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Interview: Greg Pak Discusses the Future of Superman

Find out what's going on in future issues of ACTION COMICS and BATMAN/SUPERMAN

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.

ACTION COMICS #35 cover

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!

36 Comments
Edited by AmazingWebHead

"Welcome to Horrorville"? And people say "Man of Steel" was too dark. ...I know, I know, I'm a broken record.

Also, first.

Posted by micah

What issue did Mongul escape from the Phantom Zone?

Posted by Squalleon

Pak's issues before Doomed were very good, so I eagerly expect him to return to solo stories rather than the epitome of convoluted mediocrity that is Doomed. I really want him to focus on Baka,Ghost Soldier and Steel (Superman is a given).

With him and Johns on the main titles the Superman lines feels stronger than ever in the new 52.

Posted by dondave

@micah said:

What issue did Mongul escape from the Phantom Zone?

Action Comics 34

Edited by timelord

@squalleon:

With him and Johns on the main titles the Superman lines feels stronger than ever in the new 52.

This also Charles Soule on Superman/Wonder Woman and The Red Daughter of Krypton arc is the most relevant Supergirl has been since the launch of The New 52.

Shame about Superboy I liked what Arron Kudder was doing but I guess 25 issues of Scott Lobdell is enough to kill most books.

Posted by Sovereign91001

I'm thrilled Steel will continue to play a role in at least Action Comics going forward, Pak has really reignited my enjoyment of the character.

Edited by micah

@dondave said:

@micah said:

What issue did Mongul escape from the Phantom Zone?

Action Comics 34

okay thanks, I hope we see a rematch with him and Supes.

Posted by johnny_blaze

I feel like Steel should have headlined the Action Comics titles. But I am happy we are getting more Steel.

Posted by tensor

I like what they did with steel so far.Love the Doomed story arc.

Posted by TheCheeseStabber

Should have kept him as SuperDoom permanetly and had him live the Clark Kent/Superman life

No one will notice SuperDoom with his glasses and suit on :P

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice.

Posted by Superguy1591

@johnny_blaze: No. Action Comics is Superman's book. Steel can have the Man of Steel Title.

Any way, I like me some Pak, I bet Horrorville will be awesome. P.S...I bet Horrorville is a Halloween special.

Posted by johnny_blaze

@superguy1591: True. But remember they had Power Girl and Huntress headlining World's Finest.

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

Soule wrote Doom amazingly. The dude was so funny and sassy.

Edited by HolySerpent
Posted by Superguy1591
Posted by dondave

@holyserpent: IIRC the a Phantom Zone was opened to try and send Earth and Braniac's Mothership into it. Mongul just walked out.

Posted by bladewolf

Pak's issues before Doomed were very good, so I eagerly expect him to return to solo stories rather than the epitome of convoluted mediocrity that is Doomed. I really want him to focus on Baka,Ghost Soldier and Steel (Superman is a given).

With him and Johns on the main titles the Superman lines feels stronger than ever in the new 52.

Agree 100%. Pak's stuff prior to Doomed contained the best Superman stories of the New 52. Doomed started off all right, but I quickly lost interest and dropped all the titles tied to it.

Posted by saoakden

I've been enjoying Doomed. Becoming one of my favorite Superman stories in the New 52. It's not my absolute favorite New 52 Superman story. That would be Superman Unchained. Doomed is becoming one of my favorite Superman crossover.

Edited by Rainja

I only bought the first issued of doomed online. I can't wait for it to come out in Trade(When ever that will be)

Posted by Fallingcliffs

Great arc so far though I'm curious they better not kill Clark, I still think Future's End Superman is Clark, he could be darker, more serious and scarred hence the helmet. People say "it's Earth 2 Superman" but I don't think so, his face would have to get messed up or unless he's hiding it so people "think he's the same Superman" and changes his costume to look more like Clark but different to represent what Superman "S" stands for? Just my guess here.

If it's someone other than Clark or Val Zod I'll be shocked honestly.

The only thing I wish DC would do better is define the timelines better, I know sometimes in issues they'll refer to something we know happened in the past with their "go read issue # whatever" but IMO they should start putting in the beginning of issues "takes place after darkseid, after batman/superman events in the past stories and Superman/WW, after Superman Unchained events etc that don't revolve around the current Superdoom arch imo. Just so that it's less confusing. One thing I hate wondering sometimes with comics is "does this take place before or after this event or that event etc"

Posted by Faymousinus

Let me guess. He turns into a girl?

Posted by johnqestion

Pak writes a good Superman. His Lana and Steel are awesome. I don't care much for what he's done with Wonder Woman seeing he mentioned he wrote her. Pak seems to think to write a good Wonder Woman you have to have her always punching or slicing. He's not as bad a Geoff Johns but he's not that great at showing her more compassionate side. That tells me he doesn't get it. Odd because he writes Storm who is not that hugely different to Diana in the sense of their status and wisdom. Soule and Azzarello write the best Diana. And to be honest these last 3 issues of the Doomed sidelined Wonder Woman and kinda sucks it did it in the first ever SM/WW Annual. I hate when they drag annuals into crossovers.

I hope the change is not a cop out. ie timeline gets wiped or Clark's mind is wiped. That would suck because it means they dragged an event to just say...oh did not happen really.

Posted by johnqestion

Soule wrote Doom amazingly. The dude was so funny and sassy.

Yep!! Totally agree. In fact Soule needs to watch it... Doom is coming across more interesting than his Clark. lol. Loved the sass.

Posted by COBRAMORPH

I keep reading that cover as Shorrorville. Shoulda moved the word horror over a little, doesnt cover the S & it does touch the ville.

Posted by Mightus

Lets see if they can make sense out of all this for all the players involved. These changes are the only real worry. Will they be a benefit or just drag the cast down?

Posted by Eagle_Vision11454

@mightus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F94_mjQ1aXM

Posted by davidgrantlloyd

Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder are one of the best creative teams to ever work on Action Comics. Hopefully, they both remain on the title for a good long time!

Posted by kazekaine1

Future's End Superman is probably Ultraman in a Kryptonite powered Suit

Posted by JV

@saoakden: I agree. So many people callled "Doomed" garbage and trash. I really enjoyed the story and the affects on all the characters. I found the personal challenge that Superman/Clark went through gripping.

Posted by Lvenger

Doomed has kinda derailed Pak's limited success in Action Comics with event fatigue and overblown 'shock value.' I'm much more interested in Superman than I'll ever be in Super Monster, which is supposed to be making a return based on the solicits to Superman/Wonder Woman #11 and Superman Doomed #2. So I hope Pak gets back on track once this Doomed nonsense is behind the Superman Family.

Edited by thecowwasdelirious

Why didn't just Morrison stay and make this lol