The generic origin story is that the spaceship with the infant Kal-El fell to Earth near Smallville.

Was Superman's landing in Smallville intentional according to canon (say, in pre-"Smallville"-TV-series comics)?

Or was it a random landing site chosen by the planet's rotation?

“Smallville” TV series, IIRC, had some subplot about Native American caves with prophecies about Superman, in the vicinity of Smallville, making it seem that the landing site was chosen on purpose.

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    In Smallville Jor-El had visited Smallville previously (those caves you mention), and was helped by Hiram Kent (Jonathan's father), which is why Smallville (and specifically the Kents ... somehow) were chosen in that series. – Tony Meyer Mar 18 '12 at 23:02
  • @TonyMeyer - correct. I specifically want to know if that was a "Smalliville" invention or came from the comic canon. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 18 '12 at 23:05

On the Supermanica wiki entry for Jor-El it catalogues all the planning of Jor-El leading up to sending Kal-El (Superman) to Earth. It states that Jor-El's father visited Earth once in an experimental spacecraft. It also says that Jor-El was a little bit obsessed with Earth, and knew it would be an ideal location for Kal-El to grow up on. There is no mention of Smallville being a predetermined destination. Originally in the comics Smallville (the town) was never even mentioned. It wasn't until Superboy began being published (in 1949) that the town was specifically named. Neither the Supermanica or Smallville (comics) Wiki article mention any pre-destination or fore-knowledge that Kal-El would land specifically in the area of Smallville.

Smallville's adapation of the story with Jor-El having visited Earth before sending Kal-El there seems to be derived from Jor-El's father having visited Earth in the comics. That story was probably then expanded to not just be a random visit, but to be in preparing a home for Kal-El when Krypton inevitably was destroyed.

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