Superman: Secret Origin
(2009-2010) was a six-issue retelling of Superman
's origin as presented as canonical in the post-Infinite Crisis
DCU written by Geoff Johns
and drawn by Gary Frank. Much like the last origin retelling tale, Superman: Birthright
, its only real differences are that Secret Origin
fits in with the Johns run of Action Comics
, the New Krypton
storylines and Adventure Comics, and that it takes some cues from Smallville
and the way The Spectacular Spider-Man
set up a Mythology Gag
to allude to upcoming story lines.
Tropes found in this series:
- Abusive Parents: Lois Lane' father General Lane and Lex Luthor's father Lionel Luthor.
- Almighty Janitor: Averted with Rudy Jones.
- All There in the Manual: You should have a sense of the John's run of Superman stories to fully get all the injokes and such.
- Arms Dealer: Luthor supplies the US military (and General Lane) with weapons and scientific aid.
- Asshole Victim: Rudy Jones, John Corben and Lex Luthor in issues 4-6, respectively.
- Beware the Superman: Luthor tries to pull this in the later two issues.
- Bittersweet Ending: Issue 2. Most of Clark's friends have left him alone, except for Lana, but the Legion of Superheroes are Superman's new friends and Krypto arrives to be his companion.
- Call Back: This goes roughly hand in hand with the current tales of Superman written by Geoff Johns. Also, the bit with the old lady yelling at Clark for looking to the sky is repeated with the old lady saying there's a reason to look up to the sky now with Superman around.
- Clark Kenting: As in the Silver Age, Clark's glasses in this continuity come from his spaceship and absorb his heat vision.
- Covert Pervert: Cat Grant. See the Getting Crap Past the Radar section.
- Covers Always Lie: In the first issue, Martha and Jonathan are much younger in the interior pages than the cover. Also Clark isn't so young looking.
- Create Your Own Villain: Luthor inverts this in issues 4-6.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Averted and subverted. The "Luthor Lottery" as people of Metropolis call it, is where Luthor uses his wealth to change the lives of one lucky person a day. Subverted when It's revealed that Luthor uses it to bribe his way from the authorities and turn Rudy Jones into Parasite solely to fight Superman.
- Death by Origin Story: Krypton.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Luthor is behind the the Daily Planet's near bankruptcy and attempts to follow through with it in the final issue when his ego is being crumbled.
- Evil Former Aquaintance: Luthor.
- Eyes Never Lie: Lois is able to tell the integrity of someone by looking into their eyes.
- Geoff Johns: Writes it.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In issue 4, Cat Grant asks Lois whether Superman is "Big".
- Insufferable Genius: Who else?
- I Own This Town: Luthor again.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Clark, on discovering he's not from Earth.
- Laser-Guided Karma: To all the post-time skip bad guys.
- Mythology Gag:
- Clark's high school clothes are similar to the ones he wore in the early years of Smallviille.
- In issue 3, Superman saves Lois from a falling helicopter much as in the original movie.
- The LexCorp remote control exosleleton from issue 3 is a spitting image of the modern battle armor. And it's made of Metallo, a synthetic metal made by LexCorp.
- In turn, this is likely a mythology gag relating to Superman: The Animated Series, as that series opened up with Superman fighting Corben inside Lex branded power armor. That, in turn, was likely a shout out to the first Metalo, who was a guy in a power suit. Fractal mythology gags!
- Chloe Sullivan has a signature on Pete Ross' arm cast early in the first issue.
- Images of Zod, Ursa and Non, Brainiac's ship and Doomsday appear as holograms in issue 1.
- Luthor and Clark go to school together, and his father is named Lionel. Also the sometimes canon story of Luthor murdering his or one of his parents is present.
- The very different depictions of Kryptonian clothing in the Golden and Silver Age comics, in the Christopher Reeve movies, and in John Byrne's The Man of Steel are all referenced for this origin's version of Krypton.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Gary Frank's Superman is clearly based on Christopher Reeve, to the point of it being a reverse Ink-Suit Actor.
- No Endor Holocaust: The big fights between Superman and Rudy Jones(aka Parasite) in issue 4 and John Corbin(aka Metallo) in issue 6. Lots of property damage ensues, including a tank in 6... but a less-cynical Metropolis apparently agrees with Superman that the Army had no business starting a firefight on the streets of Metropolis.
- No Sympathy: Lana does this to Clark in issue 2 when she tries to start a relationship with him.
- Schedule Slip: As Johns was writing this, the last three issues were left awhile, as Blackest Night, Brightest Day and a dozen other things were going on that he needed to write.
- Time Skip: Issue 3 takes place on Clark's first day in Metropolis after issue 2 ends with Clark still in school.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Luthor, per usual. This story has him offer a "Luthor Lottery" were one lucky Metropolis citizen can get their dreams come true through Luthor's money.
- Well Done Daughter Gal: Lois has a less than desirable relationship with her father.