Everyone knows the story of Superman’s origins: He's an orphan from the stars who is sent to Earth from a doomed planet in order to become its champion. But during the 2000s, DC produced three revamps of the character’s early days that gave comic book fans everywhere a new perspective on Clark Kent’s journey. In 2003, writer Mark Waid and artist Leinil Francis Yu conceived of Superman: Birthright. This 12-issue miniseries focused on Clark Kent’s struggles as a young adult to find his place in the world. It reinstated some of the Silver Age ideas that Byrne had previously erased and introduced some new ones as well.
Six years later, in 2009, writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank came out with Secret Origin, yet another version of the origin. This erased much of what happened in Birthright, replacing those beats with the romanticism of Richard Donner’s movie version. This story was yet another attempt to attract new readers to Superman and offer a fresh start.
Then, in 2010, DC came out with perhaps its most commercially successfully Superman story of the decade, Superman: Earth One, written by J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis. It was a more realistic, angst-filled version of the character that fit in with the post-Dark Knight crowd. Most importantly, though, unlike Birthright and Secret Origin, this story existed outside of the normal DC continuity and acted as a stand-alone tale. All three origins had their strengths and weakness, but an even bigger revival was on the horizon.