The Superman line of DC Comics has seen some sizable shakeups in the last few years. As Clark Kent has been on Warworld up until fairly recently, it fell to his teenage son Jonathan to take the Superman mantle and save the world in his father’s absence. (Yes, Clark’s dead right now, but let’s not pretend we don’t know where that’s going.) With two Supermen on Earth, to say nothing of other heroes using the S-emblem like Conner Kent and Kara Zor-El, what’s DC to do? The answer is to just embrace that family aspect even harder than before.
DC’s Superman-centered panel at New York Comic-Con saw the publisher announce a pair of new Super books, along with a structure change to its flagship Action Comics. Beginning in January, Action issues will feature three stories focused on individual members of the Super-Family, which includes China’s Super-Man Kong Kenan, along with a pair of currently unnamed twins. (You can tell they’re committed to this “family” idea because all the non-Clark Supers have a hoodie or jacket as part of their costume.)
The first story, by current Action writer Philip Kennedy Johnson and artist Rafa Sandoval, will see an imprisoned Lex Luthor conscript Metallo into undermining the Man of Steel’s recent heroics. Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks will handle the second arc about a young Jon Kent getting the hang of his powers on the Kent family farm; the third arc from Leah Williams and Marguerite Sauvage will be a three-part story focused on Power Girl, who’s return is connected to the incoming Lazarus Planet comic event.
Johnson explained that Action’s new three-story format was inspired by the Triangle Era that defined Superman books during the early 90s up to the early 2000s. “My one-word mission statement for Action Comics in 2023 is ‘Super-Family,’” he said. “We’re giving everyone in the House of El their own role and personal journey while still keeping Superman at the forefront.”
Though his dad has returned to Earth, Jon will still be the star of his own solo series. Superman: Son of Kal-El writer Tom Taylor and Clayton Henry (Uncanny X-Men) are teaming on Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent, which will replace Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s Son of Kal-El. The six-issue miniseries will see Jon battle Ultraman, who previously made Jon his prisoner. That same miniseries will also feature Val-Zod, the Superman of Earth-2 previously created by Taylor and Nicola Scott in the Earth-2: World’s End miniseries.
With Clark back in the picture, he’ll be headlining a new main Superman comic by Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Dark Crisis) and Jamal Campbell (Naomi, so many gorgeous variant covers). In addition to old baddies like Parasite and Livewire coming out of the woodwork, Williamson teased that new ones would be showing up to test Clark. But after having spent so long making the DC Universe go to hell, the writer confessed to feeling elated at getting the chance to handle one of the publisher’s most uplifting heroes. “After the darkness of the last year in the DCU, there is no character better suited to lead DC into the light than Superman,” said Williamson. “I’m very excited to take Clark Kent on a fun, pulp style adventure in Metropolis against his greatest villains.”
Superman’s new Family-centric era will begin with Action Comics #1051 on January 24, 2023, followed by Superman in February and Jon Kent in March.
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