Superman 73 – Hank Garvin, Man of Steel, and Superbaby

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The prominence given to the name Hank Garvin on the cover of Superman 73 (Nov/Dec. 51) made me think that this was a real person, but so far as I can determine, he was not.

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In this story, by Finger and Plastino, he is a wrestler, who survives some extreme accidents.  People begin to believe that he is Superman, though the honest Garvin never claims any such thing.

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And even when Superman finds proof that the accidents Garvin survived were rigged, it is clear that Garvin is an innocent dupe at the core of a large fraud.

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Superman remembers his days as Superbaby in this story by Finger, Boring and Kaye.  Superboy by now had been running for a number of years, but this is the first tale in this book to show young Clark Kent for any extended time.

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This story introduces the idea of Superbaby/boy/man’s costume being made from the blankets found by Ma Kent in the rocket that brought the infant to Earth.  This will account for their invulnerability.  The Kents head on vacation with the baby, who jumps overboard.  Despite having seen the remarkable powers the child has, the Kents just write him off as dead.

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The baby then gets found, and farmed out to some potential families for adoption.  No one ever thinks of changing his clothes, though clearly a fair amount of time passes in this story.  At any rate, his powers cause young Clark to be rejected by family after family, who keep sending the baby “back to the asylum!’ which just sounds evil.

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Eventually the Kents decide to adopt another child, and find Clark alive and well.

Though this story gets dropped from continuity, the idea of Clark being sent to other families before settling with the Kents would return many times.

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