I’m assuming the Christopher Reeve films from the '70s/'80s were not canon or very accurate to canon.

However, in the first classic film, Superman: The Movie, we see that he spent approximately 12 Earth years in the Fortress, learning from Jor-El.

What is the canonical amount of time (in the original comics) he spent at the Fortress becoming Superman in his early years? Were the Reeves-era films accurate in this regards? Or is the real time in the original comic canon far different?

1 Answer 1


The 1978 movie deviated substantially from the original comics in this regard.

In the original comics, Clark became Superman before he built the Fortress of Solitude. In fact, in the Silver Age stories (set in the Earth-One continuity), Clark had many adventures as the teenaged Superboy, prior to becoming Superman.

More Fun Comics #101, page 24

More Fun Comics #101 (January, 1945)

He didn't don the costume until adulthood in the Golden Age stories (set in the Earth-Two continuity), but nevertheless, he still built the Fortress after becoming Superman, as a place to relax, work undisturbed, and store his various trophies and souvenirs.

Superman Vol. 1 #17, page 30

Superman Vol. 1 #17 (August, 1942)

Also, he knew nothing of Krypton or his biological parents when he built the Fortress, and it played no part in him discovering all that. He learned of Krypton afterwards, when he flew into space to determine the point of origin of several Kryptonite meteors which had landed on Earth.

Superman Vol. 1 #61, page 44

Superman Vol. 1 #61 (November, 1949)

  • 2
    I often try to explain to my coworkers the legally complex copyright history of Superman that makes young Clark Kent and Superboy different creations. But they get bored after a few hours. Aug 4, 2022 at 5:52

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