Leave it to Grant Morrison to continue to bring about little changes for Superman each month in the pages of ACTION COMICS. It was starting to look as if the little tweaks were at an end but five months into DC's "The New 52" and we're still seeing more changes.
Superman's origin is one that has been told several times over the years. There have been updates and changes made by different writers for reasons thought to be for the best. The basic story of the destruction of Krypton and Superman being sent to Earth as an infant has always remained the same. The details surrounding the event is what has varied.
In the pages of ACTION COMICS #5, the focus has shifted to Superman's origin. As with the previous issues, some changes and updates have been made. For now, this will mark the definitive story of where Superman came from and how he arrived on Earth. Be sure to read the excellent issue as there are other details and events that won't be revealed here at this time. (You can read our review here). Be aware that there will be some spoilers below.== TEASER ==
We've seen in the second issue when Superman was in the custody of the government that his cape is pretty much indestructible. This hasn't always been the case. In some tellings the cape was simply part of a costume Martha Kent made for Superman. In others, the cape was made from a baby blanket in Superman's spaceship.
Now the story is Superman was wrapped in it before being sent away from Krypton. Jor-El, Superman's father gave it to him and mentioned the cloak belong to his father. Most likely Superman is unaware he is wearing his grandfather's cape.
The Phantom Zone and Krypto
The Phantom Zone is the ghostly anti-verse Jor-El discovered and was used as a prison for Krypton's super-criminals. As Krypton's destruction began, Jor-El considered escaping there with his wife, Lara, Baby Kal-El and Krypto.
Of course Zod and the others imprisoned in the Phantom Zone were eager for Jor-El and his family to enter so they could rip Lara's mind to shreds as Jor-El was forced to watch. In a surprising move, Zod actually managed to reach through the Zone portal which was supposed to be impossible. Krypto jumped to the rescue, attacking Zod as the portal began to shatter.
Whether or not Krypto was fully transported to the Phantom Zone and survived is something we'll have to wait to find out. There has bee mention of a "ghost dog" in SUPERMAN and here. Keep your fingers crossed for his return.
A Rocket with Room for One
A question brought up before was why the rocket Jor-El built only had room for one? In some origins, there was actually room for both Kal-El and Lara but she chose to stay by her husband's side (which she does mention here).
The rocket was a prototype Jor-El built. It was meant to be an experimental model built by both Jor-El and Lara.
Luckily for Kal-El it was there and he was able to be sent on towards his destiny.
We've seen an alien entity make its presence known on Earth. This species of collectors was thought to be Brainiac. Brainiac has had a couple different origins as well over the years. In "The New 52," Brainiac is a computer A.I. He/it was part of the ship Jor-El and Lara built and was used to guide the ship to a safe planet where he would actually become stronger than the other inhabitants.
The Rocket After the Crash
We saw in the second issue that the rocket was in the possession of the Army. In past stories, when Jonathan and Martha witnessed the ship's landing, they were able to put it in the back of the truck and keep it safely hidden on the farm.
If a spaceship entered Earth's atmosphere and crashed, it wouldn't take the authorities long to race to the scene. That's what happens here. Jonathan and Martha are barely able to take Kal-El safely away before the Army arrives to claim the ship.
In another note, it's also explained what the dead "alien" was seen in the second issue. When it was shown to Superman, he couldn't help but laugh.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in this issue. There are some other revelations involving the Kents, Kryptonite, the Fortress of Solitude and possibly even the future for Superman. Be sure to check out the issue to get up to speed on rest of the revelations.