417 – Smallville!

A panel from Superboy #2, March 1949
A panel from Superboy #2, March 1949

In Superboy #2 (March 1949), it is finally established, for the first time, that the young Clark Kent lives in a town named Smallville. As recently discussed, amidst many other superhero books getting cancelled and characters disappearing into the Golden Age, Superboy is the only superhero to get his own book. I think this is significant, because, although Superboy was created in the Golden Age (as a child of about eight or ten), if these are now stories of Superman as a teen, and this Superman grows up in the 1950s/1960s then that makes Superboy the young version of the Silver Age Superman.

Does that make Superboy the first Silver Age comic book character? 🙂

Well, the Golden Age is definitely over by 1949! Most historians mark the debut of Barry Allen as the Flash as the start of the Silver Age. The Silver Age was marked by the resurgence of new, slicker versions of superheroes from the Golden Age that had stronger supporting casts and more science-fiction based explanation of their powers. We will start to see Superboy’s supporting cast flesh out soon and establishing his hometown is the first step in that direction.

Somebody saaaaaave me….