Reign of the Supermen #510: Brutaal (the Earth 2 Superman)
Source: Earth 2 #1 (2012; as Superman of Earth 2), Earth 2 #16-on (2013; as Brutaal) Type: Alternate Earth
Though Earth 2 was in some ways bleaker than New52's Earth-1, seeing as it had been devastated years ago by Darkseid's forces, there was a sort of hopeful feeling to it as all these new "Wonders" came out of the woodwork (as opposed to Earth-1's heroes which were met with distrust). One of the things that made this reinvention of classic Golden Age heroes was that they all worked in the shadow of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, great heroes killed during the battle against Apokolips. In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, today's heroes, including Clark, Bruce and Diana, were inspired by the Golden Age heroes. On Earth 2, this paradigm was reversed. So I was all set to do a post about the Earth 2 Superman who valiantly gave his life for his world. This guy:
And I would have gone to World's Finest to see what his cousin and sidekick, now Power Girl, remembered of him, etc. Instead, Earth 2 introduced THIS guy:
Brutaal. One of Steppenwolf's new minions and a superpowerful psychotic killer. Revealed to be a conditioned Superman. Oh great. His specialty seems to be splitting people in two, which he even does to his own boss:
No really, he does this a lot:
A murdering Batman has also started showing up in the series, though likely not Bruce Wayne. Now, I have no idea why James Robinson recently defected to Marvel, nor if he introduced these characters a few months ago under editorial duress, but the new writer is certainly focusing on them a great deal already. Normally, I wouldn't mind a little Mirror Mirror in my alternate Earth comics, but a killer Superman? We've already got the Injustice game and digi-comic, which features a Super-killer. We've got Forever Evil, a huge event that uses Ultraman, the proper evil alt-Earth Superman, as well as a new Bizarro. We've got Justice League 3000, with a douchebag Superman who may well be a clone of Ultraman. And even the recent Man of Steel film featured a controversial killing scene. So who needs this Brutaal Superman? At this point, it would be more shocking to encounter a Superman that can keep his powers and temper in check!