Superman\Supergirl should be a permanent series.
Superman comics discussion thread
"It didn't surprise me as the solicits said about it, no way they'll be as interesting as the Earth counterparts thoughThose costumes would be cool if the artist didn't suck.
even so, it's a nice remember of kryptonian mythology...
Anways.I think Superman needs a new more modern villain.I am tired of Darkseid,Doomsday,Brainiac & Parasite.Superman should do a Spider-Man move..except without the retcon..just going back to his roots.Not dealing with so many astronomical difficulties but just fighting some regular crime again.
"It would be awsome to have a friend like Ross, and you has your own comic company, everyone would read it just because his name was on it.If Ross was your friend you could end being reference material for one of his covers.
I love reading what he wanted to do, and not to undo anything from Kingdom Come."
Written by James Robinson; Art by Pablo Raimondi; Cover by Aaron LoprestiAn "Origins and Omens" issue! Mon-El has been trapped in the Phantom Zone since Superman was a teenager, and now he might finally be able to return to Earth! But how will he overcome the fatal lead poisoning that kept him away for so long? And with all the changes the blockbuster "New Krypton" storyline wrought, would he even recognize the planet he left behind?
Meanwhile, life continues to be difficult for Superman thanks to Earth's growing anti-Kryptonian sentiment. "New Krypton" may be over, but its fallout has only begun! To be continued in SUPERMAN #685, which you can find on page 68!
Superman | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US
On Sale February 11, 2009
Written by James Robinson; Art by Renato Guedes and Wilson Magalháes; Cover by Alex RossAn "Origins and Omens" issue! Continued from ACTION COMICS #874! With "New Krypton" behind him (for now), Superman must come to terms with the death of Pa Kent. And things heat up in Metropolis when the mysterious new Nightwing and Flamebird take up residence in the Man of Steel's hometown! Are they here to help Earth like they say – or do their ties to Kandor run too deep?
This story sets up next month's new status quo as Superman makes a tough decision, the repercussions of which will be felt for years!
Superman | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US
On Sale February 11, 2009
Written by Sterling Gates Cover by Joshua Middleton; Art by Jamal Igle and Keith Champagne"Who is Superwoman?" part 2! The mystery of the year continues! Supergirl uncovers a vital clue to Superwoman's identity, but the Woman of Steel is more than willing to fight to protect her secrets! Plus, just what is Reactron up to – and what does a certain Metropolis police inspector have to do with it?
Superman | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US
On Sale February 18, 2009
1. Dan, let’s start this time with Superman. New Krypton is halfway through, and as you’ve said, the larger storyline will be felt through the end of 2010. Let’s talk about creative teams – are we going to see the same teams remain on the books for this two year stretch?
Dan DiDio: Actually, no. There will be some changes in the creative teams involving Superman. Let’s take it from the top – actually, with the one book that won’t see any changes: The Superman series will be keeping James Robinson and Renato Guedes will be the team on that title through 2009, but as the story begins in March, we should subtitle the story, “World Without Superman.” That’s the story James will be telling, and he will be leading the charge on the Superman title itself.
In Action, we’re going to see some major changes – Superman will not be featured in Action Comics. The stars of Action will be the new team of Flamebird and Nightwing. Flamebird is a character we’ve seen, but this is the first time we’re seeing her in costume. Nightwing is a character that we’ve known in the DCU for a little while, but he’s new to the Nightwing costume as well. The team on that book will be Greg Rucka with Eddy Barrows. Eddy will be moving over from Teen Titans.
Next after that, Supergirl will keep its team, with Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle.
We’ll be introducing a new series called Superman: New Krypton which will be written by Andrew Kreisberg and drawn by Pete Woods.
Now – you’re going to be asking me two questions – and the question for me is, do I let you ask them and eat up your number of questions for this time, or do I go ahead and answer them before you ask them? I’ll do it myself, because I’d hate for you to use up your questions (laughs). The big question is where Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are going. They will be doing Superman: Secret Origin as a miniseries coming up later in the year. We decided to run that as its own miniseries, different from what Geoff just did in Green Lantern. It gives them a little more time to work it, they don’t have to struggle against the ongoing schedule, and it won’t throw off the triangles on the covers which keep track of the story. They’ll be doing the definitive origin of Superman as we’ve seen it all take place, and incorporating the changes that we’ve seen or suggested since Infinite Crisis.
Your other question is: What about Adventure Comics? That one I won’t answer right now – but there are big plans for Adventure Comics, and they’re just a couple of months away.
2. A question that we can ask then – Superman: New Krypton – what’s that all about?
DD: Andrew Kreisberg – he was a writer on Eli Stone and is the writer on Green Arrow/Black Canary - he’s coming on board to join the team to tell the story that focuses on much of what’s happening with the 100,000 Kryptonians that were released from New Kandor.
NRAMA: Sounds like it would have an Astro City or Top 10 kind of feel – a story about a society of super-powered individuals...
DD: It would, but it has none of that [laughs]. The great thing about this is that with all the changes taking place, with the introduction of Greg and Andrew into the group, and Geoff concentrating at least for the time being on Secret Origin, we’re able to maintain a consistency of story. With James on the lead book, he’s been involved since day one in the New Krypton story, and he’s really taking charge and leading the whole direction of the Superman line during this time.
3. Moving to Supergirl for a moment...issue #35 basically reset the character, and is showing us the “real” story of what’s been going on with her. What’s your take on what Sterling is doing with the character?
DD: Sterling is one of the rising stars here at DC. You always get the question of where are the new writers coming from, and who are the talents we’re looking to grow, and Sterling is definitely one of them. We just put him under an exclusive contract as well, because we have a lot of belief and faith in his abilities. He’s done a great job with Supergirl - he’s been able to take what’s been going on in the Superman books and bring that level of focus and depth to Supergirl and I feel as if he’s really solidified the direction of that series. The great part also in New Krypton, we’ve had the introduction of Supergirl’s parents in Kandor – that really helps to build a strong supporting cast for that series, and Sterling has a great handle on what to do with that book. He’s the writer for the future of Supergirl.
4. Getting back to one of your announcements - Superman: Secret Origin. You called it the “definitive origin,” and I’m sure that already has some fans rolling their eyes. Superman: Birthright was a few years back and said to be the same thing, and there have been tweaks and adjustments in the line before that. Can you give us some clues on what makes this origin “definitive?”
DD: With the Superman books following Infinite Crisis, we made some suggestions as to some of the changes that might be occurring within Superman’s origin and who he is. There were a lot of things that have been changed over a period of time, and what Geoff has done, what Geoff always does so well is that he incorporates so many of the various aspects of Superman’s origin to what I feel is really a clean, definitive take on the character as he exists today, and more importantly, how we will continue to present him in the years to come.
The John Byrne changes were important and strong when they occurred back in the ‘80s, and I feel that Geoff’s origin is going to make that same imprint now, for 2009 and past that.
NRAMA: Since we’ve seen some suggested changes in Kryptonians and Krypton in New Krypton, will Secret Origin be a look at Superman from before his birth, through Smallville and moving to Metropolis, or...what?
DD: I think we’re looking at it more from the Smallville point forward. We’ll see a lot of Krypton in it, don’t get me wrong, but it really is about young Clark Kent growing up in Smallville, and follows his life and helps to nail down the look and tone of Krypton while looking at how Clark came to be Superman. I think we’re looking at the start of the miniseries right before the summer – it’ll run six issues.
I hope this is the right place for this post, I need some specialized Superman knowledge. Back around 1969 or 1970 there was a storyline called "Once Upon A Superman" that a friend of mine would like to locate. Does anybody know which title this appeared in, and which issue numbers? Thanks a lot...
"King Saturn said:Hell Yeah"Supergirl issue 38... I cant wait for that sh!t
yeah... the new writing team seem to finally have got their sh!t together and are writing the character like she should be written...
it's going to be interesting, thats for sure
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes & Wilson Magalháes
Cover by Eddy Barrows & Julio Ferreira
Following the startling events of “New Krypton” and the shocking occurrence in the Phantom Zone, Earth finds itself without its greatest protector! Luckily, Metropolis still has a few heroes, like Mon-El and the Guardian. But after years of knowing nothing but the solitude of the Phantom Zone, how will Mon-El acclimate himself to society? And the recently returned Guardian has his hands full with his new position in the Science Police. How can they fill Superman’s shoes? They’d better figure it out fast, because dangerous mysteries abound which will carry all the way into 2010!
The highly acclaimed writer-artist team of James Robinson and Renato Guedes continue their run on SUPERMAN with or without The Man of Steel!
On sale March 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
ACTION COMICS #875
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Eddy Barrows & Ruy José
Cover by Eddy Barrows & Julio Ferreira
To give the full details of this story would spoil the dramatic finale of the “New Krypton” crossover, and we don’t want to do that! Suffice to say, a “World Without Superman” is a very dangerous place, indeed, and the only thing standing between the good (and not so good) folks of Earth and an impending shadow of doom are the all-new Nightwing and Flamebird!
Eisner Award-winning writer Greg Rucka (FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS) teams with rising star Eddy Barrows (TEEN TITANS) to kick off a bold new era for ACTION COMICS!
On sale March 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #1
Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Art by Pete Woods
Cover by Gary Frank
Variant cover by Ladrönn
Following the events of the “New Krypton” crossover, the Man of Steel has had to embrace his past to ensure humanity’s future. And while a devastating armed conflict with Earth may have been averted, keeping the peace will be Superman’s greatest challenge yet.
Hot new writer Andrew Kreisberg (BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL) and fan-favorite artist Pete Woods (ACTION COMICS, SUPERMAN: UP, UP AND AWAY!) lead Superman through a world of interstellar treachery and deadly machinations where the lives of two races hang in the balance!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Gary Frank), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Ladrönn). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale March 4 • 1 of 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle & Keith Champagne
Cover by Joshua Middleton
“Who is Superwoman?” part 3! Supergirl continues her manhunt for Reactron, determined to bring him to justice for the heinous crimes he committed in “New Krypton”!
Meanwhile, Lois Lane and Inspector Mike Henderson investigate the appearance of a dead body in Metropolis Harbor. Whose body is it and what could it have to do with the new Woman of Steel? Find out as the big mystery of 2009 continues!
On sale March 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Rising star writer Andrew Kreisberg and veteran artist Pete Woods have been handed the heavy task of re-inventing Kal-El’s home planet in the upcoming 12-part DC Comics miniseries, “Superman: World of New Krypton." The ambitious project promises to fully explore the Kryptonian society that emerged from the pages of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's hugely acclaimed "Brainiac" storyline in "Action Comics," and that has been the backdrop of the "New Krypton" storyline that's currently running through "Action" as well as "Superman" and "Supergirl."
Currently enjoying critical acclaim for his run on “Green Arrow/Black Canary,” the 37-year old Kreisberg has just this week joined the writing team of FOX’s smash genre hit “Fringe.” His similarly well-reviewed four-part "Do You Understand These Rights?" arc in "Batman Confidential" will come to an end in next week's issue #25.
In this, Kreisberg’s first interview about “Superman: World of New Krypton,” the former staff writer on Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti’s “Eli Stone” reveals plenty of what’s to come over the next twelve months, and just how big of a bad Supergirl’s mom can really be.
CBR: Andrew, you’ve been doing well-received work on “Green Arrow/Black Canary,” but you must be pretty excited to be writing Superman, easily the biggest name in superhero comics.
Andrew Kreisberg: I’m very excited about the project. I think they probably just couldn’t find anyone else to write it. I was happily writing “Green Arrow/Black Canary” and my TV stuff, and I got an email from [DC Executive Editor] Dan DiDio saying, “Interested in Superman?” Which is an email you dream about getting.
Truth be told, I’d been so busy I hadn’t entirely been following what’s been going on, so when I signed on I was like, great, I am writing Superman. Lex Luthor, Metallo, uh... I’m like, “What? There’s 100,000 Kryptonians?” So in some ways, it’s obviously very daunting writing Superman and taking on these characters that mean so much to other people and so much to me, but at the same time it’s so exciting because it’s not Lex Luthor and Metallo. It’s not just [Superman] protecting Metropolis and him doing his thing. It’s really giving him something new and interesting to do, which with Superman is always difficult, be it the attempts in movies and TV shows and comics to give him new storylines and challenges. So it’s exciting to make this one work out, as well as it can. And I think it will.
|The "New Krypton" storyline concludes in "Action Comics" #873, on sale next week|
What is your touchstone for Superman? Obviously, with Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, when you are reading their books, they’ve got Christopher Reeve in mind. Do you think of Superman from movies, comic books or even “Challenge of the Super Friends?”
My Superman reference point is definitely Christopher . And I will also take this opportunity to give a shout out to Brandon Routh, who I think really did a fantastic job [in “Superman Returns”]. The movie didn’t always serve him as well as it could have but I think he made a fantastic Superman.
In some ways, the thing that has always got me about Superman is that people always assume that he is bright and happy and Batman is sad and brooding. And I think there is a real sadness to Superman – a real loneliness. And this story really exploits that in a great way. In fact, my first issue is called “Dream Come True” because in a way, this is his dream come true. He gets to live among Kryptonians. He gets to be with his people. And it’s sort of, be careful what you wish for.
There are definitely touchstones to Christopher Reeve in my first issue – little nods to the Superman movies. I specifically put in the script that the bed he sleeps in on New Krypton look just like the big silver bed from “Superman II.”
Those references are definitely in there visually and thematically.
While the “New Krypton” crossover that Geoff Johns, James Robinson and Sterling Gates are writing isn’t over just yet, what can you tease us about “World of New Krypton?” Is it set on Earth or is there actually a new home planet for the Kryptonians?
The book will follow Superman and 100,000 new Kryptonians led by Allura as he tries to figure out his place in Kryptonian society. Where that society resides is yours to know for $2.99 on March 4.
It will include a lot of the same characters from the “New Krypton” arc. Superman will continue his struggle with Allura and he will continue his struggle with himself as he tries to find a place for himself among these people. In a lot of ways, he’s always felt separated from humanity, and now he’s surrounded by 100,000 of his people and feels just as separated from them.
The entire series will follow the rise of a New Krypton and Superman finding his place on it. It will all be in service of trying to create this new world that we’ve only ever glimpsed in flashbacks and dreams.
|"Action Comics" #873 variant cover|
Does Superman have any allies on New Krypton?
That’s sort of the journey of the book. It’s finding his allies. Because when he starts this, he actually starts it a bit lonely and trying to find his place. He’s a little bit lost. Through the journey of the book, one of the things that we’ve talked about is that he doesn’t feel like Superman amongst his people because he’s just one of 100,000. One of things that we learn that’s different about Superman is it’s not about being Kryptonian. It’s about being Kal-El. It’s about being Clark . And he becomes Superman, he becomes a hero, no matter where he is, which is something I feel is really special.
He’s Superman to the people of Earth. The arc of the book is really about him becoming Superman to his own people.
Does Supergirl have a role in "World of New Krypton?"
I am not sure how much Kara is going to be playing in my book. I think she has her own journey. And it’s certainly being incredibly well told without any help from me. I love her dearly. I think every man who is a fan of comics loves her dearly.
Obviously, Allura is a major part of my book. You can’t talk about Allura without talking about the fact that she is a mother; that she is Superman’s aunt. So if Kara is not always there in form, she will certainly be there in spirit.
That’s one of the great things about the book. Superman’s life is getting incredibly complicated in a good way. It used to be just him and his parents. And then it was him and Lois. And now it’s him and 100,000 people and enemies and his cousin. In some ways, it’s almost like getting married. All of sudden, you have all this new family and in-laws and crazy people you have to deal with.
Would you categorize Allura as the villain in this book?
Yeah... but I think what’s really interesting about the premise of “New Krypton” is well, I always say everyone is the hero of their own story. And as far as Allura is concerned, she is only trying to do right by her people. And where that crosses the line into villainy is always very complicated. And that’s part of what’s interesting about the Kryptonians’ attitude towards Superman, because in a lot of ways, they see him as a traitor. And from their perspective, they’re not entirely wrong. So I think that’s what makes the book rich. The people who are the immigrants, the people who are the minority, who are aggrieved and afraid, are these super-beings.
|"Superman: New Krypton" Vol. 1 collected edition on sale in May|
And that’s what makes Clark having to deal with Allura so fascinating. She’s not a megalomaniac. In some ways, her treatment of Kara breaks her heart but she has to put her people first, which is what Superman does in his own way, protecting Earth. Being Superman comes before Lois, it comes before friends, it comes before family, so it all makes for interesting discussions and interesting problems. The trick will be to get you to boo and hiss at Allura for being the villain while she twirls her mustache while trying to understand her point of view. And I think, feeling a little sorry for her.
What you have to remember, the Kryptonians have really gone through hell. For everything that Superman lost, they lost that too.
Just sitting here talking to you about it gets me excited. It’s really great stuff.
This isn’t a contained miniseries with no ramifications. “World of New Krypton” is a major part of establishing a new status quo for Superman and something that will be explored by other writers for years to come. That’s got to be exciting, giving the DCU back its Krypton.
Sure. Or the guy who screwed up DCU by bringing back New Krypton. It’s really exciting. In a lot of ways, it’s one of the things that my editor Mike Carlin and I have discussed about “Green Arrow/Black Canary” – doing the kinds of things that will last because that’s exciting. You’re not just doing things, taking these wonderful characters that have been around forever and putting them through the motions because we’ve got to sell a comic or you’re don’t really care or to make a buck. It’s really about adding something worthwhile to the lore. And when you can do that, it’s incredibly exciting. As someone who used to be just a comic book fan and not a writer, that’s something that you always remember. Stuff that really game-changed.
Like for me, when I was younger, it was “Killing Joke.” Think about everything that came out of that one book. So when you can add a character or add a villain or bring something new into things that everybody else is able to riff off of, that’s pretty cool.
And that’s the other thing that’s really exciting. It’s seeing what other people do with your riff. We’re very excited about a new character in “Green Arrow/Black Canary” – a new villain. And I have all these great paces to put her through. I am excited about the thought of her having enough of an impact that other writers want to write her and do the amazing things that they want to do with her.
|Also by Andrew Kreisberg, "Batman Confidential" #25, on sale next week|
It sounds like you have long-term plans to be writing both titles?
As long as they’ll have me.
Another great part about developing New Krypton must be simply establishing what day-to-day life is like in that society. What’s a Starbucks look like on New Krypton? You and artist Pete Woods must be having a lot of fun with that.
Pete and I haven’t actually talked face to face, but in writing the initial script, I’ve been toying with that. One thing I can tell you is that Superman’s tunic is shredded in a fight with some Kryptonians and he needs to have a new tunic made. So we need the tailor on New Krypton. It’s one of those things that it’s a fully-functioning society at all levels. We generally only get to meet the scientists and military leaders but there are the people who prepare the food, and the shopkeepers, the men of the people, who they themselves are now endowed with Superman’s strengths and abilities. And that’s fun to play with. We’ll be seeing all facets of it.
For all of Krypton’s technological achievements, there is a coldness about that them culturally that I think will make Superman miss some of the wonderful diversity of Earth, like food and art and music.
Why, after 70 years, do you think people still read Superman stories?
Wow, that’s a heavy question. Superman can’t be hurt physically, but he can be hurt emotionally. And I think the best versions of Superman are the ones that show that. Like Geoff Johns’ arc “Last Son” with Chris Kent. At the end of the day, he was hurt emotionally. And he grew from that. And that’s what exciting. Hopefully in this book, you’ll watch his emotional struggles. Because the physical struggles are certainly exciting and there are certainly some amazing feats, but I think the thing that will really last and will really move you and will make this special is his personal growth.
Have you been working with Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates and James Robinson? And what about Greg Rucka, who is taking over “Action Comics” while Johns writes “Secret Origin?”
All of the titles will be tying-in to one another. We’re going to have a conference call later today to discuss things. Hopefully, if we do this right, you can read any one of the books and enjoy them but if you’re reading them all, you’re going to get this incredibly rich story, because you’ll be seeing the story from so many different angles and so many different characters’ points of view. It’s not like the TV show “Boomtown” where you’re seeing the exact same thing from different points of view, but you’re getting a rich tapestry by reading all the books.
|Also by Andrew Kreisberg, "Green Arrow/Black Canary" #16, on sale next week|
It’s great talking to all of those guys. Those guys are smart. Between them they’ve probably forgotten more about Superman than I’ll ever know. Or I should say, they’ve forgotten more about writing Superman than I’ll ever know. One of the fun things about writing comics in general has been getting to shoot the breeze about these characters with people who are so knowledgeable. Talking about Green Arrow with Mike Carlin. And talking to James and Sterling about Superman and just riffing and talking about different incarnations and what we can pull from and what things from the past to reference. It’s much more fun than sitting alone trying to push this thing forward.
Do you have an endpoint that you’re working towards with an established beginning, middle and end? Or will it be more organic?
There is **for sure** an end because the ramifications of the next year are going to live on in the DC Universe for many years to come. In many ways, that’s kind of exciting too. I know what page 22 of “World of New Krypton” #12 is. It’s just a question of filling in the 11 issues and 21 pages before that.
Have you seen any of Pete Woods’ art yet?
No. The first script is just in. It will be exciting to see. The only Superman I have written before this book was an issue of “JLA Classified.” So I am very excited to start see “my version” of a Superman story. But I am a huge fan of Pete’s work. I’ve been really blessed. For my work at DC, I’ve got to work with Scott McDaniel and Mike Norton and now Pete Woods. So I have been really blessed with the artists I’ve got to collaborate with. It’s pretty rare that I open a .PDF from an editor and go, “Oh, darn. That’s it?”
So I am excited to get to know Pete because I’ve got a great relationship with Mike Norton. At the end of the day, everyone who writes a book writes it because we are fans. And when you get a book that you wrote and your ideas come to life in color, it’s so exciting.
With the cancellation of “Eli Stone,” do you know what your next TV writing gig will be?
Yeah, I just finished two years on “Eli Stone.” I have nothing but wonderful, wonderful things to say about Marc Guggenheim. I guess a few bad things, if you really want to know [laughs].
|Andrew Kreisberg has just this week joined the staff of "Fringe"|
But I actually just joined “Fringe” on Monday [January 5]. So that’s cool because on day one they told me everything. I am on for the rest of this season and I also have a pilot at Touchstone that I am developing.
Were you a fan of “Fringe” coming in?
Yeah, I was. It was one of those crazy things. Ironically, most of my TV work -- I wrote for “Boston ” and had a drama pilot called “Haley’s Comet” about a 23-year-old cancer survivor and she becomes a medical student, and “Eli,” and I also wrote for “Lipstick Jungle” -- so most of my drama work has not been the kind of thing that would get me on “Fringe.” But what did it really was all of my comic book work, especially “Helen Killer,” which [“Fringe” production company] Bad Robot really responded well to. That was the thing that showed that I could handle the action and the car chases and drilling into people’s heads.
You must have been sad to see “Eli Stone” come to an end. What else can you tell us about that show?
“Eli” will always be one of the highlights of my career in terms of both the unbelievable creativity we enjoyed and the amazing friendships that were built – from the cast to the crew to the other writers, to Marc and Greg [Berlanti], who have changed my life for the better in so many ways, not only in my writing. Marc and Greg really created the type of work environment that I want to be a part of. I will always be very grateful for those two years. And very proud of the work
“Superman: World of New Krypton” #1 is scheduled to be released March 4 from DC Comics.
Fan favorite writer Greg Rucka (“Final Crisis: Revelations”) is taking over “Action Comics” from his pal Geoff Johns in March (Johns is leaving to write “Superman: Secret Origin”), but there will be some different heroes headlining the book in 2009 other than Superman. Beginning with March's "Action Comics" #875, Rucka and penciler Eddy Barrows will be left to safeguard Metropolis with the likes of Mon-El, the Guardian, Krypto, Supergirl, Nightwing and Flamebird.
“Action Comics,” nearly synonymous with the Man of Steel since its debut 1938, will follow the adventures of the Kryptonian legends Nightwing and Flamebird, with a story spinning out of the just completed “New Krypton” story arc being told in the pages of “Action Comics,” “Superman” and “Supergirl.”
Originally used as costumed identities by Superman and Jimmy Olsen in an adventure in the bottled City of Kandor, Nightwing and Flamebird grew to mythic proportions in Kryptonian lore. The original Robin, Dick Grayson, later took on the mantle of Nightwing on Earth after hearing stories told by Superman. Post-“Crisis.” A version of Bette Kane, the first Bat-Girl, was reintroduced as Flamebird. Grayson’s Nightwing is now battling for the cowl in Gotham while Flamebird, following “Infinite Crisis,” exists in an alternate future timeline of the DC Universe.
So who are the new Nightwing and Flamebird? Well, Greg Rucka’s not ready to yank the masks off his protagonists just yet, but he did tell CBR News that readers wouldn’t have to wait long to find out what two established DCU characters are playing dress up in the pages of “Action Comics.”
CBR: What can you tell us about the new Nightwing and Flamebird?
Greg Rucka: First off, the Flamebird and Nightwing look you’ve seen in the solicitations is going to be different when you open “Action Comics” #875. You’ll see those costumes at the beginning. But they’re not using those costumes. And I’ll put this out there, the mystery of who they are, you’ll have that by page #3 of the first issue. These are characters you have seen before and not just meandering around in panel 3, page #21 in the background of some obscure issue. I think the response on one of them is going to be, “Huh.” And the response to the other one is going to be, “Oh yeah, right.”
It’s a mistake to think “Action Comics” is about the mystery. It’s not. It’s not about “who are they?” That would be really dull. So for that reason, I wanted to give that to the reader up front. I wanted to say, “These are the heroes we’re dealing with. These are the heroes who are bringing this battle forward. And this is what the battle is specifically and this is what they have to do to win it. And this is Superman’s influence on them.”
|The "New Krypton" storyline concludes in "Action Comics" #873, on sale now|
Why not keep us guessing for 12 issues?
There is a piece of me who looks at that as a reader and I don’t want to be told that I have to buy all these books to buy the book I just read. That’s fireworks. That’s just a fireworks display. That’s not what the story is about. It’s a great piece of copy, and I have no problem with people wondering who they are, but you’ll have that answer pretty early on. And by the end of those first 22 pages, ideally, you’ll be going, “Okay, I want to follow them.” That first issue is going to be a pretty wild ride.
I was talking to [editor] Matt Idelson, and to get them to where they are at the beginning of that first issue, it’s going to require a 30-page special. We’re going to go through that first arc and you’re going to see clearly how they got to the point they were at. Geoff [Johns] made a comment to me about Nightwing when we in the early stages of planning and I just sunk my teeth into that like a bone. And I’m really looking forward to playing with that idea.
Are there any characters that will play heavily in “Action Comics” besides Nightwing and Flamebird?
You’re going to see a lot more of Ursa. And I think I’ll leave it there because I don’t want to give anything away. Geoff and I have been talking a lot about Ursa, Zod, Non and there’s stuff like that I’m going to have fun with. We’ll see some other names but I’m playing my cards pretty close to my chest.
When DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio asked you about writing Nightwing, did you think you were writing a Batman book?
No, because that’s not what he called about. He very specifically said, “Action.” And I said, “Okay.” And then he said it’s with Nightwing and Flamebird. And I said, “Okay.” And then he said, “No, really. There’s a plan, listen.” And I said, “Okay.” And then I talked to Geoff. And I went, “Oh, Okay.”
Are you a fan of the original Nightwing and Flamebird? Did you have to go back and read the old issues? Or are they even relevant?
|"Superman: World of New Krypton" #1 on sale in March|
Actually, the Kryptonian myth of who they are actually plays quite strongly into what we’re doing in “Action.” It is part of it. We have a Flamebird and Nightwing running around on Earth, so there may be subsequent confusion. It’s interesting that the human response will be, “It’s a different Nightwing and a different Flamebird. Well, we assume that they’re going to assume that.” It’s an interesting expectation to play with.
The myth was Flamebird was Superman and Nightwing was Jimmy Olsen, so the origin of those two characters is so convoluted anyway. I love the idea. It’s that sort of “Back to the Future” thing. “I went back so my parents could meet so I could be alive.”
This is Superman creates Nightwing and Flamebird with Jimmy Olsen so that Flamebird and Nightwing can be around later. But I’m not saying I am delving into the time travel aspects.
We’re also going to be talking a lot about Kryptonian society and the different guilds. And one of the things that hasn’t been mined heavily is the issue of Kryptonian spiritualism. Everyone says, “Great Rao.” But I’m not sure everyone knows what they mean when they say it.
Spirituality plays very much into “Final Crisis: Revelations,” as well. Do you enjoy writing about spirituality?
It’s weird. At least for me, I think I get into zones where certain things interest me and I keep playing with those ideas thematically. “Revelations” very naturally is about spirituality. But that’s by requirement. Not by choice. But I think there’s some interesting stuff with the concept of Flamebird and Nightwing as mythic characters. To Kryptonians, these are people from myth. It would be like saying, “Oh look. There’s Jason and the Argonauts.” If someone starts, for lack of a better phrase, dressing up as Jason with a bunch of Argonauts, you are going to have some questions for them.
Or if say, Superman flew by your window right now?
But it’s further complicated than that. You have a human population that’s used to superheroes. And on top of that, you can argue that there is a human population that is even familiar with heroes named Nightwing and Flamebird, never knowing that Nightwing [Dick Grayson] specifically takes his name from a Kryptonian story about heroes named Nightwing and Flamebird. And Bette Kane [the Post-“Crisis” ret-conned Bat-Girl of the 1960s] didn’t actually reach out for Flamebird just ‘cause. She reaches out because of her fascination with Robin at that time.
|"Superman: New Krypton" Vol. 1 collected edition on sale in May|
So I’m actually not sure that the names, in and of themselves, mean anything to anybody on Earth. I think there is a couple of people who know the mythology enough to go, “Hey wait a minute. What’s going on there?” Meanwhile, over at the “Battle for the Cowl” stuff, there’s a moment where Dick says, “He’s calling himself what?” But “Battle for the Cowl” is existing in its own bubble right now.
Are you enjoying working with writers Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Sterling Gates and Andrew Kreisberg in the Superman corner of the DCU, especially with the storylines building off one another to tell a bigger story?
You know, we all bitched about it during “52,” how much work it was and how exhausting it was. But one of things that was wonderful about the “52” experience was the collaboration and that ability, for better or for worse, to set a foundation for a story and build on that. Geoff and James and Sterling and Andrew Kreisberg are all tremendous collaborators and the exchange of ideas is very dynamic and very energizing.
We had a conference call yesterday. And it turned into a melee and not in the “I’m going to kill you” kind of way. But in the “wait, wait, wait, we can do this” kind of way. There is a great foundation and it’s a very well structured one. What I have been doing for the last several weeks is making sure that all of the Flamebird and Nightwing stuff fits into the parameters that have already been established. Part of the problem is that Flamebird and Nightwing have appeared prior to me really getting a handle on them. And consequently, moving forward, trying not to contradict what’s gone on in the past and also that there is an explanation for everything.
While DC is dropping the triangles following the “New Krypton” arc, the Super-books are still very much aligned in 2009. Is it safe to say, to really enjoy all of Superman’s story over the next year, you really should pick up all the Superman titles?
I really hate that when it’s done to me. I really hate it when they pull that one. Right now, at least for now, the goal is for every book to have its own independent story. And then you can see how they all interrelate, if you wish. Now there will be crossover stories, but I would resent like hell if I was a fan and I had to read every Superman book. Ideally, you’re going to pick it up and enjoy what you are reading and say, “Wow, they’re talking about Allura, who is Kara’s mother. Maybe, I should pick up ‘Supergirl?’ There is something going on with the Science Police, I wonder what James is doing in ‘Superman?’”
|"Superman" #684 and "Supergirl" #37 on sale this month|
I am really delighted about the interaction between the writers and the editors so far. I think everybody is doing a really tremendous job of making sure everybody is going to have their own patch of garden to till, but it’s all one garden that we’re working in. And you’re naturally going to cross-pollinate when you’re busy gardening, which is taking a metaphor to an extreme.
I think you get better writing that way because what tends to happen is the better ideas tend to survive. I want internal logic in my stories as best as I can manage. But I screw up. Everybody does. But ideally, there is an internal consistency to what’s going on. And that is really going to be evident here. It’s going to be really, really clear.
Does “Adventure Comics” play into this Super-verse, as well?
I have to kind of take the fifth, honestly. I know very little about the arc plan there. And the problem with announcing stuff, advance of it coming out, is I don’t want to give anything away. I hate when people spoil stories for me. So, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else.
Does what’s happening in Final Crisis and the Batman books affect what’s going on in the Superman books?
We’re talking about stuff that’s launches “post-Final Crisis." The Bat-books are their own corner of the universe. I do not see us being able to take the story to its logical conclusion without touching on those characters. But that’s much further down the road. We’re in early days yet on this story, consider Geoff and James have been doing this for a while already. I am aware that this is a world post-Final Crisis. And that may manifest when people see how the world responds. Because the world, post-Final Crisis, has come through a pretty traumatic event [laughs]. But by the same token, this isn’t about Final Crisis. We’re not moving backwards, we’re moving forwards.
|Also by Greg Rucka, "Final Crisis: Revelations" #5 on sale January 28|
And who is this Eddy Barrows guy you have as an artist? We hear he’s pretty good!
You know, you take what you can get [laughs]. And you try not to complain. And by the same token, when somebody calls and says, “We’re thinking Eddy Barrows,” you have to try not to scream like a girl at a rock concert into your editor’s ear. Let’s just say, I am in this lovely zone where I am working with artists who are just fantastic across the board on books I can’t even talk about. I am not suffering on the art front. You look what Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion have been doing on “Final Crisis: Revelations” and just go down the line. And there’s other stuff that will be announced in February, and when it is announced, you’ll understand more. You’ll be like, “He’s not lying. He’s doing pretty well on the artist front.”
Do have more books coming in 2009?
Oh, yeah. It’s nice to know my kids are going to be fed. But it’s fun.
Can you reveal which characters you’ll be writing? Or even which corner of the DCU you’ll be in?
I’ll actually be all over the place. And that’s an answer, too. We’ve going to announce at least two other things in February. And then there’s going to be at least one other thing after that but I’m not sure when that will be announced. And two of them are sort of related, but there’s a lot more coming. I took a big chunk of 2008 off. I needed to recharge my batteries. And they have been recharged quite well and I’m really psyched to be getting into this stuff.
And as I said before, it’s so easy to go to work when you like the office. And everybody in the office, metaphorical as it is, is fantastic. I’m in an office with Sterling and James and Geoff and Andrew and Matt and the list goes on. That’s a great environment. It’s an inspiring environment to be in. And at the same time, everybody’s got their own strengths. So I think we are going to complement each other very, very well.
Is Geoff Johns very involved despite the fact he’s writing “Superman: Secret Origin?”
Yes, for me certainly because a lot of what I’m using is stuff that Geoff has thoughts on and, this is going to sound sappy, but he’s a great friend. But on top of that, I think he’s an exceptionally talented comic book storyteller. His understanding of the DC Universe, his take on the characters -- let’s just say there’s not a conversation that I have with him that I don’t come out if it with more than I went in. I think I’m good on character work but I’m not great with high concept ideas. I do not tend to go real big budget. I have been struggling to do that. And Geoff is very good at reminding me to raise the bar.
Greg Rucka begins his run on “Action Comics” with issue #875, scheduled in stores March 11 from DC Comics.
SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #2
Written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods
Cover by Gary Frank
Variant cover by Pete Woods
Superman thought that joining his people on New Krypton would allow him to ease some of the tension between Earth and his people, but lately nothing’s been easy for the Man of Steel! Alura still shows no signs of becoming the kind of leader Superman wants her to be. The people of New Krypton still don’t understand the responsibilities that come with their new abilities. And as for Zod? Superman doesn’t even know where to start with Zod. All The Man of Steel knows is that he can’t be trusted. And Zod is about to prove Superman right.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Gary Frank), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Pete Woods). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale April 8 • 2 of 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
ACTION COMICS #876
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Eddy Barrows & Ruy Jose
Cover by Andrew Robinson
On sale April 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes & Wilson Magalháes
Cover by Andrew Robinson
Mon-El has agreed to be Metropolis’s new champion – unfortunately Metropolis wants nothing to do with him! In the wake of the events in the “New Krypton” saga, Mon-El faces fierce anti-Kryptonian sentiments from a city that assumes he’s Kryptonian. Oh, and there’s also the not-so-small problem of Rampage. Meanwhile, the Guardian and his Science Police must deal with the Prankster’s new wave of murderous fun. And Black Lightning and Steel face the repercussions of a world without Superman.
On sale April 29 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal
Cover by Joshua Middleton
“Who is Superwoman?” part 4! Following last issue, Supergirl must decide what to do with a shocking piece of information that casts all of “New Krypton” in a new light! Meanwhile, Lois begins putting together clues regarding the body found in Metropolis Harbor and the strange message it was broadcasting.
On sale April 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
"T.J. Magnum said:"who better to fight Superman and Batman then Superman and Batman..."True... but doesnt Composite Superman have the powers of all the Legion of Super Heroes as well ?"
i don't if he does in this version
haven't read it yet
"King Saturn said:Oh I See"T.J. Magnum said:"who better to fight Superman and Batman then Superman and Batman..."True... but doesnt Composite Superman have the powers of all the Legion of Super Heroes as well ?"
i don't he does in this version
haven't read it yet"
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