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Interview: Greg Pak Talks BATMAN/SUPERMAN, First Meetings, Guest Stars and More

Find out what the upcoming series starring DC's top two characters will be like.

Who are DC's biggest characters? Of course the answer is Batman and Superman. Bringing a return of a book featuring both characters is a no-brainer. Except the upcoming BATMAN/SUPERMAN series won't simply rely on the star power of the two characters. DC is bringing Greg Pak on board as the series writer with Jae Lee providing the art. That means DC is giving you four reasons to get interested in this title.

We had the opportunity to try to pry as much information out of Pak as we could. And check out that art.

BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1

Comic Vine: How will the first meeting between Batman and Superman relate to JUSTICE LEAGUE #1.

Greg Pak: All will be revealed in the fullness of time. Have no fear. We know what you're thinking. It will all make sense in the end. In the meantime, enjoy seeing Batman and Superman as young, raw, dangerous, new heroes coming face to face. It's a crazy and different kind of meeting for the two of them. It's gonna be a ton of fun.

CV: Can we assume they won't necessarily get along at first?

GP: Yes, yes, that is an excellent assumption. [laughs] This takes place around the time of Grant Morrison's ACTION COMICS #1. So Superman is very young. He's fairly new to Metropolis and fairly new to being a superhero. I just love the way he's depicted in those early Morrison issues. He's young, he's cocky. He's a real crusader. He sticks up for the underdog. He may make mistakes and go too far. He's not yet at his full power. He's leaping over buildings in a single bound rather than flying. He has very interesting limits as well, which is a lot of fun for Superman.

You take a guy like that and you let him meet a very early Batman. Each of these guys, when meeting the other guy, is immediately going to think, 'My god, who is that guy?' and 'That guy is the most dangerous guy I've met in my life.' Batman is looking at a guy who can literally smash through a wall with his bare hands and can burn you to death with his eyes. When Superman sees Batman for the first time, he sees this crazy guy dressed in a bat-suit and beats up criminals. Neither has seen anything like the other guy. They also immediately assume the other guy is incredibly dangerous. So it sets up a very pretentious first meeting and relationship. It's just a very fun place to start with these characters.

CV: I know you haven't mentioned specifics on the first threat they face but can you tell us if it's someone familiar or someone new?

GP: I will say that this person comes from a corner of the DC Universe that DC fans definitely know and will hopefully be very excited to see us explore it. But they may not have actually seen this person before. Obviously it's a very exciting character for us to introduce. We think it's going to open up some pretty tremendous opportunities for stories for DC fans to get excited about.

CV: We've seen hints and mentions about the friendship they have. Do you plan to show how that has developed over the years in the New 52?

GP: I don't want to spoil too much but this story takes place, as we've mentioned, in the past. We will definitely get into the modern day of the DC Universe as well during the course of this book. I don't want to spoil exactly where or when and how we will do all of that. I will say that the book will explore the past and present of these characters and all ramifications from both the past and the present. It's a ton of fun. I'm just really grateful to be given the opportunity to work on some really high adventure.

BATMAN/SUPERMAN #2

CV: The solicit for issue 2 mentions them going to Earth 2. Is it an easy adjustment for them, knowing about the existence of another Earth?

GP: It's going to blow their little minds. [laughs] The exciting thing about it is that they are going to end up, as the cover to issue 2 implies, face to face with Earth 2's version of Superman and Batman. It's a really interesting set of opportunities, conflicts and challenges because we've got our world Superman and Batman, who at this stage are young and raw and their coming face to face with Earth 2's version. They are both older and established. They're both incredibly good at their job, they like what they're doing and their best friends. There's great challenges that the characters will face that's a ton of fun to write.

CV: Will there be any repercussions or mentions later in either EARTH 2 or JUSTICE LEAGUE over this trip?

GP: All I'll say is, all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

CV: The first story takes place in the past but will future stories tie into current continuity or will the arcs jump around to different moments in time?

GP: We definitely have a bunch of stories lined up here. We have the potential to explore different time periods. We're definitely going to spend a good chunk of time in the thick of it in the modern day DC Universe. But there are lots of opportunities here. Knock on wood and we'll see what happens. Throughout we will be exploring who these guys are and see their relationship develop. Whether that takes place in the past of the present is our ongoing thing and how they challenge each other. Are they best friends or are they going to try to kill each other? It's an open question.

CV: Will we see other supporting characters pop up?

GP: Absolutely. I'll tease one of them. Jae Lee draws Catwoman like nobody's business. When you get to page 8 or 9 in the first issue, your head's going to pop off. If you're a Catwoman fan, you're gonna want to print that sucker out and stick it on your wall. It's just phenomenal.

CV: People should buy two copies and then they could just cut it out.

GP: Exactly.

CV: Speaking of Jae Lee's art, it's amazing, as expected. Does seeing his pages change the tone of your stories?

GP: Every time I work with an artist, as I'm working on the book, I end up seeing seeing the book with their art. You know what I'm saying? I try to let them get under my skin. I try to see things through their lens as I'm writing. I love what artists do and respect it so much. I want to be able to give them stuff they can sink their teeth into and have fun with. I get inspired by what they do. Certainly on a subconscious or conscious level, ever panel, description - everything I'm writing becomes imbued with the presence of the artist I'm working with. At the same time, I don't feel that I've had to tailor anything for Jae because he's just got incredible depth. He's so great. You think of him and you think of Batman and it just makes perfect sense. Jae's kind of infamous for having these amazing textures, designs and this whole dark atmosphere. It's just a perfect match for Batman.

But Jae's a perfect match for Superman as well. If you look at what he did in BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS, he knows how to bring out that brightness and color. He has this art deco design sense which I think is really a great match for Metropolis. He has that sort of clean line feel. He also is great with subtle humor, little character moments. If you look at the preview pages, you have Clark Kent walking through Gotham City. You have big Clark and he has this look on his face - it's just so perfect. He has a slight look of trepidation…there's just a lot of subtle humor and characterization going on. He understands Superman and Clark really well and Bruce. It's just a huge pleasure to see him draw these pages.

BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1 is on sale June 5. Be sure to let your comic shop know you want them to add the series to you pull list.

Check out these preview pages:

70 Comments
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Posted by MadeinBangladesh

DAT ART.....

Definitely picking this up.

I hope Jae Lee Doesn't stop doing those amazing covers for Animal Man and other series.

Edited by Onemoreposter

I like how Bruce has his Year One disguise on.

Does anyone else think that Justice League Origin will be taken out of continuity? I'm hoping that it is at least. It wouldn't be the first time DC retconned a major story in only a couple of years. For example, it didn't take Birthright long to be replaced by Secret Origin. I hope that someone as talented as Waid, Cooke, or Morrison writes a Justice League origin story as good as the Birthright and Year One origin tales.

P.S. Birthright was better than Secret Origin.

I agree with everything you just said. I would love for the first arc of Justice League to be taken out of continuity. However I don't see this happening since Geoff Johns is the Chief Creative Officer at DC comics.

Also as for as Superman origins go IMO....

1.Man of Steel by John Byrne

2.Action Comic (2011) 1-18 by Grant Morrison

3.Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid

As for this new Superman/Batman series. It looks fantastic. That art and style is fantastic. I'm not overly familiar with the works of Greg Pak but I did love Planet Hulk. I am very excited for this series.

Posted by YouRight12

@immortal777:

I've been waiting on this and I'm exited the only thing that's bugging me is Batman's name is written before Superman's name.

Yea that doesn't sit well with me either. It just doesn't sound right

Posted by mpgeist

I was unsure about this book, but seeing the art and hearing Catwoman is in it is all the reason I need to give it a chance.

Posted by CitizenJP

I love that art.

Posted by SmashBrawler

This book is going to be great.

Posted by Petite_Oiseau

JAE LEE DRAWING CATWOMAN??? Have I died and gone to heaven *___*

@dcguy said:

I love Jae Lee's artwork . His work in Ozymandias made me his fan , tell the truth Ozymandias is the only book worth reading in Before Watchmen series.

That book is a legitimate work of art. The panel layouts are insane in the best possible way.

Posted by The_Vein

I hate, hate HATE Jae Lee's art. It is seriously the worst ever. I don't understand why people enjoy his stuff. It's all just dark with people standing around looking moody with black tree branches in the background for no goddamn reason.

Edited by fullmetaladam

Loved: MR. Lee's work on the "Dark Tower" series of comics (adapted from the Stephen King book)

Hated: MR. Pak's writing on Astonishing X-Men: Exalted ( Especially when I compare it to Whedon's run)

Result: Will give this series a miss.

Edited by nappystr8

I cannot wait for this book. The Superman/Batman: Supergirl hardcover was the first modern comic book I read, and the Superman/Batman series was one of my favorites. The idea of it coming back was enough in itself for me to pick it up, but to have the superstar Greg Pak/Jae Lee team up? Oh man. I hate that this is still a month away.

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

I'm very excited for this title. But it could cause continuity issues at the same time...

Posted by tec79

This is going to be a very good title while Pak writes it at least and have been a fan of Lee's art since his FF work with Morrison. A new Trinity Series will likely have to wait for the end of Superman and Wonder Women's relationship and the reprecussions to play out unfortunately.

Posted by Ganthetsward20

I want these issues with Jae Lee's art as interiors when he leaves so will I

Edited by davidgrantlloyd

Eh, I feel like this will just stir up too many continuity issues. Also, I'd rather have a new Trinity series than just a Batman/Superman book. DC needs to do more to promote Wonder Woman as one of their top tier characters

Good point. A bit more publicity would be good for Wonder Woman ...

I'll definitely check this Batman/Superman book out tho. It looks pretty cool.

Posted by Eternal19

Hoping this book is good

Posted by mbembet

i'm glad the title is Batman/Superman Batman kicks superman's ass anytime!!!

Edited by jesusdisciple001

Clark has a Clark life face and Bruce a Bruce like face TAKE MY MONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Edited by dcguy

JAE LEE DRAWING CATWOMAN??? Have I died and gone to heaven *___*

@dcguy said:

I love Jae Lee's artwork . His work in Ozymandias made me his fan , tell the truth Ozymandias is the only book worth reading in Before Watchmen series.

That book is a legitimate work of art. The panel layouts are insane in the best possible way.

I agree , this previews impressed me. By the way Jae Lee is really good at fight scenes , I'm waiting Batman and Superman kick some ass.

Edited by LordRequiem

I don't like that art style at all.

Edited by nate123

looks fun i love jae lee