Superman: Doomed is winding down and there's some big changes in Superman's life and those around him. One of the writers of this cross-over event, Greg Pak talked to us over the phone about what's coming down the road for Superman and the October issue of ACTION COMICS.
COMIC VINE: We have the conclusion of DOOMED coming up at the end of August. With Mongul escaping the Phantom Zone, what does that mean for Superman and friends?
GREG PAK: A massive revelation coming in SUPERMAN//WONDER WOMAN #11 and also in SUPERMAN: DOOMED #2. Every time our heroes have finally started to figure something out here, we're throwing new problems at them. Everything is coming together toward the big massive climax over these next few issues and it's insane. It's giant action as well with massive, emotional payoffs. All of the characters we've been following along through the story line will have big payoffs in these next couple of issues. Don't you dare miss them.
CV: After September, ACTION COMICS will focus on the aftermath of DOOMED. A lot has changed for the characters in this event. Was it tough for you to slowly put the pieces back together after such a destructive story?
GP: I love ACTION COMICS #35 because we're going to take some time and really look into to the repercussions of this massive, world-wide event. Let's be honest. Comics are full of world-altering events, massive comic battles happening every day. It's sometimes rare to see folks react to that, after the fact. ACTION #35 gives us a real chance to look at the aftermath of this battle and this crisis from a lot of different angles and on a human level. Clark Kent has gone through hell. I'm not going to spoil anything, but if you've been reading the story, you know he's been pushed to every extreme and led to question his very being. There's going to be a reckoning coming. ACTION #35 is also going to give us a really a window into the repercussions on a number of key supporting characters, several of whom will have their lives changed in very significant ways. We'll see if everybody makes it out alive or not and that is an open question.
CV: How about those comatose victims in Smallville?
GP: Exactly! Who knows? Who knows what's going to happen to those poor people. [laughs] You better read to find out. I think it's not a spoiler to say that one of the covers to these upcoming issues does show a smashed up Smallville sign where "small" has been painted over with "horror." Something new is coming down the pipe.
CV: The Doomed storyline has really expanded on the world of Superman and made it feel a bit more like a Superman Family book. Will the next arc have that same feel or will it go back to being Superman-centric?
GP: I think all characters work better when you have a strong, supporting cast. As SUPERMAN: DOOMED grew, we started off as the supporting cast in these separate books because it's coming together and by the end of it, the supporting cast of all of the books are in all of the books and it's crazy and a lot of fun. I've been writing Lois Lane and Wonder Woman and characters in Charles' [Soule] books and Lana Lang and Steel, who started out in ACTION and had huge moments in the last issue of SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN Annual. So it's been a lot of fun. The crossovers have been a lot of fun for that reason. You get to play with all of the toys. Now, you're going to see the focus of these books narrow back down a little bit and spend a little bit more time with a small cast, which is also going to be fun. All these supporting characters that we've explored in the Doomed story line have been affected by the story line and you're going to see payoffs as the books go on. But the individual books are going to focus more on certain characters rather than try to cover everybody and that's the way it should be. If you care about these characters, then keep on reading because we have a lot of fun stuff coming up.
CV: As a fan myself, I'm really hoping there's a lot more Steel because what you've done with the character has been fantastic since the start of DOOMED.
GP: Thanks so much and I will tell you, yes there will be more of Steel. Will he survive? I don't know but we'll see more of him, one way or another. The cover of that issue says "horror" on the front and to find out exactly what that means, you'll have to keep on reading.
CV: A new arc is starting at the end of August in BATMAN/SUPERMAN. There's been a lot of changes in dynamic between these two characters because of DOOMED. Does that mean we'll be seeing a lot of changes in their relationship in this arc?
GP: I'm thrilled about this story line. We actually delayed it a couple months because we had an issue Jeff Lemire for the series and then we had a Doomed tie-in which was a ton of fun, but this new story line starts in issue #13 [August 20th]. It's a story that we announced much earlier and it's coming out and it's one of my favorite things I've done in a book. At the end of issue #12, we saw our heroes, spoiler alert, being stripped of their memories, once again, by Kaiyo the chaos bringer. We're going to see a plan in motion in issue #13 where Batman and Superman are going to return to Earth, but in very surprising circumstances. The book is going to answer the question "what would happen if Batman started off his career with Lois Lane and Superman started off his career with Catwoman." One of the glories of this book is that you get to play with the supporting cast and that kind of mixing and matching is a fun way to bring out different nuances of different characters. Jae Lee has drawn issue #13 and it's gorgeous. We have colors by the great June Chung and it's a blast, particularly if you like Lois and Catwoman and want to see these character interact in very surprising ways in a story that explores who these two guys are and what they mean to each other.
CV: You're also writing the BATMAN/SUPERMAN Futures End book for September. What can we expect from that issue?
GP: This is a tricky one to figure out how much I can reveal because I'm not sure how much has been revealed in FUTURES END. There's a lot of reveals coming up. I think it's safe to say that... [laughs] How can I say this without giving it away? We'll put it this way. We are going to find out how our heroes got to the point where they are at in FUTURES END. It's going to fill in some of that missing time between our time and FUTURES END. It's going to fill in the missing details about the relationship between these two guys. Their relationship has gone through some shocking changes. We're going to find out some of the how and why in this issue.
Thanks to Greg Pak for talking to us and make sure to check out the last few issues of Doomed!