Explanations for the Weaker, Older Superman in Current Comic Books – Superman Homepage

Superman’s Aging: An Explanation of the Elder Kal-El in Recent Comic Books

By James Lantz

With all the recent focus on Jon Kent in the news, it’s easy to forget that his father Clark/Kal-El is still very much alive in his own adventures. Now there are most likely new and established readers who are confused by Clark’s aging on DC comics. An older Kal in titles like Future State: Superman: Worlds of War and Superman and the Authority, while recently Action Strips problems and Batman/Superman: The Authority Special #1 have shown a younger Superman. This is especially confusing when you read the aforementioned special Superman and the Authority #4. Well, super fans, this article will hopefully help you understand the events in Clark Kent’s life that led to his aging and subsequent power outages.

We see a gray-haired Superman for the first time in Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1-2. He looked like his counterpart from the classics of Mark Waid and Alex Ross kingdom come to the point that he even has his S shield. Readers, myself included, wonder how much time had passed between the Brian Michael Bendis Superman and Action Strips run and Superman: Worlds of War. While this is a valid study, discoveries in Action Strips #1036, which we’ll come back to shortly, raise the possibility that there isn’t too much of a gap between that problem and Superman: Worlds of War not at all. To better understand what I mean, let’s look at the chronology of events. We will mainly be looking at most of Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s Superman-related books and Superman and the Authority to make this complete without getting too long. However, if there’s anything I missed in this article, don’t hesitate to comment or send a message through the Superman Homepage Feedback Form.

Worlds of War #2

Warning: There are spoilers ahead. If you haven’t read the comic books mentioned, then don’t go beyond this point in the article.

For those who missed it, Action Strips #1036 revealed that Superman suffered from radiation poisoning since he was injured by alien invaders in Superman #29 and Action Strips 1029‘The Golden age’. In fact, Clark is seen bleeding in that series. Energy from a chasm in space opened by STAR Labs and studied by Amanda Waller affects his Krypton cells. Yet Jon Kent is immune to it. “World of War Comes Up” (Action Strips #1030-1035) and “The One Who Fell” (Superman #30-32) don’t discuss Kal-El’s disease, but I do have a theory about this. We’ll discuss that later.

Moving on the Grant Morrison, Mikel Janin and Friends’ Superman and the Authority mini-series we see a gray-haired Superman with the kingdom come S shield whose power levels are not what they used to be. Like with worlds of war, we are misled into believing that much time has passed. Clark recruits several costumed adventurers – including Manchester Black, Enchantress, Apollo, Midnighter and Nat Irons – to a new team after the Justice League refuses to go to Warworld with him. This ragtag group is a new incarnation of The Authority from Wildstorm. After teaming up, they must team up with Batman to stop a dark multiverse invasion as they prepare for their journey to Warworld in Batman/Superman: The Authority Special, where we see a young and strong Superman.

Superman and The Authority leave for Warworld after helping Batman. Action Strips #1036 reveals that they arrive on Mongul’s planet, and the ruse of a young and powerful Superman is lifted, revealing an old Man of Steel. The magic of the Enchantress and Manchester Black’s mental trickery help Clark trick those around him into believing he’s at full strength. That part was revealed in Action Strips #1036. Here comes the conjecture on my part. Only Lois and Jon knew the truth about the illusion before the first chapter of “The Warworld Saga” ended.

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