Superman is one of the greatest characters in the DC universe, for over 80 years he has been on the pages of comic books that fans all over the world adore. He is so famous that he has been a part of the public subconscious as much as Mickey Mouse and Mario. However, the character has seen a large variety of retcons, some that are worthwhile and others that weren’t so. Leading to plenty of fan controversy. Although some retcons have since been accepted over time and some even like the controversial changes, there are still plenty that fans do not like.
Here are the 5 retcons that fans like and 5 that aren’t as liked.
10 Fans Dislike: New 52 Cyborg Superman
When the New 52 first came out, it was a breath of fresh air for many new readers. Instead of starting all the way from the Post-Crisis era, fans were able to start in 2011 and not have to worry about continuity. However, some changes were made that were very questionable.
A notable example is the Cyborg Superman, where instead of Hank Henshaw, it was Supergirl’s father. Although the idea of giving Supergirl a very personal villain is never a bad thing, having it be her father is one that is arguably distasteful and not worthwhile.
9 Fans Like: Superboy
When Superman first crash-landed in 1938, he essentially became Superman around his 20s or 30s. With his powers being kept secret for a majority of his life. That changed once the Silver Age rolled around. Deciding the tell the tale of Superman from adolescence and not just adulthood, Superboy was a sensation that stuck around for a long time. So much so that his influence is still felt in the modern era to this day from sidekicks to a notable scene in Doomsday Clock.
8 Fans Dislike: Superboy-Prime Punching Reality
Superboy-Prime really is a tragic case of retcons. First introduced in Crisis On Infinite Earth, Superboy-Prime was a Superman who came from a world very similar to our own. Although he was a good superhero before, he was eventually retconned to becoming a psychotic and twisted version of the Man Of Steel after being in the paradise dimension for so long. His insanity resulted in initiating Infinite Crisis by punching reality itself and causing retcon ripples throughout the DC universe. Which has since become infamous.
7 Fans Like: Post-Crisis Superman
When Superman first got rebooted in 1985, one of the major changes to his character was his family being a prevalent point in his life rather than dying early on. This resulted in a Superman who was much more human, Clark Kent first rather than the other way around. As a result, he became the Superman that fans around the world remember in the modern age. He was so popular that he eventually returned and replaced the New 52 Superman for some time.
6 Fans Dislike: Jor-El
One of the most questionable choices that happened during the Rebirth era of DC is the character of Mr. Oz. Taking place in an arc that shook the Superman family to its core, it is revealed that Mr. Oz is actually Superman’s father Jor-El who had become evil. For the longest time, Jor-El was the loving father of Superman who sacrificed everything he had to send his child to earth. But after getting retconned to be alive this whole time, he had become a twisted version of what he once was. Joining his brother into becoming something worse for the sake of drama.
5 Fans Like: Solar Powers
When Superman was first introduced, his superpowers were inherently the result of Krypton’s advanced gravity. Allowing him to have his powers being as normal as the rest of his race. As all Kryptonians were super strong and jump extremely high. But by the time of the Silver Age, in order to give his powers more variety and interest, he became solar powered. Not only does it give something more unique to the character, but opened a lot more weaknesses to exploit. It’s a choice that still resonates with Superman to this day.
4 Fans Dislike: Rogal Zarr Destroyed Krypton
Another weird choice that happened during the Rebirth era of comics, Rogal Zarr is a character that has apparently been around since the early days of Rebirth continuity. Being the one responsible for the inevitable destruction of Krypton. Rather than it being destroyed by a natural occurrence. Ironically this not only made the loss of Krypton be unnecessarily caused by an evildoer, but it also introduces a character that doesn’t have a lot of depth and is flat in concept. With his motivation for destroying Krypton not being that compelling.
3 Fan Likes: Superman Reborn
One of the coolest changes to the Superman mythos was combining the Post-Crisis Superman and New 52 Superman together. Not only did this shake the foundation of the Superman mythos forever, but the DC universe too. Basically restructuring the DC universe for the better than what Dr. Manhatten conjured up. This results in fans getting the best of both realities, taking the best aspects of the Post-Crisis and New 52, amplifying them to incredible degrees.
2 Fan Dislikes: New 52 Superman
When Superman was first rebooted in the New 52, it was a sharp departure from the Post-Crisis continuity that most were familiar with. His parents were once again dead and his personality was far brasher then the calm collected Superman.
Taking more cues from his Golden Age incarnation. Although the character has a lot of fans, many others were kind of disillusioned and felt the character was not the one that they were accustomed to. It was such a change that he eventually died and was replaced by the previous version. Of course, this got rectified with Reborn.
1 Fan Likes: Superman Having A Family
A change that some fans may not know about, but in a story arc written by Richard Donner and drawn by Adam Kubert, it was confirmed that Superman couldn’t have a child with Lois Lane due to his different biology. This was specifically shown in the story Last Son in Post-Crisis continuity.
Although his adoption of Chris Kent was brief, it did pave the way to a new retcon by the time of Convergence and eventually Rebirth when Jonathan Kent was born. Creating not only one of the best Superman characters ever, but growing the Superman family and creating new dynamics for fans around the world.
Superman has seen his story retconned a handful of times over the years. Here's a look at 5 retcons that fans liked and 5 they hated.