Blink and you’ll miss a Superman: The Movie nod in the latest issue of Detective Comics.
The story, titled “A Lonely Place of Living,” centers on Tim Drake, the third Robin, who was originally introduced in the storyline “A Lonely Place of Dying.” Here, his death has been faked and he has been taken hostage by the mysterious Mr. Oz, who has been floating around the periphery of the Superman titles for years and whose presence took on a greater urgency following the events of DC Universe: Rebirth.
At the start of the issue Tim is being held in some kind of stasis or captivity device that looks pretty much exactly like what General Zod and the other Phantom Zone criminals were being held in while Jor-El delivered their sentence at the start of Superman: The Movie. A thin, white pair of rings encircle his body, apparently rending Tim unable to escape them, while he is grilled by his captor.
Created for the movie, the Kryptonian stasis cells have been used before in the comics — notably during Geoff Johns and Adam Kubert’s run on Action Comics, co-written by Superman: The Movie‘s Richard Donner.
Soon after, Tim manages to hack his way into the Kryptonian computers holding him in stasis and make an escape — only to find that what he really managed to do was free Mr. Oz from the clutches of…well, more on that later, we suppose.
In any event, Mr. Oz is in fact Jor-El, the father of Superman, which makes his use of Kryptonian technology (and in fact a Kryptonian weapon — more on that in a moment) pretty logical.
It is not entirely clear why Tim Drake was chosen to be taken to Mr. Oz’s prison with the likes of Mr. Mxyzptlk and Doomsday, although it seems Drake is of particular interest to Mr. Oz and his…mysterious?…captor, since not only is Tim in the prison but also a dark, future version of Tim who presents himself as a gun-wielding Batman.
After Jor-El made his escape, Tim reached out for help, reaching his future self and opening all of the cells in the “Batman” cell block.
Moments later, in a scene that leaves some serious questions about how they’ll survive, the pair ended up face to face with another newly freed prisoner of Oz’s prison: the living Kryptonian weapon of mass destruction known as Doomsday.
You can get Detective Comics #965 at your local comic shop now, or pick up a digital copy here.