Superman returns to Earth for a new era

Superman Returns!

In the pages of Action Comics, that is.

While Superman is trapped on a dream-like prison planet in the pages of Dark Crisis in the immediate future of DC continuity, in current continuity in the pages of Action Comics he’s been off-planet battling Mongul in the ‘Warwold Saga’ by writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson for some time now. 

Action Comics #1047 variant cover by Nathan Szerdy

Action Comics #1047 variant cover by Nathan Szerdy (Image credit: DC)

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But Kal-El finally returns to Earth and Metropolis in September, setting up a crossover storyline with Metropolis’ other Superman – his son Jon – through November.

But first things first: Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1, a 56-page one-shot by Johnson and artists Brandon Peterson and Will Conrad, wraps up the extended storyline on August 30 and features the final battle between Superman and Mongul, and between the Authority and Mongul’s Unmade Champions.

The story arc’s finale (in which “empires fall and rise and the fourth world is reborn”) also features the reveal of the hooded stranger haunting the storyline, which according to DC uncovers a “shocking betrayal” that threatens to crush Superman’s rebellion. And the key to Superman getting his powers back (which we think is likely) lies with Natasha and John Henry Irons.

Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1 cover by Steve Beach

Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1 cover by Steve Beach (Image credit: DC)

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“Superman: Warworld Apocalypse is everything we’ve been building to with the Warworld Saga, with the final battle between Superman and Mongul, between the Authority and the Unmade, and the long-awaited reveal of the real mastermind in the shadows,” says Johnson of the special. “There are some frankly shocking moments in this issue, and some huge reveals that will have long-lasting repercussions in the DC Universe.”

Following the special, Superman will then return to Earth in ‘Kal-El Returns,’ a six-part crossover storyline between Johnson’s Action Comics #1047-1049 and writer Tom Taylor’s Superman: Son of Kal-El #16-18. 

Johnson and DC are calling the storyline “nothing less than the beginning of a new era for Superman” introducing new characters to his mythology. 

“After the events of the Warworld Saga, Superman has returned to Earth with new allies but Lex Luthor has his own plans for Metropolis after he sees a great opportunity in the fall of Warworld,” adds the writer. “Plans that involve the return of one of Superman’s most classic villains, Metallo.”

Action Comics #1047 cover by Steve Beach

Action Comics #1047 cover by Steve Beach (Image credit: DC)

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According to DC, in the aftermath of the “Warworld Revolution,” Superman returns to Earth more powerful than he’s ever been (see, told ya he was getting his powers back), which the leveled-up Man of Steel is will need as the aftermath of the ‘Warworld Saga’ also awakens an ancient and powerful enemy that will require the whole Super-Family to face.

Plus, Kal-Clark and Steel join forces to “remake Metropolis as a true City of Tomorrow,” which gets the notice of two of Superman’s most iconic villains.

“What we did for Mongul with the Warworld Saga, we’re doing for Metallo in Kal-El Returns,” adds Johnson. “Metallo might be my favorite Superman villain, and I think he’s often overlooked in lieu of the more god-like characters like Mongul or Darkseid. 

“There’s a really scary, complex, interesting version of him I’ve been wanting to show readers for a long time. His origins, his motivations, and his power set are all overdue for a deep-dive refresh, and we’re ready to give readers a Metallo worthy of Superman. Stay tuned for the strongest and scariest Metallo you’ve ever seen.”

Unsaid by DC is how Jon is going to take to sharing the Superman title and duties of champion of Metropolis with dad, especially with Kal’s plans to remake the city.

The publisher isn’t offering any hints yet, but it’ll be interesting to see if father-and-son can operate under such close quarters or if a move to another fictional DC city, or perhaps New York City where Batman-Jace Fox recently moved is in the making. God knows New York City can use all the superheroes it can get these days.

Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1 will feature a cover by Steve Beach and variant covers by Mario “Fox” Foccillo, Mikel Janín, and Beach. 

September 27’s Action Comics #1047 will be illustrated by an artist to be announced, a backup story by David Lapham, and covers by Beach, Nathan Szerdy, Lucio Parrillo, and a Harley Quinn 30th Anniversary variant cover by Leirix.

Check out variant covers to both Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1 and Action Comics #1047:

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(Image credit: DC)

Image 1 of 5

(Image credit: DC)

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(Image credit: DC)

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(Image credit: DC)

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(Image credit: DC)

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Look for more news about new September DC titles and its full September solicitations later this month. 

Speaking of Mongul, Lex Luthor, and Metallo, they all rank among the best Superman villains (opens in new tab) of all time.

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