[[quoteright:236:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Superman_Birthright_1462.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:236: In the beginning...]]

->''"For ten thousand orbits, a clump of dirt careened around a red dwarf star. And it accomplished miracles no-one will ever remember."''
-->-- '''Jor-El'''

->''"Our son. The Last Son of Krypton. Let him never forget."''
-->-- '''Lara'''

''Superman: Birthright'' is a 12-issue limited series published by Creator/DCComics, lasting from September, 2003 to September, 2004. Written by Creator/MarkWaid and drawn by Lenil Francis Yu, ''Birthright'' brought Franchise/{{Superman}} and his origins into the 21st Century. Originally intended to be an alternate continuity, until the events of ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'', it was actually retconned into Superman's {{canon}} origin, replacing John Byrne's ''Comicbook/TheManOfSteel'' miniseries. Waid described the project as being an "[[UltimateUniverse Ultimate]]" take on the the Superman mythos. He wanted anyone, be it long-time fans or newcomers, to be able to pick the comic up and enjoy the story. Waid also placed emphasis on making Superman much more relatable and avoiding him being seen as "dull."

Beginning in the familiar setting of the doomed planet Krypton, Kal-El's parents Jor-El and Lara are forced to send their only son against the odds to a galaxy light-years away. The story quickly finds itself following Clark traveling the world to better find his place in it. Soon enough, he is inspired to become a symbol of hope for the people of Earth, assuming two new personas: Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter, and the hero Superman.

His arrival is met with both awe and fear, with Superman now fighting to earn the trust of the citizens of Metropolis against modern cynicism and one ComicBook/LexLuthor.
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!!Tropes found in this series:

* AbsentAliens: Kryptonians haven't discovered any evidence of alien life. Jor-El only finds Earth minutes before Krypton explodes.
* AbusiveParents: Luthor's father believed he had the next "Einstein" on his hands and was completely ruthless in pushing his son to his creative limits.
* AlienInvasion: Luthor [[spoiler:fakes one]].
* AlternateContinuity: Intended to be this but was then made {{canon}}, then went back to being this when InfiniteCrisis retconned Superman's origins.
** What made it particularly problematic as canon was that it showed Superman over a decade younger but in a completely contemporary setting with up to date technology. At best, you could infer that there's been some sort of ModernStasis over the last decade of DC continuity.[[note]]Waid's own thoughts on it was that the infamous sliding timeline of the DC Universe meant that in a few years the "modern" references would seem dated and period piece anyway, so it didn't matter.[[/note]]
* AuraVision: One of Superman's many types of vision is the ability to see a distinct energy source around living creatures. It fades when they die. Seeing them "empty" like this disturbs Clark and prompts him to become a vegetarian.
* BadBoss[=/=]{{Jerkass}}: Mr. Galloway.
* BewareTheSuperman: Luthor and elements of the media fuel this sentiment in Metropolis.
* BigBad: ComicBook/LexLuthor, who else?
* BulletCatch: Superman shoots an illegal arms dealer and catches the bullet just before it hits him so he'll know what it's like when someone shoots you.
* CanonImmigrant: This is the first comic where Lex's father looks like Lionel from ''{{Series/Smallville}}''.
* CanonWelding: Was originally intended as an an AlternateContinuity but DC decided to make it canon and replace ''Comicbook/TheManOfSteel'' .
* CartridgesInFlight: In a scene where Superman watches bullets fly towards him, the artist was sure to include dimpled primers and manufacturer's stamps on the bottom of the projectiles. Those go on the bottom of the cartridge, not the bullet itself.
* ChildProdigy: Lex, who we see in his TeenGenius years during {{flashback}}s.
* ClarkKenting: Martha and Clark go into detail on his new "[[ClarkKentOutfit disguise]]." Never wear clothes that show off his physique, unkempt hair, his mannerisms and Martha even {{lampshade|Hanging}}s the fact the glasses aren't there to hide his face but to tone down his "unique" eye color.
* ContinuityNod[=/=]MythologyGag: There's the mention of [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Wayne-Tech]] competing with [=LexCorp=] and we have Superman calling Lex a "''[[Film/{{Superman}} diseased maniac]]''." Not forgetting the panel referencing the cover of ''Action Comics'' No. 1.
** There's also {{Shout Out}}s to [[ComicBook/BlueBeetle Kord Technologies]] and "[[Film/{{Superman}} You Will Believe A Man Can Fly]]", the tagline for the original Superman movie.
* CoversAlwaysLie: Issue 10 featured the corpse of Superman on its front in all its creepy detail. Not that it actually happens to Superman, considering there's another 2 issues to go.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: Krypton is portrayed this way.
* TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget: All Lex ever wanted was to converse with an alien life-form, but when the moment finally occurs, he's so far gone that Superman sees him as a monster and Lex is more concerned with his bruised ego.
* DeathByOriginStory: Jor-El and Lara.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Such is Lex's ego, he takes Superman's public shunning of him as a deeply personal slight. Despite the fact Superman was ''completely justified'' in his actions given Lex's direct involvement [[spoiler:in the gunships going berserk]]. So Lex goes out of his way to destroy Superman in typical supervillain fashion.
** It's related to the TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget example above. All Lex wanted was to talk to an alien, which he believed would be the only being intelligent enough for him to relate to. But when he meets an actual alien, he's not supremely intelligent, but supremely ''compassionate'' - and is disgusted by the immoral Lex. This rejection of his cherished intellect is what drives him.
* TheDragon: "Van-Gar" to Luthor.
* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether: Superman and Lex Luthor.
* EvilFormerFriend: Lex was once a childhood friend to Clarke.
* {{Heavyworlder}}: Goes back to the explanation of that Superman gets powers because of Earth's lower gravity as well as its yellow sun.
* FlingALightIntoTheFuture: It's made very clear that Jor-El and Lara aren't sure if they'll be able to get their son to an inhabitable planet. They intended that the computer on Kal-El's spaceship might find one but then Jor-El discovered Earth just before he launched the rocket. We also see that the ship had just barely enough fuel to reach Earth.
* HumanAliens: Kryptonians. Lex goes into detail about how he was able to deduce the kind of alien environment that would create a being that was identical to a human in outward appearance and yet would possess extraordinary powers on our world. [[spoiler: Though he secretly has significant inside information.]]
* InsufferableGenius: Lex, from a very young age.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Lex's entire backstory and path to villainy is centered on how he had no one to relate to and was perpetually shunned due to his abnormally high intelligence. Along with his lack of social graces.
* KryptoniteIsEverywhere: Averted. It's implied the same piece of kryponite that Kal-El's ship inadvertently took with him to Earth is the only one Lex has in his possession. [[spoiler:Though Luthor certainly uses that one rock to devastating effect]].
* LaserGuidedKarma: Kebile is surrounded by the media after the hired assassin quickly pointed at him out of fear of Clark. He was later forced to resigned.
* LastOfHisKind: Superman is the last living Kryptonian. Though he is unaware this is the case. [[spoiler: Lex delights in revealing this to him.]]
* MadeOfIndestructium: The rocket that brought Superman to Earth is also indestructable under a yellow sun.
* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: The residents of Smallville thought of Lex Luthor as a weirdo and as an adult he won't even admit that he lived there.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Infamously gave Superman the ability to see auras around living creatures.
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: Lex Luthor developed a kryptonite powered wormhole that allowed him to see into Krypton's past and eventually communicate with the natives.
* {{Panacea}}: Luthor discovers a universal cure for every disease while researching Krypton.
* RealMenEatMeat: Averted. ''Superman is a vegetarian''.
* SmallUniverseAfterAll: Luthor says that Krypton is in the Andromeda Galaxy.
* SubspaceAnsible: The wormhole that Luthor uses to communicate with Krypton.
* TranslatorMicrobes: Luthor uses a "Subspace Translator" to understand the kryptonians he views through his wormhole. He eventually uses it in reverse to make his human mooks sound like kryptonian invaders.
* XRayVision: One of Superman's many types of vision is of course X-Ray based.
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