Superman 132 – if Krypton had never exploded

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Binder, Boring and Kaye spin a full-length “Imaginary Story” in Superman 132 (Oct. 59), exploring a reality in which Krypton did not explode.

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Batman and Robin stop by the Fortress of Solitude to give Superman a present, a simulation of how his life would have been had Krypton never exploded.

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With no reason to shoot his son into space, Jor-El and Lara raise Kal, and even give him a brother, Zal-El.  Kal joins the Kryptonian version of the boy scouts, and as a good deed helps a middle aged couple of Earth – Ma and Pa Kent.  With no alien baby in the field, they head to an adoption agency and pick up a somewhat startled looking young girl.

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Kal has dreams of becoming a space explorer, but his computerized aptitude test does not rank him anywhere near high enough, and he instead is made a lab assistant for Dr. Xan-Du.  Xan-Du is working on an enlarging ray, but instead it winds up endowing super-powers.  Both Xan-Du and Krypto get exposed to the ray.

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Xan-Du adopts the secret identity of Futuro, and becomes a super-hero on Krypton.  The story weaves back and forth between things that are different, and things that are the same – Kal-El still winds up dressing as Clark Kent, for example.  Jor-El and Lara, as well as Zal, all wind up dying in a crash, so Kal still winds up an orphan.

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Kal learns Futuro’s identity, and becomes his “Jimmy Olsen,” complete with signalling device.  He also saves Futuro’s life, which leads to a re-assessment of his aptitude test.  They find that the machine had a short, and Kal is qualified to become a space pilot.

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The Superman suit returns, as a design for Kryptonian pilots, although the only person we see wearing it is Kal.  Lois Lane gets into the picture, coming to Krypton and falling in love with Futuro.

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The story ends as Futuro and Lois Lane head back to Earth to marry.  Futuro uses his ray on Kal, leaving him the Superman of Krypton.

Not a bad story, despite the amount of “coincidental” things that are just the same (like the use of the costume).  It also set the pattern that many of Superman’s “Imaginary Stories” would follow.

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