Audiences who have been turning out to read DC's Rebirth publishing initiative have seen a number of differences between this year's comics and what was being published this time last year, when everyone was talking about DC You.
One of the biggest differences, though, started just about a year ago: The return of the pre-Flashpoint Superman, who appeared in Superman: Lois and Clark before moving over to Action Comics to take on the role of the Superman in the DC Universe.
And, yes, he's brought his wife (the pre-Flashpoint Lois Lane) and his son Jonathan Kent, born during the Convergence event) with him, changing the dynamic of the Superman titles and some of the mission statement of Clark's heroism.
Along with that return came the return of longtime Superman writer/artist Dan Jurgens, who is writing Action Comics opposite Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason on Superman.
Jurgens joined ComicBook.com at Comic Con International: San Diego this weekend to talk about Action Comics.
Do you plan on grappling a little bit with how Clark's responsibilities as a father kind of conflict with his responsibilities as Superman? We're having Jon literally watching him on TV, potentially getting killed.
Right. Yes, that is going to be dealt with and it will come up a little bit more in the current storyline, where we actually talk about it straight up, where we say ... where we have Clark say in essence, "When I fought Doomsday the first time, it was on behalf of Metropolis. I was protecting Metropolis at that time. Now it isn't just Metropolis, it's also my family, and it's Lois and it's Jon."
As the series moves on, we explore this idea that when he and Lois were married and living in Metropolis, that was one thing, and his commitment to her, but their shared commitment to Jon is something else. That raises the stakes a little bit.
We talked about this a little bit the other day, the idea that there are a lot of artistic homages to the original Doomsday story going on in "Path of Doom." Was that you or was that the art team, or a little bit of both, who decided that'd be fun to play with?
Obviously, we were hearkening back to a very specific sort of event, so one of the things we did is we wanted to make sure that it was sort of historically accurate, if you will, so as part of that, yes, when I wrote the script, sent some visuals along that said, "You don't have to copy this, that's not the idea, but evoke this particular sort of feeling, evoke this sense of atmosphere of the first Doomsday fight."
Specifically for Lois, there had to be a couple of moments, because she was remembering a particular scene. Yes, we wanted particular memories to be rekindled, so yes.
On that note, is it a little odd for you, right now between you doing Doomsday and Pete doing The Eradicator, it seems like the idea of Rebirth and the idea of going back to what really resonates with the readers...well, a lot of what resonates with Superman readers was stuff that you had a direct hand in.
Yes. It's gratifying, it's fun to revisit, but part of revisiting it is recasting it a little bit for the -- I wouldn't say 'modern audience' because that's kind of a silly term -- but giving it a bit of a fresh coat of paint and updating it some, by all means. Yes, it's very gratifying to see that.
We've talked a little bit about the fact that when you started Convergence, let alone Lois and Clark, you kind of knew where all this was going. How did they approach you about Jon?
It's weird, because when we first started this entire thing, to go back to Futures End, and we doing the Five Years Later books, one of the things that Dan said straight up is, "Let's not do kids, let's not do babies. That's what everybody will want to do." And it's like, "Fine, fine, fine."
Then when we started working on Convergence, one of the things that we threw at him was this idea that if Lois and Clark had a child, and we had a different ending in mind at that time, but if Louis and Clark had a child, that could be the future.
When I first said, "If we did that, here's what the child would represent, here's this future of DC." We talked about that a little bit, so obviously Jon was born in the Convergence: Superman issue that I wrote and drew, and then later Dan called me up one day and said, "I've always wanted to do a series called Lois and Clark."
We started talking about it, and Dan first said, "What if Jon was older? What if we aged him?" That's where I said, "No, we don't age him. We find out Superman has been here all along." That's where we started talking about the story ideas. That's what Jon came to represent, and this idea that, yes, he represents the future.
I did want to touch on Lex, because obviously he's an important part of this book. So far, because of the nature of the Doomsday fight, we've only really seen so much of him because he's not much of a physical match for Doomsday. What does Lex represent?
Lex also represents a little bit of that idea of something new in the book, because this relationship that Lex and Superman have is going to be different from what we've seen in the past, although in Superman's head he's still got to be a villain, right? We know as readers that he is. We know he murdered someone.
The world doesn't know that, Superman has found no proof of that, but he will always have these suspicions. As the series moves forward, we're going to do a two-part story that really focuses on the mysterious new Clark Kent. Then we do a two-part story that really focuses on Lois. Then a longer story that really focuses on the relationship between Superman and Lex, because what I wanted to do in story one was get everybody on stage, and now moving forward, spend a little time focusing on who each of these characters really are.
With Lois as Author X, is that the scenario where she and Lex seem like an obvious pairing to cross paths?
We have a scene coming where Lois is going to walk into the Daily Planet and Lex is going to approach her and say, "Lane, you're the best reporter this town has ever seen. I want you back. By the way, I want you to interview me."
Then it's a question of how does Lois react to that, because obviously she knows Lex is looking for a bit of a feel-good piece, and that's not who she is. Certainly, we've released cover art to indicate her back with the Planet. It will be a really natural relationship between she and Lex, because Lex owns the Daily Planet.