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.
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.
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.
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.
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: