In the last few weeks, copies of Action Comics 689 have seen a big spike in sales, averaging between $10-$15. This early-nineties book was previously a dollar bin issue, so what is going on?
Superman’s Black Suit
The significance of this issue is that it features the resurrection of Superman after his death during the battle with Doomsday. Not only that, but It debuts Superman’s new look in a black costume.
In late July during the Justice Con panel with Zack Snyder about the upcoming Justice League Snyder Cut, a teaser clip was shown which reveals Superman in a black costume. It starts off with Alfred Pennyworth in the Bat Cave. He hears a low-boom and sees the drink in his glass ripple in Jurassic Park fashion. We then are shown a wide-angle shot of Superman descending into the Bat Cave in a black version of his costume. Approaching Mr. Pennyworth he says with a smile “I’m assuming you’re Alfred.” The clip ends with Alfred being taken aback but quickly composing himself and bowing his head as if to say “at your service”.
The black costume for Superman is not reflecting a darker direction for the character as it was with Spider-Man. The color actually has a more “scientific” purpose. Superman’s black suit, which is sometimes called the Recovery Suit, the Regeneration Suit, or the Solar Suit, was designed for revitalizing the Kryptonian. All of Superman’s powers, strength, speed, flight, invulnerability, heat/X-Ray vision, etc. are derived by absorbing light from our solar system’s yellow sun. Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to dress in black on a hot day since black absorbs sunlight. Well, that is the basic idea here. This Recovery/Solar Suit is essentially able to absorb a lot more of the sun than any Kryptonian naturally could. The suit helps bring Superman back to life and allows him to heal quickly.
Frank Miller’s depiction of Superman’s solar needs
A dramatic version of Superman’s healing from solar energy was previously shown in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight series. Here, Superman diverts a nuclear bomb to an unpopulated area of the country but is caught in the blast himself. He emerges as a shriveled bag of bones right at death’s door. He attempts to muster the strength to float himself up above the clouded, radioactive environment but is struck by lightning. Too weak to fly, he identifies a sunflower that survived the blast. He goes over to touch it, and as he absorbs the stored solar energy he is regenerated back to health.
The story in Action Comics 689
Action 689 takes us to the Arctic in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. Fortress robots are utilizing Kryptonian technology to revitalize Kal-El’s body in a pod-like structure called the Regeneration Matrix. Superman emerges from this pod in the black suit and is brought up to date by the robots on what has been happening while he has been dead. This briefing fills him in on the four new Supermen who have been running around, as this story takes place during the Reign of The Supermen arc.
Action Comics 689 has seen a significant spike in sales after the teaser clip was revealed. The Snyder Cut of Justice League will not be released til sometime in 2021. This book may have a chance to get into the $20-$30 range as more awareness of the black suit appearing is spread and general excitement for the film builds.
What do you guys think about Zack Snyder portraying Superman’s resurrection with the comic accurate
black suit, as this was not in the theatrical version of the Justice League?
Leave a comment below, let me know your thoughts.
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