It’s my understanding that the true identity of 52’s Supernova will be revealed soon, possibly this week, so I read all the issues of 52 over the weekend from Week One through Week Thirty-Six and gathered all the clues to Supernova’s real identity.
I’m pretty sure it’s one of two people, and I’m almost certain who it isn’t, but DC could make it someone it shouldn’t be. It’s never simple in comics, even with all the facts, ma’am.
The key to understanding who Supernova is hinges on the nature of his main superpower: The ability to transport objects and people from one area of space to another. In Week 15 he transports a massive beast that carries a nuclear sub to some unknown destination. In Week Thirty-Five he transports thousands of Metropolis citizens safely to the outskirts of the city. This ability is not something Booster Gold, Steel, Martian Manhunter (who I was seriously considering up until Week 24, at which point I downgraded J’onn to an outside possibility), or any alternate or future version of Superman are capable of doing on their own. They need help.
In Week Thirty-One Ralph Dibny has a rooftop conversation with Supernova. In regard to Supernova’s real identity the former Elongated Man and still first-rate detective states, “The powers threw me, but when I saw them from the proper angle, I sussed out the one device that could tie them all together.” The key word in this statement is “device.” What device would enable someone to transport objects and people of various shape, size and number to another location? A Mother Box. A Mother Box can create a Boom Tube, and a Boom Tube is a means of transportation that expends a lot of energy, energy that is clearly visible whenever Supernova transports something. A Mother Box is a New Genesis device. The New Gods reside on New Genesis, ergo, Supernova is one of the New Gods.
But which one? It’s a toss-up between Mister Miracle and Lightray. I lean toward Mister Miracle — Scott Free, not Shilo Norman — because MM is currently a Metropolis resident and he is, as far as I know, the only New God who has incorporated a Mother Box into his costume. He is familiar with many of Earth’s meta-humans — the conversation with Ralph is casual enough to give the impression they know each other fairly well — but not the newer ones, such as Wonder Girl. Lightray is capable of expending the light displays that Supernova does and utilizing a Mother Box, but he does not have the long-standing relationships with Earth’s superheroes as does Mister Miracle. I believe that Supernova is really Mister Miracle, with Lightray a close second.
Now, there is a case for Supernova being related to Booster Gold. Skeets, Booster Gold’s robotic sidekick, whisked Booster’s descendent 1,000,000 years into the future and conceivably after a few years of growing up that character’s older self could have come back to 2006, although I don’t claim to know how he would do that, and become Supernova. But the problem with that is there is no way Ralph Dibny could have come to that conclusion given the clues provided to him. Ralph knows what device Supernova is using to produce his superpowers, and tells Supernova, and Supernova doesn’t refute him. Ralph simply doesn’t know what Skeets is up to and that a descendent of Booster has gone missing. And how anyone other than a New God could acquire a Mother Box or something akin to it is not clear, certainly not in the pages of 52. So a big “Supernova is Booster Gold!” reveal, or anyone else besides a New God, has its dramatic function, but, again, Ralph doesn’t have the necessary evidence to support that conclusion.
Another clue, practically a throwaway, can be discerned in Week Fifteen. On page 14, panel 2, Supernova flies between the nuclear sub and the creature, known as a Ballostro, at which point the Ballostro disappears in a burst of light. Someone in the crowd shouts, “Ba-Boom!” The reader doesn’t hear any sound when Supernova causes something or someone to transport, but people in the story seem to. An arrival or departure in a Boom Tube always carries a booming sound. It’s not an obvious clue, but it’s there.
What was Supernova doing walking around the Batcave a few issues back? I don’t know. Maybe he was just observing. Mister Miracle is just as good breaking into things as he is breaking out. Also, Batman knowing that Mister Miracle is Supernova would not surprise me. Maybe the Dark Knight allowed Scott Free to hang out in the cave while Bats and the Boys took their recuperation cruise.
So that’s my eleventh hour deduction of who Supernova really is, and I’m sticking to it unless DC convincingly convinces me otherwise. If it isn’t Mister Miracle (or Lightray) and I’m not convinced, then I’m going to feel seriously misled. Unless, of course, it’s “Spike” of Sugar and Spike, all grown up and ready to be a superhero. Now that would be the Big Reveal.