According to recent speculation, all of the drama surrounding the new de facto Superman, Jonathan Kent, may all be part of a bigger plan by DC to have the fledgling hero replace his father as the standard-bearer via a repeat of The Death of Superman.
As Gamesradar points out, DC looks like they’ve been “telegraphing” this replacement since March’s Superman #29.
In the issue, Clark and Jonathan help seal an energy leak at STAR Labs – evidently opened by Amanda Waller who is trying to test the former’s vulnerabilities – pouring forth from an interdimensional breach.
Soon after, the two soon discover that the energy appears to have weakened Clark while leaving Jonathan unaffected.
Waller and threat assessment go hand-in-glove, so this leak could be an experiment on her part and nothing more. However, it appears to be more complicated than that..
The rub is that Jonathan told his father he learned he was going to die – yet again, I suppose – when he visited the Legion of Super-Heroes in their time. Thinking the Legion’s historical record was referring to the breach they stopped, the crisis is considered averted.
That is, until Mongul and Warworld enter the picture. In Superman & the Authority, he and his newly assembled team head to space to put a stop to the mad warlord once and for all.
They come to blows, of course, and after one pivotal battle, Mongul remarks Kal-El “is dying”, either because he notices something off or simply believes this to placate himself as an inveterate foe.
But when you look at DC’s and Superman and Action Comics writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s tease for the Warworld Saga this is all part of, they really lean into the fact next year is the 30th anniversary of that most famous and fateful story in the Kryptonian’s long history.
For example, DC really can’t get enough of invoking Doomsday in the preview for Action Comics #1036 which kicks off the Warworld Saga.
“[‘The Warworld Saga’] will likely be Superman’s biggest, most challenging battle since he first crossed fists with Doomsday,” they warn. “And it’s one that the future-visiting Jon has warned he won’t survive. (We weren’t kidding about that Doomsday comparison, folks).”
DC considers it the biggest Superman event in decades and Johnson agrees, having said as much from the get-go about how it will change the status quo of the DC Universe.
“It’s no exaggeration to say it will change Superman’s status quo forever and have a lasting impact across the entire DC Universe,” he said of the arc’s announcement in 2020. “Stay tuned, you will NOT want to miss what’s coming.”
Factor in the facts that they’ve changed the Man of Steel’s motto to “For Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow”, Jonathan Kent is Earth’s ‘resident Superman’ while Clark is off-world, and that DC wants elements they can copyright – according to Ethan Van Sciver – it sure looks like they are gearing up for a major shift in the Super status quo, whether they kill Clark off again or not.
Whatever happens is expected to go down during Warworld Saga in 2022.