Just ahead of Comic-Con International in San Diego, the New York Post has unveiled a first look at what's apparently the actual cover for September's Action Comics #1, part of DC Comics' line-wide relaunch.
Drawn by series artist Rags Morales, the cover is obviously different from the one that premiered last month, playing up action -- lowercase "a" -- rather than the iconic imagery of the original Action Comics #1. The art in the Post is small, but it appears as if the numbers of the police cruisers are "19" and "38," the year the series, and Superman, debuted. It's possible that the earlier cover could be used as the variant; however, the solicitation credits that to Jim Lee and Scott Williams.
The newspaper notes what was already fairly clear: that while most of the relaunch titles, including Batman and Green Lantern, "will showcase DC's iconic heroes when they're well into their careers," Action will dwell on the early adventures of the Man of Steel -- during which he wore blue jeans, a T-shirt and a little red cape.
"We felt it was time for the big adventures of a 21st-century Paul Bunyan who fights for the weak and downtrodden against bullies of all kinds, from robot invaders and crime lords to corrupt city officials," writer Grant Morrison says, building on his earlier description of the superhero as "a Bruce Springsteen version of Superman." "The new look reflects his status as a street-level defender of the ordinary man and woman."
Update: DC has released a larger version of Morales' cover, along with additional details about Action Comics and Superman, confirming earlier reports that Clark Kent and Lois Lane aren't married in the New DCU: "Clark Kent is single and living on his own. He has never been married. [...] Lois Lane is dating a colleague at the DAILY PLANET (and his name isn’t Clark Kent) and she has a new position with the paper." Read the rest after the break.
* This Superman is very much an alien, one struggling to adjust to his adopted home. In the series, he must come to terms with both the loss of his home world, as well as the loss of both of his adopted parents. He is more Kal-El from the planet Krypton than Clark Kent from Kansas. He’s a loner trying to find his place in the world.
* The series’ first storyline will explore the origins of Superman’s costume, as it evolves from a look that includes jeans and work boots to a new look: a suit of battle armor that pays tribute to his Kryptonian past.
* His great powers have limits. When the series begins, Superman can leap tall buildings, but his ability to fly is in its infancy.
And in the SUPERMAN ongoing comic book series, by writer George Perez and artist Jesus Merino, will be set in present day continuity and will unleash a series of new challenges for Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent.
* Clark Kent is single and living on his own. He has never been married.
* Lois Lane is dating a colleague at the DAILY PLANET (and his name isn’t Clark Kent) and she has a new position with the paper.
Timeless and modern, classic and contemporary, but younger, brasher and more brooding, this is Superman. The New Man of Tomorrow.