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November 21

The first Superboy was simply Superman as a boy, acting as a superhero in Smallville, where Kal-El lives under his secret identity, Clark Kent. The original pitch for a “Superboy” character was made by Jerry Siegel (without Joe Shuster) in November 1938. The idea was turned down by Detective Comics, Inc., and the publisher again rejected a second, more detailed pitch by Siegel two years later. Siegel’s conception of Superboy was that of a comical prankster, and editor Mort Weisinger felt this would have cheapened Superman’s image and presented a bad role model for younger readers. After the appeal of kid superheroes had been demonstrated by the success of Robin, the Boy Wonder and similar characters, Detective Comics reversed itself in late 1944 and started publishing a Superboy feature, in an effort to expand the Superman franchise by presenting a version of the character to whom younger readers could easily relate. His first appearance is in More Fun Comics #101 (November 21, 1944). Though Joe Shuster supplied the art, the Superboy feature was published without the input or approval of Jerry Siegel, who was serving in World War II. This fact increased an already-growing rift between the publisher and Siegel and Shuster.