John Byrne’s Marvel Comics Superman Plot

A couple of months ago on his own blog  –  former Marvel editor – in – chief, Jim Shooter, revealed that the “House Of Ideas” almost acquired it’s “Distinguished Competition” back in 1984. It seems DC Comics was willing to sell the rights to their characters to Marvel. During negotiations between the two companies, John Bryne submitted a plot line for a Marvel Universe version of Superman.

Here are some highlights of Bryne’s concept:

The plot begins the same as every other origin story for Superman, but there is a distinct difference this time – Jor – El’s wife, Lara, who is 6 months pregnant escapes in the rocket ship. The ship crash lands on Earth where the Kents discover the wreckage. Jonathan Kent then pulls a wounded Lara out of the craft and she dies soon after giving birth to Kal – El. Of course, as always, the childless Kents take the baby and raise him as their own.

During his early childhood, Clark Kent begins to show above average strength for a child or even an adult, at one point he throws a bull who attacks him over 1,000 yds across the Kents’ farm. Jonathan sees this and tells his adopted son to hide powers away from others so he is not in danger of being scrutinized by government or kept hidden from outside world forever.

In his twenties while working as a reporter for The Daily Planet, Clark investigates the kidnapping of the President of the United States. He uses his powers to alert the authorities and the President is harmed during the rescue. Clark realizes he should have handled it himself.

After a brief talk with Martha Kent, Clark decides to stop hiding his powers and use them for the greater good of mankind. He starts to performs various different heroic feats and rescues throughout Metropolis, a fellow Daily Planet reporter, Lois Lane, happens to be at one of them. She tells him that she wants the scoop on the new hero and he tells her that he already has given Clark Kent his story.

The next day, Clark names himself Superman in the headline: “SUPERMAN! MYSTERY HERO PROMISES TO BATTLE FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY.”

Lex Luthor sees this article, feels threatens by this new hero fearing that he may no longer be the most powerful man in Metropolis and decides Superman needs to be gotten rid of.

Interesting, what do you think? Would DC characters have been better had Marvel taken the company over?

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