Superman got a major power boost in Action Comics #49 today.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Action Comics #49!
This issue continued the ongoing “Savage Dawn” crossover, which features a de-powered Superman fighting a losing battle against the immortal Vandal Savage. In the previous chapter, Clark learned that his powers have become diminished because a damaged layer of skin cells is blocking his body’s ability to absorb yellow solar radiation. He then made the questionable decision to submerge himself in a box full of Kryptonite in hopes of burning away those cells.
The plan worked, but not quite how the Man of Steel intended. His body is now feeding off of the Kryptonite radiation. Superman’s old strength is back, but he may also be dying as a result of that radiation.
In addition to restored super-strength and flight, Clark also gained a completely new ability in this issue – the power to sense transmissions and energy waves from all over the globe. In effect, he’s become the world’s most powerful radio antenna.
This is the second time in two years DC has given Superman a new power. Last year he gained a solar flare ability that allowed him to detonate all his body’s stored energy in one massive blast. It’s actually that ability that led to Superman’s power loss in the first place. The last time he used the ability, it created the damaged layer of cells that’s been blocking his powers ever since.
The question is whether Superman’s new super-radar ability will become a permanent part of his power set. We’ll find out next month when the Savage Dawn crossover wraps up.