Killing The 5 Year Timeline – Superman, Flash And Blue Beetle Spoilers For The Week Ahead, Rumbling Around C2E2 (UPDATE)


There appear to be a number of next week's DC Comics being passed around folk at C2E2. Who are all of a jitter as a result. Who let them out of the booth?


I am told that Action Comics #978 reaffirms Superman's classic history, but weaves the events of Lois and Clark, Rebirth, New 52, and Reborn into it. Clark not only has his old history, but he also adopted the New 52 look shortly after his electric blue suit from the 90s story, which he seems to have worn until recently. It's all canon, even the stories like Exile. Jurgens weaves it all together. Some of New 52 is mixed in, like his parents dying when he was 21 or so.

We see that this one unified Clark has worn every costume both Supermen ever wore at some point. Classic, electric blue, black suit, black suit with beard, Hunter Prey, Kandor, New 52, Rebirth, Reborn, etc etc etc. He has a LONG and deep history now. Their time spent living on a California farm and the Hamilton farm are all explained, too.

More importantly, it destroys the 5 year timeline. It's dead. The Justice League has been around almost 15 years, with Batman and Diana being there for Jon's birth in the fortress. We see a new look for Batman in his early career, which is like his Rebirth outfit with the yellow trim removed from his chest symbol. Clark mentions the JL was destroyed by Doomsday way back before he got married. We also see Hal Jordan there for Coast City's disaster, having his meltdown. Conner Kent is the one thing removed. This may be what Clark feels is missing.

And Mr Oz also destroys the ice sculpture of his earth parents, which may be foreshadowing.

As for Wonder Woman and Jonathan Carroll, their respective beaus during the New 52?

Never happened. Lois and Diana are said to be close friends their whole life. Diana delivered Jon. There is the sense that the two Supermans had their lives righted after uniting. The "wrong" history like Convergence or the Diana relationship are gone. They both returned to the other what was missing.

After the wedding and the electric suit story, Superman put on the New 52 gear and took 9-month-pregnant Lois to California to hide from Intergang, who blew up her office. This is when she became Author X and they lived on their first farm as the Smiths. Clark adopted the beard and the black suit and left the JL. After a year, they return to Metropolis. When Jon looks to be about 5, they move to the Hamilton Farm. This is where he puts the New 52 suit back on and battles Ulysses, Oracle(space god), Blanque, etc. These recent events are retold versions of New 52's recent stories.

Lois and Clark never dated anyone else.

It is suggested that his Superman career was played down a bit after Jon was born, where times, he hung up his cape to be a dad. This may be the event that stands in for New 52's recent death, allowing for Lex to adopt a Super identity. Also explains why Supergirl mentions that he has been away.

Oh and the pink energy being forming the revenge squad? Hank Henshaw. He is disguised as human, as seen in Supergirl. Like before, he can turn into data energy. The time change has restored his past as the Cyborg Superman, and he has been hiding in a human form. He and Eradicator know each other from a decade ago. Eradicator has his current gray skin look and he is still buried on the moon. In flashbacks, he looks classic style with peachy skin.

One odd note. Oz warned Superman about what he has done, basically stealing back his lost years. Told him that he should have considered the longer picture. We also see that classic Kirby Darkseid is canon. New 52 is now a dying set of ideas where some parts will be woven into the classic story.

Do you remember when New 52 was just a Justice League Rebirth story? Johns and Lee were bringing back the big 7 in that David Graves story. Didio turned it into a linewide reboot in 2011, so Johns cooked up that Darkseid invasion story.

I think Rebirth is trying to restore Johns' idea. To add elements to their long-term history and update some costumes, not reboot history. To add and enhance, not subtract.

It feels like Morrisons's treatment of Batman. It's all canon and here's how. through twists, turns, and mysteries, it all fits. It's a new way to understand old history.


Over in Blue Beetle, we get Ted Kord's backstory. He was the Blue Beetle years ago (back when Clark died, most likely). Like in the classic story, Ted had a heart attack due to his heart condition. The change is that Ted stayed retired, where in the old story, he came out of retirement and was killed by Maxwell Lord. Jaime is wearing his classic suit right now. It's virtually unchanged from the 80s.


In The Button, we see Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen break out the treadmill to travel to the universe linked to the button's radiation. Bruce mentions his past time travel in Final Crisis and away they go.

They end up in a place that looks like cell structures at microscopic level, but they are blue.

Anyone got that issue of Before Watchmen: Dr Manhattan for reference?

Within there are glimpses of memories and pieces of their lives that were taken away, which Barry notices. They end up crashing into the Flashpoint universe, where Thomas Wayne awaits. Is the DC Universe itself WITHIN

Is the DC Universe itself within Dr. Manhattan's body? Questions are being asked.

In that Button issue, we also get to see the current JLA trophy room, which contains the equipment of past members. The Blue Beetle ship, Barda's weapons, Fate's helmet, Martian Manhunter's mantle…A lot of clues there about the new post-Reborn history of the JL.

Pretty exciting week.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.