The role of Superman in the DC comics universe will no longer fall on the shoulders of Clark Kent, or Kal-EL if you want to get Kryptonian about this.
That may sound like a jarring change for a hero who has graced comic book pages for over 75 years, but it makes a bit more sense when you consider the storyline explanation, as broken down recently in ComicBook.
After the events of Superman: Son of Kal-El #3, the original Man of Steel is ousted as a member of the Justice League for meddling unduly in an international conflict in Action Comics #1035. This leaves the opportunity open for Clark Kent to travel to WarWorld and free those who were locked up by Mongol. But having to travel that far out would mean earth would remain vulnerable without being nestled in Superman’s protective and muscular bosom.
Well, like father, like son, because the comics see a passing-of-the-torch moment where the elder Clark imbues son Jon with the duties of Superman while Clark is away.
Clark attempts to reassure Jon after the young Kryptonian’s recent trip to the future, in which he received word that his father is killed on another planet. Clark instead emphasizes Jon’s ability to forge one’s own destiny instead of being tied to an archaic notion of fate, then names his son as the new Superman and the two embrace.
However, if a recent insight from Superman writer Philip Kennedy Johnson is to be believed, Kal-El’s fate may not be an all too bright one.
“Superman is a symbol of hope, truth, and justice all across the Universe, and injustice is everywhere. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Superman becomes aware of an existential threat not just to Earth, but to pretty much everyone. He leaves Jonathan and Kara in his place, sets out to take down this threat, and…vanishes. Years later, we learn where he actually is. (Spoilers: it’s not great.)”
Where do you want to see the Superman character go from here?