We're into the second month of DC's 'The New 52.' We've been seeing familiar faces while also seeing some changes made to the characters we've known for years. In the first and second issue of ACTION COMICS, we're seeing Superman earlier in his career.
The SUPERMAN series takes place in the present. There is a gap between the two and we're seeing updates and the evolution of several characters.
In ACTION COMICS we've already seen Lex Luthor and General Sam Lane conspire against Superman with John Corben, John Henry Irons and Lois Lane also playing roles in Superman's life. Superman will go from a brash young hero wearing a t-shirt and jeans into a more brooding Kryptonian armor wearing guardian of Metropolis.
The second issue of SUPERMAN adds more to Superman's character and some of the changes are setting the stage for a new angle to the Superman stories. There will be some minor spoilers if you haven't read SUPERMAN #2.
Superman and General Lane Get Along
General Lane has pretty much always hated Superman. As an Army general, he feels it's his duty to protect mankind from all threats, including alien ones. It made perfect sense that he and Lex Luthor would team up in ACTION COMICS. Lane is untrusting and always has his guard up. There's also the fact that his daughter, Lois, immediately showed interest and affection towards the Kryptonian. Fathers will always be protective of their daughters.
Yet in this issue, he's actually civil with Superman. It might not have been by choice. Lane would likely be one to follow orders but he's also one to bend the rules a little and take command in order to form his own orders. For a man that must hate Superman with all of his fiber, it's curious to see them talking. You have to wonder what occurred in order to make Lane put aside his hatred for him.
Lois Lane No Longer Needs Saving All The Time
Last issue we saw that Lois was getting a promotion. The Daily Planet has merged with The Globe. By accepting the position of Executive Producer of the Nightly News Division and Executive Vice-President of New Media, Lois is no longer a street reporter. That means she won't be going to extreme measures in order to try to get the big story herself and, at the same time, put herself in harm's way which resulted in Superman needed to save her time and time again. If Lois isn't being saved by Superman all the time, will her affection towards him lessen? We saw her 'old friend' Jonathan Carroll pay her a visit last issue. The Lois we knew was completely focused on trying to win Superman's affection until she started falling for 'Clark.'
Speaking of Clark, he and Lois used to be competitors, trying to get the big story. Now that Lois has more responsibilities, they no longer are trying to out do each other. Lois has said they are still friends and things shouldn't change but they are basically in different circles now. Spending less time in the trenches together could mean they won't become more than friends in the future.
Is There a Fortress of Solitude?
We've haven't seen Superman or Clark in Smallville in the 'New 52.' We got a glimpse at his apartment in ACTION COMICS #1. We don't know if he's headed north and built a hidden fortress away from everyone. Here he makes a mention of his 'fortress.' Could this mean that in the time between ACTION COMICS and SUPERMAN he does go out and build one? Or is he referring to the old abandoned printing press seen in JUSTICE LEAGUE #2?
How Does Superman's Hearing Work?
This isn't really a true 'revelation' but many have often wondered how Superman's super-hearing works. We've seen scenes where Superman will calmly float in one area and use his super-hearing to locate a specific person in need of help. If his hearing is so great, how are his eardrums not blown out when he's concentrating and jet plane flies by?
It makes sense that it's something he can control. It would be the same with his vision. He doesn't have his super-vision or x-ray vision "on" all the time.
Somehow as his body, while adapting to the Sun's yellow rays, allows him to have this kind of control over his functions. I've always said that he should have a super-brain as well so it could be that having higher brain function allows for more precise control.
Those were the major revelations in this issue. Definitely more action and surprises than the first issue. We'll have to come back for the third issue to see what other secrets we can learn about Superman.