SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Peter J. Tomasi and Mikel Janin’s “Superman” #51.
The issue opens with a dramatic splash page of Superman’s face as he utters two words: “I’m dying.” As the issue progresses, he explains through his narration that his recent trials — the fire pits of Apokolips, the Kryptonite Chambers at A.R.G.U.S. and his battle with Rao — have taken their toll on him. Together, they make “one complete and pure kill shot.”
The low-key story finds Clark visiting his friends, starting with Lana Lang. He makes her promise to bury him beside his parents in Smallville, before heading off to see Lois Lane. He takes Lois for a spin, and the issue closes with a classic splash of Superman flying over Metropolis with Lois at his side. “I want you to tell the world about the life of Clark Kent and Superman,” he explains.
Despite their past differences, it seems Clark plans to entrust Lois with his life story in his final days. Lois will likely break the story of Superman’s impending death. This may also explain why “New 52’s” Superman hasn’t been included in DC Comics’ “Rebirth” announcements.
Additionally, the issue introduces three mysterious new characters, including Dr. Omen, who appears to be some kind of super spy. She infiltrates a secret facility in the Loess Plateau, Shanxi Province, China and encounters a second shadowy figure in stasis. A third figure — who, according to one ill-fated state trooper, is “a recent parolee out of Shawshank” — appears to use a solar flare following a car crash, just before he calls himself Superman.
“Superman” #51 is now on sale.
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