SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Superman” #1, on sale now.
While “Action Comics” has returned to its original numbering, the title bearing the Man of Steel’s name gets another restart thanks to DC Comics’ Rebirth event. Even though it’s a new start for “Superman,” it’s not an entirely new story, as Peter J. Tomasi picks up on some of the elements he addressed in the “Superman: Rebirth” one-shot, as well as others he began in the previous series. His former “Batman and Robin” collaborator Patrick Gleason co-writes and pencils the issue, with inks handled by Mick Gray.
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Gleason and Gray’s cover prominently features Clark, Lois and their son Jon, aka the “Smith” family, while inside the comic, Clark officially accepts his role as this world’s Superman. This is after he’s seen standing at his own grave at the start of the issue; or, rather, the grave Clark secretly dug for his recently-deceased “New 52” counterpart. Here, Clark makes silent mention of the mysterious Mr. Oz, who appeared in “DC Universe: Rebirth” #1 telling him that he, and his family, are not who they think they are. At this point, Clark places his hand on his “brother’s” grave, only for it to leave a blue-hued, glowing handprint behind — an indication of the reality-altering machinations of Doctor Manhattan, perhaps?
Things get even more ominous as the issue shifts to the “Smiths'” upstate home, where Clark is simultaneously engaging in some heavy-duty cleanup in the aftermath of a lightning strike to the family barn, as well as some family time. As young Jon heads off to undertake a family chore, the family cat becomes endangered and Jon’s efforts to save her results in a mishap with his emerging powers that accidentally causes her death. The incident is in conflict with Jon’s promise to his dad not to use his powers, so he opts not to tell his parents what happened. The entire event was witnessed by a young girl, who turns out to be the Smiths’ new neighbor, and who remains silent about the mishap, even after coming by their home to officially introduce herself.
Upset about the accident, and keeping it bottled inside, Jon lashes out at his parents about being forced to live a life he feels is a lie. Clark sends Jon to his room as punishment for his outburst, and as evening falls, a distraught Jon looks out from his bedroom window and spots what appears to be a private discussion between none other than Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman right next to the family’s house. Jon attempts to make out their words, but is able only to discern some out of context soundbites. He’s noticed by the sinisterly rendered trio, only for Superman to appear in the doorway of his room on the issue’s closing page, ordering Jon to come with him — an unnerving end to the issue, to be sure, but one readers will have to wait only two weeks to see resolved when “Superman” #2 arrives on July 6.
“Superman” #1 is on sale now; you can read a preview of the issue here.
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