Manchester Black The Best He Is At What He Does in Action Comics #1049

Manchester Black time! In June 2020,  Bleeding Cool scooped the gossip that Superman was going to be the new leader of The Authority. It was a big story, but plenty of people didn't believe it. The usual way of things. At the time, the comic book had recently seen Superman come out as being Clark Kent to the world, as well as be described by critical media as King Of The Earth in relation to the United League Of Planets. He was then deputized by the United Nation as a temporary measure as a result but given a warning not to make any similar mistakes by the big espionage agents of the day. Becoming a new leader of The Authority seemed a natural next step. Then, of course, 5G and Infinite Frontier got in the way as Brian Bendis left the Superman books early.

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In March 2021, Amazon listed  Superman & The Authority, a new two-issue comic book by Grant Morrison, Mikel Janin, and Jordie Bellaire. With Superman, Midnighter, Apollo, Enchantress, Manchester Black, OMAC, Natasha Irons, and Lightray. In April, DC Comics announced it officially, which meant other websites were now allowed to mention it existed as well. Just ten months late. Superman recruited Manchester Black – a character created as a parody of Warren Ellis characters Spider Jerusalem, Jack Hawksmoor and Jenny Sparks of The Authority – and made him lead and recruit the new Authority, to help Superman deal with his fading powers.

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Although originally part of the 5G timeline, enough changes were made to the story to make it fit with the DC Universe, including Superman having to time travel to the Kennedy administration.

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And then regular Superman writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson took the team assembled by Grant Morrison and made them the group that travelled to Warworld for his own story about slavery, oppression, emancipation and what freedom means to people denied it.

Manchester Black The Best He Is At What He Does in Action Comics #1049

Defeated…

Manchester Black The Best He Is At What He Does in Action Comics #1049

Tortured…

Manchester Black The Best He Is At What He Does in Action Comics #1049

Rescued…

Manchester Black The Best He Is At What He Does in Action Comics #1049

Plotting…

Manchester Black The Best He Is At What He Does in Action Comics #1049

And returning. Now today's Action Comics #1049 goes further, and shows that the recruitment of Manchester Black may not even have been Superman's idea. Looks like Batman was right.

Manchester Black The Best He Is At What He Does in Action Comics #1049

And that he was a fifth columnist all along.

Manchester Black The Best He Is At What He Does in Action Comics #1049

Though odds are Superman knew this from the beginning… always good to have Lex Luthor on the inside pissing out, than on the outside pissing in…

ACTION COMICS #1049 CVR A STEVE BEACH (KAL-EL RETURNS)
(W) Phillip Kennedy Johnson (A) Mike Perkins, David Lapham (CA) Steve Beach
KAL-EL RETURNS PART 5—THE EPIC CROSSOVER BETWEEN ACTION COMICS AND SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL CONTINUES! We're only one month away from the mammoth Action Comics #1050, and tensions between the Super-Family and Lex Luthor have never been higher. Meanwhile, in the Fortress of Solitude, Steel, Supergirl, and Kong Kenan repel an alien invasion! Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 11/22/2022

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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.
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