Did Superman Just Die in Justice League of America’s Latest Issue?

Thursday, 31 March 2016 - 7:46PM
DC Comics
Justice League
Thursday, 31 March 2016 - 7:46PM
Did Superman Just Die in Justice League of America’s Latest Issue?
The very first arc of Bryan Hitch's run on Justice League of America is beginning to finish up, and it's definitely been one exciting ride.

Geoff Johns has been the author of the main Justice League title since the New 52 reboot back in 2011, and he's done a magnificent job. However, back during the DC YOU initiative last fall, DC began publishing a brand new JLA title with Hitch as the author, and it's proven to be just as engaging and spectacular.

The first arc focused on Rao, the god of Krypton, coming to Earth and converting followers. He was able to work literal miracles, and there was an abundance of first hand evidence that he was indeed the god he said he was. However, over the course of the arc, it's revealed that by making converts, Rao is directly given their personal power and life energy.  

Though it's definitely tricky, the JLA works together to form a plan to defeat Rao once and for all, and in the latest issue, they succeed in stripping him of his powers. In the process, however, Superman is taken out of commission, and on the very last panel, Diana announces "He's dead."

So is Superman really gone for good? Well, it's a comic book, so of course not. That being said, fans should definitely be expecting the New 52 iteration of Supes to actually bite the dust sometime in the very near future. Why?  



During Convergence, the multiverse was reestablished and it was shown that the pre-52 version of Supes had a child with Lois (in the Bat Cave, of all places). At the end of Convergence, they were unable to return to their own universe, and so instead became a part of Earth Prime (the earth that the New 52 continuity is set in).

Fans have loved the fact that this Supes is back, and the legendary Dan Jurgens started a brand new series called Superman: Lois & Clark featuring the pre-52 Superman, his wife Lois, and his son, Jonathan. He's had to hide out and keep his identity a secret, though, because of the repercussions that would surely follow due to there being two Supermen.

Here's the thing: during DC's Rebirth announcement, not one new title was announced that seemed to feature the New 52 version of Supes - you know, the one that lost his powers, his secret identity, and just recently regained his superhuman abilities? And, Jonathan Kent is obviously going to play a huge role in Rebirth, seeing as how he's going to become a duo with Damian Wayne in the new book, Super Sons.

So what does all this mean? The New 52 Superman seems to be on the fast track to the grave. Fans have expressed for the past few years that the new Superman hasn't resonated with them, and that they want pre-52 Supes back. It looks like they're finally getting their wish!

Furthermore, a death was teased during the Rebirth announcement, and Superman is clearly the obvious choice. Add to this the fact that Dan Jurgens, the author of Lois and Clark (that's the one with pre-52 Supes) will be writing Action Comics after Rebirth, and it's almost assured that the Superman of the New 52 era is not going to be around much longer.    

All of that being said, I don't think that this "death" in JLA is the actual death of the New 52 Superman. For one, this book takes place somewhere else in the timeline. Batman is wearing his old costume, and that should be a tell tale sign that the events of JLA actually took place before the New 52 Supes regained his powers (at least according to the current comics timeline, not according to its publication).

Personally, I can't wait to see pre-52 Supes come back. Jurgens' story with him in Lois & Clark is a reminder of what good Superman comics feel like: character driven and heartwarming. It's not that there haven't been any good Superman comics in the New 52 era (Morrison's run on Action and Snyder's Superman: Unchained definitely deserve a mention). Yet this is definitely something that's been missing since the reboot, and Rebirth has promised to fill what's been missing. Let's hope it does just that.
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