Action Comics #5 Reveals Five Ways Superman's Origin Has Changed

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Posted by G-Man (29415 posts) - - Show Bio

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 ==

Superman's Cape

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.

Brainiac

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.

Staff
#1 Posted by ARMIV2 (7653 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm really liking the cape's new origins.

#2 Posted by Dernman (13991 posts) - - Show Bio

Ya I really thought the dead alien explanation was really funny. :p

So Brainiac is no longer a Coluan which could change things a bit for Virl Dox and Brianiac 5

I thought Time Travel was impossible because of flashpoint?

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#3 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll say it again, I can't WAIT to get this issue!!!!

It's been a mixed bag so far with the 52 but AC Supes is the one thing I can't get enough of. :)

#4 Posted by Or35ti (1101 posts) - - Show Bio

Birthright is my favorite Superman origin but I still can't wait to read this. I hope Krypto finds his way back sooner or later

#5 Posted by Dernman (13991 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not sure how I feel about Krypto's new look but he does look like he could be more vicious.

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#6 Posted by GothamRed (2561 posts) - - Show Bio

it seems like a good deal of the origin, like brainiac and the rocket, are based off of the animated series

#7 Posted by LordRequiem (1302 posts) - - Show Bio

Solid work done here.

#8 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (27343 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman said:

Ya I really thought the dead alien explanation was really funny. :p

So Brainiac is no longer a Coluan which could change things a bit for Virl Dox and Brianiac 5

I thought Time Travel was impossible because of flashpoint?

I haven't read this issue but yea it is impossible, it's stated multiple times in LoSH 
Online
#9 Posted by Dernman (13991 posts) - - Show Bio
@spiderbat87 said:
@Dernman said:

Ya I really thought the dead alien explanation was really funny. :p

So Brainiac is no longer a Coluan which could change things a bit for Virl Dox and Brianiac 5

I thought Time Travel was impossible because of flashpoint?

I haven't read this issue but yea it is impossible, it's stated multiple times in LoSH 
I figured as much. Then it's going to have to do some dancing to explain the ending of the first story.
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#10 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (27343 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman said:
@spiderbat87 said:
@Dernman said:

Ya I really thought the dead alien explanation was really funny. :p

So Brainiac is no longer a Coluan which could change things a bit for Virl Dox and Brianiac 5

I thought Time Travel was impossible because of flashpoint?

I haven't read this issue but yea it is impossible, it's stated multiple times in LoSH 
I figured as much. Then it's going to have to do some dancing to explain the ending of the first story.
What happened in the end? spoil it for me.
Online
#11 Posted by Dernman (13991 posts) - - Show Bio
@spiderbat87 said:
@Dernman said:
@spiderbat87 said:
@Dernman said:

Ya I really thought the dead alien explanation was really funny. :p

So Brainiac is no longer a Coluan which could change things a bit for Virl Dox and Brianiac 5

I thought Time Travel was impossible because of flashpoint?

I haven't read this issue but yea it is impossible, it's stated multiple times in LoSH 
I figured as much. Then it's going to have to do some dancing to explain the ending of the first story.
What happened in the end? spoil it for me.
Online
#12 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (27343 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman said:
@spiderbat87 said:
@Dernman said:
@spiderbat87 said:
@Dernman said:

Ya I really thought the dead alien explanation was really funny. :p

So Brainiac is no longer a Coluan which could change things a bit for Virl Dox and Brianiac 5

I thought Time Travel was impossible because of flashpoint?

I haven't read this issue but yea it is impossible, it's stated multiple times in LoSH 
I figured as much. Then it's going to have to do some dancing to explain the ending of the first story.
What happened in the end? spoil it for me.
wait.... What? How is that possible? the Flashpoint event did'n't really effect LoSH?
Online
#13 Edited by Izaiah (5153 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman said:

So Brainiac is no longer a Coluan which could change things a bit for Virl Dox and Brianiac 5

Brainiac 5 is clearly shown to be a Coluan in Legion: Secret Origin, so there's quite a bit of mixed signals here.
#14 Posted by Dernman (13991 posts) - - Show Bio
@spiderbat87: I didn't think it did. There is probably some explanation that is missing.  
@Izaiah: Ya there is mixed signals. Maybe a Coluan finds the AI and hooks himself up merging into one. I dunno but they should explain it eventually.
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#15 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (27343 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman said:
@spiderbat87: I didn't think it did. There is probably some explanation that is missing.  
@Izaiah: Ya there is mixed signals. Maybe a Coluan finds the AI and hooks himself up merging into one. I dunno but they should explain it eventually.
Well Brainy 5 was the son of Virl Dox, a clone of brainiac, it's quite easily conceivable that Brainiac will be a computer AI transplanted in to a clone Coluan body 
Online
#16 Posted by frozenedge (929 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm eagerly awaiting the return of Krypto and Brainiac

#17 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87 said:

@Dernman said:
@spiderbat87: I didn't think it did. There is probably some explanation that is missing.
@Izaiah: Ya there is mixed signals. Maybe a Coluan finds the AI and hooks himself up merging into one. I dunno but they should explain it eventually.
Well Brainy 5 was the son of Virl Dox, a clone of brainiac, it's quite easily conceivable that Brainiac will be a computer AI transplanted in to a clone Coluan body

I think we'll just have to wait n see how this turns out cuz after 3 issues the mystery of the weird 6 legged alien was solved and even krypto's story was partially told so i think the writers want to keep certain thing hangin so we burst our brains tryin to figure it out n keep comin back for more :)

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

@GothamRed said:

it seems like a good deal of the origin, like brainiac and the rocket, are based off of the animated series

really bored by this 52, no matter how many times they tweek his story its still the same old same ol' outdated comic character, you don't get surprised by his stories anymore just bored. Superman is from a forgotten era and writers have trouble modernizing the stories and keeping them relevant, his best storylines are in the past, most stories after the classics will continue being a steaming pile of sh*i%t

#19 Posted by Primmaster64 (21137 posts) - - Show Bio

The issue was awesome.

#20 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

So Krypto's not dead?? :D

#21 Posted by dccomicsrule2011 (21276 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome.

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#22 Posted by laabitres (316 posts) - - Show Bio

new origins new everything this just keeps getting better

#23 Posted by warmonked (8 posts) - - Show Bio

"AND LARA. THE MOTHERMATICIAN" < ...This is why I hate comics

#24 Posted by Queso6p4 (1411 posts) - - Show Bio

I only read the first two issues of Action Comics but when I saw this issue I knew it would sell out so I added it to my surprisingly thick stack of weekly comics. It was definitely enjoyable but, then again, I'm not really a Superman fan ( I respect him, though). It's been neat to see reactions of readers of different levels of interest. Nice breakdown as usual.

#25 Posted by Benuben (230 posts) - - Show Bio

@warmonked:

Weird words?

And you sighned up on Comicvine why exactly? To tell everyone how much you hate comics?

#26 Posted by BlackArmor (6121 posts) - - Show Bio

What was the dead alien explanation someone spoil it please

#27 Edited by Dernman (13991 posts) - - Show Bio
@BlackArmor said:

What was the dead alien explanation someone spoil it please

Hope that explains it good enough for you.
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#28 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Point one, Superman's Cape: I rather like that it is something Jor-El's father said. Brings a new spin to the cape story.

Point two, The Phantom Zone and Krypto: Surprising move to allow a prisoner of the Zone to be able to reach across the portal. I figured it was usually the other way around (just look at Supes pulling Mon-El out of the portal way back when). As for Krypto, hope he made it!

Point three, Rocket built for one: I'm curious if the story is consistent with how Krypton had outlawed interstellar travel at this time. Haven't read it yet so I don't know, but I'm definitely curious now.

Point four, Brainiac: Not really feeling Brainiac as a type of HAL kinda computer. Kinda disappointed with that, especially since it seems Supes owes his powerful existence now to what was in the pre-Flashpoint multiverse a supervillain.

Point five, the Rocket after the crash: Seems to make sense nowadays with human technology. Back in the day it could be possible for an alien spacecraft to tumble into a patch of unpopulated earth and not be noticed except by two Kansan farmers. Nowadays it just doesn't seem feasible anymore so I rather like they did this. Those Kents sure should be praised though for getting out of there quick enough, though!

#29 Posted by Dernman (13991 posts) - - Show Bio
@RedheadedAtrocitus: Did you notice when Jor-El said Super Criminals? It wasn't just criminals. Makes you wonder if they had a bunch of powers while on Krypton or all of them are even Kryptonians. 
Could open up a lot of possibilities then just more of the same Kryptonian villains with the same powers. 
 
I believe Krypto did make it but sort of inbetween dimensions. That's why you see what looks like something coming through the portal and following the ship. Also Braniac talking about a ghost dog.
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#30 Posted by The Impersonator (4306 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting.....

#31 Posted by rpgr (331 posts) - - Show Bio

Huh? Aren't we missing one point? As in

The ship becomes the fortress of solitude

#32 Posted by Dex_Starr (4772 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't wait to get my hands on this, getting it tomorrow :D

#33 Posted by KEROGA (935 posts) - - Show Bio

i like the idea of the cape being his baby blanket

#34 Posted by Gokujam (66 posts) - - Show Bio

Didn't they also say that kryptonite is now fatal to everyone, humans included?

#35 Posted by Dernman (13991 posts) - - Show Bio

@rpgr said:

Huh? Aren't we missing one point? As in

The ship becomes the fortress of solitude

Ya I noticed that. Also Brainiac is the fortresses computer and Kryptonight is it's power source.

@Gokujam said:

Didn't they also say that kryptonite is now fatal to everyone, humans included?

Yeah I liked that part. It was always deadly but took years to do anything. Hopefully now it effect everyone like it does Superman.

Online
#36 Posted by EugeneSaxe (227 posts) - - Show Bio

"The TRUE Origin of Superman's Cape!"

Sounds like a Superdickery 60's story.

Change for change's sake usually fails. Everyone on Earth knows Superman and how he came to be. IMHO, changing his origin, even a little, is just a writer feeding his ego.

#37 Posted by jointron33 (1902 posts) - - Show Bio

@Hoboseid: you sound like some old man who should have died off in the 40s with the rest of the golden age

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

It seems Zack Snyder's Man of Steel takes a lot from this interpretation than people realize has more issues come out, or it can be coincidence.

#39 Posted by kingjoeg (693 posts) - - Show Bio

This was my book of the week this week.

#40 Posted by Brackynews (15 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dernman said:

...and Kryptonight...

Is the planetary evening variety show hosted by Jay Krypto. ;)

#41 Posted by jaredbright (204 posts) - - Show Bio

I got to pick this up.

#42 Posted by onyxwave (51 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly, I have to say that I'm getting kinda tired of the DC universe complete reboot as well. It makes it seem like they are completely lost over there at DC. I mean, when iconic characters have 4 to 5 different versions of their origins out there and decades of continuity story lines are completely wiped out, it begins to get a little annoying. However, I will say that many of the new 52 line books' artwork and writing seems to be pretty good thus far, so I'm giving it a chance (let's see how long the quality lasts). Though, I totally think that the whole idiotic Krypto super dog character was a character that should have been left in the garbage. In my opinion it's a character for the 50s-60s that should have died off completely with that era.

#43 Posted by xScorchedx (74 posts) - - Show Bio

@onyxwave: I agree with the krypto thing for sure. I'm a new reader so this reboot is pretty much establishing what I consider to be the origins of the characters, aside from my understanding from TV shows as a kid. Are their adjustments really that far off?

#44 Edited by onyxwave (51 posts) - - Show Bio

@xScorchedx said:

@onyxwave: I agree with the krypto thing for sure. I'm a new reader so this reboot is pretty much establishing what I consider to be the origins of the characters, aside from my understanding from TV shows as a kid. Are their adjustments really that far off?

It's not so much that the origins are really far off. For me it's the fact that they are changing/tweaking them so often. I've been a comics reader off and on since I was a little kid in the early-mid 90s, however I've gone and read many books back through the 60s. And from what I've seen, Superman's origin has been touched and tweaked so often that it's gotten to a point of "been there done that" feel to it now. It's like DC Comics has got all caught up in the film industry's "prequel" love affair, yet with tweaks every time. I mean, the whole crisis storylines since 1986 just seems like DC doesn't know how it truly wants to establish the history of their characters. I just feel in my personal opinion that without a mostly firm set history, how can you truly expect readers to fully connect with the future direction of a character's personality as they grow beyond what they once were in the beginning. That's all. However, I sill love their iconic characters, especially Superman, so I'm just going along for the big ride as long as the artwork and writing stay top notched.

#45 Posted by Jekylhyde14 (746 posts) - - Show Bio

A few things I really liked about the origin story: 1) The fact that Lara built the rocket WITH Jor-El makes her just as responsible for Kal's survival as his father. 2) It gave a believable explanation for why they all just didn't hide in the Phantom Zone to save their lives. That issue has been troublesome for the Superman ethos since the Phantom Zone's creation. 3) Krypto's not dead! Haters are gonna hate but I love that dog.

I'm a little thrown by the whole Brainiac issue. As some have mentioned before, Brainiac 5 is still Coluan. They could be tweaking with his ancestry but... It's also funny that the Collector aliens look an awful lot like Brainiac albeit in a wormy sort of way. Of course, on Krypton, Brainiac was an A.I. program which possibly could have been running multiple devices and networks across Krypton. Remember that the Collector's sent their virus into Krypton's network which probably interfaced with the Brainiac A.I. system if it was running on this network. Is it possible that Brainiac was integrated into the Collector's technology and evolved into something new and sinister as a result? I'm just theorizing here so pay it no further mind than that.

It was a great issue. I can't wait to read the next.

#46 Posted by kadosho_16bit (76 posts) - - Show Bio

@Or35ti: Oh Birthright was an awesome tale! Never could forget how dramatic and action packed it truly was.

Plus the art was so sophisticated, it didn't feel like the same artist throughout. It made it more interesting and diverse that way. Maybe Birthright's writer may take on this New 52 retelling.

#47 Posted by lorex (928 posts) - - Show Bio

With as any times as Supermans origins have been told and retold over the years why do they feel the need to change it. Is it just the writers desire to be unique or is there more to it. The more the origin is altered is DC less obgliated to pay the blood sucking parasites, I mean family of the creators.

#48 Posted by Archlord (140 posts) - - Show Bio

The Earth:One Superman's cape was also baby blanket thing. But his mother designed the S.

What I don't like is he never used the alias "Superboy" which makes Kon-El Superboy I.

#49 Posted by DEGRAAF (7811 posts) - - Show Bio

@UltimateSMfan said:

I think we'll just have to wait n see how this turns out cuz after 3 issues the mystery of the weird 6 legged alien was solved and even krypto's story was partially told so i think the writers want to keep certain thing hangin so we burst our brains tryin to figure it out n keep comin back for more :)

the 6 legged alien mystery was solved? or do you mean they just gave him the name of the collector?

@spiderbat87 said:

Well Brainy 5 was the son of Virl Dox, a clone of brainiac, it's quite easily conceivable that Brainiac will be a computer AI transplanted in to a clone Coluan body

Thats kind of what i was guessing too. Brainiac (the AI) will find an attach it's self to a host for some need to accomplish and that will start the lineage of the brainiac family

#50 Posted by sinful (149 posts) - - Show Bio

wait wait wait...so jor el...thought it was a good idea to go into the phantom zone where its filled with harden criminals hat want to kill him rather then die on a planet....that made no sense....

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