Jon Kent’s growth spurt got its final bit of explanation, just in time for Rogol Zaar to show back up in Superman #10 with General Zod and Jax-Ur behind him.
Superman #10is the latest issue in “The Unity Saga” by writer Brian Michael Bendis with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. For the last few issues, readers have been learning about why Jonathan Kent returned from a trip with his grandfather Jor-El that lasted only a few weeks – but which apparently aged Jon several years.
So, what’s the final explanation for Jon’s growth spurt?
It turns out that the black hole that grabbed Jon and sent the boy back in time was caused by the destruction of the Source Wall.
So…Jon’s aging is a sort of side effect of that darn Source Wall that’s messing up so much of the DCU.
As Jor-El put it, “The wormhole — the black hole — that grabbed us was a time flux generator on top of a tear in the dimensional slide, brought on by an apocalyptic event at the Source Wall.”
After Jon was thrust into the wormhole, he ended up in the past, trapped on the Crime Syndicate’s Earth-3.
Jon spent several years trapped there, most of it as a prisoner of Ultraman, who frequently tortured him. Eventually, Jor-El was able to find out where/when his grandson was trapped in space and time. And in Superman #10, Jor-El rescued him, bringing Jon back to the present day.
Yeah. Pretty messed up stuff … to spend your adolescence being imprisoned and tortured by an alternate version of your father.
But Jon seems to be okey dokey (although he’s not looking forward to facing Damian and telling his friend how much older he is now).
Anyway, by the end of the issue, the now-aged Jon and his dad were taking off on another journey into space, this time going after Rogol Zaar, who is attacking Jor-El with General Zod and Jax-Ur behind him.
Wait, Rogol Zaar and General Zod?
If you’re confused to hear that Rogol Zaar is flying through space with Zod, it’s understandable why.
The last time Superman readers saw Rogol Zaar was in #6, and he was trapped in the Phantom Zone, fighting General Zod.
In that issue, Superman tried to intervene, but he was transported out of the Phantom Zone before he saw the resolution of the fight between Zod and Zaar (although it looked like Zaar was winning).
In this month’s Supergirl #29, Rogol Zaar was shown again, seemingly still in the Phantom Zone but able to send his followers to attempt to retrieve his axe from Supergirl.
(Also over in Supergirl #29, readers got confirmation that Rogol Zaar did indeed destroy Krypton, with some help from an evil lady called Empress Gandelo and a device she stole from Zor-El. At the end of Supergirl #29, the Empress showed up to attack Supergirl.)
So, readers have been told that Rogol Zaar, Zod and Jax were in the Phantom Zone. And the last time they were together, Zod and Rogol Zaar were fighting. But Superman #10 makes it seem as if they’re now united.
When Rogol Zaar attacked Jor-El’s ship, Superboy was on board. (He had just been rescued from Earth-3.)
As the ship was being destroyed, Jor-El used a device to transport Superboy home to present-day Earth so he can be reunited with his mom and dad (as seen over the last few issues).
However, before Superboy was transported away, Jor-El gave Jonathan (and readers) a couple hints about what happened when Jon was gone.
After Jon and Jor-El disappeared into the wormhole, Jor-El spent years searching for his grandson. And because he was so desperate to find the boy, he made some deals that may be endangering him now.
As he told Jon: “You have no idea the lengths and depths I have gone to in search of you! You have no idea what deals I have made. You have no idea…”
Did one of Jor-El’s deals make him vulnerable to a search by Rogol Zaar? Did Jor-El maybe even let these villains out?Or did one of Jor-El’s deals bring him into the Phantom Zone, where Rogol Zaar, Zod and Jax are located?
After Jonathan tells his mom and dad about all the mishaps that brought him to this point, Superman realizes that he needs to go search for Jor-El and Rogol Zaar.
Lucky for him, the suit that Jor-El gave to Superboy seems to have some type of transporter on it. And at the end of Superman #10, Superman grabbed onto his son as the two were transported away, presumably heading toward the current location of Jor-El.
That reunion of Superman and his father isn’t going to be a pleasant one. A few issues ago, Jon told his dad that “Grandpa” was insane and they needed to do something about it. Previous issues have also established that Superman was angry at his father for stealing Jon’s teen years away from him.
But Jor-El might not be the only one facing Superman’s anger. Future solicitations imply Superman will also face other leaders of the galaxy whose former alliance with Rogol Zaar allowed the character to destroy Krypton.
In June, Superman will cross over with the Supergirl title. According to promotional copy for the crossover event, the “House of El” will unite, as Superboy, Supergirl, Superman and Jor-El take on Rogol Zaar, General Zod and an “armada of alien warriors and assassins.”