Comic Legends: Did Superman Almost Get a New ‘S’?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and nineteenth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends.

COMIC LEGEND:

Superman was going to have a new S in “All Star Superman”

STATUS:

True

Many moons ago, reader Renato P. wrote in to ask:

In “All-Star Superman,” I heard a rumor that the “S” insignia was to get a whole new look for the series, but later on they decided to go back to the traditional insignia we all know and the pages where the new “S” on his chest appeared had to be all redrawn. What I don´t know is……when this process took place? is there any issue out with the S they first intended? I can´t seem to find any information on the internet about this….they´re very scarce.

Well, better late than never, Renato!

Here, from the “Wizard: The Magazine” preview for “All Star Superman” #1, are a few different drawings of the new Superman “S” insignia…

And here, from the published comic book, is how the “S” looked like when they “fixed” it…

Here, from a great Frank Quietly interview with Seb Patrick at Den of Geek, is why the change was made and why it was changed back:

The reason behind the simplified insignia was Grant – he’d wanted to simplify the Superman “S” slightly, and asked me to increase the size of the “S” within the shield so that there’d be no other bits of yellow aside from two small “tadpole” shapes. And I daresay if I’d pressed Grant, I would have got some philosophical rant, but I didn’t! So I showed him what I’d come up with and it was exactly the same as he had in his notebook.

The reason it was changed back was because the film was coming out at the time, and I’m not absolutely sure, but I think it was a decision that came from Warner Bros. rather than DC – it was one of those things where a new movie was coming out, and they didn’t want some kind of distraction in the press along the lines of there being a “new” or “changed” Superman in the comics.

There ya go, Renato! Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks to Frank Quitely and Seb Patrick for the information!


Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: Was there nearly a time-traveling season of “Mork and Mindy”?


Check back Sunday for part 3 of this week’s legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

Comic Legends: Did Superman Almost Get a New S?By:

Tags:
all star superman, Comic Book Legends Revealed, csbg


From: http://www.cbr.com/all-star-superman-s-frank-quitely-grant-morrison/

New 52 Superman Returns To DC’s Universe?

NOTE: This article contains SPOILERS for Superman #19

For all the success of the DC Comics Rebirth, there’s one truth impossible to overlook: the boost in sales, readership, and enthusiasm came with a heavy price tag. And chief among the changes leading to the Rebirth and the return of the Post-Crisis Superman was the death of New 52 Superman. The modern incarnation of the character hadn’t been quite as much of a hit as his predecessor, which lead many to view his death as DC giving older fans what they wanted, returning the older Superman and his wife, Lois Lane, and their son, Jonathan Kent. To add evidence to their claim, the New 52 Lois Lane was killed too, after receiving her powers from the dying Superman.

As it turns out, DC has a much larger story in mind for those versions of the characters. One that is tied into the very heart of the Rebirth and its blue, glowing, Watchmen-based architect. The first big twist may have been dropped with when the cover of Action Comics #976 revealed both the New 52 Superman and the one that replaced him taking flight together, but we now know the possible explanation. There are still secrets to be spilled in “Superman: Reborn” but it’s time to hop on the story arc, Super fans – because DC may have just returned the New 52 Superman to the current DC Universe.

Keeping Up With Mxyzptlk

Superman Rebirth Mxyzptlk Explained New 52 Superman Returns To DCs Universe?

We say “may” because the entire story has gotten more and more ludicrous and unpredictable the closer we’ve gotten to answers. Remember that de-powered version of Clark Kent stalking Lois Lane? It turns out that’s been classic Superman enemy Mr. Mxyzptlk the whole time (the fifth dimensional imp known for his trickery and games). Apparently, old Mxy was captured and help captive by the same mysterious ‘Mr. Oz’ who’s been pulling the strings behind the Rebirth universe – kidnapping Tim Drake, and another Doomsday, among others. Believing Superman would rescue him before long, Mxy was forced to finally realize that the Man of Steel wasn’t a friend after all. He managed to blast his way out of Mr. Oz’s prison and back into the world, but could only escape his jailer if he convinced the world – himself included – that he was everyday Clark Kent.

But with Jonathan Kent now in his custody and a bone to pick with Superman, Mxy has taken his game to another level. First, he wipes Lois’s memory of her marriage to Clark Kent, or their son. Next, he plants Jonathan at the very top of a strange, fifth-dimensional skyscraper and challenges Superman to make it through his nonsensical nightmare and retrieve his son. Mxy isn’t volunteering to answer the questions of Superman or the reader, casually referring to the days prior to the death of the New Superman, when the older Superman was shown to be watching from the shadows prepared to lend assistance if it was needed. According to Mxy, the bond between this older and younger man from two (presumed) different dimensions has been misunderstood.

Was the original Superman “split” to make two versions? It’s a new idea for the New 52 and the Rebirth, but it’s just the beginning of weird happenings in Superman #19.

Jonathan Kent Learns The Truth

New 52 Superman Returns Jonathan Kent New 52 Superman Returns To DCs Universe?

It’s Jonathan who makes the actual discovery of the fates of both the Superman and Lois Lane of the New 52. As a brief reminder, neither actually died in a traditional sense. Instead, they erupted in a burst of red energy that reduced them to ashes. So it may not be too shocking when Jonathan – hovering in a state of limbo in Mxypltzk’s game – witnesses two balls of red energy that fly towards him and stop, seeming to communicate. By presenting photos, the balls of energy reveal that they are Clark Kent and Lois Lane… the New 52 versions, not Jonathan’s parents currently seeking him out. Not one to get hung up on the details, Jonathan senses their power, and requests their help in communicating with his parents. And by ‘communicating,’ we mean blasting him out of whatever prison Mxy has left him in so his parents won’t have to fight their way to him alone.

As Superman succeeds in smashing his way through Mxy’s game with the motivation only a child in jeopardy can offer, the imp changes the rules. He’s determined to wipe Superman and Lois’s memory of their son and have the final laugh… but that honor goes to Jonathan. Begging his new friends to help him escape, the detonation of red energy that breaks Jonathan free of Mxy’s labyrinth into full view of his parents also sends the reality itself crumbling. Mxyzptlk is stunned and infuriated, but Jonathan has never been happier. Because he now stands beside his mother and father… possibly a different version, but a reunion of the family, all the same.

New 52 Superman Returns?

New 52 Superman Returns Alive New 52 Superman Returns To DCs Universe?

The issue ends with the New 52 Superman, in full, collared costume returned in all his glory. In one arm he holds Lois Lane, and Jonathan in the other. What makes this shocking reveal – the return of the presumed dead New 52 Superman – so powerful is that it’s not quite clear just what’s occurred. Has the New 52 Superman taken physical form out of his energetic one alongside his Lois Lane? That is, are Jonathan’ parents safely standing out of the panel, brought face to face with the doppelgangers they watched from the shadows in the years since the New 52 relaunch? Or, in a more unexpected twist, has the release of energy brought some essence of those New 52 versions to reshape his own parents?

Jonathan’s quivering, questioning reference to them as his parents confirms that even he isn’t sure just yet, so fans don’t need to obsess over the outcomes. What matters most is that, after months of being presumed dead to make way for a more popular rendition, the New 52 Superman is back… we think. Even if it’s just his essence, his costume, or his willingness to help a boy in need. And that’s a start.

What do you Superman fans think of the bombshell (that was teased without context already)? Are you thrilled with the very idea that the New 52 Superman’s death was never just what it seemed? Or are you suspicious that some other plan or strategy is in play? Let us know your own theories in the comments, and stay tuned as “Superman Reborn” delivers its next twist.

NEXT: DC Reveals Superman’s New Suit

Superman #19 is available now.

On SCREENRANT.com

More in Comics

From: http://screenrant.com/superman-new-52-comic-alive/

The Truth About Superman Is Revealed In ‘Action Comics’ #976

Patrick Gleason / DC Comics
Patrick Gleason John Kalisz / DC Comics

 

If you’ve been following the current “Superman Reborn” crossover, you know that The Man of Tomorrow’s entire world has been turned upside-down and inside-out by the revelations regarding his place in the DC Universe, but there’s still more to come!

Everything comes to a head with some major shocks and surprises in week’s Action Comics #975 by Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh, and we have an exclusive preview of the “Superman Reborn” finale.

At this point in the story, we know that Mr. Mxyzptlk was the Fake Clark Kent, and was responsible for abducting Superman‘s son Jon, but there’s still plenty we don’t know about Superman himself and his link to the previous Superman of this universe. Things get trippy, but if you’re following along for big status-quo changes in DC Rebirth, this is absolutely a can’t-miss issue.

Check out the preview below:

 

AC_976_1
Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh / DC Comics
AC_976_2+3
Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh / DC Comics (Click to enlarge)
AC_976_4
Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh / DC Comics
AC_976_5
Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh / DC Comics
AC_Cv976_open_order_var
Gary Frank Brad Anderson / DC Comics

 

Here’s the full solicitation information:

ACTION COMICS #976
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY
Variant cover by GARY FRANK
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers each. Please see the order form for details.
“SUPERMAN REBORN” finale! As this epic tale wraps up, Superman’s life is drastically changed…and that’s all we are saying for now—except that you won’t want to miss it!
* The covers by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray and the variant covers by Gary Frank for SUPERMAN #18-19 and ACTION COMICS #975-976 will connect to form a single vertical image.
On sale MARCH 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

 

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From: http://comicsalliance.com/action-comics-976-exclusive-preview/

The Truth About Superman Is Revealed In ‘Action Comics’ #976 [Exclusive Preview]

Patrick Gleason / DC Comics
Patrick Gleason John Kalisz / DC Comics

 

If you’ve been following the current “Superman Reborn” crossover, you know that The Man of Tomorrow’s entire world has been turned upside-down and inside-out by the revelations regarding his place in the DC Universe, but there’s still more to come!

Everything comes to a head with some major shocks and surprises in week’s Action Comics #975 by Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh, and we have an exclusive preview of the “Superman Reborn” finale.

At this point in the story, we know that Mr. Mxyzptlk was the Fake Clark Kent, and was responsible for abducting Superman‘s son Jon, but there’s still plenty we don’t know about Superman himself and his link to the previous Superman of this universe. Things get trippy, but if you’re following along for big status-quo changes in DC Rebirth, this is absolutely a can’t-miss issue.

Check out the preview below:

 

AC_976_1
Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh / DC Comics
AC_976_2+3
Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh / DC Comics (Click to enlarge)
AC_976_4
Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh / DC Comics
AC_976_5
Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh / DC Comics
AC_Cv976_open_order_var
Gary Frank Brad Anderson / DC Comics

 

Here’s the full solicitation information:

ACTION COMICS #976
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY
Variant cover by GARY FRANK
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers each. Please see the order form for details.
“SUPERMAN REBORN” finale! As this epic tale wraps up, Superman’s life is drastically changed…and that’s all we are saying for now—except that you won’t want to miss it!
* The covers by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray and the variant covers by Gary Frank for SUPERMAN #18-19 and ACTION COMICS #975-976 will connect to form a single vertical image.
On sale MARCH 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

 

Subscribe to ComicsAlliance on

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From: http://comicsalliance.com/action-comics-976-exclusive-preview/

Superman #19 May Have Just Tipped DC’s Entire Rebirth Hand

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Superman” #19, on sale now, and last week’s “Action Comics” #975.


It’s time for a post-Rebirth rebirth in the penultimate chapter of “Superman Reborn,” as Superman makes a discovery about the nature of his late New 52 counterpart that sheds new light on the whole framework of the current DC Universe.

“Superman” #19, by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, picks up where “Action” #975 left off, with both Clark and Lois on the verge of forgetting their son Jon’s existence thanks to the machinations of Mr. Mxyzptlk, while also incorporating threads from the tie-in issue “Superwoman” #8. But perhaps most intriguing is what the imp from the 5th Dimension has to say about how the New 52 came to be, and this revelation’s significance in a post-“Rebirth” world.

Absent Friends

The first thing to note is that Mr. Oz, the mysterious figure working behind the scenes whom many believe to be Ozymandias from “Watchmen,” does not appear in this issue, save for his place of prominence on the cover… unless he’s secretly Jon Kent! Which would be a pretty wicked twist.

superman-mr-oz

But that’s not to say there aren’t major “Rebirth” revelations to be found within. First, Mxy refers to “tinkering busybodies” messing with time/space, likely the mysterious Mr. Oz, architect of so many clandestine plans in the “Rebirth” universe, and another cosmic manipulator, with most evidence pointing toward Dr. Manhattan of “Watchmen” fame. But Mxyzptlk also refers several times to the creation of the New 52, always using language that implies it was inherently broken, or “fractured.”

This leads Supes to the realization that he was “split in two.” And yes, we are quite literally talking about Superman Red and Superman Blue, N52 being “red energy” which made Lana Lang a Superwoman (energy she just returned to the universe in her own series), and pre-“Flashpoint” Superman being “blue energy,” which Kal-El notes this issue as Mxyzptlk leads him around his own ethereal being.

superman-truth-revealed

A Surprise Return

While Superman fights to rescue Jonathan even as Mxy’s magic is eroding his memory of family life, Jon is greeted by the “red energy,” aka New 52’s Lois and Clark. He recognizes them as not his parents, but like them, and together they team up to deal Mxyzptlk a critical blow.

And when the dust settles, it’s not Jon’s parents who bear him back to the real world, but their New 52 counterparts, re-formed and revitalized at last.

superman-new-52-lois-clark

What It All Means

Much as Lana lamented over in “Superwoman,” Mxyzptlk once again wonders at the seemingly outsized significance of Lois Clark to the grand scheme of things. “No matter what, when, or where, it’s always you two.” This may be a thematic effort on DC’s part to restore Superman’s centrality to its universe; he was the publisher’s foundational superhero, after all, but for quite some time he has not been the “original” in continuity.

superman-lois-and-clark-always

The revelation that Superman was “split in two” may have implications for how we view the rest of the New 52 universe, as well. Was it created by a shaving off of the pre-“Flashpoint” DC Universe? If the “hope and optimism was split,” as Mxy says in a metatextual flourish, what does that say about what comprised the N52? And if this was an experiment by Dr. Manhattan, as has been speculated, what was he hoping to reveal.

Mxyzptlk, like Kadabra in “Titans,” was apparently not involved in the creation of the New 52 universe, but was aware of the schism from the beginning. Kadabra seized the opportunity to erase Wally West, while Mxy was busy being imprisoned by Mr. Oz. Both villains, too, seem to know who’s responsible, and are not currently aligned with the architects’ goals.

“Superman Reborn” seems likely to conclude, when it hits its climax next week in “Action” #976, with the dual versions of Clark Kent and Lois Lane recombined, a unified history overwriting their individual lives; “Superwoman” #8 intimated as much last week. This may also suggest that the same fate awaits all remaining elements of the New 52 and pre-“Flashpoint” universes, though that will necessarily take many forms specific to the characters. “Hope” has already begun leaking into Green Arrow’s life, for example, as he’s rediscovered his love and deep connection to Black Canary, but will he also be reunited with his son Connor Hawke? Or is Connor more akin to Wally West, who had no New 52 counterpart (except, er, for his “cousin”…) to escape oblivion whole?

Another possibility: even though it seems unlikely that the New 52 versions of Superman and Lois will prevail in the end, it is conceivable that Jon could be cut adrift without parents should the universes realign to make Lois and Clark lovers but not yet husband and wife. Jon currently co-stars as Superboy in “Super Sons,” so he’s not going to disappear, but the folks he regards as Mom and Dad could be erased. Let’s hope not — the family relationship has been a shining star of the Superman titles and offered the first meaningful, persistent change in the series in ages. Yes, a more significant and important change than even the clean slate of the New 52 reboot.

Next week’s issue of “Action Comics” represents the culmination of almost a double-shipped year’s worth of Superman stories across two titles, and in addition to restoring Superman’s status as a native of the prime universe, it’s all but certain there will be further revelations about “Rebirth” writ large. Mr. Oz hinted at it early on, and this issue confirmed: Whatever the truth of this new universe, Superman is at its center.

Superman #19 May Have Just Tipped DCs Entire Rebirth HandBy:

Tags:
rebirth, superman


From: http://www.cbr.com/superman-dc-rebirth-spoiled/

CGC 5.5 Superman #1 Sells For Record High – Comicbook.com

Holy Grail alert!  A CGC-graded copy of Superman #1 (1939) has been sold for over half a million dollars, according to online comic consignment website ComicLink.

The book in question sold for a record-high $507,500 and was graded at 5.5 (FN-) by CGC (Certified Guaranty Company), the leading provider of grading services in the comics industry.

Superman #1, the first comic to feature just one superhero, collects Action Comics #1-#4 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.  This copy sold for a price comparable to that of Batman #1 ($567,625) and Wonder Woman #1 ($291,100), the first solo titles featuring the two respective DC powerhouses.

However, the book doesn’t come close to touching any all-time records.  A CGC 8.0 copy of Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman, sold for just north of $1 million in 2010 while a copy of the most popular comic of all time — Action Comics #1 — sold for $3.2 million in 2014.

“I encourage owners of high dollar comic books to get in touch with me in order to get top dollar and realize the highest return on their investment. The market is strong, and collector-investors are clamoring for key and high-grade Golden, Silver and Bronze Age comic books. On the flip side, hobbyists seeking rare, high dollar books like this one may reach out to me for exclusive purchasing opportunities,” said Josh Nathanson, Founder and President of ComicLink in a press release.  “I have assisted top buyers in acquiring the best comic books for their collections since 1996, and applying my market knowledge to help collectors invest strategically is something I still enjoy doing.”

[H/T Bleeding Cool]

From: http://comicbook.com/dc/2017/03/12/superman-sells-for-half-million/

Watch – Mega Comic Book fan changes his middle name to …

A man whose middle name is Superman now holds the world record for the largest collection of memorabilia dedicated to the superhero. The enthusiasts collection currently amounts to nearly 2,000 items.

Marco Zorzin’s collection started seven years ago with some small metal figurines and has expanded over to include posters, clothing, action figures and a 6ft 10? tall statue of Superman.

Marco Zorzin, whose two young daughters are named after characters from Superman comics, started collecting seven years ago with small metal figurines.

He said: “My wife always says it is getting out of hand but she just adds to my collection whenever she goes out and sees anything.

“Most of the collection is in the living room but there are hints of it all through the house.” “It says my middle name is Superman on my driving licence – it’s official, I just thought it would be fun.”

Brazil-born Mr Zorzin moved to the UK in 1996, aged nine, and now lives with his wife Karine and daughters Lana and Lara in Wheathampstead, Herts.

Watch Video Here

From: http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/must-reads/watch-comic-book-mega-fan-marco-zorzin-changes-middle-name-superman/13/03/

CGC 5.5 Superman #1 Sells For Record High

Holy Grail alert!  A CGC-graded copy of Superman #1 (1939) has been sold for over half a million dollars, according to online comic consignment website ComicLink.

The book in question sold for a record-high $507,500 and was graded at 5.5 (FN-) by CGC (Certified Guaranty Company), the leading provider of grading services in the comics industry.

Superman #1, the first comic to feature just one superhero, collects Action Comics #1-#4 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.  This copy sold for a price comparable to that of Batman #1 ($567,625) and Wonder Woman #1 ($291,100), the first solo titles featuring the two respective DC powerhouses.

However, the book doesn’t come close to touching any all-time records.  A CGC 8.0 copy of Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman, sold for just north of $1 million in 2010 while a copy of the most popular comic of all time — Action Comics #1 — sold for $3.2 million in 2014.

“I encourage owners of high dollar comic books to get in touch with me in order to get top dollar and realize the highest return on their investment. The market is strong, and collector-investors are clamoring for key and high-grade Golden, Silver and Bronze Age comic books. On the flip side, hobbyists seeking rare, high dollar books like this one may reach out to me for exclusive purchasing opportunities,” said Josh Nathanson, Founder and President of ComicLink in a press release.  “I have assisted top buyers in acquiring the best comic books for their collections since 1996, and applying my market knowledge to help collectors invest strategically is something I still enjoy doing.”

[H/T Bleeding Cool]

From: http://comicbook.com/dc/2017/03/12/superman-sells-for-half-million/

Rare Comic Books With Superman, Batman Debuts Go To Auction

HARTFORD — By day, Jon Berk is a mild-mannered civil attorney in Connecticut.

But by night (well, really during most of his spare time for the past 45 years) he is known by some as a comic book-collecting super hero.

Berk’s collection of more than 18,000 books and 300 pieces of comic-book art goes on display March 11 at the Metropolis Gallery in New York City. He will then sell it off during an online auction at ComicConnect.com that begins May 15.

“The time is just right to move them along and let someone else experience them,” said Berk, 66.

The collection includes rare copies of the 1938 Action Comics No. 1, in which Superman makes his first appearance; the 1939 book Detective Comics No. 27, which features the first appearance of Batman; rare Spider-Man and Captain America books and several pieces of art by noted comic-book artist Lou Fine.

Vincent Zurzolo, the chief operating officer of ComicConnect and Metropolis Collectibles, said Berk’s collection is one of the most important in the world because of its breadth and the number of rare books dating back to the mid-1930s.

“As I’ve been going through this collection, I’ve seen books for the first time, books I’ve never seen before,” Zurzolo said. “That’s incredible, considering we’re the largest buyer and seller of vintage comic books in the world. Many of these copies are the best known to exist in the world.”

Berk said he expects the collection will sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

But he said his collecting was never about the money or investing.

He said he fell in love with the serial plot lines in the books as a boy. He then began collecting them while in law school at Boston University, enjoying the hunt for a particular rare book, researching the story behind it and documenting what he refers to as a “unique American mythology.”

He said friends were always shocked when he would take the books out of their Mylar sleeves and let them thumb through them.

“What good is a work of art if you never look at it?” he said. “What good is a comic book if you can’t open it up, see how it feels and, yes, smells?”

Up until a month ago, he was still buying the latest Spider-Man comic books (his favorite), just for fun.

“I figured if I was going to have Spider-Man No. 1, I was going to have Spider-Man 700,” he said. “And I will keep some Spider-Man books, some old books, for sentimental reasons.”

From: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-ap-rare-comic-books-20170303-story.html

How [Redacted] Got Mixed Up With MR. OZ & Became CLARK …

Action Comics #975

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Two of the biggest mysteries of DC’s “Rebirth” have been answered in this week’s Action Comics #975 – the identity of the second Clark Kent in the Superman titles, and the identity of one of the prisoners of Mr. Oz’s cells.

Spoilers ahead for this week’s Action Comics #975.

As revealed Tuesday tacitly by DC Comics, Mr. Mxyzptlk is the big bad behind DC’s “Superman Reborn” event, but this week’s Action Comics #975 shows that the story of Mxyzptlk ‘s appearance ties directly in to the mysteries of “Rebirth.”

Mr. Mxyzptlk is the actual identity of the doppelgänger Clark Kent – an extra (and kind of odd) version of mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent who’s been a mystery since he appeared in Action Comics at the beginning of “Rebirth.” Even when Superman scanned this Clark, he appeared to be just what he said – a simply human Clark.

Now readers have learned that human Clark was actually Mr. Mxyzptlk , who had been suffering from a self-imposed amnesia about his true identity. And now that he remembers who he is – and has returned with a vengeance – he’s one of the only characters around in current continuity who is aware of Mr. Oz, his ability to grab people out of the timeline, and his prison that Mxyzptlk describes as “nothing but nothingness.”
 

Doppelgänger Revealed

In the last issue of the “Superman Reborn” crossover Superman #18, an inmate escaped from Mr. Oz’s “off-the-playing-field” prison. Readers were shown other prisoners (Doomsday, Prophecy and Tim Drake) reacting with joy because, as Tim says, “Someone got out!” Inside the escapee’s cell is evidence – carved into the walls – that this prisoner has been waiting for (and expecting) Superman to rescue him.

Meanwhile, in Hamilton (the home of the current-yet-post-Crisis Superman and his family), Jon Kent disappeared after mysterious blue flames engulf him and his house – flames that appeared to be connected to the doppelgänger Clark Kent. This Clark knew all about Superman, his past and even appeared to recognize Krypto – yet he also had the ability to disappear beyond Superman’s ability to see him.

Credit: DC Comics

When Jon disappeared into thin air, Clark and Lois were heartbroken and unable to do anything about it as Superman #18 ended.

This week’s Action Comics #975 is an oversized issue with two stories – one by Dan Jurgens and Doug Mahnke, the other by Paul Dini and Ian Churchill.

The first story starts with Clark and Lois going to the apartment once occupied by the Clark doppelgänger, trying to rescue their son. They discover that this Clark has no belongings, and his kitchen is stocked with only junk food and candy.

Suddenly, doppelgänger Clark appears and is angry, stating that Superman left him “all alone in that cell.” And he begins to shapeshift into different Superman villains, trying to get Superman to figure out who he really is.

Finally, Superman and Lois both figure it out – Mr. Mxyzptlk – and readers see the fan-favorite imp from the Fifth Dimension for the first time in the “Rebirth” era (he was last seen in Grant Morrison’s “New 52” Action Comics run).

Credit: Doug Mahnke (DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics

“Since you didn’t want to play, I thought maybe Super-Junior would,” Mxy says to explain why he kidnapped Jon, promising that the boy is in a “very, very safe place.”

Mr. Mxyzptlk tells Superman that, because he forgot about Mxy, he’ll make sure that Superman forgets about Jon.

“It’ll be as though he never existed,” Mxy says with a smile as he disappears.

Superman is angry, but Lois is confused. “What are we doing in your old apartment?” she says. When Superman grabs her and says “we have to get Jon back,” Lois answers… “Jon who?”
 

Mr. Oz Tie-In

The Dini/Churchill story takes place in the “safe, safe place” where Mxyzptlk has Jon. Readers learn that the post-Crisis Superman had shared stories about Mr. Mxyzptlk with Jon when he was younger.

Credit: DC Comics

The boy tells the imp that he had called Mxyzptlk the name “Ruppletat,” which was his childish way of trying to say “Purple Hat” (as in the man with the purple hat).

Mxyzptlk thinks that nickname is adorable, but then he shares a story of his own – revealing why he’s so angry with Superman.

Mxyzptlk says that, “not long ago, although I’ve kind of lost track of time,” he was coming to Metropolis to play with Superman when – “blammo!” – he was caught in a “transdimensional booby trap” set by a character he just calls “him” (although readers are shown that it is Mr. Oz).

Mxyzptlk is thrown into Oz’s prison, and the “negative space” there “nullified” his power.

Credit: DC Comics

“Your internment here is precautionary,” Oz tells the imp. “It’s not for what you have done, but for what you might do … You personify chaos in the existence of Superman. Events pertaining to the Man of Steel are transpiring on a course I alone have set. There is no room for deviation. No random element must be allowed to derail what has been put into play.”

(This isn’t the first time Oz has indicated that he’s fooling with Superman’s life. Even his language in Superman #32 – his first appearance – indicated that he “taught” “New 52” Superman, and he’s certainly been watching his life closely since, sometimes even meddling in things.)

“Thus I have taken you ‘off the table,'” Oz says, using similiar language he used when he told Tim Drake he was taking him “off the field.” Oz says he intends to release Mxyzptlk “only after my business with Superman is concluded. And perhaps not even then.” (So…the “long game” of which Oz has previously spoken does have a goal?)
 

Why Mxyzptlk’s Mad

Mxyzptlk mentions that people will come looking for him – like Bat-Mite (“that little weirdo in the Batsuit”) and Ms. Gsptlsnz (“my hot girlfriend”) – but Oz says they won’t notice him missing because of the endless nature of time in the Fifth Dimension.

But time isn’t like that on Earth, Mxyzptlky says, and because Oz “snatched” him on “Day 90” (referring to the forced time period between Mxy-Superman encounters), Superman will surely come looking for him.

But Superman didn’t come, and many, many days pass – evidenced by the writing on Mxyzptlk’s cell walls – so long that even he doesn’t know how long he’s been there.

Credit: DC Comics

Mr. Mxyzptlk sadly comes to the realization that Superman “didn’t care” that he disappeared.

“I was part of it from the beginning,” he says. “Well, almost the beginning. The comics, the toys … I was on the cartoon show…”

Jon interrupts the story to question this line of thinking, and through artwork, readers are shown a few Mxyzptlk and Superman iterations – including the round, cartoon version from Superman: The Animated Series (and the square-jawed animated Superman) and even the Lego versions of Supes and Mxyzptlk.

Getting back to the story, Mxyzptlk reveals that, when he came to the conclusion that Superman didn’t care, he blurted out “Kltpzyxm” – the magic word that Superman always tricks Mxy into saying so he’ll be forced back to the Fifth Dimension.

This time, the magic word doesn’t transport Mxyzptlk home, but it does appear to have power behind it – so much power that Mxy uses it to blast through his cell walls and transport himself to Metropolis.

“But the hooded monk was still on my tail, so I ran,” he said.

Then he decided to don a disguise based upon “the guy who refused to help” – Clark Kent. And to make it real enough to sell it to everyone – including Oz – he put “the whammy” on himself and became mindwashed enough to forget who he was.

But the gaps in him memory prompted him to investigate things, and that’s when the sight of the Kent family brought everything back.

“The whole Superman family, all together… without me,” Mxy says jealously.
 

Future “Reborn”

Credit: DC Comics

Mxyzptlk decides to play some games with young Jon, telling him to figure out the one magic word that will take him to his own house. Jon figures out that it’s “Tatelppur,” which is the nickname Ruppletat backwards. He’s right, and he’s sent to his home.

But of course there’s a twist. Although Mxyzptlk said Jon could “go” home, he didn’t say he could “stay” home.

As the issue ends, it’s clear that Mxyzptlk intends to continue playing borderline-cruel games with Jon until his father can figure out how to reach him – with his father appearing to be the only one who remembers him.

If solicitations for future issues are to be believed, Jon will survive this encounter. However, Superman’s life will be “drastically changed” by the end of “Superman Reborn.”

With Mxyzptlk in play, almost anything could happen. He’s already made Jon’s existence in the “Rebirth” era questionable. He could similarly make people forget that Clark Kent is Superman (since, prior to “Rebirth” his secret identity was public knowledge). He could also fool with the reality of Superman, Lois Lane, and Jon in almost any other way.

Credit: DC Comics

But solicitations also indicate that Superman will soon be looking for the entity that “tried to destroy his life” – presumably Oz. So with Mxyzptlk knowledgeable about Oz, and aware that he’s fooling with Superman’s life, it’s fair to guess that Mxyzptlk will tell Superman about Oz’s existence and his manipulation of things. And since Superman has already met Oz – in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 – and remembers what he said about him not being what he seemed, that’s most likely who Superman and the Super-characters are hunting for in the “Superman Reborn Aftermath.”

One other note: If Mxyzptlk has been imprisoned for a long time, could he be the character who was shown way, way back in 2015 during the Geoff Johns/John Romita Jr. run of Superman? In Superman #34 (during the “New 52”), Mr. Oz was shown talking to someone a pair of locked doors. “If I let you out, I’m sure you’d offer an opinion,” he says. Because many fans believe Mr. Oz could be Ozymandias from Watchmen (which has been connected to recent time manipulations in the DCU), many people thought the person behind those prison doors was connected to the Watchmen universe. But now, maybe it was Mr. Mxyzptlk all along?

From: http://www.newsarama.com/33487-superman-spoilers-mr-you-know-who-is-connected-to-mr-you-know-what.html

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