Fans may not have believed it when DC promised to reveal Superman's secret identity to the world this December, but it seems they really are erasing the Man of Steel's alter ego, 'Clark Kent.' And every character in DC's Universe, whether they're a hero or supervillain, is going to have something to say about it.
Those who haven't been following the Superman comics since Brian Michael Bendis took over may see this coming twist as temporary, or not quite what readers will assume. After all, now that the world has seen Superman and Lois Lane locking lips (secretly as husband and wife), the very idea of Superman's secret identity, and what protective function it serves, has come into question. Now that DC has revealed the stories set to arrive in January 2020, there's no confusion about the core question Bendis will ask in the new year: What happens the day after Superman reveals his secret identity to the world? Buckle up.
That question comes straight out of DC's January solicitations, with Superman #19 confirming the Man of Steel will expose the truth about his 'Clark Kent' disguise. Speaking with the New York Times, Bendis addressed the lingering concern that such a massive change to the Superman mythology--more or less, the 'death' of Clark Kent as a character--might not be a story DC will see through. According to Bendis, he's already shown he won't blink, and he already knows the big reason for seeing it through:
Let me lean into this a little bit because I’m with you on that... I don’t do fake-out stories. I did a story where Daredevil was outed — a different kind of outing — but that was his reality for 15 years... We wanted to do this because behind it is 1,000 brand-new Superman stories that have never been told.
Still, readers are sure to be upset that Clark Kent's role as an investigative journalist will presumably disappear along with Superman's illusion (Superman can't just go back to work on Monday, right?). While Bendis won't give a clear explanation, he does tease that Clark's role as a journalist won't be tossed out. Even confirming that dilemma was "the first thing that Greg Rucka stormed up to me with when we started working on this." (Rucka is currently writing Lois Lane in her own series as a fearless investigative journalist.)
The full story of Superman's 'unmasking' will likely extend across all Super-related books, including Lois Lane, but the impact will also be showcased in a special one-shot. Titled Superman: Heroes, an all-star collection of writers and artists is uniting to show how far Superman's secret will spread--and who will take it as inspiration to turn over a new leaf:
Everybody who’s ever been in contact with him is going to have a completely different perspective and reaction to this. Some heroes are going to be thrilled, some heroes are going to be livid, some villains are going to change their ways.
While we ponder exactly which DC supervillain will switch sides once Clark's secret get out, readers can find the full credits and solicitations information below:
- SUPERMAN: HEROES #1
- Release Date: January 29th, 2020
- written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS, MATT FRACTION, JODY HOUSER, and GREG RUCKA
- art by KEVIN MAGUIRE, STEVE LIEBER, MIKE PERKINS and others
- cover by BRYAN HITCH
- Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, the staff of the Daily Planet, even the Justice League—their lives all changed when Superman revealed his secret identity to the world! This unique Superman experience explores what the identity of Clark Kent meant to those close to him—and what their relationship to Superman will be in the future. All the rules are about to change—and it all starts here. The dream team of writers Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka, and Jody Houser team up for this amazing special, with art anchored by DC legend Kevin Maguire, plus sequences focusing on each corner of the Superman universe by artists Steve Lieber (Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen) and Mike Perkins (Lois Lane).
Superman #18 arrives on January 8th, with Superman: Heroes #1 coming on January 29th, 2020.
Source: New York Times