When fans pick up Superwoman #1 from veteran writer/artist Phil Jiminez later today, the issue is going to surprise them.
The first -- which you can read about here -- is a long-term game-changer, but this second one is far more spoilery and shocking in the short term.
Last chance to turn back before spoilers for Superwoman #1.
Prior to the comic's release, the basic premise was that The New 52's Lois Lane had transitioned from crusading reporter to Metropolis Marvel, taking on the role of Superwoman, and that Lana Lang would be her non-powered sidekick and scientific adviser.
Here's the solicitation for today's issue:
"Lois Lane takes flight! Now powered up with the abilities of Superman, Lois pledges to carry on the super-legacy as Superwoman! There’s only one problem: Lois’ new powers are killing her, and neither she nor her friend and confidant Lana Lang know what to do about it. Will Lois even survive long enough to learn the deadly secret of Ultra Woman?"
You know -- usually when you propose that kind of question in the solicitation text, the answer is "Obviously yes." Superwoman throws the audience a curveball when instead of Lois as a superhero and Lana as adviser, we get Lana Lang as a superhero as well, fighting alongside Lois. There's no mention of Lois's powers killing her and only a brief hint that something is wrong before the unthinkable happens, and The New 52 Lois Lane dies.
Of course, there's still the pre-Flashpoint Lois Lane, who is married to Superman and currently appearing in Action Comics. But the version of Lois introduced in 2011, who has appeared regularly in DC titles for the last five years, died the same way "her" Superman did: with an explosion of lightning and suddenly turning into sand.
Lana, who will apparently be THE Superwoman of the series, will do so with a different power set than the rest of the Superman-themed characters flying around the DC Universe right now: her costume and powers are more reminiscent of the 1997 "electric" Superman look (although she's red, not blue).
And the development casts a really shocking light on the cover to Superwoman #2, which shows a panicked Lois trying to scramble out of what appears to be a mass grave.
Superwoman #1 is on sale now. You can get a copy at your local comic book store, or on ComiXology.
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