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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 gunmetalgrey

I haven't read anything with Jae Lee doing interiors for a long while, but so far it looks like he's still got it and then some. It'll be interesting to see how he handles Supes, a character that's not as dark as his usual subject matter.

Posted by FlashDamn

Awesome

Edited by theTimeStreamer

the art is good but a horrible pick for this series.

Posted by The Stegman

I'm so happy right now.

Posted by SynCig

Art looks fantastic. Can't wait for this and Superman Unchained.

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

Can't wait to see my favorite duo.

Posted by detective38

Will be getting this book but I don't like lees art just not my cup of tea I guess. Also I hope this book isn't filled with continuity flaws even though I get a bad feeling it will be

Posted by derf_jenkins

I get more excited abt this book every time I see stuff.

Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus

My good Lord, all the darn teases we get from Pak makes me excited for this darn title even more! I want to know so much and yet I know at the same time Pak can't reveal to much in midst of this titillation! His writing style combined with Jae Lee's art for the interiors is like the ultimate combination 1-2 punch for this book that will keep it fresh and exciting I say. So exciting to be a Batman and Superman fan right now!

Posted by HoodlumNoHavoc

I'll be picking this series up. Jae's art looks stellar as always. The real World's Finest.

Posted by Mucklefluga

Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait Can't wait. :D

Posted by Outside_85

I am getting this, if nothing else, then it's for the art.

Online
Edited by SlickyMike88

The art looks good :)

Posted by Mr. Kamikaze

Is this the same artist who did that Namor series from a couple of years ago? Looks good, I didn't even know this book was happening till now...pretty excited. XD

Posted by kennybaese

Does that last preview page tell us how Clark's parents died? Or has that already been set elsewhere?

Posted by longbowhunter

I love Jae Lee, but he seems an odd choice for this series. Guess I'll have to pick up issue one and judge then. Pak's work on Hercules and Hulk at Marvel was fantastic. This could really be something good.

Posted by DarklyDreamingDeadpool

i loved his art on ozymandias, take my money dc!

Posted by G_Money_Christmas

the art is good but a horrible pick for this series.

Agreed. I think it'd be better on a Dark Horse book, not Batman/Superman. Not sure if I'll pick it up because I'm not digging the art too much. I guess I'll go with Superman Unchained, can't go wrong with Jim Lee.

Posted by bob808

I like the art.

Posted by Lvenger

Well Pak sounds like he knows what he's doing with these characters. He has a good understanding of them and appears to have a plan for a good series in mind as well as an intriguing nemesis. Though I'm not keen on him dodging questions about how the younger versions of Superman and Batman have met before the events of Justice League or how they meet their Earth 2 counterparts without it sticking out like a sore thumb.

Posted by rjohnson89

Does that last preview page tell us how Clark's parents died? Or has that already been set elsewhere?

Morrison set up how his parents died in Action, I think car crash caused by the villian in the 18 issue arc he did

Posted by UltimateSMfan

Damn that art's beautiful!! Really wanna see how it fits with the writing style and also Cant wait for this and unchained!!! June is gonna be Legen..wait for it...Dary!!! Legendary!!!!

Posted by sora_thekey

Other than Snyder's Batman I don't read any DC books... This might just be added to my pull list.

Moderator
Posted by Shajita

I'm sad to say, but I have no idea who either of these talents are. But this writer sounds like he's got the right idea, and those preview pictures are works of art. I'm picking this up day 1.

Posted by Mbecks14

Hopefully we finally get a decent Superman-led book in the new 52! The art is stunning too. It's not my usual taste but I think it's quite excellent.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Has been on my pull list for a month already, can't wait X_X

Posted by Batnandez

that art OMG I might just by two damn Jae Lee

Posted by saoakden

Oh wow, the art looks amazing. While I was reading this, it made me think of Zero Year. I hope everyone is on the same page when it comes to Batman's past. Looking forward to reading this.

Edited by batarang614

jae lee is a god

Edited by DonFelipe

Jae Lee - interesting! I have yet to read (and see) a comic where the interior art is done by him, too. His covers are amazing; e.g. the creepy one for The Phantom Stranger.

Edited by jwalser3

Hipster Clark...

Edited by notarandomguy

Now that's going to be a REAL 'world's finest' seeing how supes and batman interact has always been interesting for me plus the art looks so good I can't hardly wait to pick this up !! I think this and Superman unchained are two new series to look forward (btw bet you anything they'll make phantom stranger or constantine pop up in one of those two series to promote the other books)

Posted by twocifer

Ozymandias was my first exposure to Jae Lee... loved his work. Will probably pick these up.

Edited by Reignmaker

Yet another Batman/Superman series. *Yawn*

It will sell of course, but I'm not holding out for anything earth-shattering here. Let me know if I'm wrong.

Edited by Z3RO180

Really looking forward to this seris.

Posted by SUPER-MAN 23

This artwork is unique, now I'm starting to like this series

Posted by xtremekidx

the artist is amazing and if nothing will be buying the book for that

Edited by Mutie199

this looks awesome. my worry is if the art is suitable for superman. for batman is perfect since it has that dark feeling in it.

Posted by Arkhamc1tizen

Awesome love the art

Posted by Kal'smahboi

@kennyshat said:

Does that last preview page tell us how Clark's parents died? Or has that already been set elsewhere?

It was teased in Action Comics. They both died in a car accident. Well, I shouldn't say accident, because it was caused with malicious intent.

Edited by Superdork

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.

Posted by UltimateSMfan

@superdork: Birthright was Helluva lot better than secret origin!! but rest assured pak says it all fits together and theres no retconning of stuff(hopefully),lookin forward to the explanation of that.

Posted by Superdork

@ultimatesmfan: Oh, I actually want Justice League: Origin to be retconned. Hopefully that is one of the outcomes of Trinity War. I would prefer that Superman and Batman meet a little before Justice League, and Pak said that all will be explained in time, which could mean a retcon in September. =]

And you're totally right about Birthright!

Posted by elayem98

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.

Agreed on everything

Posted by Press Oblivion

I stopped reading after this statement. . . .

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.

Yeah, business as usual.

Edited by Superdork

I stopped reading after this statement. . . .

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.

Yeah, business as usual.

Yeah, I don't think there is an explanation yet. It's a retcon that will be explained down the line, which means we could be getting a new Justice League origin story. Hopefully it's not rushed this time around. =]

Posted by yo_yo_fun

God, those pages look gorgeous!!

This book sounded interesting from the minute it was announced.

I will be making room for this in my pull list.

I can't wait!!!

Edited by dcguy

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. But for the Greg Pak I have some suspicions .

IMO his writing skill is half good . But thanks to Jae Lee I'm hopeful this serie will work.

Posted by 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.

Posted by Avengers_4everXX

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

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