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.
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.