Ever since DC Convergence was released and Action Comics: Truth Started in Action Comics 41 hit the shelves, I was more excited than anything. Not because of a new reboot, or so I thought it was but we’ll get there.
It was was because Convergence signified that everything that has ever happened is canon. Kingdom Come, Infinite Crisis, and my personal favorite Adventures of New Krypton all happened. They illustrated that poignantly in Convergence. But I will cover that in a different article.
As for the New Superman. He’s not as strong or fast. He’s not invincible; in fact, he does not even look bullet proof anymore.
In selections of Truth, including Batman Superman, Superman Wonder Woman, and Action Comics, Superman’s depowered state has already shown excellent reflections of how the people around him accept his condition. Jimmy is still his friend more than ever despite being lied to for years, Wonder Woman not only loves him she vows to protect him in Superman Wonder Woman Issue 21, and Alfred more than ever sees his humanity.
First, there is no way it is permanent. Superman is a god. It is who he is. Wiz from ScrewAttack’s Death Battle said it best: “Superman’s story is not about the fight to become the best, but of an immigrant facing the challenge of home versus heritage.” He much, like Marvel‘s Thor is one of the most powerful beings in their world. He is supposed to be powerful.
He, Diana, Martian Manhunter (to name a few) are modern gods that walk among men. They do the impossible, inspire the best in people, and it is in their rare human moments, like Superman’s inability to fit in as demonstrated in Superman the 1978 movie or Smallville. So it is obvious that they cannot make him human. This is like in the 90s when after Superman comes back from his healing coma from battling Doomsday. He was human for a time, but before fans knew it, he was more powerful than ever.
The other problem, the one that should annoy fans, is that by making Superman weaker in a world of gods that are nearly as powerful as he was shows that the writers cannot write a story without weakening Superman. In this climate, it is all about the next big thing. What is the strongest being out there.
Well, when you get to Superman, it is clear it is Superman. I mean an omniscient, nearly omnipotent being sends Superman back in time to stop a near infinite paradox after Superman punched a guy through time and space. I am not joking; this was a story line. It was not terrible, but when you change something pivotal to Superman, it shows you cannot work with him as he is.
But at what point is he not Superman? When he becomes arrogant from the days of New 52’s Action Comic Issue 1. In the main continuity of Action Comics and Superman, that is who he has been. In fact, in Batman/Superman, Earth One’s World’s Finest win over their older more powerful because of how imperfect the are. That story was good because at the end, it revealed how flawed our iconic heroes were in the primary story line. They were not the heroes the multiverse were going to need, but they could be in the years to come.
But by making him weaker, he no longer is the godly alien that became so iconic over the years. And it is depressing to see DC Comics to be doing that.
For people believing Superman needs to be weaker for them to tell a better story like like Kotaku insinuates. But if you look at Gods and Monsters, Superman is still amazing despite having such a different backstory and different world to occupy. As for comics, there are many where he is powerful but deals with amazing things such as his mortality in All-Star Superman. In Adventures of New Krypton, Superman deals with the idea of family versus heritage; what defines you, what matters one human, and so on. Batman/Superman Cross World to Retracted shows us who these people are. Things about what makes Superman and Batman friends. Were they always destined to be friends or is it a real choice? What makes Batman Batman? Or what about Superman?
In the time to come, I cannot wait for their to be the best kinds of stories with the through and through right and true red and blue SuperDude.