Movies & TV / Columns

Comics 411: Is DC Comics Killing Superman Again?

November 10, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Superman Action Comics 1036

 
Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…


 
Last time we discussed Best Superhero Costumes Here’s what some of you had to say:

Benjamin Kellog: “Spider-Man, purely because his red-and-blue with web pattern immediately popped out to me when I was young in a way that Superman and Batman could never quite manage (although Supes uses the same colors, Spidey’s particular patterning appeals to me more on a, not to mince words from his catchphrase, “friendly” level). Bonus points for being mostly just a bodysuit, no visible accessories interrupting the recognizability of the human figure beneath most of the time. Maybe a pair of underarm web wings every now and then (functional and adorable!), but that never really takes away from the overall brilliant design. (And yes, I’m aware of the web cape on his “Unlimited” TV costume. Haven’t ever been exactly a fan of that show’s general premise or the alterations to his look, making him a fundamentally different character in my mind. Headcanon dictates that to be one of Ben Reilly’s “off-world” options for when he’s on another planet or just wants to be extra stealthy that day.)
Fine, I’ll say one nice thing about Power Girl. I’m way more of a fan of her without the “window,” especially her first look from the ’70s. (No amount of reasoning will ever make the “window” okay in my book. Bats has the “distraction” excuse covered with a bold Bat-logo covering a bulletproof vest; why would she need to expose her own bare skin for roughly the same effect?) Probably could use an S shield somewhere for the sake of quick recognizablity in times of crisis, but if she wants to stay independent, fine.”

“Just” Jake Fury: “Going to try and not list anyone already mentioned. So here goes nothing.

Miracleman – timeless classic.
Kyle Rayner has had several awesome ones like Ion and his traditional GL costume. Even the White Lantern one was cool.
Catman – dude started out as a joke and Simone reinvented him into a badass.
Alan Scott’s original GL costume and every the Earth 2 one was pretty cool.
Winter Soldier”

Nickolai: “Emma Frost’s New X Men costume <3"

armchair theologian: “You forgot a category! Team costumes.
I think X-Men win, pretty easily. Even their worst sets are iconic, and you can tell what team they belong too (mostly, a couple outliers there). Running up for me would the extended Batman family (Batman, Robins, Nightwing, Terry, etc).
Solo costume I’ll give props to Hulk’s purple tear offs. They do a lot of heavy lifting, and we don’t want to Doctor Manhattan up the Hulk’s look.”

redhotrash: “Rogue’s 90s costume with the bomber jacket will always be synonymous with everything I love about that era of comics.”

El Atomico: “I love the fact that Dr. Fate is the thumbnail, Excellent choice! Some great choices in the comments, too. I also always liked Booster Gold, Daredevil (red), and Iron Fist.

I gotta say, I’m pretty envious of the superhero costumes available to youngsters these days, what with the built-in muscles, light and sound effects, full helmets & masks, and what not. In my day we had cheapy ones, plastic cloaks and capes, and flimsy plastic masks held on by a string, with tiny slits to see and breathe out of. I’m not angry though; in fact, I always give a few extra peanut butter cups and Snickers to all of the little Iron Men and Batmen that come trick or treating at my house!”

Cruel Angel: “Definitely agreed on Dr Fate. The other one I like with the Egyptian theme is the Fist of Konshu version of Moon Knight.

Also with ya on Spider Woman. (as I look up on my wall which happens to have art prints of Dr Fate (by Sayger) and Spider Woman (issue #1 cover art) ).

I’d add to my list Kabuki’s costume (by David Mack).

No, no Power Girl for me. I’d rather go with classic Zatanna myself.”

Gil: “When I was younger, I thought Havok of the X-Men had a really cool costume. It was just a black suit with circles radiating from his chest and I thought it was the coolest thing ever!

Also, speaking of Spider-Man, I thought Miles’ suit was cool update of the design. Speaking of Miles, they just gave him a new suit in his new series. I don’t like that one. At all.”

Zeus: “Best costume? What, no Silver Surfer?”

Some awesome comments last week! Go and check out the rest, if you can. Thanks for the input and keep it coming!

This week we ask…

Is DC Comics Killing Superman Again?
The 90s are back! Venom is all over the place, Spider-Man’s Slingers are getting another run, variant covers are on the shelves, DC is killing Superman…

Oh. Didn’t you hear? DC is (most likely) killing Superman. Again.

All the clues are out for everyone to see. Let’s take a look. Recently DC released an early look at some preview pages for this month’s Action Comics #1036, which is the issue that starts off Superman’s mission on Warworld. DC’s text along with the art is interesting to say the least. 

“[‘The Warworld Saga’] will likely be Superman’s biggest, most challenging battle since he first crossed fists with Doomsday,” DC says. “And it’s one that the future-visiting Jon has warned he won’t survive. (We weren’t kidding about that Doomsday comparison, folks).”

That’s a bit on the nose. So much so that you might think they’re trying to pull a bait-and-switch on you. DC’s statement goes on to say that the books 30th anniversary in 2022, Action Comics #1036 preview that ‘The Warworld Saga’ will be “one of the biggest Superman stories in decades.”

Guess what else happened decades ago? Doomsday.

So with Superman dying in 2022, Jon Kent is looking to take his place, a move that’s been hinted at since Superman #29. That story, called ‘The Golden Age Part One,’ shows us Jon and Kal-El aiding STAR Labs in sealing a dimensional breach in space that puts out energy which harms Kal-El, but not Jon. Those breaches are being created by Amanda Waller, who’s looking for Superman’s weaknesses. 

Jon tells his dad that while he was spending time with the Legion of Super-Heroes (I miss them), he found out details on Kal-El’s death. Something to do with…breaches. Luckily Jon protects his dad from the final breach, averting doom, and setting things right. 

Or does he? 

Then we have our old friend Mongul, who happens to note that Superman “is dying” after seeing Jon and Kal in the aftermath of the breach battle. 

And how can we forget this next clue? “It’s no exaggeration to say it will change Superman’s status quo forever and have a lasting impact across the entire DC Universe,” Supes writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson said of the then unrevealed ‘Warworld Saga’ arc when he was first announced as taking over DC’s Superman titles.

“Stay tuned, you will NOT want to miss what’s coming.”

Thoughts? Will this turn into another big thing or just a swerve that we should have seen coming?

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!