Action Comics is now only 25 issues away from reaching the milestone of issue number 1000! This week issue 275 is a supersized anniversary issue that finally reveals the identity of the mysterious Clark Kent, something that due to how long it’s been since he was introduced (almost a year) has at times frustrated me. Before going any further let me give a SPOLIER warning if you want to find out for yourself (although chances are that the internet has probably already spoiled it for you by accident). In part one of the “Superman Reborn” storyline Clark Kent tried to marry Lois Lane and by the end kidnapped Jonathan out of what seemed was jealously. Now Lois and Clark were on the hunt for this Clark and their Son.
The issue has the couple raiding Clark’s apartment and finding absolutely nothing but a clean place but a kitchen and refrigerator full of candy. With that they finally confront Clark who goes on a rant about how Superman didn’t save him and how he had to trick himself to be Clark Kent. A very confused Superman is transported to a very strange colorful place full of candy, where the mystery Clark is now challenging Superman to say his name, all while changing from one of Superman’s greatest adversaries to another. Fantastic full page pieces by Doug Mahnke feature Lex Luthor, Bizzaro, Braniac, Mongul, Parasite, Doomsday and Cyborg Superman. All leading to the now very obvious reveal of Mr. Mxyzptlk, who is not a playful mood. He claims that Superman forgot about him and because of that he will make sure that Superman forgets about Jonathan so that it will never happen again. Superman is then transported back to the apartment, where Lois makes it seem as if he was talking to himself. He tells her that they have to get Jon back, to which she replies “Jon who?”, this story is only going to get weirder!
What really solidifies this issue is the great back story by Paul Dini that features Mr. Mxyzptlk and his hostage Jon. It’s tells the story of why Mr. Mxyzptlk is so upset with Superman that he went to the length of kidnapping Jon. As it turns out this whole mess is actually caused by the very Mr. Oz, who claimed that Myxzptlk was too much of a threat for his plan and because of that he needed to imprison him for the time being or maybe forever. He tells Jon that he has a great time with Superman and that their encounters are like clockwork, even going as far as claiming that let’s Superman win. When Mr. Oz imprisoned him, he thought Superman was going realize he was missing and show up to rescue him. Well Superman never even knew Mxyzptlk was missing so his rescue never came. This as we know upset him very much but he figured out that by saying his name backwards he was able to escape the prison. With Mr. Oz hot on his tail he “put the whammy” on himself making himself think that he was in fact Clark Kent. There were things that of course about Clark Kent that because of Rebirth and being stuck in the prison just didn’t add up to him, and it was discovering these changes that slowly reminded him of who he really was, Mr. Mxyzptlk.
A few weeks ago there was this huge buzz that the mysterious Clark Kent was Superboy Prime. Although I would love to see his character back in comics soon, Mr. Mxyzptlk was the only character that made sense for this story. Whoever was going to pull of being a fake Clark Kent had to know Clark like no one else to the point to not only fool him but also pass Superman’s test in the Fortress of Solitude. In this book it is shown that (the way I interpret it) there is only ONE Mr. Mxyzptlk no matter what version of Superman he appears in. This includes comics, television, and even Lego series he is one and the same. He tells Jon:
“I am the only one who sees the bigger picture. The only one who can pop from world to world.”
This is quite the revelation by Paul Dini because I don’t think that there is any other character in comics to have ever made that type of statement. This also gives us a reason as to why a character like Mr. Mxyzptlk would be a threat to Mr. Oz and whatever he is planning for Superman. Not only that but given the amount of focus the series has had on Jonathan, the fact that he would be involved in the reveal of the mystery Clark Kent really flows well with what they have been doing so far. I would love the opportunity to know how far back Dan Jurgens knew he was going to be doing this since he wrote the Lois and Clark series after Convergence. Overall this was a fantastic issue that has finally given an answer to a question we had been searching for since the launch of DC’s Rebirth. For now let’s see how Superman figures out how to get his Son back! What do you guys think of the reveal? Love it? Hate it?
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman: Reborn Part 2
Written by Dan Jurgens
Artwork by Doug Mahnke
Inked by Jaime Mendoza
Colors by Wil Quintania
The Man in the Purple Hat (Second Story)
Written by Paul Dini
Artwork by Ian Churchill
Colors by Mike Atiyeh