Today, Action Comics #1037 from DC Comics sees the death of Superman. Possibly two of them. Maybe. It has certainly been repeatedly teased, and Bleeding Cool saw this coming back in March – but is it real? In March we reported;
The Death of Superman was a 1992/1993 crossover event from DC Comics' that made mainstream media and got public attention more than any other comic book story before it – or after it Superman #75, which features his death, sold over six million copies over a number of printings and became the top-selling comic of 1992. The story has been adapted into various forms of media, including two novelizations in 1993, a video game, animated adaptations and it formed the basis of Zack Snyder's Batman Vs Superman and Justice League.
Does DC Comics want to do it again? I only ask – and Spoilers ahead – because this week sees the publication of Superman #29, which sees Clark Kent/Superman and Jonathan Kent/Superboy deal with stuff. Superboy has been off in the 31st century with the Legion Of Super-Heroes. And so he has spoilers of his own to share.
Superboy knows when his father will die. It's a part of history. And it's coming soon. Might it also tie in with the dangers and tyranny that Superboy will bring, as seen by The Spectre in Infinite Frontier #0?
Also in March, we looked at if that future Jon Kent saw could be changed.
And we get a glimpse of another Dead Superman, defeated by interdimensional aliens whose power weakens him.
But not everything goes according to plan. Did Jonathan Kent stop one Superman future from happening…
…but in the process set up another, the Future State: Worlds At War where Superman is estranged from Earth and trapped on Warworld.
Might there be room on WarWorld for a weakened Superman for Darkseid's lot? While in the Midnighter back-up strip, the Future State Midnighter from Warworld trying to live in the present, also gets to see that future play out as Trojan Solutions begins. Seriously, no one has any suspicions of a big tech company called Trojan? Little bit on the nose…
Of course, what happens when your internal computer that looks for human weaknesses sees one in yourself? And that weakness is love?
Dead Superman, Darkseid, apocalyptic futures to be avoided, has someone been watching The Snyder Cut?
That seems to have been foreshadowing more than we thought. And in April there was more.
Today's Action Comics #1030 adds some current proof to Jonathan Kent's potential future history. Clark Kent is just not the Superman he used to be.
And so it looks like Clark Kent is going to have to have *that* talk with Jonathan. As one does.
Jonathan Kent, the Superman of the Justice League, as seen in Future State? And while Damian Wayne gets his own Robin book today, he's wearing his brand new costume when chatting with Jonathan about Dad-stuff.
But it seems that Clark Kent has come to the end of his story… will anyone be able to write a new one?
Once upon a time this would have been 5G. But what now?
Then in November, it went nuclear, as Bleeding Cool asked the question again.
In 1992 and 1993, DC Comics killed Superman. And the world noticed. The first comic book event that got actual international attention, as Image Comics was launching and pushing DC Comics into third place in sales, this was the fightback, though no one could see how big it would be at the time. The crossover originated from editor Mike Carlin and writers Dan Jurgens, Roger Stern, Louise Simonson, Jerry Ordway, and Karl Kesel, began in December 1992 and lasted until October 1993, published in Superman, Action Comics, The Adventures of Superman, Superman: The Man of Steel, Justice League America, and Green Lantern. The final issue, Superman #75 in which Superman and Doomsday killed each other with a final blow, was published in a black sealed polybag and sold over six million copies. Since then the only superhero comic book to have sold anywhere close has been Dav Pilkey's Dog-Man. Development began after a planned story, in which Clark Kent and Lois Lane would be married, was postponed to coincide with a similar storyline in the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. While pitching possible replacements, Ordway jokingly suggested that they should kill Superman. As Superman comic sales had declined in recent years, the writing teams felt the character had been taken for granted and decided to temporarily kill him to emphasize his importance. They wanted the crossover to surprise readers and show that the star was not invincible. And now DC Comics are teasing that it is back. This week sees the publication of the much-teased WarWorld Saga with Action Comics #1036 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Sean Lewis, Daniel Sampere and Sami Basri which is pitched as "After learning of an enslaved race with mysterious ties to Krypton, Superman and the Authority travel across the galaxy to dethrone the new Mongul and liberate Warworld. Introducing new characters and a new corner of the DC Universe, the biggest Superman event since the Death and Return of Superman begins HERE!"
The biggest Superman event since… or a repeat of? In recent Superman comic books, Jon Kent learned in the 31st century that his father, Clark Kent, was to die around now. Though the details were sketchy, an attack by another dimension part of the future's historical record was meant to tie into Superman's demise. Phillip Kennedy Johnson's first Superman issue teased "Jonathan Kent is back from the 31st Century and fighting cosmic threats alongside his legendary father. But when an interdimensional breach opens near Earth, Jon recognizes the creatures that emerge: the cosmic leviathans that the Legion of Superheroes credit with the DEATH OF SUPERMAN!" We learned it was a pandimensional experiment conducted by Amanda Waller to test Superman's abilities, Clark Kent began to lose some of his powers' strengths. Now Clark Kent is heading to WarWorld with The Authority in tow for a battle that, in the Future State version of the future, he never returns from. And Jon Kent remains a flawed Superman of Earth, fallen out with his cousin Supergirl, and having placed Metropolis in a bottle.
And in DC's PR they bring up the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday again. "Philip Kennedy Johnson and Daniel Sampere's Action Comics #1036 kicks off the Warworld Saga, one of the biggest, most impactful Superman storylines in nearly thirty years. The Man of Steel has left Earth, promoted his son Jon in his place, recruited a surprising new team that isn't afraid to get their hands dirty and embarked on a mission to liberate Warworld and depose Mongul once and for all. It'll likely be his biggest, most challenging battle since he first crossed fists with Doomsday, and it's one that the future-visiting Jon has warned he won't survive. (We weren't kidding about that Doomsday comparison, folks.)"
Might Superman die at the hands of Mongul or Darkseid? When Philip Kennedy Johnson was announced at the new Superman writer, he stated "The work I'm doing now with Phil Hester, Scott Godlewski, and Daniel Sampere is already some of my favorite of my career. All three are wizards on the page, and the massive event that we're building up to in Action Comics is a considerably bigger swing than I ever expected to get in comics. It's no exaggeration to say it will change Superman's status quo forever and have a lasting impact across the entire DC Universe. The already iconic Future State: Superman: Worlds of War artwork that you've seen from Mikel Janín in recent months is just the tip of the iceberg of what he and I have planned together. Stay tuned, you will NOT want to miss what's coming."
While Superman & The Authority featured an elderly fading grey-haired Superman on a final mission, and a history in an extended DC Timeline that saw him interact with President Kennedy, help the moon landing in the early sixties, and saw Kennedy plan a Mars mission for the end of the decades showed a different DC continuity than Infinite Frontier was cobbling together. With Superman looking to create his replacements.
So how to marry the two worlds together? Today's Action Comics #1036 reveals all. Because the Superman books were matching the Superman & The Authority storyline to some degree. They had a Superman hit by a dimensional breach that was harming his powers. They also had a mission to WarWorld being prepared. Some of these were parts of the 5G plan for Superman, which would have seen Superman stranded on WarWorld and Jon Kent become the Superman of Earth.
While the Superman books written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson – who had been appointed to the role under Dan DiDio's stewardship -were planning a WarWorld event, matching the Future State versions of Superman, and also have Jon Kent step up to his role as Superman, as written by Tom Taylor. But without Dan DiDio's extensive planned timeline, how to marry up the two realities as the same one?
On arriving with The Authority on WarWorld in Action Comics #1036, he discovers that his coming has been prepared for, and those he sought to save slaughtered – enough to make the point, anyway.
And as Superman takes his mission to the great arenas of WarWorld…
…it is a rather familiar look compared to Future State: Worlds At War.
With a Mongul very much in control and a grey-bearded Superman enslaved as the others.
So when he does his Great I Am inspirational speech to the enslaved masses of WarWorld in Action Comics #1036, the odds aren't good. Could he really have gone to another planet expecting that his values and beliefs would simply win the day?
It doesn't entirely go over well, as the population is entirely conditioned to the way things are, something Superman might have seen coming as to how his interactions with the refugees went. From Action Comics #1033…
And so we have Chaytil, the oldest warrior of WarWorld, who is quite happy with the things they are, thank you very much.
And Mongul has known this was coming. And, as we saw before, he knew about Superman's brush with power loss.
And as to how Superman has been getting by since? That was all a scam too…
Enchantress has been touching up his grey hairs. While Manchester Black has been looking after surface details. But it's all a lie. Not exactly "Truth" in the "Truth And Justice," is it? Though Future State: Superman: Worlds At War did show us a future where those chains were broken…
But it just took decades to get there…
Okay, all caught up? Because now we finally get to Action Comics #1037. With the United Planets in discussion about what to do over Superman's assault on Warworld.
And, they do nothing.
I am rather reminded of a classic Yes Prime Minister scene…
But even a weakened Superman should be able to take down The Son Of Mongol. But there are issues at hand.
Apollo, the Superman analogue from the Wildstorm Universe, now part of DC Comics gets what appears to be a mortal blow, foreshadowing what is to come.
Warworld has no sun for Superman to draw power from.
Instead it has internal, hidden Red Suns, that drain Superman of his power. Then he is distracted by another seemingly mortal attack on one of his colleagues, Lightray.
Which leads to the final blow…
…a stab in the back with a Kryptonite spear.
"Maybe there was something we could have done but… it's too late now." And a confirmed date of death for Superman. Now, some speculation. No, Superman is not dead. This is part of a long-running story arc. Maybe, as in Future State, he will be enslaved to Warworld instead. But that his death has been recorded by the United Planets may be what Jon Kent sees in the 31st century as part of the Legion…
ACTION COMICS #1037 CVR A DANIEL SAMPERE
(W) Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Shawn Aldridge (A) Miguel Mendonca, Adriana Melo (CA) Daniel Sampere
The Warworld Saga, Part II, and THE FACE-OFF YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! SUPERMAN AND THE AUTHORITY finally face MONGUL and his champions head-on! The fates of Warworld and all who live under Mongul's rule hang in the balance…but He Who Holds All Chains is better prepared than Superman knows. Not everyone walks away from this one!
Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 11/30/2021