The Man of Steel has one of the most diverse power-sets in comics: super strength; super speed; super hearing; X-ray vision; flight; laser beams that shoot from his eyes; frost breath. He's invulnerable as well, and that's led DC Comics to recently try and mix things up by robbing Superman of the powers that have long defined him.
For the past several issues of Action Comics, Superman has been powerless and trying to find a way to get his old abilities back. That hasn't been easy so far, but his latest scheme to once again become Superman looks to have actually worked ... with some not-so-great side effects.
Spoilers for Action Comics #49 below!
Superman is now powerless because a damaged layer of skin cells is preventing his body from absorbing yellow radiation from the sun, the source of the Man of Steel's powers. In order to remove those damaged cells and return him to "normal," Superman does something pretty darn dumb: he surrounds himself in a box of kryptonite with the hope of burning away the damaged cells.
Considering kryptonite is Superman's one real weakness, it's perhaps surprising, then, that his plan worked. The damaged skin cells have been wiped away and his powers restored, along with a new one.
Don't get too excited. Superman's new power is kind of silly. Whereas before he could hear the cries of helpless victims from miles away with his super-hearing, now, Superman can "feel" transmissions and energy waves. His powers haven't been fully explained quite yet, but it seems like now, Superman is a walking NSA surveillance truck, able to read the transmissions and broadcasts of people the world over. That seems kind of silly. Then again, it's not as silly as some of Superman's old moves ... like the ability to shoot mini Supermen out of his hands, for example.
It remains to be seen how his newfound power will be put to use in future issues (the full extent of the power hasn't been clearly explained), but in issue #49, he uses it to immediately locate the operations of Vandal Savage, the man responsible for robbing him of his powers in the first place.
There is one tiny problem, however. Remember that whole thing about how kryptonite is basically poison to Superman? It may have burned away his damaged cells, but now, it's burning away the rest of him as well. He remarks about how the wind in his face feels like fire as he flies, how it feels like his blood is boiling. That's because the kryptonite is now burning away his healthy cells as well.
Since Superman is one of DC's flagship characters, don't expect him to die from his new disease. He will no doubt recover soon, but the real question is whether or not his new radar power (or possibly powers) will remain intact. We'll know more next issue.