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Tear Jerker / Superman: Secret Origin

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  • Issue #1: When Clark first sees his ship and activates the holograms of his birth parents, the Kents are right beside him, and get choked up too. Clark runs out crying into the fields and Jonathan follows him:
    Clark: I... I don't want to be someone else. I don't want to be different. I want to be Clark Kent. I want to be your son.
    Jonathan: Clark... you are my son.
    • Superman movie Man of Steel borrows from this exchange. Its writer David Goyer wrote the introduction to the collected edition while he was working on the screenplay and noted this scene specifically.
  • Superman and Jimmy Olsen's heart-to-heart on the roof. Just the start has Supes coming up to the roof for some alone time after Luthor's usual methods ruin his day and thinking he's caught his young coworker on the verge of committing suicide. The conversation improves things for both of them, but not until after some sad moments:
    • Jimmy... didn't have particularly supportive parents. While planning to leave, he tells Superman that that they said he'd "never make it" and expresses regret that he's going to have to validate that by returning a failure. The fact that such an optimistic young man had such sad parting words with his family is pretty tragic.
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    • Jimmy quotes Lois as saying that Metropolis is like a dog that can't rise under the weight of its fleas and compares himself to one of those tiny insects. Supes (who's been having a hard day with Luthor) confesses that he thinks he might have made a mistake coming here as well. Jimmy considers that the final nail in the coffin, commenting that there's no hope for someone like him if a man who can fly can't make it in the city.