Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spoiler Sunday--Whither Kon-El?!?

WARNING: this post contains SPOILERS for this week's Flash #21 and Action Comics #978. If you haven't read 'em yet, come on back later!!

Poor DC. They never, ever know how to pull the band-aid off quickly.

It's been 11 months since the Rebirth special, and almost everywhere we're still treading water, as if they're waiting for some more cocktail napkin scribblings from Geoff Johns before they dare proceed because they really have no idea what's actually happening in this "story." Even double-publishing their big titles every month, a year later we're no closer to understanding what the hell is going on

Hell, we haven't even had the reveal of who our "villains" are yet, which makes this even more dragged out than the pre-Crisis Monitor cameos. Yes, yes, we know who they are...which makes the whole "gee, who is behind all this" even more frustrating.

At this rate, this whole Rebirth project--whose sole purpose is to (re)(de)(un)boot the fiasco of Flushpoint/nu52--is going to take 3 years. Check back in 2020 to see if I'm wrong.

Still, this last week's comics have made clear that the prime motivation of DC is indeed to largely reinstall the continuity of post-Crisis DC...yet somehow keep the stuff they like about the nu52.

Man, that's going to be messy and awful.

Flash #21, for example, pretty firmly reestablishes that the Justice League was formed in the way we had always known, and that you wasted your time and money reading the Geoff Johns/Jim Lee version:

Oh, and that also told us that Identity Crisis is back in continuity, because who didn't miss that charming tale of rape, brainwashing, jealous ex-spouses walking in people's brains, and heroes no longer being heroic?

But the biggest actual confirmed changes are in Superman's life story, as Action Comics very firmly says that the five year timeline of the nu52 is to be forgotten, and that virtually everything post Byrne-reboot is back as official history. But most (some?) of the nu52 happened, too!

His first meeting with Lois, for example:

Note that this confirms that Kal-El did, at one point, wear the red trunks!! So there's really no reason they can't go back to it...

But note--this also means that the Grant Morrison/young Superman in blue jeans and a home-made cape stories from nu52 Action never happened!! Poor Grant--flushed from continuity again!

And Superman's own memories--and the data crystals at the Fortress of Solitude--confirm that pretty much everything post-Crisis did indeed happen in the current Superman's history:

But he still adopted the terrible nu52 costume at some point...

And all of the nu52 stories happened--except for the ones that didn't, like the dalliance with Wonder Woman, or Clark quitting the Daily Planet to be a blogger, or....well, hold on, we'll have to wait for Geoff Johns to tell us what's what.

Oh, but not everything post-Crisis is back on the table. Take this discussion of the Death Of Superman (which definitely occurred):, two, three...somebody's missing...

Oh, yeah, that guy!!

So, really...Conner Kent/Kon-El Kent, clone created from DNA of both Superman and Lex Luthor, the best incarnation of Superboy, isn't coming back with everyone else??

Others have pointed out, they didn't definitively say he wasn't part of the new history--they just didn't list him. Even though they had plenty of room. Maybe. But dude, they made room to show Space Gladiator Kal-El, so you'd think they squeeze in a guy whose own series lasted 102 issues and was a member of Titans and the Legion, if they wanted to,

And as still others have noted, DC is releasing reprint trades of Superboy's series later this year, and that must mean they have plans for him, right? Sorry, I can't agree there--DC is also releasing reprints of Night Force, and I'll wager they're not coming back. No, DC is in a position where they have to keep releasing reprint collections, so they'll have as many as previous years, or their sales will go down versus previous years and someone will be canned, so everything they can tidy up is being reprinted, whether it's relevant to current plans or not.

It seems that DC is so intent on building up their current Superboy, Jon Kent, that they don't want to reestablish the clone Superboy, despite his being a pretty vital part that era of DC history (Legion! Young Justice! Titans! Ravers! The Superman Family!). So much for Rebirth restoring legacy to the DCU!

Of course, this could all be resolved when Geoff Johns mumbles something in his sleep that the listening device in his quarters passes on to DC as holy writ. But for now, it sure likes DC is restoring post-Crisis continuity, but going out of their way to exclude the best incarnation of Superboy. What a shame.


Siskoid said...

You know, talk of Rebirth almost brought me back to comics. You brought me back to reality.

snell said...

Well, it still could work out for the best. But given the track record of those involved, it will likely remain a slow-motion make-it-up-as-we-go-along mess that will end in yet another (re)(de)(un)boot in the future.

SallyP said...

Since I haven't been reading any DC books except for the Green Lantern Corps, I have misses the news that my beloved continuity is... somewhat... restored. But hey, baby steps!

John Hennings said...

Wasn't Identity Crisis exactly the kind of dark, unheroic, torture porn (to use Mark Waid's description of recent DC) that Rebirth was supposed to be moving us away from?

kikiƂesio said...

Honestly after reading Mr Mxyzptlk storyline I was SURE there are 2 Supermen that were separated from ONE somewhere at the beginning of Post Crisis Earth (something like red-blue). One was left on post-crisis DC and other in New52. It was great idea :) But NO.
Merging Post Crisis Superman and New 52 Superman causes merging of 2 realities????? This is bullcrap. I understand it may cause merging of memories of these two but NOTHING MORE. How it affect reality is still unknown to me. I guess it's time to stop pre-ordering comics.