In addition to a new movie, the Man of Steel is getting a book by the ‘Batman’ writer and former ‘Justice League’ artist.
7:30PM EST October 11. 2012 – A comic book is needed for an iconic superhero with a big-budget Hollywood movie coming out? This looks like a job for Scott Snyder.
The writer, who’s made a name for himself in comic shops all across America with his gig on DC Comics’ hugely popular Batman series, is commuting from Gotham City to Metropolis — and teaming with famed artist Jim Lee — for a new Superman book next year.
Announced Thursday at New York Comic Con, the as-yet-untitled new Man of Steel book will be part of a busy 2013 for the superhero, who comes back to the big screen in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. The movie stars Henry Cavill and arrives in theaters June 14.
The new Superman comic will also be in continuity with DC’s other Super-titles, including Superman, Action Comics, Superboy and Supergirl.
“It’s going to be big and epic and pit him against new challenges we haven’t seen,” Snyder says of his new book, “but also hopefully create some iconic moments that echo stuff that you love about the character and do it in a new way.”
Lee liked what he heard from Snyder about getting quintessential Superman moments into the story — “If you had to make a laundry list of all the things that are essential to Superman and you wanted to touch upon in a story, he covered all of it,” says the artist and DC co-publisher.
It also gives the former Justice League illustrator the chance to go back to a single-character book but also experiment with his own artistic narrative and style.
“We really want to play around with what you’re seeing in addition to what you’re reading at the same time – not necessarily the art in the panels but how they’re stacked and laid out and the cadence of pages we want to create,” Lee says.
So far in Snyder’s Batman series with artist Greg Capullo, the writer has struck a balance of action and more intimate, emotional stories. His recent arc involving the evil Court of Owls secret society made Bruce Wayne come out of the Batcave and fight for Gotham, and Snyder aims to challenge Superman like he hasn’t been in a long time about his relevance, mission and purpose.
“It’s very much a Superman story in the way you’re going to have a lot of adventure and big cosmic, earth-shaking moments where a lot of that emotional stuff will happen,” Snyder says.
And like the Owls, which posed a psychological as well as physical threat to Batman, “we’re trying to do the same thing where Superman is up against someone who calls him out on the things that he might be afraid are true about himself,” Snyder explains.
“He’ll definitely be challenged emotionally but also by someone who has a power set that could really bring Superman down physically as well.”
As a tease to his new gig late last month, Snyder tweeted out a picture of himself as a 5-year-old kid decked out in Superman shirt, trunks and cape.
The same aspect of the Man of Steel that appealed to the writer as a kid also gets him psyched as a grownup: He’s an inspirational figure who at his core challenges us to be better ourselves.
“He has all the power in the world, yet what he does is look at us to be inspired himself,” Snyder says. “He does the right thing in the hardest way, making the right decision when it’s unpopular but also allowing humanity to make decisions for itself when he could reshape the world however he wanted.
“Part of the heroism of Superman is the restraint he has to show, and the story largely touches on that theme as well.”
In Lee’s mind, Superman is the ultimate superhero and a treat to illustrate because of all his cool abilities.
“You can put him in these almost god-like poses, but at the same time he’s a guy who can go in and take on a villain fighting in a demolished skyscraper,” Lee says. “Superman has the freezing breath and the X-ray vision and he can fly — it’s a visual feast of things to get at when you sit down to draw this book.”
Snyder adds that’s a great part of writing him, too.
“It’s like seeing them for the first time,” he says. “You forget how amazing he is in that regard where you’re like, ‘Wait a minute. Heat
vision. Wow.’ “