In our meditations from October 1963 on the necessity of a Secret Identity for the Man of Steel, our flashback has shown us that the proud Kents have encouraged Kal-El to reveal to the world that he's been masquerading as Clark Kent these dozen years or so, on Earth.
Now that his Identity is known to the world, he doesn't have to hide any more ...
But with his personal secret out, his parents the Kents are in mortal danger from a lug who wants revenge ...
I don't know about you, but these brief panels depicting Superboy's confusion and loss certainly resonated with my pre-teen self. What would happen if MY PARENTS were suddenly taken from me? Especially if in some ways IT WAS MY FAULT -- I was the one who put them into danger?
The last panel on the page, showing Superboy mourning the loss of his parents' lives at their graves, is a sombre one for me.
Well, by the time of this "current-day" Super-tale, the Kents have indeed passed "in the real world," too. Superman has no family to defend. What if he moved to Metropolis as an adult, with no secret identity? The next couple of pages lay out one chain of events ...
Lots of publicity ... the inane kind that gets in his way. Superman is constantly under public scrutiny by his adoring public. People knock on his door day and night. Rescuing parakeets, for gosh' sakes! That's no way for a BNS (Big Name Superhero) to live!
On the other hand, don't you imagine that the property values in the neighborhood of the Superman Arms probably took off like a bird or a plane?
On Monday we'll continue this page-by-page comic-book survey, and follow this alternate-time thought experiment.
See you then!