“My original plan was to have the pregnant Lara come to Earth instead of the baby. I explained that I needed that because if Superman was once again going to be the sole survivor of Krypton, the only way we could demonstrate how lethal kryptonite is would be to kill Superman. So I came up with the idea of having Lara come to Earth so we could have a Kryptonian who could find kryptonite and die, so we would know it was lethal. But they thought that might be messing with the legend a little bit too much.” – John Byrne on the revamping of Superman in Man Of Steel.
Not only was that John Byrne’s original plan for Superman at DC, it was also his original plan previously at Marvel, when the company was exploring the offer from DC to license. Jim Shooter recalls;
The second chapter is entitled “SMALLVILLE.”
Earth, the USA, somewhere out in the sticks, fifty-something Jonathan and Martha Kent are riding along in their pickup truck. They’re farm people, good people. They witness the little ship launched months ago by Jor-El crash in a field.
They run to investigate.
Jonathan pulls badly-injured Lara from the wreckage. Right then and there, with the Kents’ help, she gives birth. The child, a boy, yelps when Jonathan slaps him on the butt. He seems unharmed and healthy. Just before she dies, Lara names the boy Kal-El.
Jim Shooter contines to share John Byrne’s plot for the Marvel Superman over here.
And John Byrne shares that he never got paid for it, here.