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DC’s Superman Panel: Earth One, Superboy, Supergirl’s Fort of Solitude [SDCC]

Saturday’s first major San Diego Comic-Con panel from DC Comics covered Superman. The event was moderated by VP – Marketing John Cunningham, and featured artist Shane Davis (Superman: Earth One), writer Scott Lobdell (Superman), co-writer Mike Johnson (Supergirl) and editor Matt Idelson. Topics such as the current interpretation of Lex Luthor, the place of Lois Lane in the New 52 universe, Superboy’s status as a clone and Lobdell’s upcoming tenure on the Superman title were discussed.

Regarding the second volume of Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, the artist described Clark Kent at the Daily Planet in the second volume as “goofy,” and stated that the Clark Kent in the second volume is significantly different from the first. After the Daily Planet article shown on the last page of the first volume, the Parasite will come to Metropolis to try to take on the most powerful man in the world. Davis stated that he wanted to draw a Parasite who looked like you wouldn’t want to touch him, and also revealed that the Earth One iteration of Parasite would be able to drain power from the air as well as through touch. Davis described working with JMS and trying to make the violence more “messy,” and also talked about trying to include a scene in a particularly brutal Superman/Parasite fight where Superman would eye-gouge. (JMS vetoed it.)

Lobdell talked about his transition from Superboy to Superman, joking that his next book was Super-Kids-Get-Off-My-Yard. The zero issue will focus on Jor-El and the horror he experienced when he realized that Krypton was going to blow up, and trying to break the news to his newly pregnant wife. Lobdell talked about his upcoming run, and mentioned that he wanted to mix the new characters who’ve been showing up in the Superman book so far with New 52 re-imagined versions of old characters such as Bizarro and Toyman. Lobdell will be concentrating on the Clark Kent identity as well, stating that Clark will be somewhat of his “id,” the voice that’s able to talk about issues that are important to him, since Superman can’t state his beliefs out loud.

Regarding Tom DeFalco’s upcoming run on Superboy, Idelson mentioned that now that the character is free from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and Harvest, the book would start focusing on the fact that Superboy is a clone, and the history of clones on Krypton, who all deteriorated and became “homicidal maniacs.” This will lead to friction between Superboy, Supergirl and Superman, since Superman will want to give Superboy a fair chance while Supergirl’s actual life on Krypton gives her a more negative view of clones.

Regarding the zero issue of Action Comics, Idelson stated that it would feature art by Ben Oliver and detail Superman’s first adventure, which doesn’t go especially well. He also promised new details about the New 52 Jimmy Olsen. Afterwards will be a oneshot featuring the return of Krypto, and then a three-part arc tying together many of the plot threads Grant Morrison has laid so far. Issue #13 will also line the book up temporally with the rest of the Super-titles.

Regarding Supergirl, Mike Johnson talked about Supergirl’s new “Fort of Solitude,” which will be her attempt to build a piece of Krypton on Earth. He likened it to a “sensory deprivation tank” that will allow her to remember her previous life, and stated that #13 will feature the return of Simon Tycho from the first arc.

Kyrax2, last year’s Batgirl cosplayer of San Diego Comic-Con, asked about why Stephanie Brown was taken out of Bryan Q. Miller’s Smallville Season 11 and recolored and replaced with Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl. Cunningham said he had no idea that any of this occurred, and a series of jokes followed encouraging the fan to keep buying the title until Stephanie Brown showed up.

Regarding Superman mentoring Superboy and Supergirl, the panel said this was unlikely to happen anytime soon, since the other two are teenagers and all three have differing approaches to problem-solving.

On Luthor, Idelson talked about DC wanting to make sure that they introduce him in the present day correctly. Lobdell discussed having fairly radical ideas for Luthor that are controversial and still under discussion in the DC office; Shane Davis mentioned plural “Luthors” in the Superman: Earth One universe.

On the Clark/Lois relationship in the New 52 universe, Lobdell said that he sees her relationship with Clark almost as “besties” at the moment; they’re two people who have feelings with each other but work in the same office. Davis mentioned that in the second volume of Earth One she’s investigating Clark Kent’s background and why he always maintained a C+ average, and stated that she both loves and hates him at the same time.

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