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.
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.
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!