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Interview: Charles Soule and Greg Pak on Superman: Doomed

Find out what's going on in this cross-over and how it will change Superman.

SUPERMAN: DOOMED is the new cross-over story spanning through numerous books and creators that gives readers a whole new look at one of Superman's deadliest foes, Doomsday. Writers Greg Pak (ACTION COMICS) and Charles Soule (SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN) chatted with us, over the phone, about this story.

COMIC VINE: A lot of people assumed this was going to be the New 52 retelling of the Death of Superman, but this story really throws the reader a curve ball right away. How did you all come up with the idea to infect Superman with Doomsday instead of just having them battle it out?

CHARLES SOULE: Part of the idea was to really make a Doomsday concept we already had and twist it up and shape it to make it feel different almost immediately. In a way, it is the Doomsday we remember from the old days and at the end, it starts to take a very dramatic turn, which carries through ACTION #31 and SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #8, which both came out on the same day. We really tried to enhance Doomsday and make it interesting in other ways and credit goes to Scott Lobdell for making the idea of wherever Doomsday walks, death follows. He walks by a river it turns black. He walks by a forest, it dies. His ability to infect other people, spoiler alert, Superman at the end of DOOMED, that's going to play out significantly in the early part of the whole event we're doing.

GREG PAK: I honestly don't remember the exact origin or who spoke the idea that Superman might get infected. I remember bouncing around an idea of the Doomsday virus at some point, but I don't remember who first spoke the words, but it totally makes sense. I think we were all drawn to it because to make a big blockbuster story, you have to have real emotional resonance. There have to be real emotional consequences and yes, getting beaten to a pulp by a giant rocky monster can be a real consequence but this infection idea let us take it to this level in terms of personal stakes for all of our characters, so it's been a blast playing with all those levels.

CV: You've both really turned this character on his head. Superman is full of rage and fantasizes about hurting those around him. How did you decide what Superman becomes as far as the physical and personality changes?

CS: We have a scale so there's a spectrum of changes that he goes through and we talked a bit about what that would be and how does it play at different stages and how he's like physically and emotionally. You see a lot of that in SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #8 where he's saying things he wouldn't normally say and doing things he wouldn't normally do. He's not evil, exactly, but he's certainly very aware he's changing and very worried about it. He wants people to take him out if he gets to strong. It's certainly cool for me to write and the changes going forward are dramatic so it's better and better.

GP: Charles had a great idea of this one half scale and I won't say anything more about that for fear of spoilers, but it's pretty helpful and we refer to it in the body of the scripts, using numbers from one to ten. And Aaron Kuder did a great thing where he did sketches of different stages which has been a great guide for us to help keep that all straight.

CV: Was there ever a line you didn't want to cross with changing this character?

CS: No, not really. As you see, we take it really far and that's part of the fun of it. We sort of throw off the chains. I don't know how to describe it but that goes to some fantastic places. We're [Scott Lobdell, Greg, and Charles] all in the mix of how we want to use him. We don't want to break him. We just want to put him through the wringer in a way that's emotionally satisfying for the reader and for us, but mostly, for you guys.

GP: I love the idea of a story that would take the character's greatest strengths and the various things that we love about Superman maybe the things that make him dangerous. And to see how he reacts to that. It's really going to test who Clark Kent is and I think that's the best kind of story.

CV: In Action Comics, we finally see John Irons become the Steel we all know in love because he too was infected, while fighting Doomsday. Was this a group decision and how does it feel to write that moment where you get to raise a hero to his full potential?

GP: Yeah, it's a blast. I love Steel and I talked a lot about this character with Eddie Berganza. I think with Eddie who was like "let's see if we can find a way to do some special with him and take him to the next level." I was thrilled to have the chance to do that. My challenge as a writer is to find a way to make it matter and to make it fit organically into the story and make sense so that it serves the story and takes the character to the next place, in terms of his or her emotional story. So, knock on wood, we got here. It certainly was a lot of fun to do it and see how the artists have drawn him and Aaron Kuder drew the heck out of him. When you throw in the guy with liquid, steel skin you wanna have great colors. And Wil Quintana is just selling it with the colors on this book. It's been a ton of fun.

CV: That moment when he walks out of the pool, the 11 year old in me got very excited and wanted to cheer at a book for the first time in ages.

GP: ::laughs:: Awesome. I did it for you, my friend.

CV: Why release the first three parts of the story in one week?

CS: It's a big story that runs all the way through August. The good thing about this is that there's a huge bite of the apple in a binge-watching culture so people to binge to a certain extent. Getting those three comics on the first day is a way for people to really understand what we're doing and where we're going to go and get a huge bite of awesome Superman which I don't think is such a bad thing.

Thanks to Charles Soule and Greg Pak and make sure to check out the Doomed story line! Also, here's a solicit for SUPERMAN: DOOMED #2!

SUPERMAN: DOOMED #2

Written by GREG PAK and CHARLES SOULE

Art by KEN LASHLEY and JACK HERBERT

Cover by GUILLEM MARCH

1:50 Variant cover by DAN JURGENS and NORM RAPMUND

One shot • On sale AUGUST 27 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T

A Man of Steel who has lost himself in the monster must once again go up against the first threat he ever faced as Superman in the form of a villain who now has the power to warp reality with a thought. But this time if he defeats Brainiac, Earth will be lost. Batman, Wonder Woman, Steel, Supergirl are joined by Starfire, Guy Gardner and Green Lantern Simon Bazz and even Swamp Thing to make a fateful decision about their friend.

38 Comments
Posted by batsymyplaything

So Brainiac is next. I guess this is all about Superman's will to Not to kill...

Edited by saoakden

I'm excited for this story.

Edited by UltimateSMfan

Damn! Looking forward to what comes next.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@batsymyplaything said:

So Brainiac is next. I guess this is all about Superman's will to Not to kill...

Yeah it feels like after MOS every Superman writer became obsessed with writing stories that involve his moral code and no killing policy. That's fine, I agree he shouldn't kill, and questioning his morality is always good for a story, but lately it feels like they've been over doing it. There's plenty of other things to write about.

Posted by Barkley

Great.....imagine a version of this story in Man of Steel 3?

Posted by Fastestmanalive

Nice. Really loving Doomed so far.

Posted by BR_Havoc

The special was terrible and I agree with people Superman is now going to be written for the Man of Steel crowd. He will not always have to question his morals and have writers come up with piss poor reasons to have him kill.

I doubt Johns can save the train wreck that is new 52 Supermen, I think he is only there to break up Superwonderful.

Posted by micah

I got Superman: Doom to see those two fight, and my god it was epic.

Posted by Jakkoaks

Im enjoying the series so far its a shame seeing people slate and complain about it. And im liking what DC is doing at the moment having teams of writers helps make these arc's spread over multiple series more cohesive.

Posted by Vaeternus

Nice, I love Superman in the N52 a lot because of this he's edgier and not so "hello there cat in the tree superman will save the day hidee hooo" as much lol.

Also, that's epic how Super doom I mean Superman will be able to warp reality, take that you current Hulk fans!! haha :P

Posted by feedonatreefrog

Despite some sketchy lines here and there, Doomed was freaking awesome.

Posted by UltimateSMfan

Also, that's epic how Super doom I mean Superman will be able to warp reality

Yea that Grammar in the solicit was a lil warped, I could be wrong myself but i think that it's Brainiac who can now warp reality as he was the first super villain that Supes ever faced. Still pretty epic though :D

Posted by timelord

I'm really loving Doomed so far , realising three parts on the same day was a great idea.

The only thing that bothers me is DC have been unclear as to what books have been affected by the cross over an official reading order/check list would be nice. While there at they could also give me one for Red Daughter of Krypton I want to read things in there correct order without skipping anything is that so wrong?

Posted by Vaeternus

@vaeternus said:

Also, that's epic how Super doom I mean Superman will be able to warp reality

Yea that Grammar in the solicit was a lil warped, I could be wrong myself but i think that it's Brainiac who can now warp reality as he was the first super villain that Supes ever faced. Still pretty epic though :D

Ohh ok cool still ;) Brainiac hehe

Posted by patrat18

I'm happy that Steel got a new suit.

Posted by Pperspectiveandreality

kind of upset that seemingly the rest of the feats from this event will be because of a doomsday amp instead of just having Superman cut loose....

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@patrat18 said:

I'm happy that Steel got a new suit.

And I'm glad we get to see the New 52 debut of Natasha Irons

Edited by patrat18

@patrat18 said:

I'm happy that Steel got a new suit.

And I'm glad we get to see the New 52 debut of Natasha Irons

Who?

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@patrat18: You know, Natasha Irons, Steel's niece, part of the Superman family.

Posted by patrat18
Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@patrat18: Oh, well then just type in "Natasha Irons" in the search bar and your good to go.

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

I like WW's new power. Weird but it kinda makes sense

Posted by laabitres

this story is great im excited about whats next

Posted by inferiorego

Buy all three parts. It's worth it, and this is coming from someone who isn't a big Superman fan.

Staff
Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

As if Doomsday wasn't OP enough, they thought it would be a good idea to give him MORE power with the ability to suck life out of organic matter so he can become stronger PLUS having the ability to "become a virus" (not sure how to phrase that part better). But then again, this was a Scott Lobdell idea so there's no surprise it was crappy anyway.

Posted by Rainja

I dont know why people are upset with superman making up his mind to kill. In this case it was logical and if he didnt go all the way he would have died and indirectly caused the extinction of the planet at doomsdays hand.

This whole i dont kill because its not right is garbage. Like really what else did u expect him to do in this situation, battle field remove him and put him at the end of the universe???? Well doomsday can instantly teleport now and can just simply resume his destruction. Superman had to sacrifice his selfish morals are sacrifice lives and he did the right thing.

Posted by Al_capOWN

Will this be released in TBP format later?

Posted by UltimateSMfan

@al_capown: Most probably but since its DC it'll be sometime in the second or third quarter of next year.

Posted by Z3RO180

Well at least lobdell is not on the seris anymore.

Posted by Lvenger

Buy all three parts. It's worth it, and this is coming from someone who isn't a big Superman fan.

That first part was a waste of my money and desecrated the core of Superman's character. It wrote him OOC, it derived its story from cheap shock value and anti climatic action. And it ended in the most disrespectful way to Superman possible. Given that I AM a Superman, I'd say I know what I'm talking about when I make this comment. It's bad all the way through which is no surprise given that this was Lobdell's idea.

Posted by KaraZorL

Superman will fight with Brainiac and Lois Lane? Will be interesting to see this.

Posted by BR_Havoc

@rainja: Terrible writing is what people take issue with. Lobdell came into this situation with the mindset he was going to make Superman kill Doomsday breaking his moral code to appeal to 16 year olds that need an "edgy" Superman. Lobdell and company added a bunch of silly powers to an already overpowered character to make Superman have to kill him.

Superman's no kill moral code is not selfish if it is, why do people love Batman so much? Oh yeah, because he is never shoehorned into having to kill a villain because of a B rated movie.

Posted by tensor

Shut up and take my money.From the look of this I wonder if Brainiac is behind all of this.

Posted by Zandalf

@z3ro180 said:

Well at least lobdell is not on the seris anymore.

Yep. So now i wonder how peole will complaint or against who since their scapegoat will be gone lol

Posted by Z3RO180
Posted by Ms-Lola

Brilliant. The art especially.