Whether they’re fighting alongside or against each other, Batman and Superman are undoubtedly one of the most famous duos in comic books. While the two characters have their fair share of differences, it turns out they have more in common than their mothers’ first names. In fact, before the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel were even born, their fathers, Thomas Wayne and Jor-El, were working together.
Superman/Batman #50, titled “The Fathers,” opens with Thomas and Martha Wayne driving through Smallville, Kansas, on their way back to Gotham. Martha is pregnant, and as the couple playfully debates what to name the child – which Thomas is convinced will be a girl – a comet crashes on the side of the road right where they’re driving. Curiosity gets the best of Thomas and he pulls over to investigate. He discovers that the object is not a comet at all, but some kind of vehicle. As he reaches out to touch it, a flash of light transports him to a galaxy far, far away.
Batman’s Father Convinced Jor-El To Send Superman To Earth
Thomas finds himself on an alien planet far more advanced than Earth. He doesn’t understand the language, but can tell easily enough that he’s about to be apprehended by the planet’s authorities, when a man intervenes – a man wearing the insignia of the House of El. Sure enough, the man is Jor-El, Superman’s father, who fortunately speaks English. Jor-El explains that Thomas’s body remains safe on Earth, while his consciousness has been transported to Krypton in the form of a tactile hologram. The two take an immediate liking to one another as fellow men of science, and Jor-El explains why he brought Thomas to Krypton.
“Krypton is dying,” Jor-El tells Thomas. He has repeatedly tried and failed to convince the planet’s council of this fact, and since interstellar travel was banned years ago, there is no hope of escape – except for his son. As a baby, Jor-El’s son will be able to fit into a ship small enough to avoid detection, but the problem still remains of where to send him. Jor-El says he has examined several other worlds with suitable habitats (the artwork shows that Hawkman’s Thanagar and the New Gods’ New Genesis were among them), but none with particularly welcoming cultures. When he asks Thomas what Earth is like, he gives an honest answer:
“I can’t lie to you, Jor-El. We’re probably not the most peaceful corner of the galaxy. We have a special talent for embracing the worst aspects of our nature. But I believe that humanity is fundamentally decent…I can’t tell you where to send your son, But if he does come to Earth, I know he’ll have a chance at a good and meaningful life. And if I found him…I’d raise him as I would my own.”
Superman and Batman’s Father Connection Is Much Better Than “Martha”
Thomas sharing his honest opinion about Earth to Jor-El is a far superior connection than the “Martha” moment seen in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There’s more depth and dimension in this issue that intrinsically ties Kal-El’s fate with Thomas’ son Bruce. Seeing as how both heroes become great friends and allies as the World’s Finest, the fact that Batman’s father was responsible for bringing Superman to Earth is huge (and far more impressive than Bruce realizing Clark is more human than alien because their mothers share the same name).
Thomas’ words were what Jor-El wanted to hear. As we all know, he did wind up sending his son, Kal-El to Earth, where he was found and lovingly raised by the Kents, but he never would have done so had he not met Thomas Wayne. And as Bruce later learns from his father’s diary, the advanced technology of WayneTech would not have been possible without the Kryptonian probe that Thomas took back to Gotham. In other words, both Batman and Superman’s fathers had a hand in the other’s creation, further intertwining the pasts of DC’s most iconic superheroes.
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