Nearly three years ago, Clark Kent, Daily Planet reporter, disappeared from the Superman books. Superman went off to New Krypton relinquishing any of his Earthly ties to live with 100,000 other Kryptonians. No longer Clark Kent or Superman, but Kal-El. No longer reporter, husband or Metropolis’ superhero.
Lana Lang and now Kara Lang have the Daily Planet featured in the Supergirl comics. Superman and Clark Kent were removed from Action Comics for a year so Lex Luthor with a Lois Lane cyborg and other villains could have their ‘due.’
After War of the Supermen with tens of thousands of Kryptonians dead, Superman decides to ‘walk the Earth’ to reconnect to humans. Not go back to the life he left, but to wander around mind controlled by some mysterious entity. Again, his reporter persona was seen in a single panel during this year long arc.
What on Earth is happening to the greatest superhero of all time? He’s being torn apart by lawsuits. Not unusual for him to have those looming. The Siegel and Shuster families have fought with DC and Warner Brothers for decades. However, within the past couple of years, the Families have been granted rights to certain aspects of the Superman character and his history as portrayed in the first six issues of Action comics. Deadline for DC and Warners = 2013. That’s when they share rights with the Families.
The Families have no means to write stories and distribute them unless they hold their rights up for auction. A split Superman story is a diminished Superman story. He is no longer the character that has been revered for over 7.5 decades. Bottom line: DC & Warners are going to have to get the checkbook out and settle it or everyone loses. In 22* years, it all goes to public domain, if there’s anything left.
In the meantime . . . we’re possibly getting a cloned Superman in Flashpoint. According to World of Flashpoint, Kal-El’s ship crashed into Metropolis destroying it. We know there is a Superman arc in this series coming out this month, titled Flashpoint: Project Superman. Sounds like good ole cloning. Lois Lane has her own arc as well. Lois Lane and the Resistance also premieres this month. This character is not only a journalist but a freedom fighter who has gone behind enemy lines to gain valuable insight into what the Amazons are doing. Both characters are not what you know that was started in Action #1.
Is Flashpoint our Crisis on Infinite Earths? Should it be titled Crisis on Infinite Worlds/Dimensions?
In September, Flashpoint ends and the rebooting of 52 comics takes place. Action and Detective Comics will go to #1 along with the rest. Insanity since both books are close to achieving #1000 status in a short period of time.
But what about the Superman story? Will we ever see Clark Kent again? I’m guessing, probably not since he is one of the elements that the Families have the rights to. What we may end up with Superman #1 is the cloned Superman from Flashpoint. Different background and history. Lois Lane may play a part in his story since she may be the only one to get him pointed in the right direction. The Kents would not have existed in his story.
How long will these new story arcs for ‘new’ readers last? I give it a year, maybe two depending on what happens at the negotiating table of DC/Warners and the Siegel/Shusters. The appearance of this ‘other world’ Superman is just the beginning if the two parties cannot negotiate a solution to allow Superman, the original, to live and thrive in the neverending story.
*95 years from publication for works published 1923–1963 (Copyrights prior to 1923 have expired.)