Considering the depth and breadth of his continuity – both personal and among his extended family – no one required a cleaner slate more than the Man of Steel. Every hero had their supporting cast and in-canon errata, but none so much as Superman, who boasted a bottle city, a quartet of super-pets, a parade of robot duplicates, identical uncles, cousins, emergency squadroneers, a planet of imperfect duplicates, a nightmare dimension of villains, one of the vastest rogues galleries in comics history, an entirely distinct teenage continuity and roughly half a dozen super-teams which counted him among their members – if not founder and inspiration. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Naturally, DC wanted to honor their flagship hero of half-a-century and to say farewell to his many incarnations and spin-offs. Here’s how they did it:
The original Superman of 1938 – with his beloved wife Lois Lane – walks into a luminous, heavenly paradise, arm-in-arm with the rescued Superboy of a vanished universe and the legacy of Luthor, reconciled at last.
Meanwhile, the Superboy of the Legion of Super-Heroes sacrifices his life to ensure that the future which his legacy inspired survives.
In no less a tangible sacrifice, Supergirl buys the heroes of five worlds all-too-precious time, at a great personal cost. She is mourned universally.
Lastly, the Silver Age Superman mythos is put to bed amidst the tears and tragedy with a smile, a wink and a happy ending.
Now let’s look at how modern-day DC is putting the Superman legacy to bed in anticipation of their September relaunch:
Superboy is a mass-murdering madman dressed like a sky-blue Ford Fairlane with gold piping.
The Superman of 1938 is an emotion-manipulating zombie who rips out the hearts of the living (as does his wife, by the way).
And would somebody just rape Supergirl already??
COMICS. They never needed a Dan Didio.