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  1. #1
    Peachtree St. Irregular Loren's Avatar
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    Default Joe Kelly's original plan for Zod revealed

    Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #79

    This week, Brian Cronin takes on three Superman legends, two of which I suggested. The latter is one that's irked me for some time: the backstory of Joe Kelly's Zod. The 'Russian cosmonaut's son' origin never jived with the early foreshadowing, and along the way Ignition was totally lost.

    Well, thanks to Brian, Joe's given us the answer:

    Zod was a while back, so forgive me if I don’t remember the whole thing. Ignition was definitely Zod’s boy from the beginning, and the gag there was that (as a young man) Zod had found him and rescued him, so despite the fact that he was infinitely more powerful than Zod, Ignition was loyal to him. Eventually, the loyalty would have been eroded, of course!But my original take for Zod was not the cosmonaut’s son business. (Even though I do like the symmetry of it) He was going to be Kal-El from the Silver Age Krypton (which we had always intended to be real) [Ed Note: Another crossover during Kelly’s run on the title involved a visit by Clark and Lois to Silver Age Krypton] corrupted by the Zod whom Superman “executed.” I wanted Superman to suffer for that violation of his own principles, and giving him an “evil twin” who had been tainted because of Superman’s fall from grace seemed like a cool way to do it.
    Neat to finally know the truth, huh?

  2. #2
    Capt'n Tightpants rwe1138's Avatar
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    Cool idea.
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  3. #3
    Bitch please. MaxofSteel's Avatar
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    So the Zod in Red was supposed to be an alternate Supes? Sounds sweet. Too bad it never played out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member J. Robb's Avatar
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    That's the problem with stretching stories out over years, they tend to lose their way. Creators start to re-think or over-think ideas, fan opinion starts to affect their judgement, or ideas get vetoed that might have went through had it been done earlier.

    If Kelly's Zod had been introduced, faced Superman, and had his origin revealed all in a three-part story, it may have been very popular. But stretched over a couple years, with a disappointing origin and really weak ending... Well, there's a reason why we've already gotten two more Zods since then.

  5. #5
    The King is always around BYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Robb View Post
    That's the problem with stretching stories out over years, they tend to lose their way. Creators start to re-think or over-think ideas, fan opinion starts to affect their judgement, or ideas get vetoed that might have went through had it been done earlier.

    If Kelly's Zod had been introduced, faced Superman, and had his origin revealed all in a three-part story, it may have been very popular. But stretched over a couple years, with a disappointing origin and really weak ending... Well, there's a reason why we've already gotten two more Zods since then.
    Yeah pretty much. Unfortunately, as time passes, opinions change. I found my old high school papers I wrote a year or so ago, and I was amazed how different I was back then. Now imagine a professional writer and what they have to deal with.

  6. #6
    Postmodern Man Jack Zodiac's Avatar
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    Why couldn't they have done that instead? The Zod origin from after Our Worlds at War was such a crock, I felt cheated being excited by the new Zod for so long. Even if it had been stretched out over so many years, it would've been a great explanation, and it would've been infinitely more fitting (him being the shadow Superman).

    Ah well... we got a whole new Zod with what could possibly be a clean slate, so fek it.
    Go !@#$ yourself.

  7. #7
    All Roads Lead To Hell 666MasterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #79

    This week, Brian Cronin takes on three Superman legends, two of which I suggested. The latter is one that's irked me for some time: the backstory of Joe Kelly's Zod. The 'Russian cosmonaut's son' origin never jived with the early foreshadowing, and along the way Ignition was totally lost.

    Well, thanks to Brian, Joe's given us the answer:



    Neat to finally know the truth, huh?
    Actually, I remember that being one of the theories handled back then by the fans when trying to unmask Zod.

    Who would have known that that was the real thing?
    ... The Master Of Puppets has spoken.

    Goodbye León (november 16th, 1993 - june 12th, 2009). You were, are and always will be the best friend I ever had. I will always love you and never forget you. And please, please forgive me.

    Thank you for teaching me about love, patience and caring. Rest in Peace, my friend. I hope that wherever it is you are now, you can run and play as much as you want.

  8. #8
    Heavy Metal War Machine PatrickG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #79

    This week, Brian Cronin takes on three Superman legends, two of which I suggested. The latter is one that's irked me for some time: the backstory of Joe Kelly's Zod. The 'Russian cosmonaut's son' origin never jived with the early foreshadowing, and along the way Ignition was totally lost.

    Well, thanks to Brian, Joe's given us the answer:



    Neat to finally know the truth, huh?
    He told me that two years ago, actually. And I grilled him a little since that didn't jive with the initial foreshadowing.

    According to several people who should know, "Return to Krypton" Krypton was originally supposed to be the real Krypton.

    If this is true, either Joe's explanation is a prior plan but not the ORIGINAL plan... Or the plan was for Pokolistan Zod to be from the Byrne Krypton.

    There are some gaping plotholes in RTK2 which, along with the RTK Wizard interview, suggest that the original plan was for the RTK Krypton to be the real deal.

    For instance... Kandor. The RTK explanation for Kandor is apparently still true. Or the Xan. Or what the Xan told Superman in RTK. Or the Linear Men being killed by Brainiac 13 on Krypton in the past. Or that Jeph Loeb outright said after RTK on the DC Message Boards that some people had guessed where they were going when nobody, as I recall, suggested that Brainiac had created a fake Krypton as a trap. Or that Superman remembered Krypto personally as his childhood dog.

    My PERSONAL belief is that the original plan goes as follows:

    Brainiac 13 is defeated by Superman using Kryptonian technology. Brainiac 13 realizes he is vulnerable to Kryptonian technology and travels back in time to Krypton to overcome the weakness by infiltrating Kryptonian technology with his own, transforming it into the Silver Age model. While there, he devises a plan to trap Superman on Krypton when it explodes. He sends a fake message from Jor-El to earth and arranges for Emil Hamilton (under his control as the Overmind) to send Superman back in time to Krypton. Superman takes the bait AND saves Krypton. The changes in the timeline have not hit yet and there is a paradox in play, as seen by the bizarre melding at the end of RTK.

    Blablabla. Luthor learns that Clark Kent is Superman from a satellite researcher in SUPERMAN #178. Yaddayadda.

    And then the plan derails just as Jeph and Ed leave SUPERMAN. I think it either derailed because of their departure or, more likely, they left because Didio nixed their plans in favor of Birthright. In any case, the original plan seems to have been something other than RTK and Ending Battle which Geoff Johns jumped in to be DC's house cleaner. And from there, Eddie Berganza and his teams' plans were basically castrated, leaving Berganza as a lameduck editor. He seemed to have much less pull regarding the books after Loeb left. The plans all seemed trashed. Somebody else edited the Azzarello/Lee Superman run. Most of the stories seemed cobbled together.

    Joe Casey has said that the original plan was for Luthor to do something awful with his knowledge of Clark's secret. My guess is that he was going to kill the Kents and Lois. Casey's explanation proceeds that Superman was supposed to make a deal with Mxyzptlk to set things right. However, a part of Mxy's price would be undoing Lois and Clark's marriage. I suspect the other part was that Krypton would blow up in spite of Superman's meddling.

    In the end, the timeline would be:

    Brainiac 13 upgrades Krypton into the RTK version and steals Kandor.

    Krypton blows up.

    Superman is sent to earth.

    Superman is raised by the Kents.

    Superman fights Doomsday.

    Lois never learns the secret or marries Clark.

    However, Casey claimed that Clark would remember his married life with Lois. And Loeb and Kelly both liked the marriage.

    So I think the ultimate result would be a year or two of return to the Clark/Lois/Superman love triangle stories culminating in, say, SUPERMAN #200 in which Loeb and McGuinness would leave the book with Lois and Clark getting remarried for the first time.

  9. #9
    Heavy Metal War Machine PatrickG's Avatar
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    In short though, while Kelly's explanation kindof works for Zod... The problem is that Zod was introduced hot on the heels of RTK (which he admits they had intended to be real) and Zod was off in the shadows doing things before RTK.

    So his explanation for Zod works only at the point where it was decided that RTK couldn't be real. Which is why I think it almost has to be his SECOND idea and not the original one.

    I mean, it may have been his idea from the moment we saw that Zod.

    But it was clear from Ignition's appearance in Emperor Joker that they HAD Zod plans.

    (To be fair, I think Ignition was originally Zod, working for Imperiex. Or a servant of Zod. Funny how we never had Ignition explained.)

  10. #10
    All Roads Lead To Hell 666MasterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Damn, PatrickG. That's some serius, messed-up, COOL stuff.

    Which version of Krypton do you prefer?
    ... The Master Of Puppets has spoken.

    Goodbye León (november 16th, 1993 - june 12th, 2009). You were, are and always will be the best friend I ever had. I will always love you and never forget you. And please, please forgive me.

    Thank you for teaching me about love, patience and caring. Rest in Peace, my friend. I hope that wherever it is you are now, you can run and play as much as you want.

  11. #11
    Postmodern Man Jack Zodiac's Avatar
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    I like the Silver Age Krypton from the Wolrd of Krypton stories.
    Go !@#$ yourself.

  12. #12
    Heavy Metal War Machine PatrickG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 666MasterOfPuppets View Post
    Damn, PatrickG. That's some serius, messed-up, COOL stuff.

    Which version of Krypton do you prefer?
    I really liked the RTK update of the Silver Age version with its manga/anime influences. A Buck Rogers look doesn't lend itself to an entirely realistic feel but it can work with any number of styles. It can look more video game like or more anime like or more like a B-movie. Or you can go for a jarring effect where the costumes look anachronistic but the technology looks very modern.

    The Byrne Krypton is too weird to me. I feel like Byrne's Jor-El doesn't work as a character.

    I liked Waid's stubbled, doubting Jor-El in Birthright but I'm a bit iffy on the red/blue/yellow schemes and the fantasy look of the technology.

    And I'll take some time to warm up to the new Johns/Donner Krypton, I think.

    It is funny to me, however, that Jor-El (since Crisis) lost ALL his hair including the eyebrows, got some hair and stubble and now he has tons of hair and a full beard.

    It's almost like the Silver Age Jor-El shaved for aerodynamic reasons and then lost his razor.

    Also, given the relative age of the depictions (Jor-El has gotten a little older and more tired looking in each incarnation), I'd say it's possible for Jor-El to have had every look he's ever been depicted with in the order they've been depicted. I'd dig that.

    In his late 20s, he has the sun on his chest. In his 30s he has the robes. In his 40s, he's in Birthright gear. In his 50s, he dresses like the Johns/Donner version.

    There might need to be some tweaks needed to unify things but I like the idea of a Krypton that created Doomsday, that shaped the Eradicator(s), that was populated with thoughts beasts and used golden rockets. A world with a clone war that settled into a Utopia with a greater wisdom and capacity for good, that was settled by Kryp and Tonn and united behind El. A world that worshipped Rao. A world that was home to Krypto but also to hologlyph technology and abandoned warsuits and clone banks and armadas. Where Jax-Ur blew up Wegthor and Lara was a cosmonaut and Kem-L was a xenophobe.

    A single version can accomodate most of the details if your goal is inclusion.

    And I'd go gaga over a "Life of Jor-El" story that incorporates all the suits and looks he's known for in some form. Perhaps the robes and absence of hair while serving on the Science Council (sterile environment?) and a variation on the Buck Rogers look as the adventurous young man who wins over Lara Lor-Van. The Birthright look, roughly, as he reflects on his life and society. And he becomes the bearded pariah preaching doom in the end.

  13. #13
    Postmodern Man Jack Zodiac's Avatar
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    I'm all for them launching another Untold Tales of Krypton title.
    Go !@#$ yourself.

  14. #14
    Power, Unlimited Power MythicBrawn's Avatar
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    I think his idea is a good one. A true adversary is someone that can meet him at his level. Yes, Luthor is Superman's archnemesis but it just doesn't hold up well. Give Superman an adversary with his same powerset and watch the sparks truly fly.

  15. #15
    All Roads Lead To Hell 666MasterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickG View Post
    I really liked the RTK update of the Silver Age version with its manga/anime influences. A Buck Rogers look doesn't lend itself to an entirely realistic feel but it can work with any number of styles. It can look more video game like or more anime like or more like a B-movie. Or you can go for a jarring effect where the costumes look anachronistic but the technology looks very modern.

    The Byrne Krypton is too weird to me. I feel like Byrne's Jor-El doesn't work as a character.

    I liked Waid's stubbled, doubting Jor-El in Birthright but I'm a bit iffy on the red/blue/yellow schemes and the fantasy look of the technology.

    And I'll take some time to warm up to the new Johns/Donner Krypton, I think.

    It is funny to me, however, that Jor-El (since Crisis) lost ALL his hair including the eyebrows, got some hair and stubble and now he has tons of hair and a full beard.

    It's almost like the Silver Age Jor-El shaved for aerodynamic reasons and then lost his razor.

    Also, given the relative age of the depictions (Jor-El has gotten a little older and more tired looking in each incarnation), I'd say it's possible for Jor-El to have had every look he's ever been depicted with in the order they've been depicted. I'd dig that.

    In his late 20s, he has the sun on his chest. In his 30s he has the robes. In his 40s, he's in Birthright gear. In his 50s, he dresses like the Johns/Donner version.

    There might need to be some tweaks needed to unify things but I like the idea of a Krypton that created Doomsday, that shaped the Eradicator(s), that was populated with thoughts beasts and used golden rockets. A world with a clone war that settled into a Utopia with a greater wisdom and capacity for good, that was settled by Kryp and Tonn and united behind El. A world that worshipped Rao. A world that was home to Krypto but also to hologlyph technology and abandoned warsuits and clone banks and armadas. Where Jax-Ur blew up Wegthor and Lara was a cosmonaut and Kem-L was a xenophobe.

    A single version can accomodate most of the details if your goal is inclusion.

    And I'd go gaga over a "Life of Jor-El" story that incorporates all the suits and looks he's known for in some form. Perhaps the robes and absence of hair while serving on the Science Council (sterile environment?) and a variation on the Buck Rogers look as the adventurous young man who wins over Lara Lor-Van. The Birthright look, roughly, as he reflects on his life and society. And he becomes the bearded pariah preaching doom in the end.
    Hot damn.

    I totally endorse this.

    Although I'm not fond of the Buck Rogers Krypton, I'd totally like seeing Krypton evolve from that version to the current version. Perhaps I'd like it more with some tweaks here and there, just to make it more modern, more like the current "sci-fi cities" standards. For example, I liked very much the concept art for Krypton that was to be used in Bret Rattner's "flyby" project (the only thing I like about the whole thing, BTW).

    Perhaps Jor-El's life span was thousands of earth years (like the rest of Kryptonians), so he was witness of almost the entirety of the Seventh (?) Great Era Of Krypton. Perhaps he was not only an adventurer, but also a soldier in his youth and fought in some great war or something.

    Me? I personally like more the Byrne and Birthright Krypton (and of course, the Donner/ Johns Krypton). Although I can see Birthright's Krypton being better, with a few tweaks.
    ... The Master Of Puppets has spoken.

    Goodbye León (november 16th, 1993 - june 12th, 2009). You were, are and always will be the best friend I ever had. I will always love you and never forget you. And please, please forgive me.

    Thank you for teaching me about love, patience and caring. Rest in Peace, my friend. I hope that wherever it is you are now, you can run and play as much as you want.

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