Then they brought him back and killed him off again because Brian Michael Bendis came from the increasingly anti-secret identity Marvel and DiDio is Dan Dido. And yet, I told you a long time ago that firing Danny wouldn’t immediately make everything better. It hasn’t. Future State may have been a remaining remnant of DiDio’s 5G plan but you’d think during the comics lockdown Diamond forced (it’s like their near-monopoly on comics was a bad thing) they could have started working on something better. Still, at least Future State was an alternate timeline and totally not the future. We won’t actually see Jon Kent take over for his dad while Clark goes off to liberate Warworld in actual continuity.
So coming up in the DC Universe in July Jon Kent becomes the new Superman while Clark goes to liberate Warworld.
How do I STILL not have facepalm images in my media library after over twelve years of this site? I mean, it hasn’t even been a year!
Superman: Son of Kal-El
The action begins on July 13 as a new ongoing monthly series, Superman: Son of Kal-El, replaces the current Superman monthly title. Written by Tom Taylor (Nightwing, DCeased, Suicide Squad) with art by John Timms (Young Justice, Harley Quinn), this series follows the new adventures of the son of Superman as he’s entrusted with the protection of Earth.
Jonathan Kent has experienced a lot in his young life. He’s fought evil with Robin (Damian Wayne), traveled across galaxies with his Kryptonian grandfather, and lived in the future with the Legion of Super-Heroes, who were intent on training him for the day his father could no longer be Superman. There is a hole in the Legion’s history that prevents Jon from knowing exactly when that will happen, but all signs point to it being very soon. It’s time for the son to wear the cape of his father and continue the never-ending battle as a symbol of hope for his home planet.
I just feel the need to point out that the creative team is being promoted for their works on Batman, Suicide Squad, and that other DC Universe zombies story they actually admit involved zombies. Missing is that the aged Jon up for no good reason, ruining a beloved title in the process (Damian knows what Hawk and Dove went through when they turned Hawk into Monarch to preserve their stupid twist) where Superboy and Robin teamed up. Let’s hope he doesn’t turn Metropolis into Kandor this time.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow
Arriving July 20, issue #2 of this eight-issue limited series by Tom King (Batman, Batman/Catwoman, Mister Miracle) and artist Bilquis Evely (The Dreaming, Wonder Woman) continues Kara Zor-El’s journey of self-discovery and emergence from the shadow of her famous cousin.
Tom King. Well, this should end poorly. This is the guy who drove Batman crazy, Mister Miracle to suicide, and Wally to becoming a mass murderer. I don’t even want to know what nightmares Kara is going though in her “journey of self-discovery”. I thought she exited Clark’s shadow years ago, given that she has her own TV series, has appeared in a number of cartoons, had her own movie where the only connection to the Donner films was the ever useless Jimmy and Lois’s sister. (Seriously, name me one thing Jimmy Olsen did in the Salkind-produced movies. Just one. Got hurt at a nuclear plant. That’s all I have.) Supergirl may have sprung from Superman’s stories but she’s become her own character multiple times thanks to the shapeshifting Matrix Supergirl and the various universal reboots. I see this going poorly.
Meanwhile here’s Superman (on the right) wearing the Kingdom Come suit with New 52 trappings (notice Jon is also wearing a New 52 inspired outfit, including Supergirl’s altered S-Shield from the time) while trying to rebuild the Authority, one of the WildStorm hangers-on Jim Lee folded into the DCU during the New 52, into his own version of the Outsiders. Something is happening at Warworld and he’s apparently determined to find out what. The solicits for the July Action Comics and the new Superman & The Authority also seem to indicate he’s keeping refugees from Warworld at the Fortress, putting Lois in danger when some of the Warworld prisoners (and how do you tell the difference–it’s the planet Mongul uses for death matches) come looking for them. Nice going, Clark!
Meanwhile, Midnighter of the Authority runs into the alternate Mister Miracle of Future State, and Manchester Black, the guy known for constantly trying to get Superman and even Superboy to be more vicious when it comes to the bad guys and breaking out the murder boner, will be part of this new Authority. It’s like Batman putting Anarky on the Outsiders.
This new limited series will help launch an all-new status quo for Superman, setting up story elements that will impact both Action Comics and Superman: Son of Kal-El in the months to come.
And we all know how long it takes for any DC or Marvel title to maintain the status quo. The 2020 election count takes more time. Heck the 2000 election results took more time to be resolved than for any comic status quo to last. The end result is that Superman is once again off his title, and given recent versions of Superman the dots are easy to connect.
Modern writers just can’t handle Superman. The CW has him as an absentee father while the Snyderverse has him needing to learn to become Superman. That’s hardly the aspirational hero to strive to be like. In any other version Clark is at least using his powers to help others by high school. In the Silver Age he was the first Superboy. In Smallville he was protecting his friends from Kryptonite mutants. In the DCAU he would save lives while keeping his existence a secret. Outside of the early comics, where he grew up in an orphanage (also seen in the Fleischer Studios shorts) and the radio drama (where he arrived fully grown-up and somehow still acted human) it was the Kents who taught him to respect life and use his powers to help others. At least until Snyder came along and he had to “learn” to become Superman (aka forced kicking and screaming like the Earth-One graphic novels).
The problem is today’s writers can’t relate to someone being good, kind, helpful, and not wanting to lord their powers over others. They can’t believe that someone with Superman’s powers wouldn’t try to conquer or destroy the world. When’s the last time you saw a Superman analog in a new superhero universe that wasn’t full of themselves, secretly evil, or outright evil? All I can think of is Silver Sentry from the 2000s Ninja Turtles cartoon. They can’t relate to Superman and they don’t think anyone else can either.
So you either get evil Superman like in the Injustice games and tie-in comics or you get attempts to alter him. That’s why he loses the Clark Kent identity whenever DiDio gets his way or Bendis comes along. That’s why they keep trying to shove him aside for Jon, a character they can better warp to their view of “relatable” versus “aspirational”. They can’t relate to Clark’s values…which frankly scares me. I’m glad Superman’s powers are scientifically impossible because I’d hate to think what these guys or some of these radical activists out there would do with them. I would want someone like Clark Kent to be the one to have them. Even I would get tempted to the occasional misuse and I actually idolize Superman. Imagine what these guys who can’t see his vision as a positive or even realistic one would do with those powers. See also the original son created for Superman & Lois, a messed up emo kid with social anxiety disorder and being the brother to get the superpowers. Young Jon in the comics had a chance to be like his dad, so ship him off with crazy grandpa for no logical reason, force him to escape and travel through dimensions until he ages up without his father’s influence, and let’s make him bad at being Superman.
And you thought all we needed to do was get rid of Dan DiDio. There’s a screwed up mindset at DC which runs counter to what the DC Universe is and has been throughout my life and earlier. No hope, no joy, no optimism, just messed up versions of Batman while Batman gets messed up himself. The aspirational is a dead art (probably killed by Wally) the iconic heroic a fading memory. The writers are more interested in the villains or using these characters in teen romance stories than making good superhero stories. And these are the writers getting the jobs instead of ones who want to write proper Superman stories, who want to tell classic superhero adventures that entertain and inspire creativity and being a better person. There are plenty of us who relate to the iconic Superman. Sadly we aren’t the ones in charge of his legacy.