Back in the 90's (I think), I read a friend's Elseworlds comic and now I'm trying to find the title so I can get it. I don't remember the exact plot, but here are the highlights I do remember:

  • Rather than sending just Kal-El, hundreds of Kryptonians heeded Jor-El's warning and came to Earth, taking over and ruling the planet as super-dictators
  • The highly advanced Kryptonians saw the humans as a primitive race and treated them as lower-status members of society.
  • Both Jor-El and Lara were alive, but Kal-El had still been raised by Martha Kent as his nanny because Kryptonians disliked physical contact or emotions
  • Kal-El often snuck out of the Kryptonian compound to visit his human girlfriend, Lois Lane, and she kept trying to convince him to help the human rebellion
  • At the end, Kal-El donned a suit which looked somewhat similar to the Superman suit, but with Kryptonian armor/highlights. I think Lois made it for him to inspire the rebels?

I looked through the Wikipedia article for Elseworlds titles, but didn't see anything under the Superman ones that rang a bell. Please note that I could be wrong about any one of these details - it's been a while since I read it. And given the timeframe, it's possible that it wasn't actually labelled as an "Elseworlds" story, but that's what it was - a one-shot 'What If?' kind of thing.

  • I like this concept a lot. Jor-El convinces Krypton's Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos that the end is coming and they mount an armada of ships so that instead of one Superman there are hundreds. Eventually they rescue Argo City and Kandor so now there are millions. Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


I know you said you looked through the Wikipedia entry on Elseworlds for Superman, but perhaps you missed the Elseworlds Annuals section. If so, this could be Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #3 - Unforgiven published in 1994

It's hard finding any solid info about the synopsis of this annual but Wikipedia gives a synopsis:

Jor-El convinces the Science Council to relocate selected Kryptonians to Earth. Twenty years later, his son must help humans and Kryptonians live in harmony.

and Grand Comics Database:

An Elseworld story of how Kryptonians came to Earth to cure their plague and take control of the planet. Batman and Superman give resistance in their fight to free Earth.

and Comic Vine:

In this issue of Superman: The Man of Steel Annual, an alternate universe Kal-El teams up with Batman to free a Kryptonian occupied Earth. Superman begins to question Jor-El's methods when dealing with the "Terrans". He battles his own people and fights alongside them to free Earth from the rule of his own race and as usual Lex Luthor is involved.

According to Comic Book Realm and Comic Vine the characters involved are:

  • Superman

  • Martha Kent

  • Lois Lane

  • Jor-El

  • Lara Lor-Van

  • Batman

  • Kryptonians

There is an entry in the DC Wiki about Batman's involvement in the resistance, and inspiring a young Kal-El to join

Lex Luthor was believed to have murdered Batman shortly after Batman inspired the young Kal-El, son of one of the planet's leaders to also take up arms in his fight as Superman.

Here's a photo of the cover, maybe it will help

Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #3 - Unforgiven

  • I don't remember Batman, but it HAS been 20+ years. The rest sounds right, so I'll go ahead and accept this one. Won't know for sure until I can get my hands on a copy but I appreciate you giving me a place to start.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 15:23

As documented here, that could be Superman Vol.2 #18 (June 1988), wherein Superman returns to the orbit of Krypton and has a kryptonite hallucination:

The true history: Scientist Jor-El tried to convince his fellow Kryptonians that their world was about to explode, but they didn't believe him. He only just managed to send his infant son on a rocket to Earth, where he would grow up to become... Superman.

Turning point: What if the Kryptonians heeded Jor-El's warning?

Altered history: After the Kryptonians give Jor-El a blank check, he plans a migration to that same primitive Eden he was going to send his son in our world - Earth! As kryptonite poisoning sets in, there is a fear that they won't be able to complete their fleet of ships in time, so Jor-El finds a cure for it. When they land on Earth, Jor-El extends a hand of peace to the Kents and then to Earthers everywhere.

A new golden age does not come, however, because Kryptonians either isolate themselves from humans or revel so much in their powers, they become corrupt and enslave humanity. Jor-El won't stand for it and becomes a costumed champion called the Savior.

He creates a new form of kryptonite and the Kryptonians are either killed (presumably) or flee into space. Their last bastion is in Metropolis/New Kandor, led by his love Lara. He can fight her, but can he fight the next generation led by the son he didn't even know he had, Kal-El! NOoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! (Swear to God, this is how it ends - see what I mean about it being too short?).

  • That doesn't sound like it, but it does sound like a fun read
    – Omegacron
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 15:23

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