If you follow the news, odds are that you’ve already heard about what happened in Action Comics #900, or have already read it. However, if by some chance you’ve managed to stay away from any spoilers this long, I’ll warn you, there are spoilers ahead. This 96-page, ad free spectacular was anchored by two stories squeezed together: The Reign of Doomsday story that has been running through books I didn’t feel like reading, and Paul Cornell’s conclusion to his Lex Luthor The Black Ring story. And I absolutely could not believe what happened in this story. It wasn’t in the Doomsday portion, bur rather in the Black Ring. I mean, this is something so huge, it could potentially change the the life of Superman, nay, the entire DC Universe forever. Hell, I’m shocked that no was out promoting that developments in this issue would change everything forever. But before I get to that development, some background.
For the past 10 issues, Luthor has been gathering up these black spheres in an attempt to wield the power that is contained within them. Long story short, he’s found all of them, gained their power, merged with a being from the Phantom Zone, and has become all-powerful. Of course the first thing he chooses to do with this power is torment Superman. Luthor, being tired of Superman “faking” human emotions, goes through a series of events to break Superman, and make him feel what normal humans feel. The sequences include Superman’s death, Chris Kent being dragged back into the Phantom Zone, and the destruction of New Krypton. Superman, tiring of this waste of power by Luthor, gets angry with him, and thinks of a time and tells Luthor to go to it, because he will anyways. The event is the death of Jonathan Kent. Having grown up in Smallville, Luthor recognizes the Kents, but is shocked to hear Superman call Jonathan “Pa.” Luthor puts two and two together and discovers that Superman is Clark Kent. Yes, Lex Luthor now knows that Superman is Clark Kent. The story goes on with Luthor having the chance to make everything better, because this being from the Phantom Zone’s purpose was to eliminate anything negative. However, if Luthor uses the power for anything negative he’ll lose it. So, of course Luthor still wants to use the power to destroy Superman, so he loses the power and is sucked into some portal.
So in this story, it’s cemented that Luthor doesn’t actually want to help anyone as much as he wants to blame Superman for not allowing him to help anyone. Also, Superman’s arch-enemy knows his secret identity. Pretty big stuff.
Wait, are you saying that this wasn’t the big, news-worthy development that everyone was talking about? Well, what else could it have been. The Damon Lindelof (Lost) story about Jor-El employing someone to figure out how to put the necessary things for life in a little sphere so he may save his son was kind of heartfelt, but nothing really to it. The Paul Dini story about another being of great power being the last of its kind and rescued by Superman was neat, but unimportant. Same thing with Geoff Johns story about Lois finding a Legion flight ring that was left for her in order to invite the Legion back in time in order to have dinner. There’s also this story by David Goyer about how Superman decides to stand in a protest in Iran so no one gets hurt, gets yelled at by the President’s national security advisor, and then informs him that he’s going to tell the U. N. that he’s renouncing his U. S. citizenship because he was tired of having his actions construed as instruments of U. S. policy. There’s also a script and storyboards from Richard Donner that I didn’t bother reading.
Wait, you’re telling me that the Goyer story was the newsmaking story? Why? It’s seems like a pretty good reason to not be attached to a single nation. Superman feels like he needs to be able to act on his own, without his actions raising political issues. He wants to be able to see a wrong and then right it. So what if it’s not “truth, justice, and the American way?” It hasn’t been that way for quite some time. And don’t forget that it hasn’t even been a year since the “American way” was blowing up New Krypton. So, story-wise, this actually does make sense. It’s just getting blown way out of proportion because a lot of people that don’t read Superman saw that America was removed, and decided to be offended without knowing what’s going on with the story. Get a life people.