WARNING: This article contains spoilers for July’s “Superman” #25, and the title’s current “Black Dawn” storyline.
The sinister secret lurking in the shadows of Hamilton County, the seemingly bucolic hometown of Clark, Lois and Jonathan Kent, was at least partly revealed in this week’s “Superman” #22. Now, thanks to a new image on the DC Comics website, it appears the other shoe has dropped.
July’s “Superman” #25, the conclusion of the title’s current “Black Dawn” storyline, was solicited without a cover image. However, on Wednesday, DC updated its site with Ryan Sook’s cover, which depicts Superman defeated, and Jonathan Kent (aka Superboy) seated at the side of the victorious Manchester Black.
Introduced by Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke in 2001’s “Action Comics” #775, Manchester Black was the leader of The Elite, a team of violent super-powered vigilantes whose activities brought them into conflict with the Man of Steel. Following his defeat, Black was recruited by President Lex Luthor to lead a new Suicide Squad. He later used his telepathic abilities to reveal Superman’s secret identity and sending dozens of supervillains after the hero and everyone in his life. That conflict ended with Black wiping knowledge of Superman’s secret from the minds of the villains, and then killing himself.
Although Black appeared in DC’s New 52 as a high-ranking executive at S.T.A.R. Labs, this will mark the character’s debut in Rebirth continuity.
Hamilton County, which at first seemed to be a 21st-century stand-in for Smallville, slowly revealed itself to hold many dark mysteries, including the seemingly supernatural Dead Man’s Swamp, and a dairy farm whose milk Batman suspected of preventing Jonathan’s powers from fully developing. While searching for her missing husband and son (to say nothing of Batman and Robin) in this week’s “Superman” #22, Lois discovers her family’s every move has been monitored, with Hamilton and its “kindly” residents part of particularly dark “Truman Show”-type scenario. The Man of Steel has a revelation of his own, as he learns the “abandoned” house at the center of the swamp hides alien technology, and several bodies — including Batman, Robin and Frankenstein — in suspended animation.
Here’s the official synopsis for “Superman” #25, by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke and others:
“BLACK DAWN” part six! The extra-sized finale to “Black Dawn” reveals the villain tearing the Super-Family apart and destroying everything the Man of Steel holds dear!
“Superman” #25, the conclusion of the “Black Dawn” storyline, goes on sale July 21.
(via We Got This Covered)