Superman Reborn: The Split

When there is a merge, it usually involves multiples coming together.  In Superman Reborn, we learned there had been a splitting of Superman.  We’re not sure who the big bad, who manipulated the new 52 universe after Flashpoint, could be — that is for stories to come in the next year.  But do we have a clue when a split may have occurred?

Grant Morrison’s new 52 Action Comics.  Issues 0 through 18.  Initially GM was going to move from the past to the present (after the 5 yr gap) after issue 6.  Wisely he remained in the past.  We got a solid Superman mythology despite the impetuousness of young new 52 Superman.

Morrison’s arc dealt with 5th dimensional beings, alternate timelines and realities, events out of kilter with Mars and the color red thrown in.  Most GM fans will tell you that it is better to read the TPB of a Morrison story than individual issues.  Reading all at once makes you see his genius in storytelling and things read early on which didn’t seem like much actually mattered.

Does reading Morrison make you slightly crazy?  Oh yea.  But he writes on many levels and you learn a lot.  And his commentary on real events especially with the new 52 gave us reassurance that WE the readers weren’t the problem.

There were panels in Morrison’s Action that fans have clung to for over 5 years hoping he had given us the key to fix what happened after the 5 year gap.  Morrison’s Action 0-18 and Justice League issues 1-6 occurred in year 0.  (Action started 6 months before Justice League storywise.)  Then there was the five year gap and Justice League 7 and the other #1s started ‘the present’ of the new 52.

When did the splitting of Superman occur?  Take a look at Action 18, Morrison’s last issue.

split Action Comics 18-026

Throughout Action 18, titled Superman’s Last Stand, Superman is fighting the corporate Superman idea (introduced in Superman 9) now SuperDoom, the kryptonite infested criminals from the Phantom Zone including Xa Du, and Lord Vyndyktvx.  After a RED K kiss, we see Lord Vyndyktyvx overseeing variations of Superman mainly from the Silver Age.  Lion head Supes. Ant head Supes.  RED skies abound.  There’s a lot of RED in these panels of the SuperDoom fight even in past issues.  Comatose Mxy is referred to as an off color comedian. There’s blood (RED) on a Superman t-shirt.  Mrs. N, Clark’s landlady & Mxy’s wife, was shot by Nimrod before she could wish her third wish.

This last ‘variation’ shows Superman Red and Superman Blue, originated in the Silver Age.  The red sun no longer is Vyndyktvx’s face. So who made the change?  And what was truly the world’s greatest trick?

Time is jumbled in this 19 issue epic arc including within issues.

Red wish Action Comics 18-026

Unless… ???  Clark quit interrupting.  It’s impolite!

Either Superman could have said the above.  But the Superman that didn’t have  what he HAD was new 52 Superman, Red Superman.  The more impetuous one.

New 52 Superman had been to Mars, the Red Planet.  Interesting since Dr. Manhattan meditates there.

And I’m not sure if this is significant, but the Mars colony received something from Superman.

unified field Action Comics 18-027

Also during Morrison’s run, there was a second death of Superman and Mrs. N’s 2nd wish was to remove the death of Superman.  Last year, we saw new 52 Superman ‘die’.  Coincidence?

Could Mrs. N’s third wish be the split (to keep Superman safe) or the unifying of Superman in the future?

Dan Jurgens has given us our Superman back — clear back in Convergence — and now we have Post Crisis and new 52 merged.  No more collar, spit curl is back, red boots are back.  Clark and Lois are back to being the Kents.  Jonathan, their son, shares a comic book with Damien Wayne called Supersons.

Convergence, merging into a unified whole.

In Morrison’s story, Superman kept telling his opponents, “I have other plans.”  Dan Jurgen plans.  Probably the only creator who could have pulled this off.  He was a large part of Rebirth with Geoff Johns and Dan Didio.

This time the Red and Blue split was different.  Not only was Superman split, but also Lois Lane.  The New 52 proved you can’t have a strong Superman mythology without Lois Lane smack dab in the center of it.  You can’t have a strong, vibrant, successful DC Universe without Clark/Lois/Superman at the helm of it all.

Morrison left us with this final classic panel:

It shows new 52 Superman talking to his Lois Lane on the phone.

see other guy Action Comics 18-029

Split no more.  The Superman mythology is now intact.  Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to change the course of mighty rivers, & able to leap tall buildings in a single bound — Look up in the sky is back!

Let’s get this party started!

 

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March 23, 2017. BaudyBlahBlahBlah.

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