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  1. #1
    Incredible Member SuperCrab's Avatar
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    Default New Dan Jurgens Interview About Action Comics, Rebirth, and SuperDad

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    This is a third-party interview, obviously. I would have been asking a very different set of questions.

    I respect Dan's past work on Superman titles and other comic books over the years.

    However, this interview makes it as clear as possible, at least in my mind, that the DC Rebirth is everything I feared, and that I am going to want to steer clear of the entire line beginning with the 80-page book in late May.

    At one point late in the interview, it's extremely clear that Dan views Jon as a character that will be a huge part of his legacy and wants him all over the DC properties, even the ones he doesn't write, and to live beyond his time there. He also is clear, even correcting the interviewer at times, that the new books are about Superman, Lois, and Jon; the pre-Flashpoint versions; not just Superman. That trio is the unit he is writing about. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but the clear impression was that Lois and Jon are not incidental to this line- that they are primary characters, and that this version of Superman is going to be heavily defined by his relationship with both Lois and his crime fighting son. It really is a SuperDad or SuperFamily comic- not a Superman who happens to have a family who occasionally figure into things. It's central and unavoidable if you're going to be reading those comics (I'll pass).

    He says he is keeping in very close contact with Tomasi and the guy who is co-writing the Superman line with Tomasi to make sure that the characters are in lock sync with each other. They'll be doing separate stories (i.e. Action Comics won't be part one, with Superman as part 2, and so on), but with the same characters in the same continuity going through the same general life events and having the same type of reactions to things (If Jon is grounded for misbehaving or bad grades in one comic, he's grounded in the other, too, I guess. I can't believe I even typed that, these comics are going to suck.).

    New 52 Superman only gets a passing mention where they talk about Super League (Not using the name Super League) as having the two Supermen meeting and preparing the ground for the transition for readers who aren't reading Lois and Clark. They didn't really delve into it, but the tone is about what you'd assume from the Rebirth announcement and other DC interviews- that new52 Clark is gone and forgotten pretty quickly.

    I really don't think new52 Superman is coming back- at least not unless Warner Brothers starts firing people. It doesn't sound like this is a planned temporary run for Jurgens, and it doesn't sound like Jurgens is planning to really write about new52 Superman at all. As far as he's concerned, this has always been Superman, this will always be Superman, and he's really putting new52 Superman in the rearview mirror.

    Also, though it's a little vague, it sounds like Jurgens didn't pitch this to editorial. He pitched the Convergence storyline to editorial, and the birth of Jon, and kind of had the idea that establishing that these characters still exist, and a son of Superman is out there, would be something they'd have in their back pocket to pick up later if they got the opportunity, but it sounds like the people above him wanted him to specifically port this story to Action Comics and jettison new52 Superman (I don't recall if they mentioned who's idea the Lois and Clark miniseries was). There was an allusion to the idea that initially they were talking about giving him another book to tell this story (Which I guess might have involved new52 Superman sticking around on Action Comics, he didn't say), but that this is what he was given after some discussions.

    Jurgen's run *writing* the new52 Superman title for a while a few years ago is not referenced once. And I realized that that is partly because he wasn't asked about it, but I think it shows you where their heads are all at. I really get the feeling he doesn't like new52 Superman. Like, from the way he just no-sells that Superman, you'd think they must have tied him up and made him write those half dozen issues or so.

    I really, you know, this was everything I feared it'd be.

    It'd be nice if we could get a good interviewer who'd ask the hard questions. In fact, if anyone here is going to have an opportunity to interview Dan or anyone involved in the new line, I'd be happy to private message you a list of "tough questions" that you can use some of, all of, or none of, no credit to me required. I'd just like to see people answer some questions honestly about what's really going on and what went on.

    It's pretty clear that this is not for me. I don't know what the Superman fan base in general is going to do. I hope that the sales figures are such a significant rejection of this that changes have to be made to it in order for people to keep their jobs, or new people are brought in. It's nothing personal, I just am really into the existing line and new52 Superman. I don't want SuperDad, I don't want a crime-fighting 10 year old as a co-star. I want new52 Superman and no children crime fighters. I am likely not going to buy a single DC Comic title after Rebirth unless it's to grab back issues of pre-Rebirth stories, I certainly won't be subscribing to anything.

    They probably could have smoothed the transition for me a little had they tossed me some sort of bone- new52 Clark Kent with a monthly book where he trains with Batman for a while and then becomes the defender of another city with a different secret identity and works as a journalist at a different newspaper or website or blog, new52 Clark as a Green Lantern, or maybe even SuperDad in a title where the Dad part would be de-emphasized to the point where he might walk by Jon on his way out the door every half dozen issues or think "If I don't get out of this, I'll never see my family again", but otherwise just be straight forward Superman titles that could stand alone and be read apart from the lines that focus on Jon and the crime fighting family aspect, the way they've sometimes done very Damian-light Batman books in the past.

    It doesn't sound like any of that is going to happen.

    And the way they just brush off the last 5 years and a character we knew and loved is very galling. There's not even talk in the interview or elsewhere of it being a tough decision or any consideration of the fan base that Superman has developed and the time and money people have invested. It's like they just figure people will go "Who cares? Superman is Superman. I didn't like the last five years anyway, and what I've always wanted was for Superman to be about SuperDad and his crimefighting 10 year old son.".

    I realize there's an irony to some of this, which is that maybe some people who were fans of the existing Superman titles right before new52, felt the same way when new52 happened. But two wrongs don't make a right. I wasn't really involved with comics back then- I consider myself a lifelong fan of Superman, but I watched things like (ironically) the Lois and Clark TV series, the Christopher Reeves movies, and so on and so forth, and didn't really engage with comics until a few years ago. So, this new52 Superman really is my Superman, comics wise.

    And I think just as maybe people saw a problem with new52 in their minds throwing out the 25 years of pre-Flashpoint continuity, they are right now essentially doing the same thing with the last 5 years of new52 continuity, at least when it comes to the Superman titles. It's repeating the same mistake, if it was a mistake.

    It's also a different situation in this respect: New52 Superman was a situation where they wanted to tell the Superman myth over again in the modern world with a few different twists and turns. There have always sort of been those moments in Superman history. If there hadn't been, we'd still be reading about a 100 year old (Assuming he was at least in his 20s in 1938) Golden Age Clark Kent, with all of his human friends having passed away, and so on and so forth. He got sort of soft rebooted slowly into Silver and then Bronze Age Superman, with Earth 2 stories up through 1986 telling stories about the real original Superman from the Golden Age (Ret-conned as having always existed in another dimension) side by side with Bronze Age Superman on the main earth.

    Then, Crisis on Infinite Earths happened, and even Bronze Age Superman's past was heavily changed to the point where we really consider post-Crisis Superman a 3rd or 4th version of the guy, with a different backstory and so forth.

    Each change, generally, reset Clark to having been born later and made him more modern, and reopened storytelling opportunities as the last Clark had sort of run his course.

    New52 Superman hasn't run his course, though, or become a relic of a bygone era- he's only had five years. And if somehow in those five years, he had run his course or had been thought to have failed, it'd be closer to tradition to reboot him and start fresh. What they are doing now is more like if they had brought back Golden Age Superman in 1991 and had him replace post-Crisis Superman. It's the opposite of starting fresh.

    Post Crisis Superman had his time. Towards the end of his 25 years, his sales were way down. Some fans did not approve of the marriage, he'd beaten everyone twice (Really more than twice), and he was played out enough that there were talks of a serious reboot as early as the late 90s. He was great in his time, but it was obviously time to move forward.

    (continued below)
    Last edited by SuperCrab; 04-08-2016 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Incredible Member SuperCrab's Avatar
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    (continued from the first post on the thread)

    Now we're moving backward. New52 Superman sales are still better than the pre-Flashpoint sales were towards the end. I don't see how bringing the other guy back as the main deal and pretending the last 5 years never happened helps anything long-term. It may provide them a temporary burst of publicity and boost as old fans come back, but pretty soon they'll remember why they left in the first place (Keeping in mind many left long before Flashpoint) and they'll have the same problems- just without the new52 fans and the growth potential that existed there.

    Jurgens argues that having the son is moving Superman forward and it's not a regression for that reason. However, what they are doing in that respect, while "new" to Superman is not new to DC Comics- Batman has done it, right down to having a biological son who's a preteen who fights crime. It's also not a logical appeal to a new or modern or current audience.

    In the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, the audience for comic books was mostly children. Today, it's mostly adults. So, while a crime fighting youngster as a focus point for a whole bunch of comics may have made sense for the old audience, it is the last thing you'd want to do to appeal to today's audience. Look at the sales of Captain Marvel through the years and how high they were and how far they've fallen (Notice, he no longer has his own book). I could see the possibility of a Superman who's in his 40s and a parent appealing to 40-something parents who may be their readers, but I wonder whether that takes away the sense of comics as escapism from their everyday lives, and I'm not sure they largely want to see that son as a focal point who endangers himself to fight crime. There's a different between a guy who happens to have a kid who's sort of there and referenced and seen occasionally in relation to the title character, and making the kid essentially the co-title character and having him actually go out there and beat up the bad guys. It's totally irresponsible to let your 10 year old kid fight aliens, supervillans, and so on and so forth, and that's something most versions of Superman would have understood. It also adds a cartoonish "G-rated" children oriented twist to the line in general, setting their target audience as people in grade school.

    And as they go back to a product meant to appeal to children, they leave really no "out" or alternative for people who'd like to read a Superman title for adults. There's no bad-ass new52 Superman or alternate universe Superman book. There's not even a book featuring SuperDad, but designed for older readers or readers who don't want to read this family oriented fare where Jon is deemphasized and it gets a little PG-13 or R rated sometimes and tells stories about the new pre-FP mainstream character, but stories of another nature.

    They're basically telling us all to go take a hike.

    And I am.

    When new52 Superman is gone, I'll have transitioned entirely to indie comics and maybe Marvel. I don't entirely like doing that, because there were reasons I was reading DC Comics and Superman titles in the first place instead of those other characters and brands. But if DC says we don't matter, both in terms of not writing anything for people like me, and also in the way they are completely almost so disdainful of their own creation in new52 Superman that they don't even talk about him and act like killing him off is no big deal, what choice do I really have?

    Black Science is a great indie comic. I've caught up on the books and subscribed. I'm looking into other stuff. Initially, I planned to be open to non-Superman DC titles, but as SuperJon showing up in a Batman title set in the far future showed us, and this Jurgens interview confirmed, no comic is really going to be absolutely safe from this vision of SuperDad and his 10 year old crime fighting son. They even talk in the interview about making sure Supergirl and Superwoman and, I imagine, New Super-Man (The Chinese guy) are tied closer together than they have been in the past. The only places I can be pretty sure they won't show up are in non-DC comics.

    Honestly, it sounds like we need Warner Brothers to come in and fire everyone. I hate to say that, because I like some things every one of them have written, even Geoff Johns, currently an editor. But the vision is just all wrong. And it looks like they are pretty locked into this and not willing to be accommodating. I wouldn't mind keeping any of the writers and editors who can write as writers on a revived new52 Superman line or a new Superman line, because I know they can write stuff I like, but it'd have to be with a totally different editorial direction than has been planned. No SuperDad. No Jon Kent or Jon White or whomever. Bring back new52 Superman, or reboot it again and start over with a new Superman we've never seen before.
    Last edited by SuperCrab; 04-08-2016 at 06:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    All you can do is buy what you like and go with that. If the upcoming direction is not for you, then it's not for you. You can only speak for yourself and no one else. As a fan of Superman it always sucks to see another fan leave the flock,but it is what it is. As you said, 5 years ago the shoe was on the other foot for many fans and I'm sure there are fans that weren't at all interested in seeing a rookie Superman "playing the field", or returning to a triangle for two or dating a fellow Superhero. I'm sure there are many of those fans who stayed away that are now returning as you and others are leaving.

    I think there is an assumption this will tank because there's going to be a mass exodus of new 52 Superman fans. I don't think personally sales are going to be that much better Post REBIRTH bump,but I think sales will likely remain the same as they are now. It's going to be a wash ultimately.

  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Last Son of Krypton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCrab View Post
    Also, though it's a little vague, it sounds like Jurgens didn't pitch this to editorial. He pitched the Convergence storyline to editorial, and the birth of Jon, and kind of had the idea that establishing that these characters still exist, and a son of Superman is out there, would be something they'd have in their back pocket to pick up later if they got the opportunity, but it sounds like the people above him wanted him to specifically port this story to Action Comics and jettison new52 Superman (I don't recall if they mentioned who's idea the Lois and Clark miniseries was). There was an allusion to the idea that initially they were talking about giving him another book to tell this story (Which I guess might have involved new52 Superman sticking around on Action Comics, he didn't say), but that this is what he was given after some discussions.
    I'm not surprised at all that it's his idea that the Post-Crisis Superman is still around and his story with Lois reaches the next step (having a child). If you think about it, Post Crisis Superman has proposed to Lois after losing his powers (Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite), married her while he was powerless, of course his next step will be to conceive a son when deprived of his powers under the dome. I see a pattern here.

    As for the New52 Superman's "fate", it's an idea of the editors to have a kind of synergy with the BvS ending. So their idea and Jurgens' idea went hand in hand.
    Last edited by Last Son of Krypton; 04-08-2016 at 09:09 PM.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member DragonPiece's Avatar
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    I get your point of view op, I had the same feelings the first day Rebirth was announced, but here is the thing. I've noticed that DC is handling this nicely and giving the Supes we spent 5 years getting to know a proper send off. Isn't it cool that we have watched this boy from Kansas go from being a lonely individual in the first issue of new 52 Superman to now where has had a beautiful relationship with Wonder Woman, became close friends with Lois and Clark, became good friends with Batman and the league and has matured to the point where he cares about others than himself. He has grown into this great person and this storyline currently happening is celebrating that. Yes, with Rebirth, we are saying a goodbye, but if the super league storyline is being done right, we will feel a proper send up to be interested in super dad's storylines and a compelling reason to read his adventures.

    If you really feel though that there is no book in the superman line that you will be interested in just because the superman you have been reading for the past few years is gone, then I don't know what to say, maybe you just didn't care for him that much in the first place. The Chinese superman book, Superwoman etc...so many books based on his memory that you are choosing to ignore. It's not like you are forced to read Pa Kent.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member SuperCrab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonPiece View Post
    If you really feel though that there is no book in the superman line that you will be interested in just because the superman you have been reading for the past few years is gone, then I don't know what to say, maybe you just didn't care for him that much in the first place. The Chinese superman book, Superwoman etc...so many books based on his memory that you are choosing to ignore. It's not like you are forced to read Pa Kent.
    The interview talks about there being a lot of crossover, potentially, like a Super family. I had some mild interest in the Chinese book when it was announced, but not enough that I would be cool with paying for it if SuperDad or his superhero son showed up. If they are going to push SuperJon across the whole DC Comics platform the way they hinted at in the interview, it to me makes the platform something I am no longer interested in. Sounds extreme, but this direction really bothers me, and I just want out completely. If they were to promise a self-contained book with no crossovers that had the new 52 Superman, or even an interesting take on the mythos like the Chinese guy, I might think about it, but these are all in a common universe that they want to draw closer together- with Jon as the centerpiece. I see a lot of crossovers coming. Better for me not to get invested if that's the case.
    Last edited by SuperCrab; 04-08-2016 at 09:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member andersonh1's Avatar
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    I'm delighted. DC makes a lot of boneheaded decisions about their characters, but every now and then they do an about turn and reverse. It took a decade for them to repair the damage done to Hal Jordan, but this time it only took five years to bring back the version of Superman that I care about, and want to read. I said when I read Convergence Superman that it was great to see his and Lois have their story advanced, and to see the character move forward. I thought it would be great if they'd pick up that storyline at some point. They did, and now it look like he's going to be THE Superman again. The same Superman I started reading in 1988 with Exile, the Krypton Man storyline, Panic in the Sky, Doomsday, Death and Return, on and on... all of that is what this Superman experienced. This is the Superman I invested so much time reading about and collecting during the triangle era.

    I'm so looking forward to being able to read about him again. I'm so looking forward to seeing his story continue.
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    It's a superhero costume. It's the original superhero costume. It's not real clothing, it's not bound to the ever-changing fashion trends of real life. It's nothing like real life clothing. How exactly can it become outdated?"

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    This is really depressing. My growing optimism that I'd just have to wait a little while to get Superman back is draining again. If this wasn't even Jurgens pitch and was a higher up edict, no way this ends any time soon without a huge, HUGE failing and jobs being lost. But if that hasn't happened yet I'm not holding my breath. I'm once again beginning to think my time with superhero comics period may be over. If this is as permeating as it sounds, there might not be anything I'll be satisfied getting from DC. I'm interested in Supergirl and Superwoman, but if the family is shoehorned there I won't buy them. I'm interested in Wonder Woman but that's no guarantee either. And I currently don't get anything from Marvel either. Unless something like Spider-Man really piques my interest again with something big from Dead No More, this could be it for me altogether. I haven't been a big indie guy before now but I think I'll start looking more into those for American comics. It probably won't matter much to them in the long run, as they did this to others with the reboot the first time around, but DC's about to lose another once dedicated fan.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 04-08-2016 at 09:36 PM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "Now why don't we step up here and everybody get stepped up, and let's get some stepped up personal space up in this place." - Phillip Jacobs

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Last Son of Krypton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    This is really depressing. My growing optimism that I'd just have to wait a little while to get Superman back is draining again. If this wasn't even Jurgens pitch and was a higher up edict, no way this ends any time soon without a huge, HUGE failing and jobs being lost. But if that hasn't happened yet I'm not holding my breath. I'm once again beginning to think my time with superhero comics period may be over. If this is as permeating as it sounds, there might not be anything I'll be satisfied getting from DC. I'm interested in Supergirl and Superwoman, but if the family is shoehorned there I won't buy them. I'm interested in Wonder Woman but that's no guarantee either. And I currently don't get anything from Marvel either. Unless something like Spider-Man really piques my interest again with something big from Dead No More, this could be it for me altogether. I haven't been a big indie guy before now but I think I'll start looking more into those for American comics. It probably won't matter much to them in the long run, as they did this to others with the reboot the first time around, but DC's about to lose another once dedicated fan.
    I don't think it's permanent. Of course, New52 Superman will be away for a while, but it's just a gimmick tied to the BvS movie. He'll return like Cavill's Superman will return. Thank God, the latter will not be replaced temporarily by Dean Cain's Superman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Last Son of Krypton View Post
    A couple of months ago there was a BC rumor removed after a few hours:

    "You can’t trust anyone these days. Certainly DC Comics publishers can’t trust their editors and creators to keep a secret.

    And it seems they were right on the money.

    I have been informed of a recent meeting at DC Comics between the publishers and editors, in which they were told that one of the beg ideas behind the upcoming “Rebirth” relaunch of the DC Comics universe will depend on something upcoming in the Batman V Superman movie.

    But it’s a secret.

    And too secret for the editors and creators to know – at least right now.

    You know, the ones actually working on the Rebirth comics.

    So it seems that DC Comics big media is driving the comics more than some would like to admit.

    And that this is one hell of a way to run a publisher."

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Maybe he will. But I'm just tired of being jerked around. And that's what it feels like. It doesn't feel like a trusted entity playing it close to the vest for their loyal fans, because they haven't earned the right to be trusted. As Ascended put it, they don't get to be coy and cute. So if they are just playing a really good bluff here, well, I'll believe it when I see it but until then just assume what they deserve me to assume, and that's just that the've lost me as a fan. I'm sure they don't care, of course, I'm just one guy who's not that important. The part of me that really feels though that this regime needs to be blown up (uhh, blown up in the loss of job sense, I'm not THAT mad), though, hopes that maybe lots of others just might agree with me and it'll reflect in the sales. I don't know what it would take to get the hierarchy fired though, they've blundered so much already and are still given chance after chance.

    I really would have accepted a full reversion to the pre-Flashpoint Earth-0 over this though. I wouldn't have liked it, I would have considered the past five years the same waste I consider it now, but hey, a Superman who at least belongs on the continuity he's in? I'd at least be able to entertain the idea that maybe if they created good stories I could get on board, as at least the immersion would be there.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 04-08-2016 at 10:03 PM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "Now why don't we step up here and everybody get stepped up, and let's get some stepped up personal space up in this place." - Phillip Jacobs

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member Last Son of Krypton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    Maybe he will. But I'm just tired of being jerked around. And that's what it feels like. It doesn't feel like a trusted entity playing it close to the vest for their loyal fans, because they haven't earned the right to be trusted. As Ascended put it, they don't get to be coy and cute. So if they are just playing a really good bluff here, well, I'll believe it when I see it but until then just assume what they deserve me to assume, and that's just that the've lost me as a fan. I'm sure they don't care, of course, I'm just one guy who's not that important. The part of me that really feels though that this regime needs to be blown up (uhh, blown up in the loss of job sense, I'm not THAT mad), though, hopes that maybe lots of others just might agree with me and it'll reflect in the sales. I don't know what it would take to get the hierarchy fired though, they've blundered so much already and are still given chance after chance.

    I really would have accepted a full reversion to the pre-Flashpoint Earth-0 over this though.
    I feel the same more or less. Although I think it's temporary, the decision to put in the main series an old version of the character is the most stupid decision that they have made and it'll further hurt the Superman franchise in the coming years.

  12. #12
    Fantastic Member Will J.'s Avatar
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    I couldn't even get through three minutes of that.

    But I guess mediocrity and failure being rewarded will kill any interest in giving the author of said mediocrity and failure the benefit of the doubt.

    I don't have low enough standards, it seems.
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  13. #13
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    I know it probably isn't what you want to hear, but thanks for the link. Just hearing that he's gonna lead by example and be looked up to gets me all warm and fuzzy for this run.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member vasir12's Avatar
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    Seems like Jurgens really understands Superman. Which is to be expected since he wrote him for so long. I like what he said about how Jon could be the future of Supes if he's played well. I was always on board with this, but this def got me more excited. I still think New52 Superman isn't done, but whether he is or isn't... eh. I just want good stories with a person I can look at and say, "that's Superman."

    Also feel like his people will get looked at more. Finally get to see Superman and Supergirl without constant hostility. That got annoying real fast.

  15. #15
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Talking about anyone becoming a "possible future Superman" is nothing more than a gimmick having nothing to do with getting the character. In fact it leans more in the direction of not getting him if one truly believed that, which I don't think Jurgens really does. Superman is not a legacy character. That's just code for "DC wants to hype this kid up and shove him down the collective's throats so get ready for it; this is the justification". The "future" Superman is the same guy. There is no replacement or heir outside of imaginary tales (well, I guess now that's not true anymore since they're replacing Superman right now). Didn't fly when they tried to force it with Kon-El and it won't fly with this kid. If creatively they're serious about the character then have him forge his own identity.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 04-08-2016 at 10:31 PM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "Now why don't we step up here and everybody get stepped up, and let's get some stepped up personal space up in this place." - Phillip Jacobs

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