SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Superman #38 by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Sergio Davila and Vicente Cifuentes, on sale now.
The multi-title “Super-Sons of Tomorrow” arc enters its penultimate chapter in Superman #38, where its antagonist finds himself bouncing around through Hypertime. That villain, of course, is the Tim Drake of tomorrow, the one-time future Batman who now calls himself Savior.
In his attempt to actually prevent his own future from coming into existence, the ironically-named Savior continues to find himself battling the present-day heroes. Of course, he’s also fighting against the nature of Hypertime itself, which keeps attempting to pull him back into his own time. During his latest journey, which caps off the issue, future Tim bears witness to snippets of critical moments from key points in various timelines. Parts of the final page montage are familiar and iconic moments to readers, some are less so, but they’re all likely important as Rebirth tumbles headlong towards the events of Doomsday Clock.
Crisis After Crisis
Most prominently featured, of course, are the two most memorable moments from DC Comics’ first ever event, Crisis on Infinite Earths. George Pérez’s classic cover image featuring a devastated Superman holding the recently-slain Supergirl is probably the first to be noticed. Immediately next to that is the sequence showing the moment of Barry Allen’s death as he saves what’s left of the original multiverse from the Anti-Monitor.
The original Crisis is only one of the publisher’s many Crisis events to make this all-star patchwork of DC continuity. There’s also a nod to the controversial Identity Crisis, via the pivotal scene of Elongated Man cradling the lifeless body of his wife, Sue Dibny. Then, one of Final Crisis’ most memorable moments is also represented, with Superman again holding a lifeless body, this time seemingly that of Batman. The Dark Knight, of course, wasn’t really dead – and most of the aforementioned characters in the other Crisis stories didn’t stay dead, either.
Zero Hour, Blackest Night, & More
Then there was the event that was put in place to fix everything that Crisis on Infinite Earths didn’t, couldn’t, or shouldn’t have: Zero Hour. That miniseries introduced the recently broken bad Hal Jordan as Parallax, an intro which is also part of the continuity collage. This moment was an eventual precursor to Geoff Johns’ revelation that Parallax was actually a personification of the avatar of fear, leading to it becoming a central figure of the Yellow Lanterns.
Speaking of Hal Jordan, the more recent Blackest Night series is also sampled. Longtime DC readers will recognize Nekron, creator of the black power rings that subsequently resulted in the macabre Black Lanterns – resurrected remains of deceased DC characters. Those aren’t the only villains seen from the Green Lantern mythos, either. The Red Lantern Atrocitus is also seen, who himself bled into the DC Universe in the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps War event.
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