Sometimes I call out some of my favorite stories, when we stumble across them. For fairness’ sake, here’s what is likely my least-favorite story of the Silver Age.
Superman’s pals in the Justice League attract Superman’s attention to show him a recently discovered tape from Krypton, featuring Superman’s father Jor-El. Seems that Jor-El did some speculative investigation as to what his son’s life might be like on other worlds, before he settled on sending Kal-El to Earth.
Turns out that what happens is he’ll become a different kind of superhero on every different world, eerily similar to his JLA allies. Each life comes with some sort of drawback – his Green Arrow existence would be on a backwards world, free of technology and scientific advancement. His Atom existence would require him to be the size of a baby bird, compared to his giant peers. He’d be lonely for land on the water world upon which he was a sort-of Aquaman and he’d just straight-up die if he became the Flash (long story).
It’s corny and more far-fetched than most stories, even in this far-fetched age, but it also stretches the already tense and tattered period during which Jor-El had time to build the rocket which saved his son’s life. If only he hadn’t been sending all of his son’s pets into space, hanging out with space visitors, locking away space weapons and Kryptonian toychests, jousting with time-travelling earthlings from his son’s adult circle of friends, and running computer simulations as to possible superhero careers for his boy, he might’ve been able to build a bigger ship in the first place.