Why Does Superman Hide Kandor?
September 26, 2006 8:53 AM   Subscribe

A question about the Alan Moore Superman story "For the Man Who Has Everything..."

At the end of the story, Wonder Woman gives Superman a present: a model of the shrunken city Kandor. Superman thanks her for it, then "steps away" at super-speed to hide the one he has already, in another part of the Fortress of Solitude. Why?

Is it because the one he already has is also a model? Or is it the real city, and Superman has (at this point) failed to re-enlarge the city?
posted by interrobang to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I found this on Usenet:

Wonder Woman brings him a model of the bottle city of Kandor, constructed with jewels by various craftswomen of the Amazons. This was after Kandor was expanded and left on Rokyn, which Diana knew about, but shortly before this story, another group of small aliens arrived on Earth and Superman housed them in a replica Kandor bottle. That, she didn't know about, and thus the "I've already got this" scenario.
posted by martinrebas at 9:11 AM on September 26, 2006

Best answer: Could it be that he's being polite to Wonder Woman so she won't realize he already has one (since he's "the man who has everything")?
posted by bcwinters at 9:11 AM on September 26, 2006

Best answer: Kandor:
Kandor is the bottle city in the Superman comics - a part of Krypton that was shrunk and placed in a bottle by Brainiac (first seen in Action Comics #242 - July 1958). Superman later got hold of it and it became part of the huge pre-Crisis Kryptonian background. Post-Crisis, it first appeared in Superman #107 (December 1995) and was revealed that it was a ghetto on Krypton where aliens were banished by the Pure Krypton Cultural Program. It ended up shrunk and dimensionally locked into Limbo and then came into the possession of an alien sorcerer, Tolos, and later Superman got hold of it. (source)

There were two consecutive capital cities on Krypton: Kandor and Kryptonopolis. The city of Kandor was shrunk by the evil android Brainiac and taken away; Kryptonopolis became the new capital of Krypton. In his first encounter with Brainiac, Superman discovered the city of Kandor preserved in a bottle. He rescued it and took it to Earth with him, vowing to someday discover a way to return the city to normal size. In the late 1970s, Kandor was enlarged, and its inhabitants left Earth to settle on a new planet named Rokyn. (source)

Post-crisis Kandor on Wikipedia

Story except:
...still, it is Superman's birthday and Wonder Woman hands him his present. Wonder Woman tells Superman that a Paradise Island gem-smith made an exact duplicate of Kandor to replace the one that was enlarged. Again, moving faster than the eye can follow, Superman speeds into the Kandor room to hide the real bottle city, and returns to graciously accept Wonder Woman's gift. To his surprise, she puts her arms around his shoulders and kisses him passionately. "Mmmm. Why don't we do that more often?" asks Superman... (source)

I know that none of that directly answers your question, but I think it shows a little bit of the motivation behind Superman's actions. It's a very personal thing, and something he feels a great responsability for, it may even be a great secret that he wants to keep. I imagine it weighs very heavily on his mind. And he is, of course, the ever gracious host to a party in his honor.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:18 AM on September 26, 2006

The 'City In a Bottle' theme is also used to good effect in Millar's Superman: Red Son Elsewords story.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:33 AM on September 26, 2006

Response by poster: I think martinrebas, bcwinters, and blue_beetle have it. It's strange, though—such an odd detail in an otherwise self-contained Superman story.
posted by interrobang at 9:37 AM on September 26, 2006

Best answer: It's strange, though—such an odd detail in an otherwise self-contained Superman story.

I disagree. I don't think it matters what Diana gives Superman and the backstory on Kandor isn't important to understand the theme; the important point is that he already has a replica bottle city -- he is the man who has everything.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:22 AM on September 26, 2006

Best answer: I think it also might have reference to our futility as humans to give true gifts. Even WW, a "godess" of sorts, couldn't actually give Superman anything of true value, only a pale imitations of something he already had. And Supes allowed her to believe she'd given him something important, when in fact it was merely a trinket.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:36 AM on September 26, 2006

« Older Hi! We're blocking all traffic for this one guy!   |   Nike + iPod Sport Kit transmitter positioning:... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.