If you’re still hung up on Superman’s lack of underpants or any of the other changes that were ushered in by DC Comics’ New 52 reboot, you may want to take a breath before reading ahead because the Man of Steel is getting a new costume and a new power in Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.’s Superman #38.
Let’s start with the costume. As you can see from the John Romita variant cover for Superman #39, the new Superman costume has less of those odd lines that have been a signature of the Jim Lee-designed New 52 costumes. Supes is also rocking a more simplified pair of boots, a calmed down collar, a re-styled belt with a yellow oval buckle, and finger-less gloves. Yes, Superman is going totally 80s with some rad fingerless gloves. Why? No idea, but maybe it has something to do with his new power.
According to an interview with USA Today, Johns says that Superman’s new ability is, “the most destructive power Superman has”, adding that:
He’s not exactly excited about it because it is so dangerous and there are consequences.
“It’s not going to be suddenly he can levitate things,” he adds. “It’s something that is going to be very unstable and something that Superman’s going to have to deal with for quite a while.”
So, what is this mystery power? According to this infographic from DC that lays out the born-on-dates for Superman’s previous powers, it’s called “Super Flare”.
Based on Johns’ description, the “flame-on”/re-generating Time Lord appearance, and the name, it seems like Superman is turning himself into a sun flare. Which is pretty awesome and sure to piss of purists. If you want to see how and why Superman frees the “Super Flare” and the “Super Flair” that is fingerless gloves, check out Superman #38, which is sitting at your local comic book shop waiting for you to take it home.