While Superman has had gray hair in the past, his silver fox-look hasn’t typically been canonical to the main street of Earth-Prime, being seen mostly seen in Multiversal standalone situations regarded as ‘Elsewords’ stories such as Kingdom Come and The House of El storyline.

Source: Kingdom Come (1996), DC Comics

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Though readers haven’t seen the mainline Superman ever sporting a Reed Richards-esque hairstyle, that’s all about to change in Action Comics #1036 when Supes and The Authority go off-world – leaving Earth to Clark’s son, Jonathan Kent – to take on Mongul.

Going forward in the main continuity, the Super Kryptonian dad will begin to show his age by taking on his grayer, wiser middle-aged appearance look, a redesign was spurred by events of the Superman and The Authority miniseries, which opens with Superman explaining to Manchester Black that his powers are beginining to fail in his older years.

Source: Superman and the Authority Vol. 1 #1 “All Our Tomorrows” (2021), DC Comics. Words by Grant Morrison, art by Mikel Janín and Jordie Bellaire.

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However, an apparent miscommunication at the DC offices then resulted in a continuity error, as in his next appearance post-recruiting his new Authority team, Action Comics Vol. 1 #1035, Superman was suddenly once again sporting his regular youthful appearance.

Source: Action Comics Vol. 1 #1035 “Warworld Rising, Part 6” (2021), DC Comics. Words by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, art by Daniel Sampere and Adriano Lucas.

 

Now, according to the recently released Action Comics #1036, it turns out Superman’s ‘regular’ appearance was a rather vivid illusion conjured up by Black and Enchantress.

In reality, Superman’s powers have been dwindling for months after an accident at STAR Labs gave him radiation poisoning.

Source: Action Comics Vol. 1 #1036 “Warworld Saga, Part 1” (2021), DC Comics. Words by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, art by Daniel Sampere and Adriano Lucas.

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Black and the witch were thus enlisted to cover this up in order to maintain appearances that Clark is still, pound-for-pound, the strongest being on Earth.

Manchester only tells the team the secret as a formality when Mongul, who is far from fooled, figures it out and breaks the illusion spell to expose Clark’s new and true form, gray spots and all.

Source: Action Comics Vol. 1 #1036 “Warworld Saga, Part 1” (2021), DC Comics. Words by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, art by Daniel Sampere and Adriano Lucas.

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It’s no wonder Mongul thought Kal-El is dying, as he is in fact getting older. The tyrant probably does sense, though, that life is fading for The Last Son of Krypton on his final mission.

For a company that swore they weren’t going ahead with the continuity relaunch when it was called 5G, DC sure looks like they’re going ahead as planned over a year ago, except without Dan DiDio.

Source: Action Comics Vol. 1 #1037 (2021), DC Comics. Cover art by Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sánchez.

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To recap this new post-Dark Knights: Death Metal continuity, Bruce Wayne lost his billionaire status, there is a new Batman of color written by John Ridley, Nubia is Queen of The Amazons, it’s speculated the new Wonder Girl will eventually become the next Wonder Woman, Bane is merely a wind-up toy soldier, and Jonathan Kent is the new Superman of Earth.

Redesigning his father into a silver fox aptly echoing Alex Ross and Kingdom Come, added with a little bit of All-Star Superman in the diegetic radiation overdose, could have potential – but if the deduction this is building to a Death of Superman rehash has any legs, we know where it all leads.

Source: Justice Society of America Vol. 3 #10 “Thy Kingdom Come (Part I): What a Wonderful World” (2007), DC Comics. Words by Geoff Johns and Alex Ross, art by Dave Eaglesham, Ruy José, Drew Geraci, and John Kalisz.

Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Sean Lewis with art by Sami Basri and Daniel Sampere, Action Comics #1036 is on sale now.

What do you make of DC Comics’ method of fixing the continuity error surrounding Superman’s silver fox appearance? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!