The Superman Report: Week of November 21

In this edition of the Superman Report, a brand new feature on the Heroic Universe, we’ll be covering all things related to Action Comics #992, which churned out so much news to discuss that there couldn’t have been a better Superman comic to launch this feature. Let’s dig in. 

In Action Comics #992 we find Clark trying to find answers in the wake of Mr. Oz’s/Jor-El’s behavioral and moral destruction. This, of course, is the bookend to Dan Jurgen’s tale that brought back to life Superman’s Kryptonian father, and saw him manipulate humanity into their worst possible behaviors—which featured genocide, starvation and just about every other horrible thing the human race has proved capable of during our history. And he did all this to try and convince Superman that humanity is beyond saving, and that he wanted to take Kal-el, Lois Lane and Superman’s son, Jon, to a mysterious planet where they’d be freed from the constraints of saving humanity. Of course, Superman prevailed in this physical and moral battle and before watching Jor-El get sucked into a portal leading to a larger mystery. 

But all that was in the previous issues of “The Oz Effect.” Now in the aftermath, Clark is searching for answers. How could his father be alive? How could his father have had his soul so darkened? And is Jor-El’s view on humanity ultimately true? At the start of the issue we find Superman at his Fortress interrogating Kelex before giving way to frustration, pounding the ground in anger. 

Enter Batman. 

In some of the best interactions between Clark and Bruce that we’ve had in a while, we find out that old grumpy heart, Bruce Wayne, is legitimately concerned for his friend. He also hints at something much bigger occurring with the larger DC Universe that is effecting their time stream (a callout to the Batman/Flash crossover entitled “The Button”). This is obviously connected to DC’s Rebirth one-shot that started the Rebirth era in which Geoff Johns masterfully places characters from The Watchmen in a puppet-master like position for DC continuity. But we digress.

After saving a boat of refugees from murderous pirates, Superman once again wonders out loud to Lois if humanity is beyond saving. And perhaps more damaging, if he is really who he thought he was. 

Enter Hal Jordan.

Upon receiving a message from Hal, Superman bolts out of Metropolis to Mogo, and meets Hal who has been doing some investigative work for his friend. The work? Uncovering the video of Krypton’s demise. With the help of Tomar-Re, the three heroes watch as Krypton nears explosion. They see Kal’s ship race away from the planet. But before Superman can get any confirmation that Jor-El really did escape as well, the video bugs out. As Hal and Tomar-Re are befuddled, our hero from Krypton views this as confirmation of what Batman told him. Someone is screwing with time. 

Enter the Cosmic Treadmill.

So what does Superman do when he needs answers relating to something in the past? He takes a cue from the Flash and heads to the Justice League Watchtower to use the Cosmic Treadmill. Yes, you heard that right. Superman used the Cosmic Treadmill to time travel. And. It. Worked. 

This is huge on a few fronts. First, Superman is now going back into the past to Krypton to see for himself what happened at the Planet’s doom. Which means he’ll be able to potentially meet several Kryptonian characters in real-time, like his mother and likely father. Second, this confirms what fans have been wondering for decades: is Superman fast enough to tap into the time stream via the Cosmic Treadmill? The answer is yes. 

Enter Booster Gold.

One second after Superman vanishes into the time stream, Booster Gold shows up from the future. It’s the last splash page of the issue but boy is it foretelling. When he realizes he was late, Booster Gold is left to wonder if Superman’s departure is going to further mess with the space-time continuum. 

And that’s where we are folks. Superman is headed to the past like Marty McFly. The Doomsday Clock era of DC Comics has officially begun.

What an issue. 

Written by | Omar Hussain

Omar Hussain serves as the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Heroic Universe.

  • Waldae

    Nicely done!