Interview: Scott Lobdell on SUPERMAN, Existing Villains and Catching Speeding Bullets

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Posted by G-Man (30213 posts) - - Show Bio

There's been a bit of debate recently over the direction of SUPERMAN and what the character deserves. Many fans feel he is not being used to his full potential and with the recent news that Grant Morrison is leaving ACTION COMICS, we've been faced wondering what the future holds for the Last Son of Krypton.

SUPERMAN #0

Scott Lobdell is looking to reassure us. With Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort moving onto the book with September's issue #0, we decided to find out what we can expect.

Comic Vine: Tell us everything you have planned for SUPERMAN…or at least give us a hint of what we can expect.

Scott Lobdell: Always joking! Of course I can't tell you everything... but I do hate interviews or panels where the creator stares cryptically at the audience and says "Read the book."

Part of the plan is to introduce a character who leaves Superman completely and totally and in all ways outmaneuvered. Someone who is smarter, stronger and more powerful than he is. (I always thought Doomsday was a frightening enemy because he is this unstoppable engine of destruction and pure rage. On the other side of the spectrum is Lex, who is almost as brilliant as Superman is super. We're introducing a guy who is both of those things and everything in between!)

For years people have been saying that "Superman is too powerful" -- that it is hard to write a Superman story because what kind of threat can he realistically face?

The first arc is about putting Superman (and the rest of the Super family) in front of a character who sees the most powerful person on the planet as little more than a pest. That's a place Superman has never been before -- and it is going to force him to be more resourceful and in some ways more ruthless than ever before.

CV: You said a few things at SDCC (uh oh), one of them was bringing back and updating Superman's existing villains. Can you tell us who we might expect to see this Fall?

SL: In a "this is how sausage is made" kind of way that I would only share with my friends on Comicvine... when I wrote the original proposal I was focused on updating Superman's roster of villains because I felt that ACTION had gotten to play around with The Classics, that it was time for SUPERMAN to be able to play with some of the characters that Grant hadn't re-imagined for the New 52. Kenneth and I worked up one particular character...

... and gave him a horror based origin that even left me unnerved, and I was writing! Kenneth came up with this haunting visual, it is disturbing to look at when you realize what it is. So many people who read the proposal would call or reply through email and say "Oh my god! I can't want to see this...!"

Then, when I turned in the first few plots, there was a debate going on: Is this a new character? Or is this a new take on a classic character? I'll be honest, because I like you people, we are about three months from printing and the debate is still going on. I can see both points very clearly, and I think Kenneth and I will be happy whatever is decided.

[Note: could it be the newly announced H'el character?]

Also, you know, while I have you here... I have to tell you, I LOVE the uncertainty of the creative process. I like that it can get messy and argumentative and passionate and anarchistic. I think it is SUPPOSED to be -- I think the best art is. Otherwise, we're just painting by numbers. "Oh, number 3. That means Lex goes here. On, number 8. That means Lois has to almost figure out his secret identity here." These characters have been around for nearly a century -- they were built to survive a little chaos!

SUPERMAN #14

CV: What about Kryptonite? There hasn't been any real mentions of it. Any plans or thoughts on the multi-colored varieties?

SL: I only have one Kryptonite story... and it is a whopper! All I can tell you is that the story involves Superman, Supergirl and Superboy and... they are not running from it, but towards it, as if their lives depended on it! Truly, there has never been a Kryptonite story like this one, of that I am sure!

[Note: most likely it has to do with THIS news]

CV: Many people seem to have a problem with Superman being "boring." Do you feel that's an easy fix or is it a little daunting to write the Man of Steel?

SL: I suppose it is possible to write a boring Superman story... if I tried hard enough! But when asked to write a story or series about the most powerful alien on the planet trying to live a relatively normal life on the only home he has ever known while feeling the need to use everything that makes him different in service of a people who he can never truly be himself around...? Yeah, I'd have to really concentrate to make that boring!

Again, Superman is the longest lived "super hero" for a reason. While some people bemoan "He's too powerful! You can't relate to him!" I say hogwash! We relate to him BECAUSE he is powerful!

From my proposal:

FIRST AND FOREMOST…

… we must rid ourselves of the notion that SUPERMAN is not relatable.

On the contrary, Superman is THE MOST RELATABLE CHARACTER, ever – it is why he has lasted so long.

Here are two tests – to prove the point.

TEST ONE

Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to fly? Or catch a speeding bullet in your hand? Or see through walls? Or beat up monsters and mad scientists and save the world? Or have the only woman you love head over heels in love with you?

There is not a person is America – the world – that doesn’t want to be SUPERMAN.

TEST TWO

Raise your hand if you feel unappreciated at work or home?

Who DOESN’T feel that they are Superman (doing the best the can, and doing it awesomely), while the rest of the world sees us and treats us like Clark Kent?

The truth is each of us dreams of having the power and the respect and the freedom that comes with being Superman before we even know there is a Superman.

The heck with Sparticus – We are all Superman. (Or want to be!)

SUPERMAN #13

CV: With the return of some classic Superman characters, is Kenneth Rocafort going to be doing any redesigns or will they mostly retain their original looks?

SL: This is Kenneth Rocafort we are talking about. Even when he isn't actively re-designing a character, he brings such a unique vision of everything he draws that even his "classic" designs are sure to look new and fresh and dynamic. We don't work that far ahead so I can't speak to the characters that will be getting redesigns... but I've worked with him long enough to know they are going to be gorgeous!

I will tell you a story about Kenneth! When I wrote RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #2 (I think it was) -- I had written in the description of the "Thousand Acres of All" that "We meet several "MONKS" and they are in a very bizarre "MONASTERY" - very strange and different." Our editor was like "You can't just say that -- you need more description for Kenneth." But I was like "Nay! Kenneth loves to create things -- I don't want to do anything to tamp down his creativity with my own vision. He has the basics, let him run with it." Everyone who reads RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS knows where he's taken us.

And finally, one more story: I am not a writer who feels the need to rule with an iron fist. I like sending out a plot and getting art work back before I script, because I like having the artist be a co-collaborator and not someone who is asked to "just draw". (Yeah, sometimes I need to ask an artist to scale back on something if they've accidentally given away or contradicted a plot point or something...)

Kenneth is one of those artists who often surprises me with the little things. In RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #8, there is a scene where Kori incinerates a bunch of horrible bad guys who have taken a hospital of children hostage. In the panel after she's done that, Roy puts them out with a fire extinguisher! LOL! That was all Kenneth -- I guess he felt it was important for Roy to make sure the fire didn't spread through the hospital. It made perfect sense and was a great bit that shows us more about the character of Roy than I would have come up with on my own.

Seriously, Kenneth, Brett Booth, R.B. Silva... I am the luckiest guy in comics!

Want to hear more from Lobdell? Be sure to check out Part 2 dealing with Superboy, the Teen Titans, Jason Todd and that comment about Tim Drake "never being Robin" on Monday.

Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He's never thought of actually catching a speeding bullet in his hands and hopes to never have one coming in his direction.

Staff
#1 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmmm.
 
 
We really need this title too be successful.

#2 Posted by Z3RO180 (6248 posts) - - Show Bio

oh lodbell why are you so awesome

#3 Posted by ectoborge (205 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm in!

#4 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
#5 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

ARGH! Why the cliff hanger!

I wanna check out part 2 NOW

#6 Posted by mcgregorp (45 posts) - - Show Bio

can't wait

#7 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Z3RO180 said:

oh lodbell why are you so awesome

qft

@SandMan_ said:

Did he kinda confirmed that the H'el guy is

He said it was planned to be Bizarro. But since its still 3 months away from printing, they're still debating if this is a new take of the character or new character. So no one knows yet.

#8 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@G-Man said:

Want to hear more from Lobdell? Be sure to check out Part 2 dealing with Superboy, the Teen Titans, Jason Todd and that comment about Tim Drake "never being Robin" on Monday.

You're quite mean actually. D: I waited 2 weeks for this half interview, lol.

#9 Posted by supermanfan1234 (206 posts) - - Show Bio

now this sounds like its gonna be good!

#10 Posted by JohnnyWalker (821 posts) - - Show Bio

this book needs a life line. badly. please give it to it.

#11 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1350 posts) - - Show Bio

I Love you Scott Lobdell.....uh like you alot....ur ideas....pshhh the way u described supes not being too powerful n him being relatable,dude why havnt u been writing superman from the start??!!

#12 Posted by cc1738 (358 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting. I'm still annoyed that the crossover is happening right when the Marvel Now is getting launched. I don't have a ton of money to toss around on comics and I can't afford to get a bunch of cross over comics. I'll already be spending way too much money.

#13 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@UltimateSMfan said:

I Love you Scott Lobdell.....uh like you alot....ur ideas....pshhh the way u described supes not being too powerful n him being relatable,dude why havnt u been writing superman from the start??!!

DC is an idiot. They should've given Scott Superman from the start.

#14 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
@sethysquare: DC should have given Superman a great creative team from the start.
#15 Posted by Outside_85 (7997 posts) - - Show Bio

@SandMan_ said:

Did he kinda confirmed that the H'el guy is

Should be pretty obvious from the visuals alone...also it gives us the reason why Supergirl freaked on Superboy. Somehow I wonder if he will get 'dumbed down' eventually to fit the old mold?

Online
#16 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@SandMan_ said:

@sethysquare: DC should have given Superman a great creative team from the start.

In their defense, everyone thought Perez is going to be great.

#17 Edited by ThanosIsMad (2191 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare said:

@UltimateSMfan said:

I Love you Scott Lobdell.....uh like you alot....ur ideas....pshhh the way u described supes not being too powerful n him being relatable,dude why havnt u been writing superman from the start??!!

DC is an idiot. They should've given Scott Superman from the start.

I agree. The sort of concepts being explored in Outlaws would've worked better for Superman than they do for Red Hood and co.

#18 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
@sethysquare said:

@SandMan_ said:

@sethysquare: DC should have given Superman a great creative team from the start.

In their defense, everyone thought Perez is going to be great.

I didn't. And a couple of people too.
#19 Posted by Tmul501 (597 posts) - - Show Bio

@cc1738 said:

Interesting. I'm still annoyed that the crossover is happening right when the Marvel Now is getting launched. I don't have a ton of money to toss around on comics and I can't afford to get a bunch of cross over comics. I'll already be spending way too much money.

I'll just wait for the reviews and if the crossover is any good I'll pick it up in trades

#20 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@ThanosIsMad said:

@sethysquare said:

@UltimateSMfan said:

I Love you Scott Lobdell.....uh like you alot....ur ideas....pshhh the way u described supes not being too powerful n him being relatable,dude why havnt u been writing superman from the start??!!

DC is an idiot. They should've given Scott Superman from the start.

I agree. The sort of concepts being explored in Outlaws would've worked better for Superman than they do for Red Hood and co.

Good thing is Scott is still writing outlaws and now Superman.

I hope we can see the return of Krypto.

#21 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@SandMan_ said:

@sethysquare said:

@SandMan_ said:

@sethysquare: DC should have given Superman a great creative team from the start.

In their defense, everyone thought Perez is going to be great.

I didn't. And a couple of people too.

Yeah I didn't as well. I just bought it cos its Superman.

#22 Posted by Dernman (14604 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Lobdell's answer to Superman being boring.

#23 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
@sethysquare: Hopefully Superman will get the stories he deserves.
 
@Dernman
Well?
#24 Posted by supermanfan1234 (206 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare: we will in action comics 13

#25 Posted by cc1738 (358 posts) - - Show Bio

@Tmul501 said:

@cc1738 said:

Interesting. I'm still annoyed that the crossover is happening right when the Marvel Now is getting launched. I don't have a ton of money to toss around on comics and I can't afford to get a bunch of cross over comics. I'll already be spending way too much money.

I'll just wait for the reviews and if the crossover is any good I'll pick it up in trades

My problem is that the money I'm spending on monthlies is the money I used to spend of trades. If I don't get it when it comes out as a monthly I won't end up reading it.

#26 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@supermanfan1234: Oh you're right, the dog collar.

#27 Posted by Dernman (14604 posts) - - Show Bio
@SandMan_:  I like Lobdell's answer to Superman being boring. :p
#28 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@cc1738 said:

@Tmul501 said:

@cc1738 said:

Interesting. I'm still annoyed that the crossover is happening right when the Marvel Now is getting launched. I don't have a ton of money to toss around on comics and I can't afford to get a bunch of cross over comics. I'll already be spending way too much money.

I'll just wait for the reviews and if the crossover is any good I'll pick it up in trades

My problem is that the money I'm spending on monthlies is the money I used to spend of trades. If I don't get it when it comes out as a monthly I won't end up reading it.

Get this crossover, ignore marvel now. LOL.

#29 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman said:
@SandMan_:  I like Lobdell's answer to Superman being boring. :p
>_> Did it answer your question?
#30 Posted by hazmat103 (60 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm glad they haven't overdone Kryptonite like Smallville overdid it. Although i would really like to see Doomsday, but maybe that's a dumb choice for a villain but i think he's the best besides Darkseid and Brainiac.

#31 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
@hazmat103 said:

I'm glad they haven't overdone Kryptonite like Smallville overdid it. Although i would really like to see Doomsday, but maybe that's a dumb choice for a villain but i think he's the best besides Darkseid and Brainiac.

Redesign Doomsday.
#32 Posted by Dernman (14604 posts) - - Show Bio
@SandMan_: Not really.
#33 Posted by btmt (222 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok I belive that this interview of Scott lobdell is the answer to all the Superman haters always crying about how Superman is so powerful.

Superman is the Superhero that everyone deserves. As a true Superman fan I really liked this Interview, waiting for Part-2 of this interview.

#34 Posted by supermanfan1234 (206 posts) - - Show Bio

@UltimateSMfan said:

I Love you Scott Lobdell.....uh like you alot....ur ideas....pshhh the way u described supes not being too powerful n him being relatable,dude why havnt u been writing superman from the start??!!

this

#35 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman
 

In a "this is how sausage is made" kind of way that I would only share with my friends on Comicvine... when I wrote the original proposal I was focused on updating Superman's roster of villains because I felt that ACTION had gotten to play around with The Classics, that it was time for SUPERMAN to be able to play with some of the characters that Grant hadn't re-imagined for the New 52. Kenneth and I worked up one particular character...

... and gave him a horror based origin that even left me unnerved, and I was writing! Kenneth came up with this haunting visual, it is disturbing to look at when you realize what it is. So many people who read the proposal would call or reply through email and say "Oh my god! I can't want to see this...!"


#36 Posted by cc1738 (358 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare: Um...no. It's just a matter of figuring out what titles to drop and which Marvel Now titles I really want. Rick Remender just did an interview for Captain America and it sounds epic.

I'm almost positive I'll get the Superman crossover anyway. He's my favorite Superhero, so I refuse to get monthly comics without it including at least one Superman comic. I don't like Action Comics anymore, so I'll that leaves the normal Superman title.

#37 Posted by LordRequiem (1308 posts) - - Show Bio

Well I liked Hellspont being in it. I just hope that this new powerful character isn't darkseid, doomsday, parasite or some Kryptonian. Be interesting to see who he's actually talking about though.

#38 Posted by Lvenger (17817 posts) - - Show Bio

Well it's sounding good so far. I'm cautiously optimistic but the true test is whether Lobdell will deliver the goods.

Online
#39 Posted by Dernman (14604 posts) - - Show Bio
@SandMan_: I saw that but that doesn't actually answer my question even if he was talking about that character.
#40 Posted by rym (343 posts) - - Show Bio

ok its official I am sold on

Lobdell writing Superman, and I loved the answer he gave for Superman being boring and unrelatable

#41 Posted by The Finality (133 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved Lobdell's answer to Supes being boring. Really excited to see what happens next.

#42 Posted by feargalr (1151 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm looking forward to Superman, especially cos of Rocaforts art. Sounds like Lobdell is doing some good things too! Fingers crossed for this one!

#43 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman said:
@SandMan_: I saw that but that doesn't actually answer my question even if he was talking about that character.
....lies
#44 Posted by yo_yo_fun (639 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay, now I'm reassured! Thank you for the interview! I am definitely going to check out Superman again and get the Super crossover.

Now I'm dying to know who's going to take over Action Comics???

And what Lobdell said about Superman being relatable and Not boring...THANK YOU SCOTT!! I COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF!:) That is exactly how I feel about Superman.

#45 Posted by kennybaese (1086 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm sure this has been answered somewhere an I just missed it, but is Rocafort staying on Red Hood after taking over art duties on Superman? Because I'm excited for their take on Superman, but I really hope Red Hood doesn't loose Rocafort as a result.

#46 Posted by Lvenger (17817 posts) - - Show Bio

I do like the fact Rocafort is the new Superman artist. I really enjoyed his Reign of Doomsday work and it's a shame he wasn't the full time artist on that story. I hope the art is as good in Superman as it was in Action Comics pre New 52.

Online
#47 Posted by shawn87 (2095 posts) - - Show Bio

Well now we know the art is going to be great at least

#48 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger said:

I do like the fact Rocafort is the new Superman artist. I really enjoyed his Reign of Doomsday work and it's a shame he wasn't the full time artist on that story. I hope the art is as good in Superman as it was in Action Comics pre New 52.

Its not even at his max capacity.

When he did Reign of Doomsday, he wasn't paired with Blond. After he finished that, he started drawing outlaws and he did some of his best works IMO. He has definitely improved lots since Reign of Doomsday. Might I say, I like his art even more then Lenil Francis Yu.

#49 Posted by Lvenger (17817 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare: Quite a bold statement. Outlaws is a pretty book I'll give it that at least.

Online
#50 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger: Yes it is a bold statement. But just check out Leinil's work in Superior. Gorgeous art. But it can't be compared to the creative layouts and beautiful scenery that Rocafort is drawing.

Proof: Red Hood and the outlaws #6

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=11484

http://www.comicvine.com/news/five-revelations-about-starfire-from-red-hood-and-the-outlaws-6/144293/

http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/3625359.html

Ever since I saw #6 I kinda decided that he is one of the best in the industry.

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