T'en months into DC's "The New 52" and we still don't have all the answers to who and what the characters are all about. That might seem frustrating but in some cases, it adds to the excitement in reading the series. Some DC series have already established who and where the characters are. The titles are moving along normally but there are some that continue to give us little surprises or reaffirm what is now official since the DCU has changed.
In Grant Morrison's ACTION COMICS, we've been looking at the early days of Superman. The first arc ended and we even had a story take place on Earth 23. Now we're back in Metropolis for a new story arc that doesn't look too good for Clark Kent as he's been marked for death.
Make sure you read ACTION COMICS #10 before continuing as there will be some spoilers below. We won't spoil everything and you owe it to yourself to see what happens in the beginning of this new arc by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales.
This isn't exactly a revelation or development for Superman but more one for the series. For some reason I was under the impression that at the end of the first arc when Superman gained the Kryptonian armor suit, the series would jump forward to the present. It felt as if the story of the early days of Superman were at an end and we'd be seeing stories take place alongside SUPERMAN. This is what happened in the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE but thankfully isn't the case here.
Superman Keeps Extra Suits Around Town
We don't know exactly how many he might have but we have seen some different colored Superman t-shirts. He started off with a blue one but we've also seen a white shirt. There was the question of whether or not this was intentional or could it have been a coloring error in the comic?
The idea of Clark keeping a change of clothes in a bus terminal locker (or that's what it looked like) is a great idea. He may not exactly need it now that he has the Kryptonian armor and it has a way of concealing itself somehow but it's still a cool idea. This also helps if his apartment gets searched for any reason.
When Superman started his career, we have to assume he simply had some t-shirts made with his emblem. Where he got them made is another question. But if he had them made out of regular clothing, it's natural to expect them to get ripped and damaged. Of course he would have had multiple shirts made.
It's not clear if he keeps them at various locations but that would be an even smarter move as it would allow more access and take care of the problem if the contents in the locker were ever discovered.
As for the change in color, perhaps Clark wanted different ones for reflect his mood. Maybe he just wasn't sure what color would look the coolest. Maybe he just got a deal on a multi-pack of different colored t-shirts.
Batman Doesn't Trust Superman
Not a shocker but great to see this established right away.
In an almost awkward but great scene, Superman meets with the Justice League. They are still new and not completely comfortable with each other. They do trust each other but not completely. Superman brings up the idea of trying to save the world but it doesn't quite go the way he'd hope.
The important thing is we can see how cautious and mistrustful Batman is. Because he maps everything out and considers all the possibilities, he knows Superman could be problem. He informs the others when Superman leaves that someday they'll likely have to deal with him. We don't' know if Batman feels the same way about the rest of his team or if Superman could have been listening and heard what Batman said. It's just great to see that Batman most likely has already devised a way to take Superman down.
Lois, Clark and Jimmy
Again, this may not be a huge development but we get to see more on the friendship/relationship between these three. It does further establish that the three are closer to the same age and on equal footing in terms of friendship. In the previous stories, there was more of a gap between Jimmy and the others. He was the young cub reporter while Lois and Clark had more experience as journalists.
During this scene we are also reminded that Lois does still have her spelling problem. She may be a great reporter but we've seen in the past that spelling wasn't her strong suit. That's not a big deal since she can always use spellcheck.
We also find out that Lana was indeed Clark's prom date. We saw the earlier interaction between them in the flashback in issue #6. Lana knew about Clark's secret while Pete Ross did not. The question is, where is Lana today?
Was There Another Hero Before Superman?
While Clark is hanging out with Lois and Jimmy, Clark checks out Lois' Superman scrapbook. She collected newspaper articles on the exploits of Superman. To Clark's surprise, some of them take place before he started using his powers. He mentions that some of the stories were accounts from ten years before his official appearance.
Lois quickly brushes it off as it could have been any of the there other heroes in the Justice League and maybe the writers just didn't know.
What we know is this will have to be something that Morrison touches on later.
The Purpose of Nimrod the Hunter's Mask
Maxim Zarov saw himself as the greatest hunter. Using the name Nimrod after a verse in the Bible (Genesis, Chapter ten, verses eight and nine), he decided he wanted to hunt and kill Superman to add to the list of kills he's accomplished. When we saw Nimrod in issue #8, it turns out that wasn't his first appearance.
We don't get the strongest sense of what exactly motivates him seeing how everything comes together is only the beginning for this character. We get an idea now why his appearance is so different here than in issue #6 and you have to wonder what he does in between this appearance and what we know will happen later on.
We'll have to wait and see what happens next. Clark may have gotten himself in over his head. He's going to have a lot of explaining to do.