What Noh-Varr's New Costume Should Have Been
THE ORIGIN: Rocketed from the dying planet Krypton, a lone baby lands in a Smallville, Kansas field. Adopted by Martha and Jonathan Kent, the infant is raised like any other child, but the Kents soon learn their adopted son Clark is anything but ordinary. Under the Earth's yellow sun, he's developed powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.
THE CHARACTER: It's six years removed from the world of TV's Smallville, where Clark, Lex Luthor and Lana Lang all grew up together as friends. Clark's just graduated from Kansas State University and has been offered an entry-level job at the Daily Planet.
SUPPORTING CAST: Lana's still Clark's girlfriend and one of the few people who knows about his extraordinary powers. But his long-distance relationship with Lana (who still resides in Smallville) is strained as Clark grows closer to fellow Planet reporter Lois Lane. Lois, a tenacious and clever reporter, is also the protege of Planet senior writer Perry White, the man who mentors Lois and Clark in both their work and personal lives. And just as Clark settles in Metropolis, billionaire industrialist Lex Luthor reemerges after a four-year disappearance from public life. Although Clark looks forward to seeing his old friend from Smallville, something has clearly made Lex more intense, but Lex isn't talking.
THE SET UP: After learning to control and master his powers while growing up in Smallville, Clark Kent moves to Metropolis and dons a costume to help protect the world as Superman, a name Perry White gives him after seeing him save a sabotaged Air Force One.
THE FIRST ARC: Superman wasn't the only thing to escape Krypton. An artificial intelligence program developed by Jor-El, Superman's father, also reached Earth. Calling itself Brainiac I, the super-computer sets its sights on turning Earth into New Krypton - just as soon as it undoes the "damage" done to Krypton's Last Son by those who raised him human.
THE BIG PICTURE: As Clark tries to reestablish his friendship with Lex, he doesn't realize that Lex knows he's Superman! The catch: Lex refuses to admit it to himself. Lex feels that if Clark - who represents Lex's only tether to a humanity that has constantly betrayed him - has been lying to him their entire lives, it's Superman who has to pay the price.
THE ORIGIN: Fifteen years ago, a 7-year-old Bruce Wayne watched helplessly as a two-bit crook gunned down his parents. As the young Wayne was shipped off to private schools, a young detective named James Gordon would be assigned to the case. It proves to be the one case he could never solve.
Fifteen years later, a changed Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham. Having all but disappeared from the public eye for the last few years, Wayne secretly trained himself to wage a one-man war on crime as the masked urban myth called Batman.
THE CHARACTER: Not the billionaire boob that so many fans are used to, Wayne's trained himself not just as the Dark Knight but also as a shrewd businessman. One of the wealthiest men in the world, Wayne's closest business rival is another young gun - Lex Luthor.
SUPPORTING CAST: Alfred Pennyworth represents the only family Wayne has left: An English manservant who served the Waynes for over 25 years, Alfred plays confidant, medic and sometimes psychiatrist to the man he thinks of as a son. In James Gordon's long career, the image of young Wayne weeping over his parents' lifeless bodies haunted him: After 20 years on the job, he ascends to police commissioner by turning the tables on the corrupt Gotham police force, using their own blackmail and strong-arm tactics against them. At Gordon's side stands Harvey Dent, Gotham's hotshot district attorney, who grew up with Bruce before the murders. Dent's engaged to Gordon's daughter, Barbara, a grad school student who can't resist combing for Internet reports of the mysterious Batman's nocturnal assault on crime.
THE SET-UP: After training for over a decade, Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham, and dons the cape and cowl of the Batman. Striking an alliance with Commissioner Gordon - despite D.A. Dent's protests - the Dark Knight sets out to set things right in Gotham City.
THE FIRST ARC: As Batman and Gordon wage war against Gotham's mob families, they learn someone has beaten them to it. Calling himself The Joker, this mysterious clown-themed vigilante's campaign on crime kills capos, criminals and any innocents who get in the way. Batman must match wits with this darker version of himself who's better at this game than he is.
THE BIG PICTURE: Batman's stellar cast of rogues will be introduced slowly and menacingly. Two growing subplots will culminate with issue #50, as Wayne fights Lex Luthor's hostile takeover of his company, and as Batman, he once again confronts the Joker, who's learned that the high-tech Dark Knight could be only one man underneath that mask.
INCREDIBLE HERC fans: The rumors of our demise are premature-- See Mar 2010 solicits (& spread the word)