DC Comics Rebirth Spoilers and Review follow for Superman #16.
Superman #16 opens with a confirmation of the pre-Flashpoint Superman being an Anomaly; the villain Prophecy is not sure what to make of him.
Prophecy de-powers and tosses Superman into a mine with the other Supemen and a Superwoman.
Although through the dialogue in thie issue we’re to believe there are several other Supermen and Superwomen in this mine despite us not seeing them this issue; the issue focuses on the few we’ve already been introduced to.
And, in this issue China’s New Super-Man meets Rebirth’s Superman for the first time (red dialogue denotes them speaking Mandarin).
Combing through the issue there are not any more Supermen or Superwomen introduced from the multiverse.
BRIEF INTERLUDE FOR SUPERMEN WHO’S WHO
So, with a brief aside, this Multiplicity arc stopped with the formal appearances of 25 Supermen / Superwomen of which 23 were clear enough to categorize.
- 16 Supermen from Superman #14,
- 2 Supermen from opening part of Superman #15 DC pre-released, and
- 4 Superman as revealed in the rest of Superman #15.
- 1 Superman from the cover Superman #16 with two more Supermen that are not easily identifiable.
Excluding the pre-Flashpoint “Anomaly” Superman, that is now DC Rebirth’s core Superman, the 23 recognizable Supermen of 25 portrayed cover the following Earths as revealed via the above links which have the respective Multiversity Guidebook multiverse Earth entries if you’re interested.
CAPITALIZED reference below is from Superman #16, bold and italicized references below are from Superman #15 and regular font are from Superman #14.
- Earth 0 – Prime Earth’s New Superman
Earth 1 – Superman
Earth 2 – Superman (Val-Zod?)
EARTH 6 – THE JUST IMAGE BY STAN LEE EARTH’S SUPERMAN
Earth 10 – Freedom Fighters Earth’s Nazi Superman
Earth 11 – Superwoman
Earth 12 – Superman Beyond
Earth 13 – Etrigan Superman
Earth 14 – Justice League of Assassins’ Superman
Earth 16 – Earth Me Superman
Earth 18 – Justice Riders’ Black Bison Superman
Earth 22 – Kingdom Come Superman
Earth 23 – President Superman
Earth 26 – Captain Carrot
Earth 29 – Bizarro Superman
Earth 30 – Red Superman
Earth 31 – Pirate Superman
Earth 32 – Justice Titans Superman
Earth 38 – Generations Superman
Earth 43 – Holy Terror Vampire Superman
Earth 45 – Doomsday-Superman amalgam
Earth 47 – The Prez’s Sunshine Superman
Earth 50 – Justice Lord Superman
Here is an annotated cover of Superman #16 with the various Superman revealed. Can you identify the two Superman with question marks beside them?
Anyhow, back to the rest of Superman #16!
As we saw earlier, there is an Ultima Thule on the planet where Prohecy has trapped and de-powered the Supermen / Superwomen. As you may recall from Multiversity, the Ultima Thule is a space ship created by the Monitors to travel the multiverse made of “frozen music” (heady writer Grant Morrison stuff as you can see).
The Justice League Incarnate is able to locate the Ultima Thule due to its musical beacon – that we see earlier in the issue is irritating Phrophecy.
However, despite locating the Thule, the Supermen and Prphecy, the Justice League INcarnate have no way to travel there as they do not have another Ultima Thule. Enter Red Racer who will build one from the specs at the Orrery, the Justice League Incarnate’s space in the Bleed.
President Superman of the JLI speaks with Red Racer and reminds of the cost to himself for doing this. Time will be the payment; it took the monitors thousands of years to build that last Ultima Thule and yet Red Racer wants to build in minutes. Red Racer understands the risks and…
…makes the ultimate sacrifice to complete his mission of creating a second Ultima Thule ship!
Red Racer’s death scene in 2017 is an homage to Supergirl’s death scene in 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earth’s #7.
The Justice League Incarnate use the ship to confront Prophecy. Their presence, but likely the Ultima Thule, recharges all the Supermen even turning a rabbit back to the super-powered Captain Carrot!
They attack Prophecy en masse.
Prohecy professes to the be the savior of the multiverse and the lone sentinel against a coming threat.
No matter, the Supermen and Superwomen vanquish Prophecy and he disappears.
To be revealed as another prisoner for Mr. Oz along with Doomsday and Red Robin Tim Drake!
This all leads into the coming of the Watchmen in 2017, as many speculate that Mr. Oz is the Watchmen’s Ozymandias, who also plays a big role in the Superman Reborn arc in March 2017 and the Aftermath arc in April 2017!
An entertaining issue, but understanding how the multiverse works and particularly the Ultima Thule can be head ache inducing. There were a few artists on the book so the back part of the book’s art was a bit jarring from the front end. That said, I enjoyed the story and this arc. It was nice to return to the Multiversity playground. 7.5 out of 10.