[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamay & Trevor Scott
We open with what appears to be the “New 52” Superman and Lois facing a very angry Mxyzptlk. “CHEATER!” he yells. Jon is right in the thick of it as he is watches Superman and Lois confess to not knowing him. The boy is devastated as Supes and Lois are convinced that they aren’t even married, much less have a child together. It doesn’t take too long before Jon is aware of the disembodied voices that he encountered last week in Superman #19.
This time the energies are blue and not red. Jon is able to communicate with them and he realizes that these energies know him and are the parts of Superman and Lois that are his parents. About the same time he is able to convince the “New 52” Lois and Superman through his genuine sincerity that perhaps they should re-assess what they believe about themselves and Jon. Jon finally gets them to hear the faint voices of the blue energies and WHAM! They merge.
To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, the two timelines have magically merged creating a new integrated timeline for Superman and his cast of characters wherein pre-Flashpoint Superman and “New 52” Superman’s histories are now both in canon. We get some glimpses of this, but there is a lot to reconcile. For instance, the two takes on Lex Luthor are quite disparate. The future of Action Comics promises to explore this. Mr. Oz gets a brief appearance and is utterly surprised at the course of events and he is fearful of another’s response, and the intimation is what’s been guessed all along — Dr. Manhattan!
The best part of this issue is the family unit of Superman, Lois and Jon. Jon’s humanity and sincerity are the lynch pin that ties them together and proves to be the resolution of the story line. This has been the unique element in this Rebirth Era of Superman and hopefully will continue to be so.
Unfortunately, this type of cosmic merging of timelines was anticipated and expected. There was no way Superman was really going to be a holdover from the previous timeline. Power Girl he is not. The worst part about this is that this concept really made the Superman stories different. Without judging future story lines before reading them, the uniqueness of this aspect will be missed greatly.
Things are different all over again for Superman and family. With this identity mystery over, the title will have to shift to a new approach. Returning to a status quo for Superman while understandable is not without some disappointment. Keeping ideas new is important for characters that have the history that Superman does. This “Reborn” journey was not as great as the year leading up to it.