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Interview: J.T. Krul Talks SUPERMAN BEYOND

It's time to go back to the future with Superman in the "Batman Beyond" Universe.

SUPERMAN BEYOND #1

Last month J.T. Krul revealed on his blog that he would be writing a new SUPERMAN BEYOND series beginning in April. He'll be working with Howard Porter and Livesay and this marks the first time he's actually worked on the Man of Steel. There's a lot of potential and unexplored areas in the "Batman Beyond" Universe so we asked J.T. a few questions to find out what we can expect.

Comic Vine: How closely will this book tie into the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED and BATMAN BEYOND stories? Will Superman visit Bruce or steer clear?

J.T. Krul: While the story in SUPERMAN BEYOND does not directly involve the stories taking place in the other books, there is definitely a notion that we are building the "Beyond Universe" with all three books. Obviously, the Batman Beyond universe is the most established, both in television and comics, so the other books, SUPERMAN BEYOND included, are part of an effort to expand that universe - see what's going one outside Batman's view. My story has a global element to it, but for the most part, it's centralized to Metropolis.

CV: Will Superman stay on Earth or visit other planets?

JTK: For this first story, he will remain on Earth for the most part. Essentially, this story finds Superman feeling a bit distanced from the planet he calls home. Over the years, he's watched almost all his friends and loved ones (and even his enemies) die, so it's a story about Kal-El reconnecting with the Metropolis that exists today - as opposed to focusing on preserving the memory of the city he once knew so well.

== TEASER ==

CV: What about villains? Are any of his 'past' villains still alive? Will there be new ones or descendants of past villains?

JTK: For the most part, Superman's villains are dead and buried, including Lex Luthor, so we'll be seeing some new blood come into the fold rather quickly. But that's not to say some familiar faces won't turn up through the course of the story.

Superman Beyond one-shot (2011)

CV: What about other heroes? We know about Batman and the members of Justice League Unlimited. Will you be touching on Superman's other crimefighting friends? Was there ever a 'Supergirl Beyond'?

JTK: For the most part, I wanted to focus on Superman himself. There are other heroes in the universe, and you'll definitely be seeing how Superman works with within the framework of the new Justice League, but for this story is focused like a laser beam on Superman and what he's going through.

CV: Will he bother having a secret identity or simply be Superman all the time?

JTK: Funny you ask, because that is one of the elements of the story. Clark Kent has lived a long life on Earth, growing up in Smallville with loving parents, building a life for himself at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, an forming a lifelong bond with Lois Lane. Well - in the Beyond Universe, all of that is gone. His parents, Lois, and even what he knew to be the Daily Planet. The whole world has changed, but he hasn't. So, there are the two questions to be asked: Where does Clark Kent fit in this world? And, where does Superman fit in this world?

We all know the lengths to which Kal-El has gone to preserve the memory of his lost home on Krypton, and now it seems like his memory of the Metropolis he knew is causing a similar reaction. He has a hard time letting go of those connections his entire birth was mired in losing everything at the very beginning of his life. He's a sucker for nostalgia, but that can be a bad thing when it pulls you away from the rest of the world - in order to exist in a bubble that doesn't really exist anymore.

CV: Are there certain elements or characters that are off limits in this "Beyond" universe or will you have a lot of freedom to explore the period?

JTK: Not at all. The original pitch I turned in is pretty much the story we are doing. All the big elements and all the characters. I got to do exactly what I wanted. I'm sure there may be things I can't do, characters I can't use , but I haven't run into that yet at all. It's been great working with Kwanza Johnson and Ben Abernathy on the project. Even though the Beyond universe has been established for awhile, it's really an open playground.

CV: Where will Superman's power level stand, more or less powerful than regular Superman?

JTK: His powers are waning a bit in the future as he gets older, but he's still the Man of Steel. For him, the powers are not the key, it's the moral strength of his internal compass that really makes him a "Superman."

We'll be keeping an eye out for this, coming in April!

60 Comments
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Posted by jsphsmth

Loved DeFalco's one shot last Fall. Not crazy to see Krul's name attached to the Beyond Earth. Will probably pick up the print collection anyway.

Posted by Decept-O

Have to admit, the Batman Beyond and even some Elseworlds titles have a bit better structure in terms of stories and continuity. So this is an interesting take to say the least. I am burned out on the "52" stuff at the moment but this does look promising. I like that design, and the concept I've read.

Also, this is an accurate description of who Superman is and what some readers miss out on:

CV: Where will Superman's power level stand, more or less powerful than regular Superman?

JTK: His powers are waning a bit in the future as he gets older, but he's still the Man of Steel. For him, the powers are not the key, it's the moral strength of his internal compass that really makes him a "Superman."

He couldn't have said that any better.

Posted by Deranged Midget

@Decept-O said:

Have to admit, the Batman Beyond and even some Elseworlds titles have a bit better structure in terms of stories and continuity. So this is an interesting take to say the least. I am burned out on the "52" stuff at the moment but this does look promising. I like that design, and the concept I've read.

Also, this is an accurate description of who Superman is and what some readers miss out on:

CV: Where will Superman's power level stand, more or less powerful than regular Superman?

JTK: His powers are waning a bit in the future as he gets older, but he's still the Man of Steel. For him, the powers are not the key, it's the moral strength of his internal compass that really makes him a "Superman."

He couldn't have said that any better.

The last bit makes no sense. He shouldn't become weaker as he absorbs more sunlight... But I'm not the writer.

Moderator
Posted by Burnstar1230

It is pretty interesting to find out where Clark Kent will stand in this world, where he's expected to be elderly or dead like everyone else he knew in his prime.

Posted by Decept-O

@Deranged Midget: Where does it say Superman becomes weaker as he absorbs more sunlight in this version? I haven't read the previous one-shot so I am not aware of that possibility.

I quoted the last bit JT Krull said to illustrate he has a grasp on who Superman is in terms of his character. Something I think has been forgotten for some time. Nothing to do with his powers.

Posted by Kallarkz

@Decept-O said:

@Deranged Midget: Where does it say Superman becomes weaker as he absorbs more sunlight in this version? I haven't read the previous one-shot so I am not aware of that possibility.

I quoted the last bit JT Krull said to illustrate he has a grasp on who Superman is in terms of his character. Something I think has been forgotten for some time. Nothing to do with his powers.

I liked that line to. His definition of Superman was nice. And it has been written anywhere that i know of that his powers wont wane down with the passage of time. I think its just assumed by people that he would stay in perfect condition.

I like it though. Was wondering what title was going to fill my last slot...now i know =)

Posted by ReVamp

Not reading this.

Posted by DIOMJK

After some shitty Green Arrow tales, Krul has won me back with Captain Atom, and This looks promising. I'm optimistic about this whole thing

Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee

So wait, Are the Beyond stories in continuity or are they else world? I hope else world...still excited to read it though.

And why is it that every old version of superman (except Kal-L) has the weird looking modified S...aka Superman Beyond and Kingdom Come Superman. Different designs but very similar.

Posted by Outside_85

Would make sense that, even under a yellow sun (one that might be more an more filtered due to pollution and such) that Superman's body will age and become more frail with the passage of time.

Also, I remember one of the Kingdom books where we saw what happened to Superman after the bomb; settling down with Diana, slowly having to watch everyone he knows die and one day look up into the sky to see the Legion of Superhero's take flight, while he looks like Gandhi.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Decept-O said:

@Deranged Midget: Where does it say Superman becomes weaker as he absorbs more sunlight in this version? I haven't read the previous one-shot so I am not aware of that possibility.

I quoted the last bit JT Krull said to illustrate he has a grasp on who Superman is in terms of his character. Something I think has been forgotten for some time. Nothing to do with his powers.

I read the one shot, thats what happens in the beyondverse, he's begging to lose his power the older he gets
Posted by BatClaw89

Not a big sups fan but I am definitely reading this. Love the Beyond universe. here's hoping that it is the DCnU future

Posted by illmatic06

" JTK: His powers are waning a bit in the future as he gets older, but he's still the Man of Steel. For him, the powers are not the key, it's the moral strength of his internal compass that really makes him a "Superman." He couldn't have said that any better. The last bit makes no sense. He shouldn't become weaker as he absorbs more sunlight... " The last bit makes perfect sense. That's like saying that humans eventually get weaker after prolonged eating. It is called aging. Even though he is long lived, he appears to degrade with aging even if it is at a much slower pace. Nothing seem crazy about that.

Posted by zackattack529

@BatClaw89: i read the digitals they still remain the same batman beyond universe you probabaly remember it, nothings really changed. which i think is a great thing. kinda like continuing episodes of the show but with more series all in one.

Posted by r3d_rob1n

I dont understand why he has to change the S shield and switch to a black costume just because its in the future. If the S is supposedly his families "coat of arms" in a way, why would you create a variation of that?

Also I'm inclined to agree with the idea that Superman will become stronger and stronger until he dies, as exposure to yellow sunlight over time only makes him stronger. I always figured that Superman would die similar to the way he does in All Star, just one day his cells would break down from over exposure

Posted by Miss_Garrick

I am looking foward to reading all the "Beyond Universe" series.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@r3d_rob1n said:

I dont understand why he has to change the S shield and switch to a black costume just because its in the future. If the S is supposedly his families "coat of arms" in a way, why would you create a variation of that?

Also I'm inclined to agree with the idea that Superman will become stronger and stronger until he dies, as exposure to yellow sunlight over time only makes him stronger. I always figured that Superman would die similar to the way he does in All Star, just one day his cells would break down from over exposure

Both the costume and superman getting weaker as he gets older as be in beyond canon for a while now
Posted by DEGRAAF

I dont mind the way they are going with his powers but i hope they explain it well. I always like Superman One Million. I like the thought that he basically absorbs so much energy that he becomes nigh omnipotent but if you think about a rechargable battery you can only recharge it so many times before it starts taking less and less charge and dies quicker and quicker. I would like to see both theories played out.

I do hope they reveal what has become of Supergirl and Superboy. I would think they will send Supergirl in to the future with the LoS but i would love to see her hanging around as a world/universe traveller. I would also like to see what has become of Sperboy. I would assume he ages slower then Humans but quicker then Kal-El so maybe he looks just as old or is already dead. Maybe he never aged again after getting out of his cloning tank. He could be the same way he was that we see him now. Maybe he joined a lantern Corps or went crazy and evil and is controlling a solar system some where. Maybe he is married to Wondergirl and they are living on a reconstructed New themyscera

Posted by ltbrd

The idea that Superman will always get stronger is completely ridiculous and makes no sense to how any mortal life actually degrades through aging. But even the "new 52" Superman writers are guilty of this (yet another reason why I don't hold Geoff Johns to the godhood some readers do) because both books state that he just keeps getting stronger and stronger and gaining new abilities which is complete and utter bull. Though a kryptonian may live longer than a human at some point they'll achieve a peak in their life span and from that point forward age and degrade like any other mortal being. Hats off for the Superman Beyond team for not falling into this trap and so giving us a character that needs to deal with the effects his aging brings (especially considering the types of battles he gets into) and his own mortality.

The simple fact is Superman's cells aren't blackholes and so they have a finite amount of solar energy they can absorb. At the peak of our lives we only produce a set amount of cells as old ones die off. Superman's body is no different else his body would literally begin hemorraging cells from every pore in his body or his mass would constantly increase if old cells didn't die off. But as we age cellular production as well as the longevity of new cells degrades and so even if Superman's aging is slowed because his kryptonian heritage or the yellow sun he's still going to age and this same process will apply to him.

Posted by The Impersonator

@ReVamp said:

Not reading this.

Why? It looks interesting. =P

Posted by ReVamp

@The Impersonator said:

@ReVamp said:

Not reading this.

Why? It looks interesting. =P

Krul ruined Green Arrow. He's a funny guy, but my faith in his writing abilities have unfortunately dwindled down to non-existent, though I do love the Beyond Universe.

Posted by r3d_rob1n

@spiderbat87: I understand that it has been in canon. What I don't understand is why he would choose to do that. It is just not his character to wear black and to mess with the S.

Posted by Decept-O

@spiderbat87: OK, thanks for that bit of info. So he loses his powers the more sunlight he absorbs or is it just a matter of time and aging that has affected his powers to be less than before? Guess I should try to get the one-shot just to be certain.

Posted by The Impersonator

@ReVamp said:

@The Impersonator said:

@ReVamp said:

Not reading this.

Why? It looks interesting. =P

Krul ruined Green Arrow. He's a funny guy, but my faith in his writing abilities have unfortunately dwindled down to non-existent, though I do love the Beyond Universe.

I see what you mean. But we'll have to give the guy a chance. =P

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Decept-O said:

@spiderbat87: OK, thanks for that bit of info. So he loses his powers the more sunlight he absorbs or is it just a matter of time and aging that has affected his powers to be less than before? Guess I should try to get the one-shot just to be certain.

its just because of time 
Posted by Decept-O

@spiderbat87: OK, thanks. Well user DerangedMidget said in his post that Superman loses power the more sunlight he absorbs in this version. Don't know where that came from so I was perplexed; it didn't make sense, really. Maybe some misinformation there evidently. Appreciate the info yet again.

Posted by HolySerpent

Might pick this up

Edited by Deranged Midget

@Decept-O said:

@Deranged Midget: Where does it say Superman becomes weaker as he absorbs more sunlight in this version? I haven't read the previous one-shot so I am not aware of that possibility.

I quoted the last bit JT Krull said to illustrate he has a grasp on who Superman is in terms of his character. Something I think has been forgotten for some time. Nothing to do with his powers.

It says as he is older, his powers begin to wane, which makes absolutely no sense at all. That's what J.T. Krul said specifically in the interview. Superman should simply become continuously more powerful as he ages. Age shouldn't affect a Kryptonian.

Moderator
Posted by LoganRogue24

i hope we see kara or power girl in this book at some point there the only family he has left.

Posted by Deranged Midget

@spiderbat87 said:

@Decept-O said:

@Deranged Midget: Where does it say Superman becomes weaker as he absorbs more sunlight in this version? I haven't read the previous one-shot so I am not aware of that possibility.

I quoted the last bit JT Krull said to illustrate he has a grasp on who Superman is in terms of his character. Something I think has been forgotten for some time. Nothing to do with his powers.

I read the one shot, thats what happens in the beyondverse, he's begging to lose his power the older he gets

See I found that completely ridiculous.

Moderator
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Deranged Midget said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@Decept-O said:

@Deranged Midget: Where does it say Superman becomes weaker as he absorbs more sunlight in this version? I haven't read the previous one-shot so I am not aware of that possibility.

I quoted the last bit JT Krull said to illustrate he has a grasp on who Superman is in terms of his character. Something I think has been forgotten for some time. Nothing to do with his powers.

I read the one shot, thats what happens in the beyondverse, he's begging to lose his power the older he gets

See I found that completely ridiculous.

I liked it, it brings something different to the story rather than him getting uber powerful like every other superman story
Posted by Deranged Midget

@spiderbat87 said:

@Deranged Midget said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@Decept-O said:

@Deranged Midget: Where does it say Superman becomes weaker as he absorbs more sunlight in this version? I haven't read the previous one-shot so I am not aware of that possibility.

I quoted the last bit JT Krull said to illustrate he has a grasp on who Superman is in terms of his character. Something I think has been forgotten for some time. Nothing to do with his powers.

I read the one shot, thats what happens in the beyondverse, he's begging to lose his power the older he gets

See I found that completely ridiculous.

I liked it, it brings something different to the story rather than him getting uber powerful like every other superman story

Don't get me wrong, all the power to the writer for trying something different, but it bothers me. I guess I'll be able to fully judge when I read it.

Moderator
Posted by Decept-O

@Deranged Midget: Guess the sun power thing was incorrect but it appears this version of Superman has been affected by age and time. I agree, it would be best to check the book out and make judgment then. Just to add, time and time dilation has affected a number of super heroes ( and villains ) so it isn't something entirely new. However, for Superman age and time would eventually affect him, even with his Kryptonian DNA and Earth and Sun based powers.

I just like the appearance of him here, and it sounds like JT Krull might have a dang good story set up. All this talk makes me want to check it out when it hits the stands ( or LCBS to be precise).

Posted by Deranged Midget

@Decept-O said:

@Deranged Midget: Guess the sun power thing was incorrect but it appears this version of Superman has been affected by age and time. I agree, it would be best to check the book out and make judgment then. Just to add, time and time dilation has affected a number of super heroes ( and villains ) so it isn't something entirely new. However, for Superman age and time would eventually affect him, even with his Kryptonian DNA and Earth and Sun based powers.

I just like the appearance of him here, and it sounds like JT Krull might have a dang good story set up. All this talk makes me want to check it out when it hits the stands ( or LCBS to be precise).

Meh, this is the only version of Superman that seems to grow weaker with age and I'm not entirely sold on that fact. Time dilation has affected other super heroes, but due to Superman's Kryptonian physiology, it shouldn't.

Moderator
Posted by friendlyNeighborhoodSpidey

This looks pretty interesting. I can see how his powers would degrade over time, but also being limited by increased pollution. In fact I could see him having some kind of low orbit satellite where he could go "sun bathe" every once in awhile. Either that or the Fortress of Solitude is now under a larger whole in the ozone. As far as the black costume, maybe he's not being as flashy because he doesn't want to be as big of a target any more. Definitely would help blending in flying at night with all the increased light pollution.

Posted by KnightRise

@Deranged Midget: this is a separate universe, so its possible that with age his body becomes less efficient at metabolizing solar energy, not like superman 1M where he oozes it

Edited by Decept-O

@Deranged Midget: I can see where you'd be annoyed if you're a die hard Superman fan but even with Supes' Kryptonian DNA, he is still subject to the ravages of time, albeit at a far different pace than most characters are. I have always assumed Superman would far outlive a lot of other characters, humans, and the like. I think that is what you are saying, his powers and age wouldn't be that affected but this is one writer's version. Even if I haven't read any of it I am just putting forth I like how JT Krull has described Superman and the story seems interesting to me.

Even in fiction, and no matter what planet or galaxy, I would take a wild guess and say every organic being, every material object, every type of energy, every planet, virtually everything in the universe is indeed subject to the effects of time. Others affected differently but alas, time and its effects--that is the one constant.

Posted by azza04

Superman is an immortal alien/demi god, his life on Earth is what made him Superman but it's just the beginning. Once he has out lived his loved ones and Earth no longer needs a Superman he will leave to explore space. Don't want none of this getting old and weak crap, he's Superman, stop trying to make him human!!

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@azza04 said:

Superman is an immortal alien/demi god, his life on Earth is what made him Superman but it's just the beginning. Once he has out lived his loved ones and Earth no longer needs a Superman he will leave to explore space. Don't want none of this getting old and weak crap, he's Superman, stop trying to make him human!!

Every Superman story ends like that, why cant they try something different?
Posted by The Poet

hmm...could be interesting...we'll see what happens in April...

Moderator
Posted by Deranged Midget

@Decept-O said:

@Deranged Midget: I can see where you'd be annoyed if you're a die hard Superman fan but even with Supes' Kryptonian DNA, he is still subject to the ravages of time, albeit at a far different pace than most characters are. I have always assumed Superman would far outlive a lot of other characters, humans, and the like. I think that is what you are saying, his powers and age wouldn't be that affected but this is one writer's version. Even if I haven't read any of it I am just putting forth I like how JT Krull has described Superman and the story seems interesting to me.

Even in fiction, and no matter what planet or galaxy, I would take a wild guess and say every organic being, every material object, every type of energy, every planet, virtually everything in the universe is indeed subject to the effects of time. Others affected differently but alas, time and its effects--that is the one constant.

No doubt, and I'm glad that they have the guts to diversify Superman in the "Beyond" universe. Even Superman isn't immortal but I'm just nitpicking here considering he's my favourite character and I want to see him written to his utmost potential (not power-wise). I'm interested to read anything with Superman (biased :P )

Moderator
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I want this real bad but its just a part of Batman Beyond Unlimited #3. Any reason why it just couldn't be its own ongoing? Still, I am interested in this. Another question about this makes me curious...is this Superman the pre-Flashpoint Superman or the current New 52 incarnation? Seriously it would seem that the answer would be the former but I don't know for certain.

Posted by G-Man

@ReVamp: You do realize there's something called "Editorial." Writers don't always have a say in what happens. I blame the "New 52" for what happened to Ollie. Most likely he was made young to fit the CW's tv show.

@Deranged Midget: If Superman gets stronger, why does his hair start going grey? Why is he showing signs of being older? His body is aging. He ages at a way slower pace but he's not immortal. I totally buy Superman Beyond not being as strong as regular Superman.

Staff
Posted by ReVamp

@G-Man: I do realize that there is something called "Editorial" and it has nothing to do with what I disliked about what Krul did with Green Arrow. Firstly, I liked the direction that they were taking Green Arrow in and thus that wasn't the problem, I had a greater problem with the actual writing of what I was reading which I didn't enjoy for some reason. I'm not quite able to put a finger on what I didn't enjoy, but I feel that it fell in areas where it otherwise shouldn't have due to some decisions being made that perhaps shouldn't have been. I'm sure that there has to be some editorial influence on these factors that I'm talking about, but I don't think that's the case. If it is, I'll be happy to give Krul another try, but the fact that this is Superman doesn't make it the right title.

Also I wasn't talking about New 52 GA, I was talking about post-Brightest Day Green Arrow.

Posted by Knight Train

I'm a huge Beyond universe fan, but that Superman one shot was really lame, it wasted all it's potential. So i'm glad that writer isn't attached, and although i've never read anything by Kruhl, I'm excited and I'll definitely pick this up

Posted by azza04

@spiderbat87: I don't really mind lol I'm just not a fan of reading about an older Superman. I just want Superman to be awesome, he has been given so many crap stories over the years I just want to see some good writing. If Superman Beyond has a good story I'll be happy.

Posted by Ultim8Roux

How do you write for superman? I mean, the bar is so high and almost impossible to make realistic stories that readers are actually drawn into. I mean, he's and alien on an adopted world with no real physical threats worth caring about. I think maybe Kal has outgrown our solarsystem. Maybe the breath of fresh air he really needs is somewhere exiled in outerspace. Not new krypton, maybe a rogue kryptonian dishing out vengance dark knight style on a planetary scale. There are not many more stories for him on earth. Sad to say. Save us Grant Morrison.

Posted by sethysquare

Sounds like a hoot. I love Superman Beyond #0 and this seems like its going to worth all my money getting it.

Posted by Deranged Midget

@G-Man said:

@ReVamp: You do realize there's something called "Editorial." Writers don't always have a say in what happens. I blame the "New 52" for what happened to Ollie. Most likely he was made young to fit the CW's tv show.

@Deranged Midget: If Superman gets stronger, why does his hair start going grey? Why is he showing signs of being older? His body is aging. He ages at a way slower pace but he's not immortal. I totally buy Superman Beyond not being as strong as regular Superman.

I totally get that he ages, but Beyond takes place what? 70 years or so into the future? His Kryptonian physiology should cause him to age at a MUCH slower rate than that. Take Superman: Red Son for example. As long as there is a Yellow Sun, his powers are constantly growing and replenished and he is, for all terms and purposes, immortal. He should easily be able to outlive all of humanity. (IF they live that long)

Moderator
Posted by Eivion

I really liked Defalco's one shot from last August so I'm disappointed he isn't involved with this. Still, I intend to give Krul a chance since I'm unfamiliar with his work, and his interview here wasn't too bad. I like that he seemingly intends to keep the aging, weakening Superman. Its different from the norm and should make for interesting stories.

Not sure why the interviewer asked about Kara. This is supposed to be based on the DCAU so Kara would have already traveled to the fututre to live with the Legion. I suppose they could always do a time travel story, but she otherwise isn't really supposed to be in the timeline.

Also noticed some asking about Power Girl and Superboy. Neither ever made it into the shows though with the time passed between Justice League and Batman Beyond they could easily introduce them. Still in the case of Power Girl I'd rather find out what happened to Kara's clone Galatea.

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