SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Superman” #3, on sale now.
One of Superman’s best-remembered ’90s foes made his full return this week, and you can tell it’s really him by his cool shades.
In the pages of Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Jorge Jimenez’s “Superman” #3, the Kryptonian foe known as the Eradicator made his full return for the first time since the dawn of the New 52. Created by writer Roger Stern and designed by Butch Guice, the character originally appeared in the ’90s era of interconnected Superman stories where he began as a rogue Kryptonian program bent on preserving his home planet’s culture at all costs. The character merged with a clone body of Kal-El following the Death of Superman and played a major role as both anti-hero and villain in the years following the blockbuster “Death of Superman” event.
While a version of the Eradicator appeared in the New 52 era’s “Supergirl” series and continuing in the “SuperDoom” crossover, the new take in this week’s issue appears to be a more pure revival of the original concept. This time out, the Eradicator is the remnant of a program created by General Zod to track down “Kryptonian lawbreakersm” with a particular focus on keeping the planet’s race pure a la Zod’s characterization in the DCEU film series.
After arriving at the Fortress of Solitude once owned by the now dead New 52 Superman, this Eradicator reveals his intention to Clark and Lois — namely, he plans to rewrite the genetic code of young Jon Kent in order to ensure his Kryptonian DNA’s supremacy by essentially eradicating his human half. Superman, naturally, doesn’t take this revelation well, and in the ensuing battle, the android operative seemingly devours Clark’s beloved pup Krypto (who, by the way, has reverted to his classic, floppy-eared look rather than the German Shepherd-esque take introduced in Grant Morrison’s New 52 “Action Comics” run).
Of course, with the Phantom Zone playing a role in the new Eradicator’s powers, and the storyline hinging on Superman’s quest to find a balance between Jon’s Kryptonian side and his Earth heritage, all sorts of questions remain regarding the new character and his horrific act. Can this Eradicator be rehabilitated to a somewhat heroic status like his predecessor was? And if so, could he cough Krypto back up?
Check out “Superman” #3 for the full story.
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