When it comes to the Superman books, we are living in an age of terrifying uncertainty. Like, seriously, I have read every single Superman comic that has come out since DC's latest relaunch, and right about the time the Eradicator showed up to fight Post-Crisis Superman because New 52 Superman was dead, I had to admit that I had no idea how we got here. But with all that uncertainty comes a thrill of excitement, and this week, Superman #4 gave us not one, but two surprising returns, courtesy of Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason.

The first one is actually not all that unexpected: It's Bibbo Bibbowski,the lottery-winning former heavyweight champ best known for being Superman's #1 fan. Considering that he was a staple of Superman's supporting cast in the '90s, his appearance isn't exactly shocking. The guy he's arm-wrestling, though? That one's a surprise.

 

 

That, friends and neighbors, is Hacken, and you may remember him from the pages of Garth Ennis and John McCrea's Hitman.

Originally introduced in 1996's HItman #1, Hacken was the least accomplished of Tommy Monaghan's band of misfit mercenaries, and on account of the fact that he's not very bright, was pretty often used as the punchline to everyone else's jokes. By the end of the series, though, he becomes something of a tragic character, and not coincidentally --- huge spoiler warning for a comic that came out 16 years ago! --- he's the only one of the main cast who manages to survive to the end of the book.

It's worth noting that he's depicted here with his prosthetic left hand, implying that whatever form the post-Rebirth DCU is taking, its history includes Hacken taking his own hand off with a chainsaw in "Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium."

 

 

As for whether this means that we might be seeing other pieces of Hitman cropping back up here and there in the Rebirth universe, that remains to be seen. But hey, Hacken from Hitman and Bibbo Bibowski arm-wrestling for a moon rock? That's got me paying attention for sure.