Today is a huge day for DC Comics fans with Action Comics #1000 marking not just a major milestone issue for the series, but the 80th anniversary of Superman's first appearance as well. The landmark issue features several stories from various writers from Superman's history, and one of those stories made a major change to the Man of Steel's history.
Spoilers for Action Comics #1000 below.
With Brian Michael Bendis taking over Action Comics -- following the upcoming miniseries The Man of Steel -- it makes sense that the story to close out Action Comics #1000 would be from Bendis with art by Jim Lee, It's a logical way to set up for the future of the character, but in "The Truth", Bendis looks ahead by going back to one of the fundamental parts of Superman's history: the destruction of Krypton.
Superman, birth name Kal-El, is lone survivor of Krypton (sort of). Prior to the planet's destruction, baby Kal-El was sent off to Earth where he was raised by the Kents, later growing up to be Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent and the superhero Superman. While those basic details haven't really changed over the past eight decades how and why Krypton died is a little more fluid. Generally, Krypton's demise comes as a combination of natural causes -- unstable geological situations and the planet's red sun going supernova come to mind. But in "The Truth", Bendis introduces Rogol Zaar. This new villain drives the action in the story with a destructive battle in downtown Metropolis. Supergirl and Superman fight the axe-wielding bad guy, but Rogol Zaar is able to handle both of them. Easily, and we soon find out why. Rogol Zaar declares that he came to Earth to kill the last remaining Kryptonians -- because he destroyed the planet Krypton himself.
That's right. Rogol Zaar claims to be responsible for destroying Krypton. He literally drives this point home as he tells Superman that "The Kryptonian sickness finally ends today, just like I once promised Jor-El" as he drives a sword through the hero's chest. This is a huge and shocking claim, one that certainly will have fans of Superman walking away wondering what will come next and it's possible that Rogol Zaar isn't telling Superman the whole truth -- after all, with the villain having such a specific desire to purge Kryptonians from the universe surely has a backstory.
This revisit of Krypton's destruction comes at an interesting time in the broader Superman world. Not only is this reveal positioned in the landmark Action Comics issue, but it also comes at a time when Syfy's television series, Krypton, is also taking a look back at the Man of Steel's home world. Bendis' story also comes on the heels of a recent Action Comics storyline in which Superman revisits Krypton's destruction after it having been revealed that his father, Jor-El, had survived the planet's demise.
Whatever is next for Superman and Krypton's history, one thing is clear: one way to close out a major birthday is to go back to where it all started.
Action Comics #1000 is available in stores and digitally now.