DC reinvents the Superman titles for a new Family-based era in 2023

Action Comics #1051 variant cover art
Action Comics #1051 variant cover art (Image credit: DC)

In conjunction with the launch of the Dawn of the DCU and DC's next major comics crossover event, Lazarus Planet, the publisher has also revealed two new Superman series and format changes for its stalwart Action Comics. All of this and more will begin in 2023, following the conclusion of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths and Batman vs. Robin. 

(Image credit: DC)
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At its Superman panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday, DC announced that starting with Action Comics #1051 in January, the classic title will have a new format featuring three new story arcs. Each will focus on the Super-Family and its relationship with the world following Superman's massive fight with Lex Luthor in what DC is billing as the "milestone" issue #1050.

According to the Action Comics #1050 solicitation text, Lex steals something so important from Clark Kent's life that it can alter everything - and in issue #1051, it seems these effects are being felt. DC's announcement teases the start of "the House of El's transformation of Metropolis" under the guidance of Steel, but what does that mean?

It may have something to do with Dan Mora's cover art, which shows Conner Kent, Natasha Irons (who could be the Steel in question, rather than her uncle John Henry Irons), Kong Kenan/Super-Man, a traditional Clark Kent-Superman who seems to have been aged down, and both Jon Kent-Superman and Supergirl wearing new, capeless costumes. It also shows two young characters whom DC calls "the twins" in Mora's character designs, seen here.

Action Comics #1051

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Also in Action Comics #1051, Lex Luthor has enlisted Metallo to undo everything Superman hopes to achieve, which is especially interesting given that Metallo equally hates Luthor and the Man of Steel.

"My one-word mission statement for Action Comics in 2023 is 'Super-Family,' and I draw inspiration from the 100-page Giant 'Superman Family' issues," says writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson.

"We're giving everyone in the House of El their own role and personal journey while still keeping Superman at the forefront, and tying all the Super-titles together in a way that's reminiscent of the Triangle Era," he continues. "I couldn't be more excited to be part of this new era of Action Comics, and doing it alongside such a consummate artist as Rafa Sandoval and comics titan Dan Jurgens truly makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Alongside this arc, Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks will follow young Jon Kent on the farm with his parents as he learns about his powers and battles Doombreaker in 'Lois and Clark 2: Doom Rising.' 

And in a three-part story written by Leah Williams and drawn by Marguerite Sauvage, Power Girl will return following the events of Lazarus Planet.

As revealed October 6, that event will include a tie-in special on January 17 called Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton, and a Lazarus Planet teaser shows Power Girl consumed by green energy on top of a wrecked Daily Planet building. DC also teased that Power Girl is under the control of the "out-of-control" Omen (the Titans' Lilith Clay) whose psionic/psychic powers manifest themselves as green light/energy, tying these pieces together.  

Power Girl will also be a part of the Geoff Johns-driven The New Golden Age event that includes a new Justice Society of America ongoing series, so 2023 looks very busy for Kara Zor-L.

In addition to the main cover art by Mora, Action Comics #1051 will feature variant covers by David Nakayama, Jack Herbet, Lee Weeks, Davila, Fornes, Rafa Sandoval, and Steve Beach. See them in the gallery below.

Meanwhile, Superman: Son of Kal-El, written by Tom Taylor, will end with issue #18 in December. However, Taylor will continue to write about the character in the six-issue limited series Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent, which will debut in January and be drawn by Clayton Henry. (This could knock Taylor out of the running to write the new Justice League series, though, of course, he could also take on both.)

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In Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent, the titular hero will finally get to take on Ultraman, who kidnapped and tortured him on Earth-3 in 2019's Superman #9 by Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, and Brandon Peterson. The new series will also focus on the Superman of Earth-2, Val-Zod.

"I couldn't be more excited for Jon Kent to headline the iconic Adventures of Superman," Taylor says. "It's a real testament to the fantastic response of fans to Jon as Superman. This series is going to be one of the most action-packed books I've ever written and Jon is going to be tested more than ever before.

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"While we can tell you the Superman of Earth-2, Val-Zod, and Jon's nemesis, Ultraman, will be key characters in the early part of Adventures of Superman, what we're going to reveal at the end of issue #2 will have everyone talking and issue #3 launches us in a direction that no one will see coming."

Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent seemingly spins out of Lazarus Planet. Jon is wearing an electric Superman Blue suit on the main cover, which at least suggests the series picks up during or after the event itself.

This does not seem to be the case for the brand-new ongoing Superman monthly series that will debut in February 2023, wherein Jon is seemingly still wearing his normal suit. Superman will be written by Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths architect Joshua Williamson and drawn by Naomi co-creator Jamal Campbell.

Superman is back on Earth and Lex Luthor is in prison, but any chance Clark has at relaxing is quickly interrupted as classic and new enemies alike try to ruin his day.

"After the darkness of the last year in the DCU, there is no character better suited to lead DC into the light than Superman," says Joshua Williamson, who is of course referring to the "darkness" of his own Dark Crisis event series. 

"It's an understatement to say I'm honored to be writing DC's flagship series. I'm very excited to take Clark Kent on a fun, pulp-style adventure in Metropolis against his greatest villains. We're also going to be introducing new concepts and new challenges for the Man of Steel and to be doing it with wonderful partners like Jamal Campbell and Nick Dragotta is a dream come true. Every page explodes with awesome energy. The Superman line that Tom, Phillip, and I are putting together with DC is going to lead the way for an exciting 2023."

Superman #1

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Action Comics #1051 will be available January 24, 2023. Superman #1 will hit shelves in February, and Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1 will debut sometime in early 2023. 

For readers keeping score about home, here's what you need to know about the future of the DC Universe after Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths:

Samantha Puc
Editor, Newsarama

Samantha Puc (she/they) is an editor at Newsarama and an avid comics fan. Their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., The Beat, The Mary Sue, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School.