Full spoilers for Future State below! DC's Future State has delivered another batch of new issues telling the stories of "the near future" of the heroes of the DC Universe, and this week's Superman issue has revealed what happened to the Man of Steel himself. Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1, written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson with art by Mikel Janin, delivers a world where Clark Kent's hero is no longer on Earth and as a result his hometown of Smallville has become a holy ground and tourist trap. In the town, people sell trinkets with his logo, read his high school science paper like scripture, and gather together to theorize about where he went and what he's doing.
The issue for the most part follows Sadie, a young girl from Gotham City but with roots in Metropolis. She listens as other Superman followers share their theories about where he is and how he saved them before eventually calling BS on all of it and noting it wasn't his powers that made him Superman, it was what he stood for. To that end, we transition to none other than Mongel's war world where an old and, more importantly, powerless Superman is found. Wearing his trademark underpants, cape, and his S shield (with nothing else) we find him fighting for his life on Warworld with a sword and an actual shield with an S on it.
Frankly the underpants have never been more appropriate.
It's worth noting that this issue will mark Phillip Kennedy Johnson's first work with the Man of Steel but not his last. Johnson is set to succeed Brian Michael Bendis as the main writer for both the Superman and Action Comics titles in March following the completion of Bendis' run on the titles and the end of Future State.
"I can't begin to describe what an honor it is to be writing Superman and Action Comics," Johnson previously said about writing the character, "especially following one of my industry heroes, Brian Michael Bendis. One of my very earliest memories is the thrill I felt watching the Christopher Reeve Superman films for the first time. My goal for every issue will be to give readers that same physical reaction, and the same lofty aspirations that Superman inspires: the desire to be better than we are, and to do more than the world thinks we can do."
You can find the solicitation for the next issue of the series below!
Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2
Meet the rising champion of the gladiatorial pits of Warworld: Superman! The Man of Steel is still down in the pits duking it out with Mongul's hordes and working his way up to the big boss himself. But since it's Superman, there has to be more to this than a simple determination to win the title belt, right? Yes, because he's also got Midnighter out there on a mission to chase down a dangerous new power source...but the man standing in his way is all too familiar. Plus, the Black Racer smashes her way to freedom, and Mister Miracle, now trapped on Warworld himself, has to find his way back to the bottle city of Metropolis—and his only mode of transportation is a busted Boom Tube!