Brad Meltzer on His 'Action Comics' #1000 Tale: "These Stories are Vital To Me"

Brad Meltzer's just-released novel The Escape Artist may be #1 on the New York Times bestseller list this week, but his audience will not have to wait another five years for his next thriller to get a new story. Meltzer, along with dozens of other popular writers and artists, will collaborate on next month's Action Comics #1000, celebrating 80 years of Superman.

During a conversation about The Escape Artist, ComicBook.com spoke with Meltzer, who explained why he finds it to important to carve out time for superhero comics even when he is swamped with more lucrative novel and TV work.

"Those great anniversary issues, whether it was Justice League #200, or whatever...I remember, they were so big that they had a spine," Meltzer told ComicBook.com. "You could print the words along the spine. And that was a big deal when you hit that #500 issue or there was the #200 issue. Even the #150s would get some love sometimes. Those were big deals to me. It felt like history. When Dan DiDio -- we always plan together and joke about things -- when he was like, 'I've got a big one.' And I was like, 'What was it? I don't know if I have time. I'm busy. I have got to do this stuff.' And he said the words Action Comics #1000, I was like, 'Oh, I have got to do that. Count me in.' And then with [artist] John Cassaday, you better believe I'm in."

Of course, this is not Meltzer's first go-'round with big anniversary issues. He contributed to Detective Comics (volume 2) #27, which retold Batman's first appearance, printed in the first Detective Comics #27, with a modern edge.

"These stories are vital to me," Meltzer said. "I know I spend my days writing about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but to me those leaders are just as important as Superman and Batman. Of course, I realize that two of them are real and two of them are fictional, but they both are true totems of America's history. The reason those stories are so vital to us, for both of them, is that it's not just that they're good stories, but they reveal the stories of us. That's what every great character does. That's what every great hero does. It's not just their story, but it's what we hope our story is as well."

You can see the official solicitation text for the issue below.

Action Comics #1000 is in stores on April 18.

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ACTION COMICS #1000
Cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
Stories and art by an all-star lineup of top talent
Retailers: This issue will ship with ten covers. Please see the order form for details.
Celebrate 1000 issues of Action Comics with an all-star lineup of top talent as they pay tribute to the comic that started it all! From today's explosive action to a previously unpublished tale illustrated by the legendary Curt Swan to the Man of Tomorrow's future—this very special, oversized issue presents the best of the best in Superman stories!