Man of Tomorrow’s Future State

I’ve been wondering where DC will take the Superman comics after Bendis finishes in December. This morning that question was at least partially answered when DC announced the Future State event. The initial announcement listed the books shipping in January along with a mission statement of sorts. Their description for the Superman books is as follows:

Due to his involvement in an international crisis happening in the near future, Clark Kent has been rejected by Earth, causing him to focus his lifesaving efforts outside his adopted home. He travels to Warworld to rise through the ranks of gladiatorial combat in order to defeat Mongul with the help of some unlikely heroes. Back in Metropolis, Clark’s son Jon has taken on the mantle of Superman. After seeing the horrors that befell Gotham, he bottles Metropolis in order to keep it safe, putting him at odds with Supergirl.

All of DC’s regular titles will be on hold until March while we get two months of this aptly titled Future State.

The promotional art by Dan Mora is very cool, but I’m not sold on Clark, Conner, and Jon’s new costumes yet. Jon’s current costume is very cool and I always enjoy a cape. They could’ve gone full One Million and given him the Superman Secundus costume or even the 2 from All Star. I see Conner gains a cape, but every time he loses the jacket he feels less connected to his origins. The black does harken back to one of his most popular incarnations with the t-shirt and jeans. For Clark, I get the Kingdom Come vibe they were going for but Superman’s last time as a gladiator on Warworld had a more memorable look. Weird that Conner and Jon have a more traditional S than Clark.

future state

Telling future stories of legacy versions of our heroes has a DC One Million vibe (hat tip to Chief Brian Salvatore at Multiversity). Adam Talking Superman noticed Solaris The Tyrant Sun which also harkens back to One Million.

Later in the day Newsarama posted a preview of the solicitations for the Superman related books. There we get a few more details like Kara is living on the moon as Superwoman in the future (likely after her confrontation with Jon bottling cities in Superman of Metropolis). Luthor is on Lexor (nice Pre-Crisis call back) and joining the United Planets. Lois is Earth’s representative in the UP. Detective Chimp is now possessed by the Demon Etrigan. No word on what Conner Kent is up to besides the promo image in a new costume. Will he also be Superman?

I’ve also seen some speculation that these books and ideas are left over from the bigger 5G” event DC had planned. With Generation Zero gone and the recent shakeups in editorial they probably had some work finished and maybe repurposed some of that here. The solicitation description of the Batman Superman issue makes it sound more like an Annual or out-of-continuity issue rather than a glimpse into the future. This lends some credence to the theory this wasn’t exactly what had been planned for these books.

It’s anyone’s guess where the Superman titles will go after this. It’s interesting to note that Bendis only has one book out in January. I’m betting February’s titles will be a continuation of these miniseries along with an equal number of similar one shots. Will they have an impact on future continuity? Will characters be aware of this future? Or is it just a fun filler while they realign the publishing line-up for 2021 and beyond?

October 15, 2020

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Supermania 1987 Martin Lakin is best know among Superman fandom as the Superman IV guy. He runs a website Supermania ’78 dedicated to the Christopher Reeve legacy