DC Comics’ Superman: All Access Panel [NYCC 2011]
Artist Shane Davis (Superman: Earth One), editor Matt Idelson, writer Mike Green (Supergirl), artist Mahmud Asrar (Supergirl) and writer/artist Dan Jurgens (Superman) took to the stage at New York Comic Con to tell fans what they can expect from DC Comics' line of Superman titles. Click below the jump for news on the new creative team of Superman, the next volume of Superman: Earth One, the new look of Krypton and future destinations for Supergirl.
SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE VOLUME TWO
"Real men wear their underwear on the outside," artist Shane Davis joked as the cover to Superman: Earth One was displayed for the New York crowd. While the "New 52" version of the Man of Steel no longer wears briefs, Davis' Earth One incarnation of the character still has the classic Superman costume. The forthcoming graphic novel is the sequel to Davis and writer J. Michael Straczynski's best-selling volume 1, which Davis said had "romance and adventure." In contrast, the artist said the second volume would have more "sex and violence" while remaining PG-13. Pages were shown of Superman stopping a tsunami and a dictator cutting off limbs of some of his constituents. Superman fantasizes about what he could have done to the dictator, like disintegrating him.
Also shown were pages of the Parasite, who in this story will start off as a serial killer and won't be as much of an actual energy glutton as the classic villain, but rather have an addiction to power itself. "The most powerful man has his hands tied," Davis said. The Parasite lives in a more real world and can't upset humanity's balance of power.
Pages were shown of Superman saving a cat and people freaking out and throwing bricks at him, John Corben entering the Steel Soldier suit, and a depiction of old Krypton by Gene Ha featuring Jor-El, Lara and Krypto. Apparently Lara's family thinks Jor-El is a crackpot scientist.
Writer Mike Green explained that unlike some of the other New 52 books, they're completely reintroducing their hero with Supergirl. The circumstances of her arrival on Earth will remain a secret for now. The cover of issue #5 was shown, and it features Argo City, her traditional hometown. In issue #4, Green and Asrar will explain why Supergirl was already fully powered when exiting the rocket that brought her to Earth.
Idelson stated that Superboy is the most changed character in the entire New 52 because he's "a new blank slate." Superboy was described as not knowing what "morals, values or feelings" are.
Starting with Superman #7, Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens will be co-writing the book with Jurgens drawing. Jurgens is of course best known as the writer and artist behind the landmark "Death of Superman." The pair gave the following statement to DC's The Source blog:
"In my mind, Superman is still the first and best," said Jurgens. "He is the premier character in comics. As a writer, the thing I like best about Superman is the incredibly wide parameter of stories that suit him. Whether it's a cosmic enemy that threatens the entire planet or a next door neighbor who's confronted with an incredible moral dilemma, Superman is at home with both and everything in between. As an artist, the thing I like is the sense of power and integrity Superman embodies. There's something about drawing that majestic figure in flight with the cape and classic 'S' shield that will always be a kick. Working with Keith Giffen, one of the most creative guys in comics, who comes up with more ideas in five minutes than most guys do in a week, is the topper. I can't wait to get started."
"Are you kidding? It's SUPERMAN! The sky is the limit!" said Giffen. "I don't care what anyone says, Superman is DC's flagship title and Dan and I are going to sweat blood to make sure that everyone out there knows why. The sense of wonder that defined the character for so long is, most definitely, coming back. Big time."
The panel then opened up to Q&A.
On continuity: If Superman's continuity has been rebooted but Batman and Green Lantern's have not, how then can previously published Superman stories in which he appeared with Batman and Green Lantern still have happened? The panelists said that such concerns would be best revealed in story as necessary, as opposed to creating some kind of continuity roadmap for fans.
On Earth One: When asked whether the Earth One books were considered Elseworlds, Shane Davis stated that if the regular books are like TV shows, the Earth One titles are more like movies. He also confirmed that Superman: Earth One and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's forthcoming Batman: Earth One take place in the same universe.
On retelling old stories: When asked if they had plans to bring back the Eradicator, a figure from the Superman comics of the 1980s and 1990s, the panelists commented that they're not trying to retell old stories in the New 52, but rather brand-new stories with new characters and situations.
On the differences between the Pre-52 and New 52 Superman: Dan Jurgens stated that he doesn't think of them as "old Superman" and "new Superman," but rather that the elements of a good Superman story will never change, and those elements are all still there with this new incarnation of the character.
On a new Superman/Batman title: "Not yet."