As “Superman: Reborn” came to a close in the pages of “Action Comics” #977, so too did the mysteries surrounding the pre-“Flashpoint” Man of Steel’s New 52 counterpart, as well as the non-powered Clark Kent doppelganger that popped up after DC Rebirth. Now, with the Big Blue Boy Scout whole once more, longtime “Superman” (and current “Action Comics”) writer Dan Jurgens has opened up about how these recent events have reshaped Kal-El’s reality in the post-Rebirth DCU.
Speaking with Newsarama, Jurgens addressed whether or not the events of “Superman: Reborn” have made the Man of Steel an entirely new person, or if he’s simply a blend of old and new.
“In a way, the answer would be, ‘All of the above,'” Jurgens stated. “I think of him as a new person. There are adventures in his past we haven’t seen. Yet we selected some of the best possible aspects of his past to include, selecting from both the “New 52” Superman and pre-Flashpoint Superman, to make everything work. And, yes, to make that work right, we discarded some elements as well.”
Many readers compared Superman’s recent identity crisis to the “Superman Red” and “Superman Blue” story from the ’90s, a tale that similarly saw two distinct versions of the Man of Steel fighting for truth, justice and the American way in the DCU. While Jurgens didn’t comment on the “Red” and “Blue” story, specifically, he did provide a clearer explanation of what happened to Superman leading up to “Reborn.”
“Superman’s past was messed with for a period of time,” Jurgens told Newsarama. “During that time, he was separated in two, living two distinctly different lives as two distinctly different characters. During “Reborn,” those timelines were merged and rebuilt as one. There was essentially one Superman and one Lois. As for how and why his past was altered, that’s a story that will unfold down the road.”
Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind now is whether Superman remembers the minutiae of what’s transpired, as this would surely have a profound effect on how Kal-El carries himself moving forward. According to Jurgens, though, it doesn’t sound like the ghosts of Clark Kents past will haunt Big Blue for long.
“Superman knows that his reality was fractured for a time,” said Jurgens. “He no longer remembers the details or every aspect of it. For him, it’s somewhat like waking from a bad dream. For a brief second or two, you might remember it but the memory fades. All you know is that something has left you with an unsettled feeling.”
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Jurgens, though, is that the merging of the New 52 and pre-“Flashpoint” heroes means we now have a new decisive origin story for Superman in main DCU continuity.
“This is definitive,” Jurgens explained. “By the time people have read Action Comics #977 and #978, they’ll have a much better understanding of Superman and Lois’ history and how Jon fit into it. It’s “classic” at its core but still accommodates the need for our new reality.”
“Action Comics” #978 is available digitally and in-print today.