In 1934, four years before the Man of Steel appeared on Action Comics #1, writer Jerry Siegel was trying to pitch the Superman character to artist Russell Keaton. In a letter to Keaton, Siegel described an origin story substantially different from what is now the canonical backstory:
1. In his laboratory, the last man on earth worked furiously. He had only a few moments left.
2. Giant cataclysms were shaking the reeling planet, destroying mankind. It was in its last days, dying...
3. The last man placed his infant babe within a small time-machine he had completed, launching it as ---
4. --- the laboratory walls caved-in upon him.
5. The time-vehicle flashed back thru the centuries, alighting in the primitive year, 1935 A. D. A passing motorist sighted the metal cylinder...
6. ...and upon investigating discovered the sleeping babe within.
7. The infant was placed in an orphanage. The first day, it playfully bent its metal bed out of shape. The astounded attendants, of course, did not realize they were caring for a child whose physical structure was millions of years advanced from their own.