DC’s Future State will introduce readers to the future of the DC Universe – a future in which the new Superman and Supergirl have killed Brainiac at last. In January, DC Comics will launch one of the boldest initiatives in the publisher’s history. For the next two months, the entire normal line of books will be put on hold, replaced by books that chart the future of the DC Universe.
The Superman books are set in a harsh timeline in which the Man of Steel has been forced to abandon Metropolis and head off into space, apparently blamed for some sort of international (intergalactic?) incident. His son Jonathan Kent will take his place as defender of Metropolis, but the younger Kent will soon learn he has some pretty big shoes to fill. DC Comics has just released a preview for Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1, due to come out on January 5, and it shows Jonathan dealing with the consequences of his actions after he worked with Supergirl to apparently end a threat that had loomed over Earth for decades.
The preview shows the new Superman up against an artificial intelligence called “Brain Cells,” and reveals Superman and Supergirl actually created this being. “We have a bond, don’t we, Jonathan,” Brain Cells queries. “Your first year alone as Superman in this city… served as Brainiac’s last one of ‘traditional life.’ Before Trojan’s scientists created me from the remnants of skin that you had burned from his flesh.” Jonathan can’t help defending himself, insisting he didn’t do the actual burning; that was Kara. He simply helped by holding Brainiac in a head-lock. Check out the cover art and preview pages below:
It’s clear Jonathan Kent is a very different kind of Superman – and not just because he’s taken a tip from The Incredibles and stopped wearing a cape. His career as Superman began with his choosing to work with Supergirl to murder one of his father’s oldest, most dangerous villains. No doubt most people in the cosmos would thank the two Kryptonians for Brainiac’s death, but he’s still crossed a line Clark Kent would be uncomfortable with.
But notice that Jonathan clearly feels uncomfortable with what he’s done. The US military believe Brain Cells is an enemy Superman has been reluctant to deal with, presumably because he has a sense of responsibility for his creation. Brain Cells is clearly attempting to put Jonathon off his game by reminding him of his origin story, of the death of Brainiac, and the killing this new Superman was party to. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this is resolved.
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