In Action Comics #5, Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, care of DC Comics, will re-explore the origin story for Earth’s first and mightiest superhero, Superman.
As it’s been done countless times, DC Comics has ordered up a brand new origin story for The Man of Steel, but this time, his story is the capable hands of my all-time favorite comic book writer Grant Morrison. Previously, Morrison had addressed the origin of Kal-El of Krypton brilliantly in one single page, the first page of his and Frank Quitely’s amazing mini-series All-Star Superman. So if there were any doubts as to whether Morrison could handle the origin, he can. But the question that begs to be asked from this is: Do we really need yet another origin story for The Man of Tomorrow so soon?
Superman has one of the best and universally known origins associated with any character in all of history, so does his origin even need to be addressed to new and old fans alike? For most comic book readers and fans of science fiction and geek culture, in general, the answer is simply no. But in my opinion, yes, we do. But why?
Really it’s just something that needs to happen for continuity’s sake. For Morrison to start Action Comics from issue one with obvious changes to the core elements of Superman, the origin must be addressed in some way to explain some of the major and minor elements to Superman’s character such as, “What actually happened to Martha and Jonathan Kent?” Or as this issue directly relates to, “What happened to Jor-El and Lara?” Or the even more pressing, “Why does Krypto look like a wolf?” All of these elements are things that fans will want to addressed in some way or another, and it’s a necessity for the story to feel whole even in the slightest bit. But it’s not even just continuity.
Morrison is historically meticulous in how he sets up a story and is well known and revered for placing pieces of a huge story along the way throughout many of his comics long before there’s even a remote payoff to the questions that he raises. He’s done so in New X-Men, The Invisibles, Animal Man, and even in his recent Batman run. For example, events that happen in the first few issues of the Batman and Son storyline were not explained (but were ultimately explained brilliantly) until the final installments of Batman and Robin and even more recently in Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes. So, with that in mind, an origin for a character that is starting a new series within a new universe thanks to the DC relaunch is absolutely dire.
You may not want a new origin story for Superman, but if you’re reading Action Comics, which you should be, well then I’m sorry to tell you, you’re going to absolutely need one.