A look at DC’s New Superman

In DC’s new 52, Superman will kick off as the focus of two lines.

In September, DC will be relaunching all of their titles with new looks, new styles, and new sensibilities. Mostly, canon will remain the same. No characters are being truly rebooted, but some aspects of the character’s histories might change. Some details were outlines on the DC comics blog.

For Superman, these retroactive canon changes (retcons) will take place in the pages of Action Comics, starting with Action Comics #1.

In this arc, we’ll get to see some of the portions of Superman’s backstory which are getting an overhaul. The tale will not cover his arrival on earth, or his childhood, that’s apparently being left alone for now. Instead it will pick up where Birthright left off.

Kal-El is an adult, just starting to really discover what his powers can do for him. He cannot yet fly, and many of his other strengths are only a fraction of what they one day will be.

The young Superman of Action comics will face internal conflict that the later, more practiced Superman doesn’t have to worry about. He’ll spend a lot of his time alone, and really feeling the difficulty of that loneliness.

His adopted parents, the only people who knew his real origin and name, are dead, and the fact that his entire planet, his biological family, and their entire society are are destroyed finally starts to hit home. With the friendship and camaraderie of the JLA still years away, our hero fights alone, and must cope with being the ultimate outsider.

His first Action Comics arc will cover the development of his new costume, taking him from jeans and work-boots through several iterations which eventually end with him in the new armored suit, which is based on illustrations of Kryptonian armor found in his craft.

The Superman which we will see in his own line has a few changes as well. In the new line, Clark Kent has never been married and Lois is in a relationship with another employee of the Daily Planet. 

Here, Superman is also a new personality. His outlook is more brooding, and his attitude more closely reflects the idea that he’s a pained man with a history of lonliness, feeling obliged to save every endangered person, and receiving plenty of thanks, but never any true friendship.

Action Comics #1 goes on sale on 7 September this year, and Superman #1 goes on sale 28 September.