1:54pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Superman Celebrates His 80th Birthday by Revising His Origin
[This story contains spoilers for Action Comics No. 1000.]
Well, that's a way to celebrate an anniversary.
Released Wednesday, DC Entertainment’s Action Comics No. 1000 — the first comic in the U.S. industry to reach the thousand-issue mark — is at once both a celebration of Superman, who also reaches his 80th birthday today — and a signpost for what lies ahead for the Man of Steel, thanks to incoming Superman writer Brian Michael Bendis, whose first story appears in the issue.
The story, illustrated by DCE co-publisher Jim Lee, introduces Rogol Zaar, a new threat to Metropolis (one that is seemingly more than a match for both Superman and Supergirl, judging by the fight shown in the short story), who claims to have “cleansed the galaxy of the Kryptonian people,” before declaring, “The Kryptonian sickness finally ends today. Just like I once promised Jor-El…when I destroyed the planet Krypton.”
The revelation leads into Bendis’ upcoming Man of Steel miniseries, which launches May 30 and runs weekly until July 4. The solicitations for that series, released by DC back in March, named Rogol Zaar for the first time and teased that he has “committed a string of atrocities across the cosmos that have led him to the Fortress of Solitude.” (Those solicitations also tease that Superman will, initially, be beaten by Zaar, which might be what readers see in the Action short.)
In Superman's origin story, as traditionally told, Krypton is thought to be destroyed through natural causes.
This won’t be the first time that the destruction of Krypton has been revisited in the last year; even beyond the Syfy TV series Krypton, a recent storyline in Action Comics saw Superman revisit the destruction of his home planet after it had been revealed that his father Jor-El had actually survived the planet’s end. (Don’t ask.) After all, what could be more natural when celebrating a birthday than going back to where it all began?
Action Comics No. 1000 is in stores and available digitally now.