Who is Supernova?
I've been enjoying 52 a lot -- that is, some parts of it. Interestingly enough, I seem to be enjoying the bits and pieces that others are enjoying... Not so much.
But by far the thing I'm enjoying the most is the constant wondering: "who is Supernova?" I love mysteries, you see. And I thought 52 was going to be chock full of them. We were promised that The Question and Montoya would have a mystery to solve. But that hasn't exactly materialized. We haven't seen any of Ralph Dibny's vaunted "detective skills," either. The mystery charcters aren't delivering.
But that doesn't mean there aren't any mysteries. As I said, there is the question: "who is Supernova?" There are a few candidates that have been topping a lot of lists.
Superboy: Superboy seems to be a popular choice (though I'd mostly chalk that up to wishful thinking among Conner fans). Wonder Girl certainly thinks it's Superboy, returned from the dead. But if that were the case, he wouldn't still be dead OYL. Superboy is not Supernova.
Mon-El: Good old Mon-El (or M'onel, or Valor, or whatever) is another popular choice. This one certainly seems a lot more likely.
Over at Newsarama, Steven Wacker mentions that characters and concept from 52 will begin showing up in books written by the authors of said weekly series. He specifically mentions Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes, and oh! take a look at the solicit for issue twenty-five.
And yet, I remain skeptical. In the above mentioned Newsarama interview, Wacker also says that Supernova's identity will be (or already was) revealed in a mysterious "Issue #1." That doesn't prove or disprove the idea that he's Mon-El (Wacker said it would be revealed in that #1, not that that would be his first appearance in his "civilian" identity). So I'm holding off on saying for certain that he's Mon-El. There are other clues. Let us examine them.
In that same Newsarama article (a lot of Supernova teasing this week for some reason) Wacker mentions that Supernova is "really, really good" and that the full extent of his powers haven't been revealed. The fact that he's "good" would seem to indicate that this is not his first venture into the world of superheroics (or supervillainy, as the case may be).
He's clearly experienced with his powers, which seem to manipulate light to some degree, but also involve teleportation. Despite my nigh-encyclopedic knowledge of DC's characters (and an actual copy of the Encyclopedia of the DC Universe) I'm drawing a blank.
The other big clue from Week 20 is why Supernova's in the Batcave. He seems to be there for Luthor's kryptonite-studded gauntlet. At first glance, this would seem to indicated a connection with Superman (or possibly Lex Luthor). To a degree, this seems to support the Mon-El theory.
Another interesting thing about Supernova is that he seems to be a little touchy about his personal space. Not long ago Wonder Girl was getting up in his face and he verrry subtlely freaked out. What could possibly cause him to react that way? A lead allergy doesn't seem likely. I suppose it could support the "Superboy is Supernova" theory, but I think I already debunked that one.
One final note. Though I have used the masculine pronoun exclusively to refer to Supernova (check out the torso on that guy!) it does not preclude the possibility that Supernova might be a woman. Wacker is very careful to not refer to Supernova as he or she. Though I believe that is simply to feed speculation such as this.
In the end, this has been largely pointless, uninformative speculation. Speculation, rhetorical questions, and very few answers. Because I don't really have them. And none of us really do. Your guess is as good as mine. Besides, in the end I'll probably be disappointed when I find out who Supernova really is. Because it's the mystery that has me. It's always about the mystery.