Every once in a while, comics creators make a change… then regret it! It’s about to happen with Superman and his son!
Fans of the Man of Steel are likely very happy that Superman is back on Earth! This is leading to a serious course change for the hero, apparently reversing what Brian Michael Bendis made happen not that long ago!
Word on the Internet (and I actually buy this “rumor”) is that the world will not remember that Superman revealed his secret identity as Clark Kent a few years back. I honestly wondered out loud if secret identities were a thing of the past, but it looks like DC is about to return Superman’s status quo and soon!
If you don’t want to know what I believe will happen, please skip the next paragraph or so!
Okay, I’ve read all kinds of theories as to just how DC will accomplish this, and the one that I think is most likely has to do with Manchester Black from The Authority (who can make this kind of thing happen) especially since that group has recently resurfaced. He’s going to make Jonathan Kent and his father Clark return to being “secret” identities by influencing the minds of the world.
I don’t mean to diminish this kind of thing when it happens, but it has taken place previously. The event that immediately pops to mind (and I just hinted at it) is when Peter Parker was no longer married to Mary Jane thanks to Mephisto back a decade or two. I also remember when Hal Jordan went from being Green Lantern to Parallax, and that got undone eventually. Hal has still not recovered! Sheesh!
When this course change occurs, I get nervous. I mean, if they do this, what’s to stop them from pulling another “Mephisto” and un-marrying Clark and Lois? Granted, I think this change was a much better one than the identity reveal, but once you start undoing things, it’s tough to stop, I think.
And it is so very confusing to the reader, especially the faithful one who happens to miss the issue where this happens!
Of course, the issue in which this all takes place will be collectible to many, and that will make it hard for most of us to access. The saddest part of it all is that many collectors simply bag and board it, then file the book away, never to even be read by its owner. It would be great if the people who actually wanted to read it could do so! Sheesh!
There are real-life reasons to reverse this reveal. Recent changes at DC’s movie division indicate that Superman is once again high in priority when it comes to making motion pictures and the like. In The CW’s Superman and Lois, Clark not long ago told Lana his secret, but he stopped short of telling the entire world.
I always worry when fans who haven’t read a comic in a long time are suddenly reminded of them and go back to a local comics shop to read after a big-budget film comes out or a friend suggests that person watch the TV show currently on the air. If the world knows Clark is Superman there but that’s not true on the big or little screens, well, that’s tough to reconcile!
When the Supergirl show ended on The CW, the last thing she did was reveal her identity to the world on a TV news program. A lot of people applauded, but it can have dangerous consequences!
In fact, when Clark revealed his ID, Batman was one of those folks who voiced concerns in the comics. He rightly pointed out that you don’t only put those in your immediate circle in danger… you make other who may be several layers away from you have to be much more careful! If Clark is seen talking to Bruce Wayne, well, that’s kind of a give-away that something’s up with that rather than just a reporter interviewing a rich guy.
I personally think it’s better to make things as consistent as possible across the various platforms, and that includes movies, comics, TV, and videogames, just to name a few. A fan should be able to drop in to one without notice and be able to understand what’s going on there!
As I mentioned, this opens up a can of worms that I would rather not have to deal with! DC could change Supergirl back to Matrix (please, no!) or bring Hal Jordan back into prominence (please, yes!), among other things.
I guess Mr. Bendis thought he was doing something akin to when Clark revealed his identity to Lois before they were married decades ago. It was a significant change, but was it one that was good for the character? Not?
Apparently, DC now believes it was not good for Superman in the long run. I agree with that. But enlisting a Mephisto-like course reversal would be the source of ridicule from fans for years, much as it has been regarding Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane.
I keep remembering that Batman was THIS CLOSE to marrying Catwoman in Batman #50, then they turned away from each other and jumped into the night in different directions. In the follow-up mini-series since then, they have tied the knot. I’m for that because it would take the Dark Knight to a place I haven’t seen him go previously. As long as Bruce doesn’t get killed soon after the nuptials, that is!
I also recently watched the Battle of the Super-Sons animated film, and I was reminded who great the Jonathan/Damian friendship was. Since he’s not going to be the lead “Supes” any longer, could we also reverse that course of fast-aging Jonathan so that alliance could be rekindled? I hope so!
Anyway, change is like death in comics—it never seems to last very long! If you are DC or Marvel, you really need to be careful when you make “landmark” decisions like this, especially with your fundamental characters!
What do you think? Do you find significant changes in characters easy or tough to keep up with? Are there changes we should be seeing happen that we haven’t yet? Should we make other course reversals besides this one? Feel free to share your opinions below!