Has There Been a Comic or Graphic Novel In Which Kal-El Was Not Found by the Kents?

Just curious if there have been any stories speculating what kind of man Superman would have been had he been found by a couple of illiterate hillbillies, a gay couple, a wealthy trendsetting couple, Al and Mrs. Sharpton, Ronald and Nancy, etc., etc.?


Sir Rhosis

In the graphic novel Red Son he was found by the Russians and raised to be the defender of communism.

In “The Nail” the Kents get a flat tire and don’t discover Kal-El. Who does is kind of a spoiler, so I won’t mention it here.

John Cleese co-wrote an Elseworlds graphic novel in which baby Kal-El’s rocket crashed in Great Britain.

In the Elseworlds tp Dark Son, the enigmatic being known as Metron redirects the rocket so that it crashes on Apokolips. Kal-El is found by an elderly couple of Lowlies, who are immediately incinerated by the ubervillain Darkseid, who raises the boy as his own…

I highly recommend Red Son, too.

There was an Elseworlds one-shot where the young Kal-El is found by the Waynes, rather than the Kents, and he grows up to become a superpowered Batman.

One of the stories in the Elseworlds 80-Page Giant (which was sadly pulped after only a few thousand issues got out in the UK) involved Luthor aquiring Kal’s pod (which had killed the Waynes, and disfigured Bruce, in the process of its landing), and raising the kid.

There’s at least one old Imaginary Story, where he’s raised by the military (IIRC he ends up taking the name Kent Clark, in reference to two of the men who raised him).

In Superboy’s Legion, his pod/womb-thing gets lost until the 30th century, where RJ Brande finds him. He ends up founding the Legion of Superheroes.

The original Ultraman (the Superman of Earth-3) was found by gangsters instead of wholesome Kansas farmers, and grew up to lead that Earth’s Crime Syndicate (their version of the JLA).

There was an old Mort Weisinger-era story in which Superman, Batman, and Robin intercept a decades-old communication from Jor-El, in which a Kryptonian supercomputer extrapolates what would have happened had Jor-El launched the rocket towards certain other planets.

On one, he was only one-twelfth the height of the locals, and became a tiny crimefighter in the vein of the Atom (although how a tiny man who can’t change his size maintains a secret identity is beyond me).

On another, where technology was at the medieval level, Kal-El became a crimefighting archer, like Green Arrow.

On another, he was raised by a scientist who accelerated his nervous system to turn him into a crime-fighting super-speedster like the Flash.

On yet another, his parents were murdered by criminals, and young Kal-El swore vengeance against all such… do I even need to finish this?

In the Pinky and The Brain episode “Two Mice And A Baby,” P & TB observe a spacecraft land on the Earth and discover a super-powered toddler in it. Brain attempts to raise the baby to be subservient to him and aid his plot to take over the world, but the baby proves to be too much for two mice to handle, so they return him to his ship where he’s discovered by a farmer and his wife. While the baby is not explicitly referred to as Kal-El, this is a faithful retelling of the Superman legend, and as Warner Bros. made Pinky and The Brain, and also owns DC Comics, this can be viewed as a legitimate cross-over.

There was a Saturday Night Life “What If?” skit where Kal-El’s ship lands in Germany and he grows up to be Ubermann and fight for the Nazis.

Umm, spoil with tag please?

You can’t leave me hanging like that!


It was an Amish family, who raised him to stay out of the world. Until the villain vapourised them, and thereby prompted Kal to act.

There was also a serious story ( written, not graphic ) on the same subject. He surrendered after the war, and was kept in a giant lead and steel prison ( mostly symbolism since he could rip his way out any time ), manned by guards who never speak. He can hear them, you see.

There was Elseworld’s Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, in which Superman never appeared because (see spoiler). The Gordons, rather than the Waynes, were killed by a criminal and it was Barbara Gordon who became the bat-themed defender of Gotham, with playboy Bruce Wayne as her confidante. Meanwhile Supergirl came to Earth and became the protege/ lover of genius industrialist Lex Luthor. They eventually discover that Lex Luthor had intercepted Kal-El’s rocket/ incubation pod and destroyed him, keeping the preserved fetus for study

“Ubermensch” by Kim Newman

Thanks ! The title escaped me.

There was also Mark Milton/Hyperion in the Marvel series Absolute Power, which riffed a lot on Superman’s origins. Hyperion {his military codename} was originally found as a baby by a childless farming couple, but was promptly confiscated by the military, named “Mark Milton” because it tested well with a focus group, and raised - in a blandly stultifying white-bread “home” within a military compound - by a couple of actors playing his All-American parents. Needless to say, it all turned to custard.

Supreme Power, not Absolute. Still going as Squadron Supreme - the original name of Marvel’s Justice League riffs, which SP reimagined.

Someone showed me the first issue of that. The scene where they give li’l toddler Mark Milton a puppy… and the puppy frightens him… is downright chilling.

So it was. Huh. I like my version better, to be honest.

Re: The Nail, which I just skimmed through again.

And, after all this happens… The Kents take him in, after all.