Superman is dead. RIP Kal-El, the last son of Krypton 1939-2022.
The Man of Steel, aka Clark Kent, meets his rival in Justice League #75 on April 26, along with just about every other major member of the Justice League (Batman, Wonder Woman, and more). ), in a story appropriately if ominously titled “Death of Justice”. League.’
In Superman’s case, this is actually the second time he has died in battle, the first time being 30 years ago in 1992’s ‘Death of Superman’, which offers some thematic inspiration for ‘Death of the Justice League’, marking the anniversary of history.
Also, the villain who first killed Superman, Doomsday, is part of the ‘Dark Army’ of powerful and deadly evil entities killing the Justice League, with only one member (whose identity we won’t reveal here) surviving until he warns. to the rest of Earth’s heroes.
Superman has come back from the dead before, but this is a little different since it’s the entire Justice League that’s dead, and DC is completely canceling the Justice League title with issue #75, with plans to leave it inactive for the time being. That, of course, may leave fans scratching their heads over what will happen to Kal-El in his own comic book titles, Action Comics included.
Here’s what you need to know about how it happened, why it happened, and what happens after Superman’s death.
How does Superman die?
As we said, Superman’s death comes at the hands of the so-called ‘Dark Army’ which has members including Doomsday, who killed Superman once before, as well as Darkseid and many other extremely powerful villains, all under the influence of the evil force. known as the ‘Great Dark’.
The term ‘Great Darkness’ has appeared before in DC lore, but recent stories have defined the concept as a real malevolent force in the DC Universe, with its behind-the-scenes schemes and machinations dating back to 1985. crisis on infinite earths, which rebooted DC’s continuity and remade its Multiverse.
The original ‘Crisis’ has informed many reboots, retcons, and other DC events over the decades since, and the ‘Dark Crisis’ storyline that follows ‘Death of the Justice League’ ties directly into Crisis on Infinite Earths.
In fact, Pariah, the leader of the Dark Army who channels the power of the Great Dark to kill the Justice League, including Superman, originates from Crisis on Infinite Earths and his motivations in ‘Dark Crisis’ relate to trying to rebuild your home. reality that was destroyed in that story.
How will Superman’s death affect the DC Universe?
Justice League #75 marks the end of the current Justice League comic, with ‘Death of the Justice League’ taking the team and title off the table for an undetermined amount of time. But outside of the events of ‘Dark Crisis,’ Superman isn’t technically going anywhere.
DC currently employs a concept known as the ‘Divine Continuum’, a term that encompasses all aspects of DC’s continuity, including the overall omniverse and all stories told about DC characters that don’t necessarily fit with their main stories.
What that means is a bit tricky – we delve into the mechanics of how it works in our explanation of Batman’s death. But the most basic explanation is that while both the events of ‘Dark Crisis’ and the ongoing Superman titles take place in core DC continuity and both count as real and official parts of the mainstream Superman narrative , is considered to take place at different points in time in terms of in-universe chronology.
More specifically, Justice League #75 and the subsequent Dark Crisis take place at some point in the immediate future, even though they were released simultaneously with the ongoing Superman titles. This means that Superman may be dead during ‘Dark Crisis’ a bit in the future, while his adventures continue in his own comics in the ‘present’.
What happens next for Superman?
Interestingly, Superman titles have been key to themes of Kal-El’s absence for a while now, with previous issues of Action Comics and Superman: Son of Kal-El building until Kal-El’s son, Jonathan Kent. , assumed the mantle of Superman and taking his father’s place as protector of Metropolis.
Of course, the story told in those titles is not directly related to ‘Death of the Justice League’ or ‘Dark Crisis’. What’s really going on in Superman’s corner of the DC Universe is a bit different, though it features some of the same ideas in terms of Superman’s absence and replacement.
In Action Comics, Kal-El departed Earth for Warworld, an artificial planet ruled by the villainous despot known as Mongul, who traverses the galaxy bringing violence and conflict to both its own inhabitants and those unlucky enough to end up in it. its orbit. Currently, Kal-El leads his own version of the team, the Authority, to defeat Mongul and free Warworld once and for all, a story that is still unfolding.
Meanwhile, in Superman: Son of Kal-El, Jonathan Kent has stepped out of his father’s shadow by finding his own romantic partner (a journalist, like his mother Lois Lane) and taking up the S-shield as protector of Metropolis. all while he deals with the problems caused by Kal-El’s absence.
The Warworld saga is shaken though, its themes somewhat parallel to the ideas explored in ‘Dark Crisis’, especially the idea of Jonathan Kent having to replace Kal-El. But thanks to the power of comics and storytelling, readers can still follow the adventures of the original Superman even when he’s out of commission elsewhere in the DC Universe.
See more Newsarama coverage of ‘Death of the Justice League’