Among the new information in this week’s DC Comics Previews catalog is more insight about the various Superman titles, and what appears to be the absence of the “New 52” Superman completely.
According to DC’s description for Action Comics, Lex Luthor “beat” Superman and is now intent on replacing him as “protector of Metropolis,” even wearing the “S” symbol as seen in previous artwork.
"Beating Superman? Easy. Replacing him? Now that's something that'll hurt the Man of Steel's legacy," reads DC's description of the series. "Seeing an opening to steal away the Man of Steel's most iconic symbol for himself, Luthor turns himself into a true man of tomorrow."
Series writer Dan Jurgens previously told Newsarama that the post-Crisis version of Superman previously seen in Superman: Lois & Clark with wife and child will be “the” Superman in this series, but that there would be a separate Clark Kent – now possibly, by process of elimination – the former “New 52” Superman.
The post-Crisis Superman will be doing double-duty, as this DC Comics Preview catalog confirms he’ll also be the centerpiece of the twice-monthly Superman title by PatricK Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi. Tomasi says that the series will focus on two things integral to hethe character.
"Superman is going to be facing two things that are incredibly important," said Tomasi. "One, of course, is to try to protect his son Jonathan from the world at large, which all parents feel and feel they need to do when their kid is that age. And then there's education, teaching Jonathan how to adjust to the world around him, how to act in the world around him."
Growing pains are rough for any child, but for Jonathan Kent the powers that come with being the son of Superman add some extra pressure for Lois and Clark.
"With his powers growing and Jonathan coming into his own, it's important to Lois and Clark that he learns how to handle them and learn to deal with them in a right and proper way," said the co-writer. "Of course, nothing ever goes as parents plan."
"Outside forces," Tomasi explained, will be playing havoc with the Super-family's life. The co-writer doesn't disclose who they are, but describe them as "coming from within and without."
Jonathan Kent will also be co-starring in the more light-hearted looking Super Sons with Damien Wayne (who's also leading Teen Titans (link). DC revealed some concept art from that title by series artist Jorge Jimenez.
So just what happened to “New 52” Superman and his powers? It’s unknown, but the spate of powered up superheroes coming with Rebirth could reveal some clues.
Lois Lane’s new-found powers in Superwoman come directly from Superman, as revealed by the catalog.
"Imbued with the powers of Superman, Lois Lane pledges to use her powers to protect Metropolis as the new Superwoman," DC revealed. " The only problem is, Lois' new powers are killing her, and neither she nor her friend and confidant Lana Lang know what to do about it. Will Lois even survive long enough to find out the deadly secret of Ultra-Woman?"
Superwoman isn’t the only one with new powers however; For September’s new Supergirl title, DC describes the heroine as going “from depowered wandering soul to repowered superhero" but doesn't cite a source for those new gifts.
"Supergirl is back and working for the DEO (Department of Extranormal Operations) to defend National City from those who would do it harm!" the series description reads. "As Kara Danvers, average American high school student, Supergirl must balance her life as a superhero with her new life on Earth. But some demons from her Kryptonian past are coming back to haunt her, and Kara willfind herself making the toughest choices of her young life!"
New Super-Man writer Gene Yang previously told Newsarama that his title star also receives the powers of Superman. This DC Comics Previews catalog doesn’t add to that, but does mention that he’s being recruited into a new Chinese superteam with a very familiar name.
"Throughout Chinese history, great figures of tremendous importance built China into a powerhouse of community and industrial strength. So wait'll they get a load of Kenji Kong!" reads the catalog. "When an impulsive act of heroism thrusts the arrogant young Kenji into the limelight of Shanghai, some very important people take notice. The Ministry of Self Reliance is building its very own Justice League of China, and Kenji is primed to become the New Super-Man."