DC Has A New SUPERMAN & LOIS, But REBIRTH Questions Remain...

Action Comics #977
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

In this week's Superman #20, a mailbox makes it clear to readers that the aftermath of the "Superman Reborn" story has changed the history of the married Lois and Clark. They are no longer hiding out from the world - with Clark Kent's secret identity presumably fully restored - and are using the names Clark Kent and Lois Lane Kent.

At the end of March's "Superman Reborn" crossover, which culminated in Action Comics #976, "New 52" Superman and "New 52" Lois Lane were both merged with the post-Crisis Superman and Lois.

The DCU now has one Superman and one Lois Lane, and they have a combination of memories from the "New 52" and before.

They're young, but they're married, and they have a superpowered son, Jonathan Kent.

That fixes the questions that readers have had about the nature of Superman since the beginning of "Rebirth." But there are still several questions about what this means, not the least of which are…
 

Who dated whom?

Credit: DC Comics

During the "New 52," Superman and Lois Lane were not a couple, which gave Lois the freedom to date other people. (In fact, readers - and Clark - were introduced to Lois' lover Jonathan Carroll in early issues of the "New 52.")

Having Superman single also led to a relationship that a lot of fans enjoyed seeing DC explore, as Clark Kent actually spent time dating Wonder Woman in the "New 52."

Now that "Superman Reborn" has combined the "New 52" Clark with the post-Crisis Clark, the new story appears to be that Lois and Clark have been married for years, raising their son and seemingly not dating anyone else.

It's probably safe to guess that most fans couldn't care less if Lois' beau Jonathan Carroll fades into nothingness, but did Wonder Woman and Superman ever date? Does the new timeline allow for their relationship sometime in the past? Or does the fact that Clark and Lois have a child together - a boy who was born many years hence - negate any recent relationship between Diana and Clark?
 

How many Superboys?

As much as fans love the dynamic of daddy Superman and his son Jonathan, the end of the "New 52" and the introduction of Jon as Superboy also sidelined another fan-favorite character, Kon-El.

Before the "New 52," Kon-El was one of the leading characters in Teen Titans and (before that) Young Justice. He was a clone, built from DNA from both Superman and Lex Luthor, who had overcome any Luthor-programmed tendencies toward evil to become a true hero who adopted the name Kent and even spent some time on the Kent farm.

During the "New 52," although Kon's origins changed somewhat, he was still portrayed as a kid who overcame tendencies toward evil to become the type of hero worthy of carrying the "Super" name.

Now that the new Superman remembers much of his past - including, presumably, many of the events involving young Conner Kent - will the character return? If so, how will he fit into the timeline with Jonathan? And will they both carry the name of Superboy? Or will DC save the "Superboy" name for only Jonathan, at least for now?
 

What's Ma and Pa's story?

The deaths of Ma and Pa Kent in the "New 52" universe happened when Clark was still very young, but before that, they had lived longer and been a presence in Clark's life for many years after he left Smallville.

In the montage of images shown in Action Comics #976 to represent the new history of Superman and Lois Lane, there was no indication that Ma and Pa Kent are still alive, but then…there was no image portraying their deaths either. Were they around for Clark and Lois' wedding? Did they know young Jonathan before they died? And more importantly, did they die?

Credit: DC Comics


 

What still happened?

Credit: DC Comics

Of course, the entire "Rebirth" change-over has a lot of fans wondering, what happened and what didn't? As the post-Crisis continuity continues to merge itself with the "New 52" - even officially doing so now in "Superman Reborn" - how does that affect the past of the new DCU?

In the aforementioned montage in Action Comics #976, for example, one panel specifically verifies that "Death of Superman" happened. But if that happened, what about the death of the "New 52" Superman? And if the latter did not happen, then did Lois and Lana ever have powers together?

Readers may never get all the definitive answers - after all, the powers that tore Superman's essence in half (and created the "New 52") are apparently still out there. But the solicitation for next week's Action Comics #977 at least promises that Superman is going to be looking back at his "history." Perhaps next week's issue will be the first step toward readers understanding what the combination of "New 52" and post-Crisis Superman and Lois Lane means.

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