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Superman 193
"The First Superman of Krypton!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND (80 Page Giant #31) January/February, 1967

Story: Unknown Art: Wayne Boring

The birthplace of the man of steel is known to the populace of Earth! But no one, not even Superman has known the story of Krypton! Now, he learns about the exploits of... "The First Superman of Krypton!" On the splash page, the man of steel looks at a projection of his native world, and wonders who was the Superman of Krypton?

In space, a mass of wreckage passes through the void -- heading for a date with destiny... on Earth, Superman's telescopic-vision has spotted the alien debris, and soars to investigate... He sees that the mass is made up of fragments of the planet Krypton, which has become Kryptonite when his native world exploded! The man of steel must keep his distance or else the Green K will kill him! Among the debris, Superman spots a desk with his father's name on it, and he knows that the wreckage carries part of Jor-El's laboratory on it! Inside a lead box, which had drifted away from the Kryptonite, he finds Jor-El's journal -- and some films the scientist made! In Clark Kent's apartment, the man of steel has changed a regular movie-projector to show the Kryptonian films made by Jor-El. He is in for a shock when he sees a picture of what appears to be himself lifting a building on Earth!

Superman opens his father's journal... and written on the yellowed pages are words from years ago... Jor-El has begun this journal to tell of his greatest struggle... Theirs is the world of Krypton... a super-scientific civilization which will soon reach its tenth millenium, and the mechancal building machines are busy constructing the structures for the celebration.

Jor-El is one of Krypton's leading scientists... and his seismosgraph has detected strange forces at work deep inside the planet! With their scientific knowledge, it is no problem to build a mechanical mole, and the young scientist reassures his wife that he is only going down a few thousand miles to gather data! The atomic-powered mole bore quickly into the depths! It is deep inside Krypton where Jor-El makes his tests... Radioactive emanations show that a great reaction may be beginning at the planet's core! He can't be sure, but if this is so, the planet is doomed! The Council of Science dismiss Jor-El's findings as the result of deeply-buried Radium ores... and are far more interested in showing the young scientist the scientific exhibits for the upcoming celebration! (Holy Selegue, Batman!) He brings his data to the highest authorities, but they are too distracted by the 10,000 Year Pageant to pay heed! Jor-El also lacks the necessary proof of danger to Krypton, as well!

As he heads for home, Jor-El knows that they will need to find another world if Krypton is doomed! Before he can study the universe for a likely place, he has a joyous surprise at home... Lara has given birth to a son, and as he holds the infant, Jor-El knows that this infant born in the 10,000th year of Krypton will have a grand destiny! With the lives of his newborn son, as well as his wife and people in danger, the young scientist's resolve is strengthened at finding a solution to avert disaster... Through a powerful telescope, Jor-El sees the planet Earth ... a beautiful world which may serve as a new home. The young scientist is so engrossed in his work, that he doesn't notice that the anniversary celebration has begun, with a great atomic skywriting display...

Using his tele-screen projection, Jor-El studied the Earth and wondered how the atomsphere affect Kryptonians. By using gravity-distorting machines in an isolated valley, Earth's natural conditions can be duplicated! Mighty building-machines are used to build a sample Earth city... and automatic cameras are set to record Jor-El's reactions to the lighter gravity and yellow sun, which are also simulated by the machines. In the valley, Jor-El discovers that he has super-strength and his muscles enable him to run at super-speed, while the yellow sun rays have made him invulnerable! The young scientist gathers the films from the automatic cameras and prepares to tell the council that on Earth, Kryptonians would be Super-Men!

The council refuses to take Jor-El and his films seriously! Their home has been Krypton for 10,000 years and so it shall remain! Of all the scientists, only Val-Arn and Khai-Zor are impressed by his findings... They ask Jor-El to be shown his Earth experiments... In the valley, the two scientists discover the super-abilities their race would gain on Earth and know that the inhabitants would be weaklings compared to them! In his laboratory, Jor-El shows them the model rocket he has built with small building machines, but they are more interested in sees how the metal-bending machine works! The young scientist soon finds himself handcuffed and their prisoner! (Holy McGoohan, Batman!) They return to Jor-El's home and tell Lara that the family won't be harmed unless her husband is freed or tries to warn someone. They intend to use his plans to build a rocket which will take them to Earth! As Super-Men, they will become masters of that world! (Holy Nietsche, Batman! These villains have found their niche!)

As they look over the plans, the two gloat that the young scientist thought they believed his warnings about Krypton! The building-machines begin construction of the rocket, just as Jor-El has an idea... He tells them that they can build the rocket and head for Earth... but they'll find that one Earth condition will defeat their goal of becoming Super-Tyrants! When they ask him what that would be, the young scientist tells them that it should be obvious if they are as smart as they believe themselves to be. Val-Arn and Khai-Zor take Jor-El back to the valley -- so that Lara won't report them! As they fly over the city, the anniversary celebration is reaching its climax! With the Cavalcade of 10,000 years, both are certain that Jor-El won't be there to celebrate! Landing in the Earth-valley, the two ask the young scientist what Earth condition they have overlooked!

In this valley of Earth-like gravity, Jor-El has super-strength to break off the handcuffs! Both Khai-Zor and Val-Arn has super-strength, but they have forgotten about the young scientist's super-speed and invulnerability! Unharmed by the building thrown at him, Jor-El hurls another to distract them while he tries out a maneuver! They see him fly away, and in this valley, they can fly too!

As they pursue him, Jor-El reaches for the switch which will turn off the Earth-gravity and solar-ray machines... He makes it and both Khai-Zor and Val-Arn find that they can no longer can fly! Before the two can recover from their haze, the young scientist binds them, then heads to turn them over to the authorities! It is nighttime-- one of destiny for Krypton... Khai-Zor and Val-Arn are confined for trial... and Jor-El has something he must do! As he flies his vehicle to the laboratory, he sees the beginning of the Cavalcade which speaks of its 100 centuries of greatness..

At home, Lara is relieved to see him, but Jor-El has much to do if what he fears has come to pass! The mechanical mole dives downward once more... he is dangerously deep -- and the heat and radioactivity are much stronger... He dares to hope... Near to the core of Krypton... the atomic chain-reaction has started and is increasing with each hour! Jor-El knows of only one way to warn the people now... All of them were watching the Cavalcade via Direct Vision or Television, and the narrator prepares to show Krypton's wonderful future... But in the next moment... he shows them what will be Krypton's tomorrow! The chain-reaction has started, and their planet is doomed! The viewers see the young scientist as an alarmist and believe that he has substituted a phony picture to spoil their celebration!

Back in his laboratory... Jor-El tells his wife how the people wouldn't listen, no matter how much he pleaded with them to build rockets like the model! They both hear the rumble... the final reaction has begun! Jor-El and Lara know that they are doomed... but their son must survive! He can head for Earth in the rocket model! Lara stays by her husband's side, while their son heads towards a new chance at life! Jor-El knows that it will be towards a new super-life! In the final minutes, while the planet shakes towards its doom, he writes down these final words... Lara grips her husband, and he knows that if what he has written survives somehow, his words may one day reach their son! "..If they do, remember my son, you are the last of great Krypton's 10,000 glorious years! Use your powers for good! Goodbye -- forever!" His words have finally reached his son... and now he knows that it was his father who was the first Superman of Krypton! On a lonely hilltop, he knows that one world is gone forever from the night sky... but he will never forget! Superman will use his super-powers for good -- just as his father used his long ago!

The World of Krypton was the first D.C. miniseries and Post-Crisis, there was a World of Krypton miniseries by John Byrne and Mike Mignola.

As Superboy, the boy of steel found some floating wreckage in space which carried statues of his ancestors, who played an important part in Krypton's history, as well.

Krypton is a world where seven-year old children can solve atomic equations. I seem to recall that in the first World of Krypton miniseries, they would learn their lessons while they slept with the aid of sleep-teaching pillows.

The world of Krypton is something else because when Jor-El goes off in the mechanical mole, Lara doesn't appear to be expecting, and when he returns, she has just given birth to a boy!

The Mechanical Mole is a vehicle used by Cave Carson to get "Inside Earth!"

George Reeves first played the man of steel in "Superman Meets The Molemen!"

In this story, Lara is left holding the bag... errr... the baby, but in the first World of Krypton miniseries, she is an astronaut in Krypton's space program!

Val-Arn and Khai-Zor are real Stin-Kers!

Before the discovery of the Phantom Zone, criminals were placed in suspended animation, then shot into orbit, where they would be rehabilitated via hypnosis, then return when their sentence was up.

One wonders why Jor-El didn't have the building-machines finish the rocket which was begun by Val-Arn and Khai-Zor! Maybe there wasn't enough time left after Jor-El confirmed his findings, and he chose to try to save the people of Krypton over saving himself and his family, instead!

The rocket model is red and blue and reflects the color scheme of the uniform worn by Superman.

The use of Jor-El's journal was a clever way to re-tell the young scientist's greatest struggle, as well as giving the man of steel a more emotional bond with his parents and his native world.

Steve Chung
"The First Superman of Review!"