DC comics pins Krypton to the star map

By Phil Plait | November 5, 2012 9:31 am

The story of Superman is so well known that I hardly need go into detail. But in case you’re some sort of commie, the idea is that he was born on the planet Krypton orbiting a far away red star, and sent to Earth while still a baby by his parents as their home planet exploded around them. Our yellow Sun somehow gives Kal-El superpowers, and he goes on to star in a series of increasingly poorly-made movies*.

I’ve often wondered exactly what kind of star Krypton orbited and where it was. Up until now all we’ve known is that it was red, and red stars come in many flavors, from dinky red dwarfs with a tenth the mass of the Sun up to massive supergiants like Betelgeuse which outweigh the Sun by dozens of times (I’ll note that a deleted scene in "Superman Returns" indicates it’s a red supergiant).

Well, that’s about to change. DC comics is releasing a new book this week – Action Comics Superman #14 – that finally reveals the answer to this stellar question. And they picked a special guest to reveal it: my old friend Neil Tyson.

Actually, Neil did more than just appear in the comic: he was approached by DC to find a good star to fit the story. Red supergiants don’t work; they explode as supernovae when they are too young to have an advanced civilization rise on any orbiting planets. Red giants aren’t a great fit either; they can be old, but none is at the right distance to match the storyline. It would have to be a red dwarf: there are lots of them, they can be very old, and some are close enough to fit the plot.

I won’t keep you in suspense: the star is LHS 2520, a red dwarf in the southern constellation of Corvus (at the center of the picture here). It’s an M3.5 dwarf, meaning it has about a quarter of the Sun’s mass, a third its diameter, roughly half the Sun’s temperature, and a luminosity of a mere 1% of our Sun’s. It’s only 27 light years away – very close on the scale of the galaxy – but such a dim bulb you need a telescope to see it at all (for any astronomers out there, the coordinates are RA: 12h 10m 5.77s, Dec: -15° 4m 17.9 s).

Which brings us back to the Superman story. I was sent an advance copy, and it’s actually a clever tale, with some relatively solid science in it. I won’t spoil it, but apparently Superman comes to visit the Hayden Planetarium in New York City (where Neil is the director) every 382 days, which happens to be the period of Krypton around the star (known as Rao in the comic canon). Although it’s not said explicitly in the story, it sounds like they try to observe Krypton when it’s at the point in its orbit where it appears farthest from its star, reducing the glare and making it easier to spot.

As for the major plot point of the story, I won’t reveal it. But I’ll give you a hint: Superman is about 27 years old. PLEASE don’t leave any guesses in the comments below until a few days after the issue is out. I want to avoid spoiling it for any other readers.

Being a dork, I have to comment on some of the science in the story, though. Given the mass of a star and the period of a planet orbiting it, you can find the distance between the two. Doing the math (I’m a dork, remember?) I find the distance of Krypton to its Sun is about 100 million kilometers, somewhat closer than Earth is to the Sun (150 million kilometers).

But remember, Rao is a dim red dwarf! It’s so cool and faint that even at that closer orbital distance, Krypton would be a chilly world. Even if the planet is black as soot (and thereby absorbing all the heat falling on it from Rao) its temperature is still something like -170° Celsius – about -270° F! [If you’re curious, I outline how to calculate this on the Bad Astronomy website.] At that temperature oxygen and nitrogen are still gases – barely – but it’s way below the freezing point of water. And if it’s not black, but instead snowy and white, the temperature will be even lower.

So Krypton maybe isn’t the best place for life to arise… still, there are ways out of this. Maybe either the Kryptonians migrated there (they couldn’t find a warmer planet?) or there’s something else going on. If it’s really volcanic then greenhouse gases could be prevalent, raising the temperature. Possibly the planet’s interior is still warm from heat leftover from its formation… or maybe whatever made it warm enough to be habitable also led to its destruction. Comic book science can be pretty ironic.

[DC comics: call me! I have ideas.]

I also feel obligated to note that in the comic, they made the planet look much larger than the star. That doesn’t work; the two are so far away it doesn’t matter if Krypton was on Rao’s near or far side; it would have to appear smaller than the star. We know Krypton is not a gas giant, so it can’t be much more than a few times Earth’s size. Even compared to a red dwarf that’s pretty small.

Still, it does make for a dramatic series of panels, and I’m always willing to let art trump science if need be. And this really is a pretty nifty story.

The issue comes out on November 7, and I’ll be heading over to my local comic store (Time Warp) to pick up a copy. Next time I see Neil maybe I’ll get him to sign it. It’s not too often I get to do that with someone who knows Superman.

Image credits: DC Comics; Digitized Sky Survey/NASA/Skyview


* I love – LOVE – the 1978 Superman movie, and I still to this day listen to the soundtrack, so you can argue with me over this, but you will be wrong.


This actually happens twice per orbit, when it’s on either side of its star. That means the orbital period is actually twice 382 days, or well over two years… and as you’ll see, that puts it farther from its star, making things worse.


Related Posts:

My comic book premier
Apparently, Black Widow knows me. And maybe Nick Fury, does, too.
Great Tyson’s ghost!
Neil Tyson and I talk time travel

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Geekery

Comments (82)

Links to this Post

  1. Action Comics #14 Press | SPROUSENET | November 5, 2012
  2. Neil deGrasse Tyson guests in Superman comic! | Comics Corner Podcast | November 5, 2012
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  1. Colin Jagoe

    Neil Tyson. Is there anything he can’t do? Pretty cool story.

  2. Steve

    God, that new Supeman costume is horrible.

  3. Nemo

    27? Superman turned 74 this year.

  4. Keith Bowden

    Pretty nifty. I might have to pick this up! (i really haven’t wanted anything to do with DC’s new Superman, but it’s Neil!)

    DC did something similar the late ’70s or early ’80s… Not pinpointing Krypton’s location, but…

  5. Michael Yao

    Superman comics is what eventually drove me to proper science fiction. These comics are science fiction, but at a pre-teen level of science.

    It’s about time these comics started growing up. And, DC absolutely should call you!

  6. EricH

    Does Krypton have to have a near-circular orbit for some canonical reason? if not, there’s only one aphelion per orbit, which explains the single time of maximum separation–admittedly, farther out than 100 million kilometers, but it gives the planet a chance to warm up somewhat during the near approaches.

  7. Chip

    I’m glad Neil Tyson and Superman are on the same side and working together. ;-)

  8. I’ve read some novels that favored the idea that Kryptonians are the descendants of those who survived a crashed spacecraft/botched attempt at colonization, who had to adapt to Krypton’s harsh conditions, but none of those are canonical. (Nothing written more than a year ago is canonical anymore, but that’s a different subject.)

  9. saphroneth

    I feel obliged to point out that the planet could have a highly elliptical orbit, in which case it would admittedly swing further out than you’ve calculated… but it would also spend time getting much warmer. It could have a tundra-cycle biome.

  10. Usually when there is a special guest star, that means that Superman and said star have to fight. I’m hoping that is the secret plot point. Perhaps Neil Tyson gets possessed by an ancient galactic spirit or something.

  11. amphiox

    IIRC, Krypton was depicted in the 1978 movie as a world covered in crystal structures that look a great deal like glaciers, so that would jive with it being a very cold world. It would also be consistent with Superman building his Fortress of Solitude at the North (South?) Pole, since that would be the location on earth most similar to Krypton and where the Kryptonian crystal tech would presumably be most optimized.

    And it should be noted that while a temperature that is too high certainly precludes life as we know it, a surface temperature that is low doesn’t necessarily – consider Europa, or some of the abiogenesis theories that postulate the process occurring on the surface of ice.

  12. Ray

    ” Red supergiants don’t work; they explode as supernovae when they are too young to have an advanced civilization rise on any orbiting planets. ”

    I have to call BS on this one.

    We have no idea how long it takes for an advanced civilization to rise.

  13. Another Eric

    What amphiox wrote (post # 8) – All good points.

    Next we’ll have to come up with a hypothesis as to why a yellow sun gives Superman his powers =0)

  14. Mark

    Minor note, but Riedel et al. (2010) (http://www.chara.gsu.edu/RECONS/published22.pdf) says LHS 2520 is at ~12.8 pc, or ~42 ly.

  15. pumpkinpie

    If the answer to this isn’t a spoiler–why would Superman go to a planetarium to observe a star? Doesn’t that perpetuate the misconception that planetariums are the same as observatories?

    Since Neil himself sanctioned it, it must not make too much of a difference in the story. But it irks me, since I work in a planetarium….

  16. Worlebird

    Is that Superman’s standard costume these days? Or was that something special for this issue? Because it looks horrible.

  17. Brian H.

    Yanno, I had to re-read the story twice to get the connection between the distance between us and his planet and the…

    Wait? What? Too much of a hint. Ah ok. I’m pretty sure someone else will get it faster than light

  18. amphiox

    re #11;

    Red supergiants arise from stars whose lifespans are measured in millions, not billions, of years. We may not know how long it takes for advanced civilizations to arise, but we do have an idea how long it takes for planets to form and how long it takes before conditions on their surfaces become suitable for abiogenesis processes. And a few score million years is cutting it close for both of these.

  19. amphiox

    Also, a red supergiant as close to earth as Rao is in that storyline would probably be the brightest star in the night sky by orders of magnitude, and its supernova would be an unmissable spectacle, if not downright hazardous for observing earthlings within living memory in the story timeline.

  20. Mike

    Just to let everyone know. Neil is not related to Mike.

  21. Marco Perna

    In “The Physics of Superheroes” (very pleasant book, i must say), James Kakalios addresses some issues about the nature of Krypton, based on the strength its gravity must have in order to fit some of the claims made in the early SM stories. Did they ask him for some help in the making of that book?
    It would be rather strange if they didn’t, imho.

  22. I love – LOVE – the 1978 Superman movie,

    Even the part where Superman catches Lois Lane after the helicopter accident, and doesn’t slice her into three pieces with his arms of steel? :-)

    And I have to agree with amphiox (#10) about the 1978 movie’s depiction of Krypton, as I was thinking the same thing as I read your post.

  23. Jack Sprocket

    Good one- now what about Htrae?

  24. Thomas Siefert

    27 years old? It’s good he’s a super and not a rock star.

    Back when I bought Superman comics on a regular basis, I would have considered a person of that age an adult.
    Now he’s just a young kid…

  25. Keith Bowden

    @Worlebird

    Yes, that is his standard costume these days (lo, these past 13 months), and yes, it’s horrible.

    Come to think of it, I think Smallville did a riff on this story idea, too…

  26. Benjamin

    If Krypton is a moon orbiting close to a brown dwarf which orbits Rao in 2*382 days, then the heat from the brown dwarf could solve the cold issue.

    Bonus: The moon could have had a retrograde orbit around the brown dwarf which would have been unstable and would have destroyed the moon once it entered its Roche limit around the brown dwarf. So the Kryptonians in the end wouldn’t be responsible for destroying their own planet (or moon), they were just too involved in their internal conflicts to notice that their world was being ripped apart by tidal forces.

  27. Daniel J. Andrews

    I love – LOVE – the 1978 Superman movie

    What about the part where they made super-genius Luthor a clown who surrounds himself with buffoons? I hope the next Superman movie does Lex Luthor right.

    Smallville, for all its weaknesses and excessive teen angst, had the best Lex Luthor (played by Michael Rosenbaum). That is the type of character they should build a Luthor around in the next movie.

  28. Daniel J. Andrews

    btw, good thing Superman has that big red S on his costume…people might not recognize him without it. Although considering a pair of glasses fooled the entire city of Metropolis for years, they really might not recognize him with that S.

  29. amphiox

    re 37;

    Gotta say, though, for a culture as advanced as the Kryptonians were supposed to be, to miss something as basic as a Roche Limit problem for their own home planet is pretty embarrassing.

    Darwin Award level embarrassing.

  30. Matt B.

    Maybe Krytpon is warm enough because it contains a lot of radioactive material. That would explain why those “meteor rocks” are so dangerous.

    @ 23 Ken B Says – “Even the part where Superman catches Lois Lane after the helicopter accident, and doesn’t slice her into three pieces with his arms of steel?

    I know you’re referring to BBT, but Superman does actually catch her gently, as Raj said.

  31. Dana

    It’s funny you joke about commies–did you ever see that alt-history graphic novel, Red Son? It’s fairly awesome, and quite thought-provoking.

  32. Mike S.

    Nemo@3 But he was born on February 29, so he’s barely past his 19th birthday. (Maybe he should try out for the Teen Titans instead of the Justice League.)

  33. Sean S

    crypt on was a super earth at least 3 times the mass of earth one of the reasons even without yellow sun Kryptonians have super strength and speed.

  34. What a retcon!

    According to Elliot S! Maggin’s 1978 Superman novel, Superman: Last Son of Krypton, the planet Krypton orbited ANTARES before it blew up. Supposedly a race of humanoid progenitors seeded the galaxy with life, which was how Krypton managed to evolve a humanoid species in the tiny lifetime of Antares-as-red-giant.

    Not some dinky, local red dwarf!

    And according to the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie, Krypton was located in another galaxy.

    I call shenanigans!

  35. James Evans

    Otisburg? Otisburg?!

  36. Deus

    A simple solution. They moved there, they terraformed. Everything went to hell.

  37. Daniel J. Andrews

    ”No capes!”

  38. Sam H

    @tracer: I’m no comics fan but EXACTLY!! I side-eyed this immediately when he said it was only twenty-seven ly distant. But then again, Jor-El repeatedly talked about the “28 known galaxies” in that film when schooling his son. A bit odd, when a civilization thousands of years ahead of “primitives” didn’t even know of the existence of the universe beyond the Local Group. For a time I thought that that’s where astronomical knowledge was in 1978 (Local Group is the whole universe), but Hubble himself knew of the Virgo cluster, so I wonder where the producers got this idea??

  39. Keith Hearn

    I agree with pumkinpie (#15). He came to a planetarium to look at a star? And one in the middle of New York City? I’ll bet the best telescope in the world couldn’t spot a dim start like LHS2520 with all that light pollution.

    They should have picked an astronomer who lives someplace with dark skies. Like maybe Colorado? Do we know of any astronomers around there?

  40. Lee

    …which happens to be the period of Krypton around the star (known as Rao in the comic canon).

    Hang on, how does this make sense? If Rao is the in-universe name for his planet, then what is Krypton? The name of the star? I could have sworn that was the planet name though :(

    Not that I follow superman at all, I always found the stories utterly bland. I find it hard to give a crap about a character that is invincible to everything except kryptonite… either a confrontation didn’t threaten him at all because no one brought some (killing off all concern for the character), or they did and now suddenly he’s threatened. This in turn made Superman adventures entirely formulaic to me: Did the villain bring some green rocks [Y/N] became the determining factor of whether Superman needed to break a sweat.

    Oh but but magic. This is doesn’t really help, as it boils down to having the ability to simply break the rules. Unless this is carefully applied by the author keeping an eye to consistency, the plot elements and thus the entire story can erode into an arbitrary mess of rules applying or not applying whenever the writer can’t think of anything better with which to threaten the aforementioned boring character.

    Does Krypton have to have a near-circular orbit for some canonical reason? if not, there’s only one aphelion per orbit, which explains the single time of maximum separation–admittedly, farther out than 100 million kilometers…

    I feel obliged to point out that the planet could have a highly elliptical orbit, in which case it would admittedly swing further out than you’ve calculated…

    Depending on the eccentricity you have in mind, that may cause problems for the origin and later development of life on that planet. Even if Superman’s race were not originally from that planet, that gets into all sorts of crap re. how the hell do they survive if their new home has no food… Geothermal powered hydroponics!

    Or perhaps I’m overdoing it.

    We have no idea how long it takes for an advanced civilization to rise.

    We may only have a sample size of one when it comes to life bearing planets, but we do still have reasons to believe that a long time must pass after the origin of life to eventually reach multicellular life, let alone further development.

    As an aside, what is with these replies to the thread that take the form of a chunk of text quoted from the article with […] on either side?

  41. Lee

    They should have picked an astronomer who lives someplace with dark skies. Like maybe Colorado? Do we know of any astronomers around there?

    Yeah, but I wouldn’t call him ‘good’…

  42. Nigel Depledge

    Andrew (10) said:

    Perhaps Neil Tyson gets possessed by an ancient galactic spirit or something.

    Wait, you mean he isn’t already?

  43. Nigel Depledge

    Ray (12) said:

    We have no idea how long it takes for an advanced civilization to rise.

    True, but we do know that it takes some pretty special cuircumstances for life to make the leap from prokaryote to eukaryote, and this requires time. Once eukarya exist in the first place, multicellularity might only be 100 million years down the road, and from there you’re onto complex civilisations in – oooh, let’s see – half a billion years, tops.

    Besides, we’ve yet to see an advanced civilisation arise on Earth.

  44. Nigel Depledge

    Sam H (42) said:

    But then again, Jor-El repeatedly talked about the “28 known galaxies” in that film when schooling his son. A bit odd, when a civilization thousands of years ahead of “primitives” didn’t even know of the existence of the universe beyond the Local Group. For a time I thought that that’s where astronomical knowledge was in 1978 (Local Group is the whole universe), but Hubble himself knew of the Virgo cluster, so I wonder where the producers got this idea??

    Probably another example of Hollywood types conflating galaxy and solar system.

  45. For whatever it may be worth, an issue of Superman back in 1971 first established that Kryptonians were indeed the descendants of space travelers who colonized the planet. This adds an extra note of dramatic symmetry, I think, that the last survivor of Krypton escapes destruction by returning to space like his remote ancestors did. Also a touch of tragedy, in that the Kryptonians had clearly lost the knowledge of space travel held by those ancestors and so were unable to escape the doomed planet en masse.

  46. Nigel Depledge

    Keith Hearn (43) said:

    I agree with pumkinpie (#15). He came to a planetarium to look at a star? And one in the middle of New York City? I’ll bet the best telescope in the world couldn’t spot a dim start like LHS2520 with all that light pollution.

    Yes! This!

  47. amphiox

    I’m no comics fan but EXACTLY!! I side-eyed this immediately when he said it was only twenty-seven ly distant. But then again, Jor-El repeatedly talked about the “28 known galaxies” in that film when schooling his son. A bit odd, when a civilization thousands of years ahead of “primitives” didn’t even know of the existence of the universe beyond the Local Group. For a time I thought that that’s where astronomical knowledge was in 1978 (Local Group is the whole universe), but Hubble himself knew of the Virgo cluster, so I wonder where the producers got this idea

    Another example of script writers having no sense of scale.

    One could, perhaps, try to write it off as “known” being short for “known to be inhabited by civilizations with at least some cultural contact with us”. It would make sense that a super-advanced civilization like the Kryptonians might have cultural contacts across the local group, but not beyond, and would lend credence to the movie’s other conceit – that there is some multi-civilization concord of advanced races that have all agreed that “it is forbidden to interfere with the course of history of undeveloped worlds”. (Though that still kind of boggles the mind).

  48. Nigel Depledge

    Lee (45) said:

    As an aside, what is with these replies to the thread that take the form of a chunk of text quoted from the article with […] on either side?

    Well, when I put an ellipsis at each end of a quoted line, I use it to indicate that I have taken a fragment from a sentence, rather than quoting a full sentence.

  49. If NDG says “Watch out guys, we’re dealing with a badass over here” I think my head might explode.

    And seriously, Phil? No love for Superman II? Come, son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod!

    This is just so awesome. I can’t wait to read it.

  50. Steve D

    Has anyone worked out the distance from LHS 2520 Krypton would need to be for it to have an Earth-like climate? And how short would the Krypton year end up being, then?

  51. mike burkhart

    The Astronomy program Clestia has an addon for Rao. According to the book “The last days of Krypton” Jorel invented the Phatom zone, a wormhole that lead to another demention . Durng Gen Zods takeover Zod used the Phatom Zone to get rid of his opponets , after Gen Zod was defeted the Newly elected Krypton counsul made the stupid decsion to get rid of the Phatom Zone by dumping it into Kryptons core over Jorels warning . So the Phatom Zone pulled in Kryptons core witch caused the planet to explode. Nobody notced the launch of a spacecraft form Jorels home.

  52. Matt B.

    Didn’t Doctor Who have something about there being 12 galaxies? And I think that was in the Sylvester McCoy days, so there’s absolutely no excuse for being off by a factor of more than a billion.

    I like that the star Tyson chose has “2520” as part of its name. 2,520 is the smallest number divisible by all the integers 1-10.

  53. Blakut

    The star is so dim that creatures evolving on the surface of a planet would be either bat-like (ecolocation) or snake like (thermal vision).

  54. Brent

    I remember when Krypton was the still warm remnant core of a star. I guess they threw that out.

  55. Ronn! Blankenship

    # 53. Richard Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 7:46 am

    “For whatever it may be worth, an issue of Superman back in 1971 first established that Kryptonians were indeed the descendants of space travelers who colonized the planet.”

    I expect the story Richard is thinking of is “A Name Is Born” (writer Cary Bates, artist Gray Morrow), the short second story in Superman (Vol 1) #238 (June, 1971). In this story two spacecraft landed on an uninhabited planet. Out of one craft came a single man, out of the other, a single woman, and the first thing they did when they met was to tell each other their names: the man was named “Kryp” and the woman “Tonn” . . .

    (Links don’t always come through correctly here, but a Google search for “Superman 238″ will turn up some panels from the story, including the big moment when they introduce themselves to each other.)

  56. Kristoffer

    If the M-star has a mass of 0.2 solarmasses the habitalzone would be around 0.08-0.12au. If you buy that, the distance would be around 0.1au. P=(0.001/0.2)^0.5=0.07y. That is around 27 days.

  57. mike burkhart

    I made a mistake when I said Jorel invented the Phatom Zone . It more like he discovered it. What happend was that Jorel was trying to find a way to travel interdimently and opened a wormhole that he cotained in spinng rings then he was the frist person to enter the Phatom Zone when he was acidently pulled into it only to be saved by his future wife Lara who reversed the wormhole freeing Jorel . Jorel could find no way to close the wormhole so the Doorway to the Phatom Zone will remain open probally forever. Explodeing planets are popular in science fiction, In Star Trek 2 Kahn tells Chekov and Cap Terell “Ceti Alpha 6 exploded 6 months after we where left hear,the blast shifted the orbit of this planet and everything was lay waste”. At one time it was thought the Asteriods were the debre from a planet that exploded (an Astronomer went as far as nameing the shatered planet Phaeton) but now are thought to be left overs from the formation of the Solar System. The fact is no internal force can shater a planet, but several external factors might.

  58. Annexian

    I know they retcon these every few years…

    But IMO the more or less classic Silver-Byrne era Superman was the best.

    That is that Krypton was a long, LOONNNGGG lived civilization and literally had a “Golden Age” when they were like gods but fell from that state in the dimmest recorded past. That is, it used to be like Earth’s sun, just formed earlier, and became a Red Giant.

    So, why aren’t they cooked?

    Well, let’s look at how Jor-El designed the “Phantom Zone”. A single scientist working out a basement universe in his home lab. They are so advanced that to them the “Grand Unified Theory” is as dim in the past as the invention of fire to us. Given the “Phantom Zone” alone they could easily have had some kind of automatic system to gradually shift their world’s orbit as the sun grew, or suddenly shift it if it suddenly went big.

    Thus the planet is saved and into a stable orbit to have a similar amount of heat/light for it’s final age, around 300-600 million years before the final burn down to white dwarf.

    (it seems the science end changes that story every year, sudden or gradual main sequence to red Giant stage…the length of such a period)

    So they had this metabolism evolved or more likely designed to take energy from the sun, but it wasn’t optimized for other star-lights and they’d had a period of decadence and forgot how/what it was when their sun shifted.

    Also to survive at all that long they have a “Conservative” culture that re-re-re defines the image of that term. Thus when they faced their world’s doom they literally chose to die for if they moved as desperate refugees through space their culture would be threatened and therefore their lives as surely as death.

    In the Animated series in the 90s they had a good thing going with Braniac being the world computer system. It realizes this about their culture, that if it revealed the danger they’d try to save their entire culture and run out of time. The computer essentially decided to live so hid the truth… assuming he was hiding it… Perhaps he made a deal with the council to be released (he was essentially a slave, facing death for not obeying orders) in exchange for someday re-creating their culture on another world? The philosophical block he used to stop Jor-El from sabotaging him at the end argues this; “Temper temper Jor-El. you could destroy me, you know where to shoot, but consider… I hold the memory of Krypton. All the history for countless years. Who will know that you have ever lived?”

    I like how despite it being a simplistic kid’s comic book that counted on it’s readers “Growing up” every 5 years, it having some good sci-fi inserted.

    The later “Clone Wars”/Black Zero element for instance.
    “You said Krypton rejected religion, save for respect and novelty to worship science. But you also said that you were at war for 100,000 years over religion…”
    “Yes.”
    “But how?”
    “It was religion in that it was a … manner of principal.”
    “Over what?”
    “An aspect of our technology.”
    “What was that? Something too advanced for us?”
    “No, it’s something you will develop very soon. I’ve decided I have no right to interfere.”

    (They cloned themselves then when they lost a limb joyriding they just had another. Or, if they wiped themselves completely they had personality backups daily as they slept. Black Zero was a pro-clone terrorist movement. Eventually they got it so Kryptonians had 3 clones each, no more. Then -Byrne Retcon- they wiped out the city of Kandor and eventually Kryptonians used life preserving body-suits.)

  59. geekhillbilly

    Superman,like Star Trek ,Batman,James Bond and others has been rebooted to keep up with the times.Still,the identification of Superman’s home solar system is a first.I bet he sees Krypton’s destruction via a telescope.
    The ship that brought him to Earth bound to have had a warp or Hyperdrive.Wonder how it was powered? Antimatter? Zero Point Energy? Tap into DeSitter space? Fart gas?Give us a hint,folks.
    I do somewhat understand warp mechanics

  60. Annexian

    To #76 probably a matter furnace…

    Like I said, their tech over a long long long time is so advanced that the GUT is as remote as fire to us. They probably just are able to break matter down into energy. And also because they’d know what they were doing a “hyperdrive” wouldn’t take anywhere near the energy we’d think it would, along with antigrav and other stuff.

  61. beer case

    So, living on a planet with higher gravity than Earths, probably makes you stronger than earthlings. But how can it make you fly? Muscles are heavy. No matter how light you would feel in earths gravity field, you still had to carry more weight than normal earthlings.

    Besides.. Kal-El would probably never develop musles as strong as other kryptonians, he grew up on Earth after all.

  62. earl jones

    why would superman need a telescope? I mean the astronomers could have given superman the coordinates and he could have looked for himself from high earth orbit.

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