About 55 years ago, I recall a comic book in which Superman's son is genetically enhanced by a mad scientist or something and becomes super-intelligent and a villain.

The story ends with Superman using Kryptonite to actually damage his son's brain so that he becomes "normal."

Does anyone remember this story? If so, is it non-canon? I do not even know if Superman canonically has a son let alone this strange episode with poisoning him.

A detail I should add to make the story easier to identify is that Superman rigged a puzzle that the kid solved and this triggered the release of Kryptonite gas.

  • Kind of reminds me of dc.fandom.com/wiki/Action_Comics_Vol_1_410...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 8, 2021 at 4:36
  • @FuzzyBoots: yeah, sounds similar but 1972 is perhaps a little late. But the theme is similar, artwork I do not, across 50 years, recall. I think the genetically-enhanced kid had a very big head and also was very young, like still a toddler or even baby.
    – releseabe
    Nov 8, 2021 at 4:57
  • 3
    Yikes. With all the casual atrocities meant to appeal to adolescents, silver-age Superman should be reclassified as a horror comic. Nov 8, 2021 at 15:17

3 Answers 3


Sounds like the story "Beware the Super-Genius Baby!", originally published in Superman Vol. 1 #224 (February, 1970).

The brain of Superman's son is enhanced by radiation directed at his mother during his gestation, by a pair of villainous scientists.

enter image description here

Superman later manages to return his son to normal by rigging a puzzle so that it released liquid kryptonite into his son's pores.

enter image description here

According to the DC Fandom page for the issue in question:

Beware the Super-Genius Baby! was originally published as an imaginary story, a story outside of regular continuity. In Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium, it was retconned as having happened on another Earth, (Earth-224).

  • Yes. So non-canon but at the time was it canon? I don't know how these things work. It's weird, liquid kryptonite reminds me of tetrathyyl lead which in real life every baby in the USA /world was exposed to as it was in "leaded" gasoline, widely used in 1970.
    – releseabe
    Nov 8, 2021 at 13:19
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    The caption in the final panel of the second page I posted states that this was an "imaginary story... which didn't happen, but could happen, some time in the future!" I take that to mean that this tale was originally intended to be set in a possible future. Nov 8, 2021 at 13:26
  • 1
    I see. That would have annoyed me in 1970.
    – releseabe
    Nov 8, 2021 at 13:31
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    The image of Supes, in full tights and cape, just walking down the street pushing a baby carriage is just - so very 70's. You'd think he's be more likely to do so as Clark, but that would just make too much sense. Nov 8, 2021 at 14:45
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    @DarrelHoffman: If the baby exhibited super powers, that would have let the cat out of the bag, wouldn't it?
    – releseabe
    Nov 8, 2021 at 15:36

If the child had a large head then it sounds like Superman #224, cover dated February 1970. The story is called "Beware the Super-Genius Baby" and was written by Robert Kanigher and illustrated by Curt Swan (pencils) and George Roussos (inks). Cover here:

enter image description here

Edit: I've been narrowly beaten to it!


The timeframe doesn't work out (this was in 1999), but could you have a somewhat muddled memory of Joel Kent from Superman & Batman: Generations?

While Lois was pregnant with Joel, Lex Luthor and the Joker exposed her unborn child to Gold Kryptonite radiation, which caused him to be born human, without any of his father's powers. To protect him from the shame of being born the powerless son of Superman, Clark and Lois vowed that they would never reveal to Joel that his father was Superman.


In 1979, Lex Luthor gave Joel a formula that would restore the powers he had lost as well as a green and purple battle suit, with which he used to attack his father Superman with intense Kryptonite radiation and then blast Supergirl away with a powerful energy pulse during Bruce Wayne Jr.'s and Kara Kent's wedding.

  • 1999 was well after my comic book days. the story i recall came out in 1960s or early 1970s.
    – releseabe
    Nov 8, 2021 at 4:50

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