WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Action Comics 1000
Don’t worry about Superman dying of old age, since a new comic confirms the immortal Man of Steel living forever into DC’s future. Well, a few billion more years. But it seems that as long as no villain manages to kill him, Superman will even live to see the destruction of planet Earth – taking place long after humanity has left for the stars.
The clarification of whether or not Superman will ever die if remaining in the light of a yellow sun comes as part of Action Comics 1,000. The anniversary issue won’t just be Brian Michael Bendis’s first DC story, but a collection of several stories from a variety of DC creators. That includes current Batman writer Tom King, who gave fans early access to his emotional short story.
A look at Superman’s last day on Earth… and the only loved ones he must leave behind.
Unlike many writers of DC’s main Batman book, Tom King has distinguished his work as surprisingly sentimental, emotional, and evocative. This short story, “Of Tomorrow” keeps that trend alive. It’s not the first time King has written a story about a DC hero’s last day on Earth, and with flawless work from Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, and John Workman, this tale is just as unforgettable.
When the Sun finally expands to burn Earth to a crisp – as scientists predict it will billions of years from now – Superman is there. Not to push the planet to safety, or to mourn the loss of another planet he called home. He’s there to visit his parents’ grave as he has been for, according to him, five billion years. As some fans have speculated before, King posits that as one big, super efficient solar battery, Superman simply won’t age.
Fortunately, he doesn’t live forever by himself. As he “updates” Ma and Pa at their graveside, his and Lois’s son Jonathan has grown into a man he’s proud of. And since no hero deserves a happy ending like Superman, Clark also tell his parents that Lois remains hard at work running the “Universal Info Network” (is anyone really surprised?). Where fans can assume Superman and Jonathan’s powers might render them impervious to aging, Clark explains that Lois is “sick of the Eternity Formula. It tastes like grape… she’s tired of grape.”
As the story draws to a close, Superman saying his final words to the remains of his parents, Planet Earth cracking and exploding all around him, he finds peace. Whether or not their spirits are present, ever-present, or non-existent, the Earth’s impending destruction means they’ll soon be returned to the universe that made them. A touching end to a heartfelt story – and one that fans would be wise to not overthink.
The questions are easy to raise. Did Superman’s and Jonathan use an Eternity Formula too? Are their bodies immortal? Did humanity perish and leave Superman’s family to join an alien civilization? Did humanity spread to the stars just one billion years into the future, as Superman may imply?
Questions that King’s story never addresses, and never needs to address to get his message across. That no matter what, nothing can really kill Superman. He will go on protecting the universe for billions of years, and raise a son to do the same beside him. And as proof that Lois and Clark’s is a love story for the ages, the intrepid reporter would find a way to stay at Superman and her son’s side. While delivering the news to an entire universe.
And as this story shows, Superman will go on missing his parents every day into infinity – until they find rest, in this world if not the next. Plenty of comic book fans will be picking up Action Comics 1000 to see what’s next in Superman’s story. But DC was right to show off this look at the ending of Superman’s life, love, and legacy… one that will clearly never come.
C’mon – he’s Superman.
Action Comics #1000 releases April 18, 2018 from DC Comics.
Source: DC Comics