Action Comics #2 Reveals Five More Big Ways Superman has Changed in DC's 'The New 52'

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Posted by G-Man (35031 posts) - - Show Bio

With Action Comics #1, we looked at the five biggest changes DC's 'The New 52' brought to Superman. We were introduced to a slightly different Superman as we got a glimpse at this new universe. It felt like that would be the end of it but issue #2 continues to bring in some changes in Superman's life.

In the first issue, the younger and brasher Superman showed he was willing to seek out the bad guys rather than wait around for them to do a foul act. After this demonstration, Lex Luthor and General Lane set their plan into motion. Knowing there was something different with Superman, they were determined to put him to the ultimate test. Issue #1 ended with Superman essentially being defeated as a result of saving the lives of hundreds of innocent Metropolis civilians.

The second issue of Action Comics takes us away from the heart of Metropolis and gives us an introduction to several characters that are destined to play larger roles in the Superman Universe. As before, we will look at these differences and there will be some minor spoilers below. Be sure to read the excellent issue (the review can be seen here).

== TEASER ==

Lex Luthor Hates Superman From the Beginning

We've seen different versions of Lex Luthor over the years. Originally he was a squat red-headed scientist that wasn't even fully named in his first appearance. The mad scientist angle eventually gave away to the slightly slimmer ruthless and power hungry businessman courtesy of John Byrne. Later, Lex slimmed down even more as he developed a hatred for the Man of Steel.

In Action Comics, he is working with the government. He is in a high position and is able to bark out orders and countermand the advice of the experts as Superman is examined. Lex has always been envious of Superman's power. Here, it's not entirely clear what his vendetta is against the hero. He wants to know what he's made of but it's evident that there is more to it that he's letting on. As is usual with Lex, his motives go beyond what he lets on and who he might align himself with will make an interesting story.

Dr. John Henry Irons Works For the Government

After almost losing his life, Irons built a suit and became the armored hero known as Steel. The man we see working with the U.S. Army doesn't have the same build as the man we know. Despite working with the likes of General Lane and Lex Luthor, there is a redeeming quality to the man. It remains to be seen what his future will hold and when, if ever, will he align himself with Superman.

The fact that Irons is involved with the government at this point does open the possibility of him constructing the Steel suit sooner rather than later. We'll have to pay close attention to see what he does after this issue.

Is John Corben Fated to Become Metallo?

Corbet is an obedient soldier here. There's not a clear indication whether he's good or evil. In the Golden Age he was a scientist with a powered suit of armor. In the Silver Age he was a journalist and a thief who almost died in a car crash. That's not the case here.

Corbet also shares a past with Lois as well. While details aren't given, you get the impression that the two have spent some time together apart from the moments Lois tries to talk to her father on the Army base. Could it be that a past relationship and Lois' current fascination with Superman will drive Corbet into becoming one of Superman's deadly villains?

Superman Has New Powers?

While Superman isn't as powerful as we're used to or as he's seen in 'Superman,' he has been shown having some different abilities. One difference was revealed when the scientists attempted to get an x-ray of Superman.

We saw last issue that Superman can get a little battered. He isn't as invulnerable as he was before. He's taking a beating from the scientist but when they attempt to get a blood sample, one technician mentions seeing tissue damage repair itself in front of him.

As for his eyes, Superman still has x-ray vision but mentions they absorb radiation but also 'emit all kinds.' This includes emitting microwaves. This comes in handy here, and not in a cooking an enchilada sort of way.

Superman's...Accessories

One thing that has varied over the years is where Superman got his uniform. The common explanation was it was in part from Krypton (a baby blanket found in his ship) as well as being made by Martha Kent. There's also been the question of why his suit hardly ever got ripped up. It was mentioned before that Superman had some sort of force field surrounding his body, so close that it protected his clothes but not his cape. In 'The New 52,' Superman won't have to worry about replacing his cape. As you can see above, it's indestructible.

There is mention of another item belonging to Superman. I won't spoil that but there has been a redesign and more information is given in the commentary at the end of the issue. Seeing the changes is pretty cool.

That wraps up the major changes seen in Action Comics #2. It's becoming clear that we haven't seen the end to the changes. There is bound to be more on the way. We'll have to wait for issue #3 to see what else is coming.

Staff
#1 Posted by The Fastest Man Alive (77 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool, I noticed these in the comic I thought that they were different to the old Superman :)

#2 Posted by ahgunsillyo (113 posts) - - Show Bio

It'll be weird now that artists can't draw a "battle-ravaged" Superman when he's in a big battle, what with his new-fangled indestructible Kryptonian armor and whatnot.

#3 Posted by webling (143 posts) - - Show Bio
#4 Posted by Dernman (15160 posts) - - Show Bio
#5 Posted by Deadcool (6811 posts) - - Show Bio

I like this new Superman =)

#6 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio
#7 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio
@ahgunsillyo said:

It'll be weird now that artists can't draw a "battle-ravaged" Superman when he's in a big battle, what with his new-fangled indestructible Kryptonian armor and whatnot.

His face can still be ravaged.
#8 Posted by Pokeysteve (8331 posts) - - Show Bio

It's weird how I come here to see how Superman has changed since I haven't read Action Comics but at the same time want to thank you for holding back spoilers. This article spoiled only what was expected and I like that. Nice job G-Man.

Online
#9 Posted by Jamiracles (351 posts) - - Show Bio

The only bad thing about the New 52 in my eyes is that I love Marvel and I dont know how the hell they're going to keep up with DC right now.

#10 Posted by simian (24 posts) - - Show Bio

Decent issue but the artwork in the issue was all over the place with the image of Lois above serving as a good sample. She looks like angry fat kid that was just told they couldn't have another desert.

Also

#11 Posted by iLLituracy (13537 posts) - - Show Bio
@ahgunsillyo said:

It'll be weird now that artists can't draw a "battle-ravaged" Superman when he's in a big battle, what with his new-fangled indestructible Kryptonian armor and whatnot.

Pretty sure its only his cape that's indestructible.
#12 Posted by GrandSymbiote94 (11663 posts) - - Show Bio

It looks like this isn't the same boy scout were all used...
 
 
I LIKE IT!!!!! :)

#13 Posted by ltbrd (562 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah the way in which Lois and a few other characters were drawn was horrible, especially compared to the great images in the last issues. 
 
You have to love how Morrison is making no qualms about showcasing Lex Luthor as a straight up bigot when it comes to non-human life. Its been a part of the character for some time now but its always been that secondary traits of Lex, not something that is expressed in the open too much. Here its right out in the front.
 
Just wanted to comment on some of the "changes":  
 
1. John Henry Irons worked for the government before. He was originally an Army weapons engineer.
 
2. Superman's eyes emitting microwaves is not new. During the Golden Age when Superman was being given more and more powers it was explained that all of his vision powers come from him emitting radiation but at different frequencies and levels. This technically meant there was no difference between his heat vision and x-ray vision except for the intensity of the "clean" radiation he was putting out. Throughout Superman's history he's also been able to see in almost every spectrum of light. So this isn't really a change. 
 
3. Superman has always been written to heal very quickly even from injuries like dislocated shoulders and such. But it wasn't until the Smallville series that he was seen healing in a matter of seconds (though thankfully the comic book is not going with the flash of light closing the wound approach). I would say the difference in this Superman is not needing to be in direct sunlight to do so. 
 
4. Corbin had about the same motivation for taking on Superman in Superman: Secret Origins as he does here. I don't really think it works though because unlike Secret Origins where Lois had been around Corbin alot we get the impression they haven't seen each other for years in this issue. So going to battle with Superman over the affection of someone you haven't seen for years is a little bit of a stretch especially when General Lane hadn't ordered him to do so yet. 
 
5. His cape has been indestructible almost his entire publishing time. It was only for a few years following the 1986 reboot that it wasn't written as indestructible. Both Birthright and Secret Origins use the idea of the cape being his baby blanket. I'm just interested to see why the cape and ship are indestructible. Obviously its not based on his bio-electric aura as his clothes are seen torn and there have been times when it was stated Kryptonian materials absorb solar radiation as well. This, IMHO, has always been a bad explanation and hopefully they go more with the one used in Superman: Earth One in which Kryptonian metals and other materials are just amazingly well constructed to the point where only other similar metals and such could affect them. 
 
 
Really Superman hasn't changed that much. He's simply become an amalgram of his past incarnations. I'm interested to see if he still has a bio-electric field because that has been given as both a reason for his flight and why extremely heavy and large objects don't fall apart when he's holding them. For instance if a building is falling down and he's trying to push it back up with his hands on the glass, the glass doesn't break because its in contact with his bio-electric aura and sort of being "wrapped" by it. Of course this hasn't been a consistent explanation throughout the years (when he carries people in his arms for example he always has to be careful of his speed) but I think establishing it as the component of his ability to fly should be retained and the fact he doesn't have it yet is the reason he can't fly.
#14 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice

#15 Posted by MutieLover (102 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltbrd: Good job, very thorough response!

#16 Posted by StrikeHavok (15 posts) - - Show Bio

@iLLituracy said:

@ahgunsillyo said:

It'll be weird now that artists can't draw a "battle-ravaged" Superman when he's in a big battle, what with his new-fangled indestructible Kryptonian armor and whatnot.

Pretty sure its only his cape that's indestructible.

I bet the Kryptonian spaceship will have something to do with the suit creation and make it indestructible.

#17 Posted by Hoboseid (1022 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought the comic was kinda lame, the story could have been better written and Lois looked like crap

#18 Posted by movieartman (1265 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jamiracles
ULTRON WARS 
thats how 
fans of marvel i been begging for years for ultron to make is final big skynet type take over and its coming very soon and will be drawn by badmofo Brian Hitch so yeah  
the last few marvel events have been mixed but i garentte this will be one of he big sucsesses
#19 Posted by difficlus (10679 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltbrd said:

Yeah the way in which Lois and a few other characters were drawn was horrible, especially compared to the great images in the last issues. You have to love how Morrison is making no qualms about showcasing Lex Luthor as a straight up bigot when it comes to non-human life. Its been a part of the character for some time now but its always been that secondary traits of Lex, not something that is expressed in the open too much. Here its right out in the front. Just wanted to comment on some of the "changes": 1. John Henry Irons worked for the government before. He was originally an Army weapons engineer. 2. Superman's eyes emitting microwaves is not new. During the Golden Age when Superman was being given more and more powers it was explained that all of his vision powers come from him emitting radiation but at different frequencies and levels. This technically meant there was no difference between his heat vision and x-ray vision except for the intensity of the "clean" radiation he was putting out. Throughout Superman's history he's also been able to see in almost every spectrum of light. So this isn't really a change. 3. Superman has always been written to heal very quickly even from injuries like dislocated shoulders and such. But it wasn't until the Smallville series that he was seen healing in a matter of seconds (though thankfully the comic book is not going with the flash of light closing the wound approach). I would say the difference in this Superman is not needing to be in direct sunlight to do so. 4. Corbin had about the same motivation for taking on Superman in Superman: Secret Origins as he does here. I don't really think it works though because unlike Secret Origins where Lois had been around Corbin alot we get the impression they haven't seen each other for years in this issue. So going to battle with Superman over the affection of someone you haven't seen for years is a little bit of a stretch especially when General Lane hadn't ordered him to do so yet. 5. His cape has been indestructible almost his entire publishing time. It was only for a few years following the 1986 reboot that it wasn't written as indestructible. Both Birthright and Secret Origins use the idea of the cape being his baby blanket. I'm just interested to see why the cape and ship are indestructible. Obviously its not based on his bio-electric aura as his clothes are seen torn and there have been times when it was stated Kryptonian materials absorb solar radiation as well. This, IMHO, has always been a bad explanation and hopefully they go more with the one used in Superman: Earth One in which Kryptonian metals and other materials are just amazingly well constructed to the point where only other similar metals and such could affect them. Really Superman hasn't changed that much. He's simply become an amalgram of his past incarnations. I'm interested to see if he still has a bio-electric field because that has been given as both a reason for his flight and why extremely heavy and large objects don't fall apart when he's holding them. For instance if a building is falling down and he's trying to push it back up with his hands on the glass, the glass doesn't break because its in contact with his bio-electric aura and sort of being "wrapped" by it. Of course this hasn't been a consistent explanation throughout the years (when he carries people in his arms for example he always has to be careful of his speed) but I think establishing it as the component of his ability to fly should be retained and the fact he doesn't have it yet is the reason he can't fly.

nice break down!

#20 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

I like these changes thus far just like I have enjoyed the others. Probably the one that stood out to me the most in terms of fascination is his ability to not only absorb radiation but also to emit it. That can mean serious kick@$$ness if this current Superman gets angry enough. Amazing! Corbet working for the government is no surprise and Lex in league with the government from the beginning doesn't seem that far a stretch considering how he was used over the last few years in the Superman titles when New Krypton came about. Not sure how I feel about Irons working for the government but at least he's standing up for the Man of Steel here rather than against him. And his cape...I actually like that its indestructible, even if it does seem to play right into the original idea of it being from Krypton. Definitely look forward to reading this later on today!

#21 Posted by Jake Fury (18745 posts) - - Show Bio
#22 Posted by Coluber (20 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm anxious to read these Action Comics issues. I know people might not like how different Superman is (I personally wish he was still wearing his old costume) but this new take on the golden age version of the character seems interesting.

#23 Posted by Jake Fury (18745 posts) - - Show Bio

This is the best issue of the new 52 that I've read so far.
#24 Posted by ltbrd (562 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jake Fury.......yeah the laugh was awesome. Lex's speech had a very 60's sci-fi movie feel to it with morphing aliens (also a little tongue and cheek towards martian manhunter) and secret conspiracies and Superman justs laughs at the silliness of his theories. It was a great moment. Though I am sad Krypto has been eliminated from the new 52 because he was a cute little character always used for a good chuckle it makes sense not to have him and in the end its a little weird that Krypton had nearly the exact same kind of dog breed as Earth. 
 
The ship part was a little strange on two fronts. 1) Did he actually understand the kryptonese (which I guess we can put as a change to continuity as well as generally kryptonian speech is still written with kryptonian symbols) or just feel a connection to the ship and 2) why did the ship go into a crystal form? I find the second point more interesting than the first because it looked like they were moving away from the crystalline aspect of Krypton and going more towards normal metals and such but maybe they are doing a hybrid where crystals get reconfigured into different shapes. 
 
Could that be how he keeps the costume hidden? Its actually a crystal that reconfigures around his body? Would explain how he can wear buttoned shirts open and t-shirts because the crystal is kept in his belt, pocket, maybe inside his watch, or something. Seems a bit too silly an idea but Krypton had highly advanced technology so why couldn't this be an aspect of that?
#25 Posted by Rise2Ragnarok (139 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally like the current direction they are going. You can't be too judgmental either, we haven't seen the story fully fleshed out yet.

#26 Posted by Dedpool (341 posts) - - Show Bio

In the solciitation's there has been mentio0n of Iron's becoming steel, and it could lead into Metallo too.

#27 Posted by DEGRAAF (7887 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked Krypto, i hope he's not dead. I would have liked to see Krypto come to earth with Supergirl or Superman, like his parents sent the dog with him to protect him till he was old enough and strong enough to protect himself

Yea these dont sound like that big of changes if they are at all

#28 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29501 posts) - - Show Bio

I freaking love Action Comics.

#29 Posted by Mumbles (846 posts) - - Show Bio

loving action comics, and i'm not a superman guy

#30 Posted by HombreMan (101 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe he soaked his cape ina a batch of his own bood, he bite his arm to cause himslef a hemorrage and then soaked it, just like Sigfried bathed in dragon's blood in The Ring of the Nibelungs.

#31 Posted by snowtires (28 posts) - - Show Bio

@webling: unless he has a horn, it wasn't him.

#32 Posted by darklighter1 (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Well I think Lois isn't drawn in a flattering way in the picture above because obviously Corben is saying hello and grabbing a boob. "Hey Lois! Look at my mustache!" (boobgrab or AROOOO-GAH!). No one likes to be greeted like that! Well almost no one...

#33 Posted by 04nbod (174 posts) - - Show Bio

@webling: Shut up, don't even say that. It was a fake Krypto. Krypto is a good dog and he can fake his own death so the little people can't find him! Shut up!

#34 Posted by tensor (4491 posts) - - Show Bio

the only person with new powers is super girl that scream power is weird but have to say so far loving the new 52

#35 Posted by perry_411 (428 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltbrd: Sounds like G-man doesn't pay attention even to the Big Boys histories. I guess it wasn't on Wiki for him.

#36 Posted by ravisher (692 posts) - - Show Bio
#37 Posted by saintutd (52 posts) - - Show Bio

Loving AC!! Can't wiat for the next one!

#38 Posted by 04nbod (174 posts) - - Show Bio

@tensor: Her veins glowed when she absorbed light too. Supercharge?

#39 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

So is Lex Lutor a Nazi?

#40 Posted by ForbushBug (496 posts) - - Show Bio

@movieartman said:

@Jamiracles: ULTRON WARS thats how fans of marvel i been begging for years for ultron to make is final big skynet type take over and its coming very soon and will be drawn by badmofo Brian Hitch so yeah the last few marvel events have been mixed but i garentte this will be one of he big sucsesses

Hitch, eh? So how many months will the gaps between issues be?

#41 Posted by tensor (4491 posts) - - Show Bio

@04nbod:well her voice power was slowly ripping the robots Armour apart

#42 Posted by LightningTiger2190 (106 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm loving how much of a troll Superman is

#43 Edited by MrCipher (276 posts) - - Show Bio

OK so now we're up to 10 ways that the character has changed in 2 books, 2 out of 2 books that have been released. Anyone taking bets that it will be another 5 ways he's changed in the next book and how long it will take before the character has changed so drastically that he will be completely unrecognizable?

#44 Posted by Rixec (373 posts) - - Show Bio

Apparently Steel will be starting up in a back up story in Action Comics #4 in December.

#45 Edited by SmashBrawler (5821 posts) - - Show Bio
#46 Posted by Primmaster64 (21138 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool

#47 Posted by carnivalofsins00 (938 posts) - - Show Bio

@MrCipher: Nope. Change. Good.

#48 Posted by fenixREVOLUTION (889 posts) - - Show Bio

Even with these changes, I'm still enjoying the hell out of this book. It's just fun, pure fun. It doesn't really slow down very much, if at all and that's what I want from a Superman title. If Action Comics stayed young Supes for a long while, I would not mind. I almost don't want to see him become mature.

#49 Posted by nrgb2814 (116 posts) - - Show Bio

Grant Morrison does it again! Love the new Superman!

#50 Posted by ahgunsillyo (113 posts) - - Show Bio

@04nbod: I took that to be her looking through her hand with her X-ray vision. Her eyes weren't the typical sky blue color, but still.

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