The DC Comics “Rebirth” continues and Aqualad returns to TEEN TITANS and from the looks of it…just in time! The latest arc in this revamped title is shaking (or “sharking”) things up!
When we lost Superman in the present evolution of the DC Comics universe, readers couldn’t have ever imagined that there was another Man of Steel waiting the wings to swoop in and save the day, unfortunately this version of Superman wasn’t ready to steep into the boots especially given he has a family — a wife and child — to protect. Nonetheless he couldn’t stay hidden, and before to long this Superman revealed himself to the members of the Justice League. Imagine having to explain to them including Batman and Wonder Woman that he was not “their Superman”.
So who is he? Well that’s part of the mystery surrounding the current company-wide reboot of the DC Comics line entitled “Rebirth” and as Superman returns to reclaim his proper place as the Earth’s Greatest Champion, the recent 4-issue arc Superman Reborn which ran its course in recent issue of Superman #18 and #19, and Action Comics #975 and #976 worked to answer some questions including who may be behind all the mischief that has been plaguing the Super-Family recently.
At the center of the entire drama is the son of Superman Superboy! First introduced during the final days of “The New 52” Superman, the child of Clark Kent and Lois Lane from an alternate timeline (specifically the one prior to the “FlashPoint” reboot) survived during the Convergence event, which claimed pieces of previous versions of DC Comics continuity and kept them inside of a living lab watched over by Brainiac and the living planet Telos. When the “Covergence” wrapped up Superman, Lois Lane and Jon (Superboy) escaped to the Prime-Earth (or Earth-0).
Once they arrived, they kept themselves hidden and avoided attracting attention, but were immediately wrapped up in the death throws of Superman’s dying counterpart. Upon the death of “The New 52” Superman energies were released that resulted in the emergence of a Superwoman (the adventures of Lana Lang are evolving in her own title out now). There was also an imposter Clark Kent floating around, but we’ve recently learned that this was the Fifth Dimension menace of Mr. Mxyzptlk who had also been held prisoner by the mysterious Mr. OZ.
Mxyzptlk kidnaps Jon and effectively erases him and all trace of Superman’s and Lois Lane’s life on earth while stealing Superboy and brining him into an “Infinite Planet” dimension. There he forces Superman and Lois to play his game to rescue Jon. There he reveals to Superman that he’s been split into two — including his “New 52” persona as the other side of the coin. During the ensuing challenge, Jon comes across two, distinct energy sources that prove to be the displaced energies of the recently deceased “New 52” Superman and Lois Lane.
Superboy convinces the pair of his sincerity, that he is indeed their son, and convinces the pair to realign themselves with a glowing set of blue energy that represent his parents. Once the energies all come together, the histories of Superman and Lois Lane begin to realign themselves into one, elements from both pasts and present, filling in the gaps. With Mxyzptlk effectively defeated, Superman and Lois Lane finally restored to their proper selves, along with their son Jon, the Superboy return to earth, unaware that they are being closely watched!
Although the place of the Man of Steel within the current world has been reordered and (somewhat) corrected, the mystery of “Rebirth” continues and will be further explored in an upcoming arc appearing in the pages of The Flash and Batman. Stay tuned!
Superman Reborn written by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Dan Jurgens with art by Patrick Gleason and Doug Mahnke is on sale now from DC Comics.
It’s been a bit of a challenge for the Earth’s Most Powerful Heroes of late. The Justice League has entered into some of their most tenuous exploits of late and although time-tested, this latest incarnation of the group still has a lot left to prove — especially to one another. The metal has hardly cooled on the team that was forged at the onset of the latest multiverse reboot when Darkseid and his armies invaded! The original seven realizing their extreme potential for greatness, pooled their resources and accepted the responsibility of becoming the planet’s ultimate defenders, but hardly coalesced immediately as a single force.
In fact, several factions in the group proved detrimental to their early exploits, forcing Batman to work diligently behind the scenes to keep tabs on his teammates. This was of great import when Aquaman ultimately lost footing as the monarch of his realm and Atlantis attacked, a war of great consequence eventually brought together the three factions of the Justice League which lead to their imprisonment when the league’s evil doppelgängers the Crime Syndicate took over the world. Eventually our heroes prevailed, but at great consequences and nearly lost it all again when they found themselves at the center of a conflict between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor!
As the dust settled on the team, Batman ever the most cautious one among them, cited the potential danger in their ranks when their own Man of Steel met his fate and had been replaced by a Superman from an alternate earth/alternate existence who’s agenda wasn’t entirely on the up and up. Before the league could figure out the mystery surrounding their new ally, they found themselves in an unlikely alliance with perhaps the most dangerous individuals on the planet Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad. The two formidable forces united in an effort to bring down an even bigger threat to the multiverse Maxwell Lord.
Now licking their wounds and pulling themselves together, the league find themselves once again mobilizing against a new menace that has entered into Earth’s atmosphere, a planet-sized weapon of mass destruction that has taken them out and buried them — with one shot! Justice League #14 written by Bryan Hitch who assumed the mantle of the title after Geoff Johns concluded his historic run, is a welcome pause from the chaos the team had been recently facing. In light of the latest publishing rebrand “Rebirth” continues to examine the legacy of our favorite DC Comics characters, the Justice League not being exception.
Trapped miles underground and confined to a space with limited air, the members of the Justice League are in fight for their lives and suddenly are succumbed by self-doubt. Considering everything they’ve recently faced together they realize how little trust exists between them. Superman confronts Batman as questions about each other’s loyalty is raised, the rookie Green Lanterns — Simon and Jessica — feel they are simply out of their league, even though both have proven themselves time and again. It’s an interesting and very humanize look at a group that hasn’t really gelled, but in this moment, trapped together must find confidence within themselves and each other.
● Justice League #14 – “Regroup” written by Bryan Hitch with additional inks by Daniel Henriques is a refreshingly paced narrative that takes a look at the league from a very different perspective. The dangers they’ve faced have lead them to this moment and will define them as the “Rebirth” storyline continues to unfold.
Fans have been patiently anticipating the outcome of DC Comics most recent publishing rebrand an event entitled “Rebirth”. After much of the 2011 “The New 52” reboot which renumbered and retooled (not to mention retconned) much of the imprint’s more than 75 year established mythology and retrofitted most of the major character’s origins to appeal to millennial readers, the attempt at attracting younger readers left most diehard devotees in the dark!
After the time-twisting “FlashPoint” storyline which is considered the epicenter crisis that through everything for a loop and reignited the timeline, many faithful long-time readers discovered that the Flash/Barry Allen’s reckless abuse of the speed force, the energy band that gives him control over time and space caused a major backlash that rewrote history and erased some very important people from history.
For nearly all the time that the heroes have been working themselves through the current Earth-0 timeline (the Prime-Earth in the DC Comics Multiverse) someone had been missing from existence, someone significantly important to the post-Crisis universe. DC Universe: Rebirth written by Geoff Johns reintroduced Wally West, the one-time Kid Flash who succeeded Barry Allen as the Flash and who we learned had been trapped in a nexus between time and space.
Wally had been trying to reconnect with the “real world” but there were other elements at work, someone else was closely watching these events as they took place — and that someone had interfered in the Prime-Earth continuity. By the time Wally escapes from his captivity, he enters into a world that doesn’t remember who he is and also learns that a significant amount of time (10 years) has been stolen!
Now reunited with his former teammates in the Titans Wally is working to collect the pieces of his life. In the most recent issue of Titans #7 while has a meeting with Superman, who is himself a displaced version of his former self who existed before the events of the “FlashPoint” and was trapped on the patchwork world of Telos during “Convergence”. The mystery of who has tampered with the time stream is about to start taking shape…
In the upcoming April issues of Batman and The Flash a four-part arc entitled “The Button” will begin to put readers on the path to the climatic reveal of the story behind that smiley face button that Batman found imbedded in his Batcave wall. The two greatest detectives in the DC Universe, will be teaming up in issues #21 and #22 of the respective titles with a story by Tom King and Joshua Williamson, with art by Jason Fabok and Howard Porter.
Given the speed at which the “Rebirth” storyline is progressing and the considerable importance of factoring in the characters from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s iconic Watchman graphic novel into the equation, after “Rebirth” arrives at its conclusion it is safe to say…the DC multiverse may never be the same again!
“The Button” the next arc leading to the inevitable climax will debut in April and May and will also be released in special lenticular covers by Jason Fabok.
It looks like DC Comics publishing is experiencing a “rebirth”! Rousing sales over the summer months have resulted in record-shattering sales for the comics imprint which relaunched most of its titles over the season as part of a brand new initiative to return the brand to its greatness.
In an announcement released yesterday the publishing powerhouse confirmed that it has shipped over 12 million comic books this summer, with eleven issues topping 200,000, more than 60 issues exceeded 100,000 and 21 titles went back to print multiple times.
It would appear to confirm that the nostalgically motivated “Rebirth” — not-a-reboot — that was introduced as a marketing effort to re-institutionalize legacy elements that had been missing from the books since the previous imprint relaunch “The New 52” has been enthusiastically embraced by fans. The initial book written by Geoff Johns, DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 intended to address a lot of those legacy misgivings, was a blockbuster hit on the newsstands!
DC followed the special one-shot with an all-new lineup of stories, restarting many of its more popular titles at #1 including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman which have also begun to ship twice a monthly, giving the creatives a broad brush by which to work intricate storylines that place the heroes back into their proper legacy context. That is none more evident than in The Flash which brought the missing favorite character Wally West back from oblivion.
The relaunch has also given two DC flagship titles the unprecedented opportunity to resume their original legacy numbering. Action Comics featuring Superman resumed with #957 and Detective Comics starring Batman picked up at #934. “This is the biggest story in comics publishing right now — fan and retailer demand for these books is at an all-time high,” said John Cunningham, DC’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Marketing. “This summer we’ve sold more issues over 100,000 units than we did in all of 2015.”
This bodes well for the publishing giant and for fans, especially the purist who were eager to see a return to greatness for the DC Comics characters, something that many fans felt was lost at the onset of “The New 52” reboot. “Hope, optimism and legacy are integral to the epic, universe-spanning stories that define what a ‘DC’ superhero is to me. As is building on the foundation of all the amazing writers and artists, as well as, characters that have been part of DC’s history and celebrating it,” said Geoff Johns, President and Chief Creative Officer, DC Entertainment.
With the digital market also moving in, many fans have turned to downloading their books using the DC Comics reader app for iPad by ComiXology as an option to keep their shelves open for the collected editions of some favorites. DC confirmed that major “Rebirth” arcs will be available as soon as early 2017.
For more news and recent developments visit www.dccomics.com.
Superman is dying! In the final arc encompassing all of the DC Comics Superman titles entitled “The Final Days of Superman” the Man of Steel has discovered that he is indeed vulnerable. After having faced the threat of the alien Rao, the immortal Vandal Savage and fired himself up in the unholy furnaces of Darkseid’s Apokolips, Superman has begun to deteriorate — his body succumbing to the various stresses he’s put upon himself.
Going through the efforts of cleaning house, making certain that his adopted home world will be properly protected after he’s gone, Superman is joined by his two closest confidants and friends. Both Batman and Wonder Woman have rallied alongside Superman to help him on his quest, and perhaps uncover the true identity of the super-powered imposter that’s walking around, bright as the sun, looking to replace him.
Several months ago, after facing the nearly unstoppable alter-universe alien might of Ulysses, Superman uncovered a new ability that allowed him to flare up the solar energy that is stored in his cells — the same energy he utilizes to power up his Kryptonian cells and makes him a “superman”. Whenever he uses this new power, Clark Kent becomes powerless for up to 24 hours as his body “recharges” and rendering him vulnerable.
In this state Superman becomes as human as the rest of us, and unfortunately using this new ability has come with some consequence that has left him open to a type of blood poisoning that is affecting him down to the DNA level. Superman and Batman were able to trace some of his failing health to China and some experiments that have been performed by the dreaded Dr. Omen.
Now the three heroes are giving perilous chase to the energy entity that has escaped capture by A.R.G.U.S. and is claiming to be Superman. Batman traces the creatures energy to the West Coast and there they find the irradiated imposter, who has attacked the home of “Clark White” otherwise known as the Pre-New 52 Superman a survivor of the recent “Convergence” event that has been hiding with his Super-Family here on Earth!
So now the trinity have their hands full facing the energized “Superman” imposter and ultimately discovering the mystery behind the other Superman, while deciding the fate of Superman himself! “The Final Days of Superman” storyline have been all leading up to the upcoming publishing-wide event being billed as “DC Universe: Rebirth” and DC Comics Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns continues to insist that it is not a new “reboot”.
The entire line of DC Comics publications were made more contemporary and redesigned after the 2011 “reboot” of the imprint that was marketed as “The New 52”. All the heroes in the DC Comics Universe were reintroduced and most were reimagined to more accurately take to the readership’s more modernized sensibilities. The launch occurred after the events of “FlashPoint” and launched with the flagship title of Justice League #1.
As most of the DC Comics publications begin to hit the respective issues #52 this month, next month most will be rebranded as “Rebirth” One-Shots before returning and renumbered with all-new storylines and some minor cosmetic changes. Batman has already been “rebirth” so to speak. Writer Scott Snyder who has been writing the Dark Knight for most of his “New 52” run, will be handing the title to Tom King.
They are promising that the passing of the baton will usher in and “unleash a new Bat-era” for the beloved character. Snyder won’t be vacating Gotham City all too quickly as he’ll be at the helm of the new title All-Star Batman which will have him teaming up with the legendary John Romita Jr. the same JRJ who has been onboard since joining forces with Geoff Johns on Superman recently.
As for the Man of Steel, “Final Days” scribe Peter J. Tomasi has been promising that the end result of Superman’s fate will have major repercussions for the character, in fact when the hero returns after the “Rebirth” it’s all possible that he will be replaced by his “pre-52” counterpart who is married to Lois and the two have a son, Jonathan who will be taking up the tradition and share in some super heroics of his own.
Lois Lane will also be gaining some abilities of her own and launching the new title Superwoman written by comics great Phil Jimenez who will also be drawing the title. Left with the task of protecting the planet Supergirl will be moving to National City and take up a job at the DEO (Department of Extranormal Operations). The title will be written by Steve Orlando who just ending a brilliantly stunning run on Midnighter.
So what does all this really mean for Superman? Is it true that these are indeed perhaps the final days of the character which still remains one of the tentpole heroes for the publishing giant? Whatever happens you can expect that it will be unique indeed, after all it isn’t everyday that a Superman dies…only to be reborn from the ashes.
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