Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.'s Superman Features A Wildly Obscure Villain's First New 52 Appearance

When Superman #32, the first issue of the new creative run by DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Marvel Comics legend John Romita, Jr., hit the stands on Wednesday, we noticed a lot of things about it, not least of all was the distinct lack of Superman's red trunks in all but one panel of the comic.

What we missed -- until a reader pointed it out to us via e-mail today -- was the first New 52 appearance of J. Wilbur Wolfingham.

...Who?

A con man who appeared in a number of Golden Age Superman stories, Wolfingham is the man who unsuccessfully attempts to convince Jimmy Olsen to sign away his family fortune in the issue. It's a one-panel appearance, but that's as much as he's had in a number of years.

In fact, an E. Wilbur Wolfingham in the A.Bizarro miniseries (also a con man) apears to be the sole post-Crisis appearance of the character until now.

Prior to that, he'd appeared in scattered stories since the '40s but only one issue (1985's Action Comics #573) since 1980.

Siskoid's Blog of Geekery points out that he was included in DC's Who's Who volumes years ago, in spite of (at that point) having barely existed in the comics for 25 years. Whether this cameo will be a one-off, or whether Wolfingham will have a role to play going forward that is perhaps big enough to get him into the new (currently-ongoing Who's Who series is anybody's guess.

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But it's probably, as noted in the comments at BoG, a good thing Jimmy didn't sign anything with him.