Superman Was Tricked By His Future Self
Sadly, it seems the exact kind of trap that could only be laid by Superman himself, for himself. Falling into a world bathed in total darkness, Superman soon learns that there is nothing waiting to guide his way. Nothing but a small, cold planetoid covered in the dried out corpses of countless other Supermen who preceded him. And just as Superman begins to realize that he is unable to leap far enough off of this sunless, hopeless rock to escape it... his future self arrives to talk. Needless to say, the smile is completely intact while observing his weaker, younger self.
The future Superman treats Clark to a healthy dose of villainous monologue, observing the younger hero's repeated attempts to escape the orbit of this prison planet, and reach the gleaming light of his friends (barely visible in the distance). The final pages of Justice League #20 leave their showdown a dangling cliffhanger. The Superman DC fans know and love clenching fists in furious anger, as the older version looks on unguarded, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
Before setting foot on the dusty surface, the 'higher form' of Superman claims that Clark's life was all leading directly to this point, presumably on this world, facing the version of himself from the future. In the realm of comic books, that's not that difficult a pill to swallow. But thanks to a preview of Justice League #21 courtesy of CBR, fans have an advanced look at how this meeting develops. The short answer? Superman immediately begins throwing punches at the future version of himself who cursed him to such a twisted fate (and apparently did the same to the other Superman corpses littering the planet). And it turns out the older Superman still believes he is doing the right thing by tossing the Man of Steel into a cold corner of the universe to die
The Justice League's Greatest Threat is... Superman?
Unfortunately for both the Man of Steel and his fans, the entire battle, down to Clark's words, has been lived through by his captor too many times to count. Even worse? He's doing it out of belief or knowledge that the only way to save the entire DC Multiverse is to make sure Superman isn't around to mess it up.
With so many secrets still in play--what did the Justice League actually have to do in order to "win" so completely? How does this Superman exist if he's apparently the hurdle to that victory?--the door is wide open for the older Superman to justify his actions. No matter his motivations, the situation is most dire for the Clark Kent left behind. On a cold world, with powers failing... surrounded by the bodies of every version of him that came before.
It's a tantalizing twist in an already compelling storyline, and with Superman's fate left completely in jeopardy (not to mention that of his Justice League teammates), the entire issue can't get here soon enough.
Justice League #21 will be available at your local comic book store on April 3rd, 2019 or direct from DC Comics.