Superman Story Coming From Jerry Ordway and Steve Rude that Features Jack Kirby's OMAC

superman-rudeVeteran Superman and Adventures of Superman writer and artist Jerry Ordway will return to the character for an Adventures of Superman story to be published in April, with art by Steve Rude, the publisher announced yesterday.

Today, Rude sent out an e-mail to his listserv filling in some details, including the fact that the story will see the Man of Steel share page count with OMAC.

Here's what the veteran artist had to say about picking up a story that's so suited to his particular skillset, along with a peek at the cover to the book:

superman-omacADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN!

Superman. OMAC. Together.

Who would've thought?

Well, me, for one. Me, being Steve Rude the Dude, as well as the brass at DC West who asked me to come on board for this project.

It was editor Alex Antoine, a cool and hip, barely 30-something who made the initial contact to the Dude's home in sunny AZ. many months back. You may recognize Alex's name as editor on many of the IMAGE books, before he gravitated to DC West, to supervise many of their online/print comics.

To begin the process of Dude recruitment, Alex submitted several scripts to entice my interest for the Adventures of Superman project, but it wasn't until we settled on something specifically catered to "The Dude Mentality"-with characters most memorable to the 60's and 70's-- that things finally clicked.

And what would fit the Dude mentality?

How 'bout OMAC? Of the One Man Army Corps? As created by the great Jack Kirby back in '75?

That, I decided, was the character I wanted to feature along with Superman, in the 10-page comic which would mark my artistic debut with DC West. Smartly, editor Alex was from the "let the talent do their thing and get outta their way" school. And soon I was off to do just that.

But hey, I'm an artist not a writer. Who was gonna write this thing?

No sooner than did the question launch itself into the comic book ether than did the answer return with a resounding boom. The writer, it was decided, would be actual one-time Adventures of Superman writer/artist himself--Jerry Ordway. And what kind of writing job would Jerry end up doing?

Here's your answer; Jerry submitted his script and we all loved it. And after a hour or two of of finely tuned script discussion over the phone one afternoon, he and I were able to up the dramatics even further on the cool-meter.

No sooner was our script fully refined and on track, when out came my collection of the great Kirby OMAC comics. With my memory still fully intact with the groundbreaking concepts common to all Kirby comics, I needed little brushing up on OMAC history as I proceeded to get up to speed and draw the 10 pages with Superman and OMAC in record time.

And let's not forgot about the lettering. I had to complete that job before breaking out my pens and finest sable brushes for the critical job of inking over my pencil work. With that finished, the pages were then submitted to both editor Alex and writer Jerry, where the final highly-skilled part of comic book production would come into being-the coloring.

Fortunately, I've already been working with the best colorist in the biz-he's been coloring my work on Nexus and the Moth for years now. And that name would be--Glenn Whitmore.

Glenn it turns out, was another actual alumni of The Adventures of Superman, the very series that I'd just mentioned that Jerry Ordway himself was drawing and writing back in the early 80's. Yo--the chance that these two creative talents would finally reunite after all these years--is that amazing or what?

And so the momentous wheel of creativity that is COMICS would grind and turn, until the project was ground smooth enough to be scheduled for public release. Now, it would be turned over to the fans themselves, where their buying power prerogative would eventually point their thumbs in the north or south direction.

Finally, I should mention that though DC's budget didn't permit the rates normally required by the Dude to paint this issues cover-I painted it anyway. Such sacrifices does one make in the name of proper presentation.

Ordway made headlines last year when he publicly complained about the conditions of older writers and artists, who often find themselves unable to find work--or working for pennies on the dollar compared to their '80s and '90s rates--at DC and Marvel. Shortly after that conversation went viral online, Ordway ended up drawing the Man of Steel Prequel comic that was packaged with the Blu-ray and released online via Wal-Mart stores shortly before the movie was released theatrically.

adventures-of-superman-16-print-cover-jon-bogdanoveThe images above were shared by Rude. At right is the cover image that will apparently accompany the March titles, drawn by veteran Superman: The Man of Steel artist Jon Bogdanove.

Other creators who will have stories in the digital-first anthology during March and April include indie darlings Kelly Sue DeConnick, Joe Keatinge, Matthew Dow Smith and iconic horror comics writer Steve Niles.

You can see the lineup below, per DC's announcement.

March 10 – "STRANGE VISITOR" 1/3 – Joe Keatinge, Ming Doyle & Brent Schoonover March 17 – "STRANGE VISITOR" 2/3 – Joe Keatinge, Ming Doyle, David Williams & Al Gordon March 24 – "STRANGE VISITOR" 3/3 – Joe Keatinge, Tula Lotay & Jason Shawn Alexander March 31 – "GHOSTS OF KRYPTON" 1/1 – Steve Niles & Matthew Dow Smith April 7 – "MYSTERY BOX" 1/1 – Kelly Sue DeConnick & Valentine De Landro April 14 – “SEED OF DESTRUCTION" 1/1 – Jerry Ordway & Steve Rude