Superman Family #202 Index Entry
- Superman Family #202
Cover Art: Ross Andru (Penciller), Dick Giordano (Inker), signed
JSA Roll Call:
"The Man Who Discovered Kryptonite!" 8 pages
Credits: Julius Schwartz (Editor), E. Nelson Bridwell (Writer), Kurt
Schaffenberger (Penciller), Joe Giella (Inker); Ben Oda (Letterer),
Adrienne Roy (Colorist)
Feature Characters: Mr. & Mrs. Superman
Guest Appearance: Lois Lane Kent
Guest Appearance: Jimmy Olsen
Reintro: Jor-L, Superman's father, seen in flashback only
Reintro: Lora, Superman's mother, seen in flashback only
Reintro: Swami Riva (Dan Rivers)
Reintro: Alexei Luthor
Villain: Swami Riva
Clark and Lois Kent are alarmed to learn that Dan Rivers -- the con
man also known as "Swami Riva" -- has been paroled. It was
Rivers who first exposed Superman to kryptonite, an event which led
the Man of Steel to discover his origins as the son of Jor-L and
Lara of the doomed planet Krypton. Since then, Superman has managed
to keep secret the deadly effects of the extraterrestrial
mineral on his alien physiology.
The Kents' concern is well founded. Even as they speak, Rivers is
retrieving his kryptonite fragment from the bottom of the
Metropolis River, where Superman had disposed of it. A chemist's
analysis confirms the parolee's suspicions that the mineral is from
Krypton and therefore fatal to that planet's sole survivor. Armed
with this knowledge, Rivers and his gang plan to use the kryptonite
in their scheme to loot the annual Daily Star charity drive, where
Superman will be appearing.
The morning of the charity event, Lois receives a beautiful brooch
with a glistening green jewel from an anonymous admirer. When
Superman appears at the Star offices to pose for pictures with the
staff, he collapses in agony. At that moment, Rivers and his
henchmen burst in, guns waving. The criminal boasts of his
successful plan to expose the Action Ace's vulnerability to the gem
in Lois' brooch... but his triumph turns to ashes when Superman jumps
up from the floor in perfect health and rounds up the gang. Lois
explains that she recognized the jewel as the one from Swami Riva's
turban and worked with Superman to trick Rivers and prove once
and for all, as the Man of Steel laughs, that "no little green stone
can harm me!" (In fact, she and Clark substituted a phony gem for
the real kryptonite, which was destroyed.)
Dan Rivers returns to prison convinced he was wrong about kryptonite
but his new cellmate isn't so sure. His name is Luthor.
Cosmology and Continuity
Three pages of this story are devoted to retelling the story from
Superman #61 (December 1949) in which Superman first encounters
kryptonite and learns of his extraterrestrial origins.
The kryptonite fragment seen in this issue is the standard green
kind. The fragment was red in Superman #61.
The Good Guys
Jor-L and Lora were last seen in the "Superman" story in Action
Comics #1 (June 1938). Their names were not given in that story. In
Superman #61, their names are given as Jor-El and Lara, like their
Earth-1 counterparts. The -L form of the Kryptonian surname first
appeared in the 1942 Adventures of Superman novel by George W.
Lowther and was first established in Earth-2 continuity in the text
piece in Action Comics #484 written by this story's scripter, E.
The Bad Guys
Because Luthor appeared in "Superman" stories throughout the
1940s, '50s and '60s, there is no point at which the character
clearly segues from his Golden Age persona to the Silver Age
version. It is therefore impossible to pinpoint the exact title and
issue number of the Earth-2 version's last appearance.
This is the first time the Earth-2 Luthor's given name, Alexei, is
revealed. The character was simply called Luthor throughout the
Swami Riva was last seen in Superman #61.
Luthor has regrown the red hair last seen in Superman #5 (Summer