Who is it that the mild-mannered reporter finds outside of his apartment one evening? Are they his Kryptonian parents, Jor-El and Lara? Or his foster parents from Smallville, Jonathan and Martha Kent? Both sets of parents are long-gone, but what can be the cause of an incredible family reunion between Clark Kent and... "Superman's Lost Parents!" On the splash page, Pa Kent asks his adopted son if he's happy that it's them who have travelled across the time barrier from Smallville and have come with him to see the Fortress of Solitude.... or would he rather have had his Kryptonian parents be the ones to reunite with him? The man of steel hesitates, then explains to his adopted parents that he's equally fond of them as his natural parents. (Holy Super-Save, Batman!)

It's evening as Clark Kent prepares to relax at his apartment after a day of work... As he prepares to read the paper, he hears a noise from outside... ZZZZZZZ! When he goes outside to see... a plastic bubble appears from out of nowhere with an elderly couple inside! As the smoke clears, Clark sees that it's Ma and Pa Kent from Smallville! Pa explains that they've come from the past to visit their son in the future! Years ago in Smallville, Ma and Pa Kent took a short trip, while their son stayed behind since school hadn't let out yet. The youngster tells his parents that he'll have friends over for dinner. The Kents visited some out-of-town friends, including Professor Clyde, who had just completed an incredible invention! (Holy Mother Necessity, Batman!) It is a time machine which will be sent via a powerful Z-Ray through the time barrier into the future! The professor wishes he had someone to try it out, and Pa Kent speaks with his wife in private. Knowing that they could visit their son in the future and see the teen of steel become a man, the Kents agree to the trip.

They tells the professor that they wish to see their son in the Metropolis of the future and see what sort of job he takes as an adult. The Z-Ray is activated and the time machine has arrived in Clark's present! Pa tells Clark that they will lose all memory of the journey, and the mild-mannered reporter knows that this explains why his adopted parents never told him about this when they came back! The professor has also told them that the time machine will return them to the past at midnight! It's a short visit but Clark is very happy... "choke" to see them again! Recalling that it's his parents' wedding anniversary, the mild-mannered reporter changes to the man of steel, and plans a super-celebration! Wrapping his parents in blankets, he takes them to the Fortress of Solitude, a place which Ma Kent knows the boy of steel never had. Setting hsi parents on the ground, he unlocks the super-strong door... with the giant key which is disguised as an airplane marker on a mountain peak!

Inside the Fortress, the Kents watch as their foster-son takes a dip in a pool of molten lava, which burns off any stains and cleans his uniform! (Holy Hot-Warm-Cold, Batman!) Next, the man of steel rides a dinosaur which he brought back from a pre-historic world in space! Ma and Pa Kent watch as Superman has a tug-of-war with twelve atomic-powered robots, while the man of steel knows that he can outpull them easily, and has to add a dozen more next time. While their foster-son puts the robots away, the Kents enter a room with the plaque, "In Memory of The Parents of Superman..." Inside, they see wax figures of Jor-El and Lara cradling baby Kal-El. Pa tells Ma that they should leave since their son has chosen to honor THEM!

Superman tells them not to feel jealous since they entered the wrong door... and shows them to one with the plaque, "In Memory of The Earth Parents Of Superman!" Since he has two sets of parents, the man of steel loves them both very deeply. He had a happy home as Superboy, and the man of steel can never thank them enough for having adopted him! After they have seen all the wonders of the Fortress... Superman flies them back to Clark's apartment for the rest of the time before midnight. Now, it is mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent who is enjoying his mother's cooking, and asks if they like the anniversary gift he has wrapped for them. It is a gold cup -- a trophy given to Superman from the city of Metropolis, and Ma wishes that they could bring it back with them. Pa Kent hands back the trophy... and tells Clark that the professor has told them that they can't bring anything from the future through the time-barrier, only themselves! The doorbell rings... and Clark's x-ray vision sees Lois Lane! He'd like his parents to meet her since she's the girl he might marry one day! He prepares to introduce his parents as relatives from Smallville.

The girl reporter offers Clark's "aunt" and "uncle" the fresh pie she has baked. Clark knows that his parents can judge if Lois is a good cook, and Pa winks his approval of his son's choice. When Pa suggests that Clark propose, Lois tells them that he's too timid to propose, and she's in love with Superman! The mild-mannered reporter smiles and hopes that his parents can keep their amusement a secret. Clark's super-hearing and telescopic-vision pick up a circus train in danger! The end car containing an elephant and its trainers are heading downhill, and Clark whispers to his father to cover for him! Pa pretends to be clumsy and spills coffee over Lois' dress!

After the girl reporter has gone home to change, the mild-mannered reporter changes to the man of steel, who remembers how his parents also kept Lana Lang from learning Superboy's secret identity in Smallville. But after Superman has left, "Pa" tells "Ma" that they've kept his secret from Lois... but the man of steel has revealed his true identity to them! He never suspected that their "time machine" was a prop from a science-fiction movie and that it was Mr. and Mrs. Carson of Metropolis who were impersonating Mr. and Mrs. Kent of Smallville! (Holy Mimeux, Batman!) Cedric Carson adjusts his false nose, grateful that the man of steel hadn't though to use his x-ray vision to see through their disguises, while Millicent recalls how they checked out old records of Smallville families who were likely to have been Superboy's foster parents! With Superman gone, they take the opportunity to review the facts they have on the Kent family so that they don't make a mistake before they leave at midnight! A false fountain pen is really a disguised microfilm projector, and "Pa" shines a picture of Superboy with Professor Lang and his daughter, Lana! Now that they have tricked Clark Kent into revealing he's Superman, they can sell the secret to the underworld, but they require one more thing from their "son"... Kryptonite! Millicent wonders why they can't take the gold cup along, and Cedric reminds her that Superboy won't have seen it in Smallville!

Meanwhile, Superman has saved the runaway circus coach by using his hands on one wheel like a super-brake! (Holy Midas, Batman!) When he returns to his "parents," they hear of his super-feat, then ask if he still uses robots for emergencies as he did in Smallville. He shows them the secret closet with the super-robots, each equipped with a single super-power, such as super-strength, x-ray vision, flying,and super-breath whenever he suspected criminals laying in wait to use Kryptonite on him! "Pa" tells his foster-son that Professor Clyde has a theory about how to make a Kryptonite antidote and asks his "son" to find some for an experiment, which will have the antidote sent to him through the time-barrier. Knowing that the experiment may not succeed, but knowing it's worth a try, Superman goes to find some Kryptonite!

He finds a Kryptonite meteor which has fallen to the bottom of the sea, but in order to pick it up, the man of steel needs some lead as protection. (Holy Walter, Batman! What a pigeon!) Supeman dives down to a sunken wreck... and sees that the ship's cargo was sheet lead! He uses his super-strength and super-speed to make a one-man sub from it! He is able to see through a periscope and a levered claw enables him to pick up the Kryptonite, then place it in a leaden box! Clark gives the box to "Pa" and as it's almost midnight they head for the time machine! Cedric Carson activates a secret device inside the plastic bubble... which spreads steam across it, as if the bubble were vanishing into the mists of time! (Holy Travolta, Batman!) Clark bids his parents goodbye and knows that he won't forget their visit... "Choke" Unbeknownst to Clark, the Carsons are rolling the bubble into the bushes and out of sight, then they'll slip away when their "son" leaves!

The following morning finds Clark having had pleasant dreams about his foster-parents... as he prepares to put away the gold cup that they couldn't take along, he realizes that if they couldn't bring anything with them across the time-barrier, how could they bring the sample of Kryptonite along? Checking outside, he sees the "time machine" in the bushes, and Clark knows that he has just given away the secret of his dual identity to two actors posing as Ma and Pa Kent. The phone rings and Clark is greeted by the voice of "Pa." Cedric and Millicent Carson give Clark their names, tell him that they'll keep their disguises on so that no one spies on them. They could easily sell his secret to the underworld for a million dollars, but... they'll keep his secret if he gives them five million in gold, jewels, platinum... (Holy Selegue, Batman!) "Pa" tells Clark that he'll phone later with instructions on where to drop off the valuables, and the mild-mannered reporter doesn't know where their hideout is! Unable to nab them, he'll have to pay their blackmail! (Holy Yellow Pages, Batman!) The man of steel comes across a hidden pyramid buried in loose sand, where there are some golden statuettes worth a million! (Holy Oscar, Batman!)

Under the sea... his super-breath clears the mud and ooze from an ancient sunken city, where the stone idols have rare jewels for their eyes! With another million dollars left... Superman flies through an underground pool of molten silver, and lets it harden around him! He then bursts free of his silver "suit" and repeats the process until he has enough! Once he has received the second phone call... the man of steel wraps up the items like a giant super-present in order to prevent the police from suspecting it's a blackmail pay-off. He is to deliver the package to their hideout... a deserted farm north of Metropolis. The man of steel sees "Pa" open the lead box containing Kryptonite, and all he can do is to drop the gift-box via parachute! Cedric Carson tells the man of steel that if the cops arrest them, they will tell everyone in prison that he is Clark Kent! Inspecting their ill-gotten goods, Cedric Carson plans to squeeze their "son" for more treasures when this has been spent!

Millicent decides to go shopping for a mink coat, and Cedric tells her to take half of the Kryptonite so that the man of steel can't capture either of them. Unbeknownst to the Carsons, Superman has been using his telescopic-vision to watch them, and enact his plan to save his secret identity! He has built robots who are exact doubles of Ma and Pa Kent, and they will save him from the phoney Kents! The robot Ma Kent confronts Cedric Carson, telling him to stare-straight-into-her-eyes! The man of steel is operating the robot's remote controls... and uses super-hypnotism from his eyes, which are transmitted to the robot's eyes! Super-ventriloquism is next to be used... Inside the farmhouse... Cedric Carson-will-forget-all -about-having-visited-Clark-Kent-and-learning-his-secret! He-will-forget-forget-forget-forget!

In town, Superman sends the robot Pa Kent to meet up with the false Ma Kent... Millicent-will-forget-the-man-of-steel's-secret-identity! Forget-forget-forget!... At the farmhouse, the robots return the lead boxes containing Kryptonite to Superman... He goes to recover the blackmail money and donate them to charity! Before he leaves, the man of steel sees the Carsons remove the disguises... their memories are blank! Thanks to his super-hypnosis, they will never remember having visited the mild-mannered reporter as Ma and Pa Kent! His secret identity is safe! At his apartment, Clark's hand touches a picture of his foster-parents and he decides to pretend that Ma and Pa Kent did visit him from the past!

Actors have played Superman's parents in the past. Marlon Brando played Jor-El and Glenn Ford played Pa Kent, while Phyllis Thaxter played Ma Kent in Superman The Movie.

In "Lois and Clark", K. Callan played Ma Kent and Eddie Jones played Pa Kent.

On "Smallville," John Schneider plays Jonathan Kent and Annette O'Toole plays Martha Kent.

John Travolta was "The Boy In The Plastic Bubble" in 1976. Robert Reed played his father in the TV-movie.

In Action Comics #507, "The Miraculous Return of Jonathan Kent" had Clark visited by his foster father in a two-part story by Cary Bates, Curt Swan, Frank Chiramonte, Milt Snappin, Gene D'Angelo, and Julius Schwartz.

In Action Comics #508, "The Secret World of Jonathan Kent!": Pa meets Lois Lane, who is nursing an injured man of steel, and reveals his foster-son's secret identity to her. We learn how it was possible for Jonathan Kent to visit Superman in the Metropolis of the future. This was revealed in Superboy #5 -- May, 1980. Ben Oda is the letterer of #508 and I think Bob Rozakis and Kurt Schaffenberger were the creative team on the boy of steel's book at the time.

Both of the above Action Comics stories were reprinted in "Superman: From The Thirties To The Eighties."

In the 1950's, Batman and Robin traveled through time, thanks to the hypnotism done by Professor Nichols.

The Legion of Super-Heroes travel via time-bubble to visit Superboy in the past.

Superman has his Fortress of Solitude, while Superboy had his Cave of Silence.

Thanks to time-travel, the man of steel was able to visit his parents on Krypton before the planet's destruction.

Actress Kristin Kreuk plays Lana Lang on "Smallville."

"The Time Machine" was written by H.G. Wells. It was also a science fiction motion picture which starred Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimeux, Sebastian Cabot, and Alan Young. A couple of years ago, Guy Pierce was the time-traveler in the updated version of the film.

Interesting that Clark can't find the Carsons, even though they've given their real names, and are talking to him on the phone. With his super-hearing, wouldn't he be able to find their hideout in this tale from the Silver Age?

Super-hypnosis enables the man of steel to keep his identity a secret from the Carsons, and at the end of the second Superman movie, it is a kiss which robs Margot Kidder of the knowledge that Christopher Reeve is more than just a mild-mannered reporter.

Like The Shadow, Superman is able to cloud the minds of criminals when he has to.

In "The Super-Hypnotist of Metropolis," it is not the villainous Spellbinder, but Clark Kent who manages to maintain the secret that Clark Kent and Superman are two different people in a Superman story from the late '70s.

Steve Chung
"Clark Kent's Lost Review!"