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The origin story of Superman, DC Comics' most popular franchises, is a theme that has been explored and revised often throughout the many years of continuity. Although the details have notably varied in each retelling, common themes remain the same. Superman is rocketed from the doomed planet Krypton to Earth, where he is found and raised by a kindly couple in Smallville, Kansas. Growing up, he develops super-powers and travels to the city of Metropolis where he becomes Superman to protect the people.
The Golden and Silver Ages explored their own versions of Superman (Earth-Two) and Superman (Earth-One) to different extents, but the concept was drastically altered and intensified in 1986, when the Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted Superman's history. Requiring a new origin, a six-issue limited series The Man of Steel was published reexamining and revising the early life of Superman. This was considered the authoritative story for a large number of years. In 2004, author Mark Waid created a newer, updated story; Superman: Birthright, which was considered equally as authoritative. However, it directly conflicted with many details in Byrne's earlier work. To sort out the differences between the two, Geoff Johns was commissioned to write Superman: Secret Origin in 2009, which is meant to fully explain Superman's new history following Infinite Crisis, another series which fundamentally altered history.
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