WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Superman #10 from Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Brandon Peterson and Joe Prado, on sale now.
DC left Superman fans on the edge last year when the publisher sent Jon Kent off to explore the cosmos with his grandfather, Jor-El, only to return three weeks later, several years older. It was highly unexpected and left Clark and Lois seeking answers.
Well, in Superman #10, as Jon explains how things got out of control, he finally elaborates on the disaster that befell the House of El on their galactic road trip. Shockingly, we now find out Jon's ageing and eventual return hinges on DC's most recent crisis, the breaking of the Source Wall.
As Jon recalls his adventures in space, it's revealed he had to escape Earth-3's Superwoman, Lois' doppelgänger, who was ticked off her husband, the evil Superman (i.e., Ultraman of the Crime Syndicate), held the boy prisoner as some sort of twisted bonding session. But just as the enraged villainess was about to kill Jon, Jor-El and his Kryptonian drones swooped in to rescue the lad.
Upon returning to their ship, Jor-El reveals that, while three weeks passed on Earth, he lost Jon for 10 years. In fact, Jon's even forgotten how he tried to run away from his grandad, who is beside himself -- not out of anger, but out of relief. It turns out Jor-El had to make shady deals and engage in a ton of incidents he'd rather not speak of to find Jon, and thankfully his final plan was all possible thanks to the destruction of the Source Wall.
Jor-El figured out that, when the Source Wall was deconstructed, it allowed a rift to open in space-time, creating a wormhole which sucked Jon into another dimension. When Jor-El finally understood the calculations of the energy expended from this apocalyptic calamity, at long last he was able to triangulate where Jon was being held. Now we know why Jon thought Jor-El was going insane, as the old man had indeed lost his mind trying to find the kid, fearful of his parents' wrath. He didn't anticipate it would have taken that long, but as time progressed, Jor-El realized the demolition of the wall wasn't just the cause of his woes, it was also the catalyst to a solution.
For the uninitiated, the Source Wall was breached in Justice League: No Justice, but thanks to Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom freeing the creator known as Perpetua, it ended up being completely shattered. This sent a shockwave of energy throughout the DC Universe, which now has us wondering what other wormholes opened up. Seeing as Rogol Zaar, Jax-Ur and Zod finally ended up free -- which inspired Jor-El to teleport Jon home -- it appears the Phantom Zone has been busted wide open, too.
Taking all this into account, Jon's return is way bigger than we thought. We're now seeing that, without a Source Wall, the DCU is exposed in ways we couldn't imagine, and Jor-El might be the only person who knows what repercussions there could be on the space-time continuum.
Well, until Clark and Jon, having journeyed back into space, find Jor-El, all we can do is hope he manages to survive Rogol's incoming onslaught. After all, as much as Jon has changed, it's obvious his grandad still has secrets on the boy's physiology and overall evolution that Lois and the Man of Steel need to protect their family's future.