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Location: Lancashire
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Subj: Re: Action Comics #987 and Wonder Woman Annual #1 *SPOILERS*
Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 at 12:29:33 pm EDT (Viewed 113 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Action Comics #987 and Wonder Woman Annual #1 *SPOILERS*
Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 at 03:48:03 am EDT (Viewed 123 times)

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    It has been my understanding the Superman currently appearing in the books is the pre-Flashpoint version of the character, brought to this universe via some wibbly-wobby-comic-book-science, and having stepped into the shoes of the New 52 Superman who shuffled off to the great beyond. So, the first question is, am I incorrect in that understanding?

That was true until the "Superman: Reborn" arc, but not anymore.

    Second, this story, set in the early days of all the characters, ostensibly features that pre-Flashpoint Superman. So how does that fit with the question above when given a linear timeline, he would not have been operating as Superman when Diana debuted.

At the end of "Superman: Reborn", there was a continuity reboot where history was rewritten. Now the New 52 Superman never existed, this Superman was always the one and only Superman, and their histories have been combined and integrated. The flashbacks in Wonder Woman Annual #1 take place in this new, rewritten timeline.

    Following up from that, who knows there was a Superman, and now a different Superman? And two Loises (Loisi?)? Everyone? Just the Justice League? Select villains? It seems like a pretty big thing to just slip beneath Luthor's radar. What about Lois' family? Does Sam Lane know the Lois Lane trotting around Metropolis isn't "his" daughter?

    (And related to that, in a way, during Johns' run, Superman revealed his identity to Jimmy. And then after I dropped the books, Lois revealed Superman's identity to the world. How has all of that been handled with the "old" Superman taking up the role again?)

The New 52 Superman died, Lex Luthor announced his death to Metropolis, and then the Pre-Flashpoint Superman appeared in Metropolis, much to everyone's surprise. The world knew the Superman they've always known is dead, but now there's a new Superman in town. No one knows who he is or where he came from, but they know he's a different person from the now-deceased Superman.

At the same time, a human version of Clark Kent suddenly turned up in Metropolis. This Clark looks exactly like the Clark everybody knew, but he was fully human, believes he's always been human, and started telling everyone that he was never Superman and the whole thing was a hoax.

Around that time, the New 52 Lois developed superpowers of her own. And then she died. And then the Pre-Flashpoint Lois decided to take over her identity and job at the Daily Planet.

Then "Superman: Reborn" happened, the truth about the human Clark was revealed, and then none of this ever happened.

    And all of this leads me to question the Mr. Oz revelation -- but again, I've not read the issue but I realize this probably wasn't answered there, so consider this rhetorical for now -- but is this pre-Flashpoint Jor-El or New 52 Jor-El?

That hasn't been explained yet.

I should add a little to that - Superman decided to honor the fallen New-52 Superman by taking his place in the world and rejoining the Justice League, the League know he isn't 'their' Superman but generally accept him for what he is. Luthor gradually becomes Suspicious but doesn't have all the pieces to deduce the full truth to who and what this Superman really is.
Come Action Comics #976 Mr Mxyzptlk has taken the family out of time and space and this leads to the reappearance of the deceased New-52 Superman and Lois, who to help defeat the Imp willingly merge their essences with their 'original' selves thereby leading by issues end to some metaphysical act of mutual will and Superman-ness that rewrites reality in a way that merges their histories. So come the next two issues we learn the revised history of Superman, as feeling uneasy and vaguely haunted he takes a trip to his Fortress to re-examine the records there of his life's story to date. It is clear that for these initial two issues he has the faint awareness that his history has been revised, but that feeling gradually vanishes as the new reality takes hold and business calls...

What we know thanks to Action #977 & 978 is that his early years are very much that seen in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Secret Origin series, the key difference being that, as in the early New-52, Ma and Pa Kent died on the night of Clark's Prom. Lex Luthor was Clark's Friend/enemy in Smallville. He first accesses his full powers when he is forced to save Lane from a Tornado (as in Smallville television series). Wearing his classic costume ( with trunks)he first debuts as Superman in Metropolis when forced into action saving Lois from a fall from the Daily Planet helicopter etc, this scene with Lois naming him, along with other things, also strongly implies he was never Superboy. We watch as he proposes to Lois and reveals his secret (taken directly from Superman #50 and Action #66.. err??!), then flash forward to his battle with Doomsday (Superman #75 etc) and his ressurection - we see Coast City destroyed and his take-down of Cyborg-Superman, interestingly Kon-el isn't pictured here however, adding substance to the idea that he debuted much much later and in line with the New-52 timeframe rather than The Death of Superman.
We flash forward to the wedding and afterwards at some point Superman has changed his costume to the armoured look of the New-52, Lois announced her pregnancy and simultaneously a story she was working on leads to her being targeted by a terrorist agency, while this threat is ongoing Jon Kent is born, leading to Superman deciding they need to go underground and well away from Metropolis and public scrutiny. This then is the events seen in the 'Lois & Clark' eight issue series as we see the couple in seclusion and a bearded black suited Superman working in the shadows, avoiding all publicity. By the end of that series Jon is old enough to be more independent and events have overtaken the family, a move closer to Metropolis is taken and Hamilton County lies somewhere on the outskirts of the city....

All in all then this is still the pre-flashpoint Superman, his history adjusted somewhat naturally, but all of the best Superman stories you remember from 1986 onwards are essentially still canon. For the most part at least. Though the fly in the ointment has to be the early deaths of Ma and Pa Kent, which compromises and outright jepordises many a fine story, from those late eighties/early 90s years in particular. A great shame, as it seems so unnecessary given the otherwise fine attention to detail and the obvious love shown of the material from that era.

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