Obscure Comics: Man Of Steel Prequel Special Edition #1

There are comic book series almost every comic fan knows, there are comic book characters that most everyone knows, there are specific comic books most every comic reader knows, and then there are the more obscure issues that slip through the cracks. What makes obscure comics so interesting and vital is discovering those books that most don't know were ever printed, or that top tier creators worked on "that book" or on "that character." Obscure Comics are fun to find and interesting to know about, but that border between great reads and terrible comics.

The Digital Only Movie Tie-ins From DC

It is becoming an old story, but one that has many entries, it seems. DC Comics, during the Dark Knight movie era, did almost no comic book tie-in material.  Despite the involvement of David Goyer, who has a long history of movie comic book tie-ins that are Obscure Comics, the Dark Knight era really scrimped on comic book tie-ins, despite a strong past history of DC movies and comic material, and a strong potential for more stories and more sales.  Man of Steel did and did not continue this trend.  As the first post-Dark Knight era movie, also involving Goyer again, there was a possibility of returning to a movie adaption or supplemental comic book material being published.  The standard of comic book adaptations or prequel comics that Superman movies up to Superman Returns did, there were no published comics for sale for The Man of Steel, even though a 42 page Man of Steel Prequel Comic was produced.

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Obscure Comics: Man Of Steel Prequel Special Edition #1

There is a bit of irony that DC Comics proudly presents this prequel comic. It was only available on the DC website for a short time, with all official links and availability now gone.  Released May 18th, 2013, this comic quickly slipped into the obscure and was little seen or known.

The comic focuses on Krypton of 1000 years ago, as Kara Zor-El, who along with fellow pilots and explorers are undergoing the last test required by the Kryptonian Council before she and the others can become official explorers.  However, the test results in the first murder in over 1000 years on Krypton as Dev-Em causes  Kell-Ur, Kara's lover, to die in an accident, trying to gain Kara for himself.  Dev-Em's obsession causes the Kryptonian Council to deliberate for weeks, deciding on the murderer's fate.

Kara graduates and shows off her ship to her parents, explaining that the ships will explore the galaxy, finding appropriate planets, landing, and then using a codex to then birth and grow an entire Kryptonian population to help them terraform. Kara and her crew leave Krypton, looking to discover and explore the known universe. The whole crew enters suspended animation for ten years in order to travel the long distance to a planet they hope to explore.

Waking up ten years later, Kara finds that Dev-Em is aboard, and he murdered everyone but herself, in hopes of still claiming her as his own.  A fight ensues, and both find their strength has increased greatly.  The ship with no pilot though sinks into the orbit of a planet and crashes, with only one emerging from the ship alive, who in shadow walks away into a snowstorm a thousand years ago in the Arctic.

Present-day, the ship, buried deep under the ice, has repaired itself enough to activate a beacon, drawing the attention of the United States Government and Clark Kent.

Man Of Steel Prequel Special Edition #1: A Big Movie Tie-In With No Print Run?

The Man Of Steel Prequel Special Edition #1 as a prequel promo comic is quite the effort, and if ever put out in a print format, was likely designed to be a 48-page issue with 40 plus pages of story and ads.  The effort Jerry Ordway (the great artist and writer of DC gems such as All-Star Squadron, Adventures of Superman, and the Power of Shazam) contributed to every page truly comes through.  The David Goyer / Geoff Johns / Zack Snyder plot is interesting. It contributes to many fan theories about the DC Extended Universe, but Sterling Gates does a great job scripting and pulling this crazy plot together. The issue has a lot of effort and with some very well known creators, so why it was never put into print and was only an online exclusive is a mystery that no answers exist for.  (Though Zack Snyder seems to kind of ignore this story he contributed to, or has maybe forgotten it even exists.) There is possibly a print edition that was included with Blu-Ray copies in the UK, but this is unconfirmed.  Nevertheless, this issue exists as an Obscure Comic that deserves to be read and enjoyed, even if one is not a fan of Man of Steel, just for the Jerry Ordway artwork alone. Hunt around online, and the images can be found, but DC long ago removed the link for the issue from their website, so no official source exists for this little known comic.

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About Ian Melton

Japanese Teacher, Comic Book, Manga, & Anime collector, LCBS worker, father of 2, fan of far too many things for far too long...
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