New York Comic Conâ€™s DC Comics — Superman panel began as moderator John Cunningham led the audience in a round of applause for the Superman panelists and creative teams: â€œSuperman Unchainedâ€? writer Scott Snyder, â€œBatman/ Supermanâ€? writer Greg Pak, â€œSuperman/Wonder Womanâ€? writer Charles Soule and artist Tony Daniel, artist Aaron Kuder from â€œAction Comicsâ€? and finally â€œSupermanâ€? writer Scott Lobdell.
Cunningham admitted to audience groans that due to technical difficulties they would not be showing slides and would be ending the panel five minutes early, but promised every audience member a Superman cape as a sorry, the PR team passing the capes around the crowd. The audience cheered again as Snyder kicked off the panel by comparing writing Batman and Superman.
â€œSuperman is so emotionally open and so vulnerable…he protects his loved ones from the things he doesnâ€™t want them to know would hurt them,â€? Snyder said. However, writing Bruce, â€œHeâ€™ll tell you heâ€™s fine and thatâ€™s how you know heâ€™s not fine.â€?
Snyder then said that he felt he was â€œhitting his strideâ€? with issue #4 and #5 of â€œSuperman Unchained.â€? The writer then told the room about an upcoming scene with Lex Luthor wondering aloud while making origami figures of the DC Universe heroes how each member will die as Jimmy Olsen watches, unable to stop him.
â€œIn [issue #5] Wraith begins to make his argument as a friend…he says, â€˜You pretend to be this human Clark — wait, he doesnâ€™t now that yet, Iâ€™m spoiling it,â€? Snyder laughed as the room cracked up. The writer then went on to say that in issue #5 Wraith tells Superman that heâ€™ll have to give up pretending to be human as heâ€™ll outlive everyone he cares about, â€œAnd then Wraith attacks him in a fun way!â€? Snyder laughed again.
â€œThe bigger elements of Wraithâ€™s background and the mystery about him is brought to bear in a big way…and Luthor and Jimmy are caught in the middle.â€?
As Snyder finished the slides began working again and Scotty pointed to the panels of Luthor making origami figures of Superman.
Telling the crowd that he and artist Jim Lee spent a lot of time discussing how Earth governments would develop weapons that could actually kill Superman, or at least wounded. â€œThe lesson he has to learn is every military in the world has developed weapons to stop him,â€? Snyder continued, adding that Lane and Wraith make the argument to Clark that he has to side with the US government because otherwise everyone in the world will target him.
â€œJimâ€™s awesome…heâ€™s magical!â€? Snyder said as the audience laughed, explaining that Lee was having another kid but, â€œHeâ€™s still drawing his butt off!â€?
Turning to â€œSuperman/Wonder Woman,â€? Soule told the room that while Superman and Wonder Womanâ€™s relationship is a large part of the book, â€œItâ€™s not a make-out book. You can make out with it if you want to?â€? Soule added as the room cracked up.
Praising Danielâ€™s artwork in a slide showing Superman and Wonder Woman drifting above a storm cloud, Soule added that the image was symbolic of their relationship. â€œThey have quiet moments here and there but issues one through six are a race…everything comes together in this gigantic way,â€? Soule said.
The writer also promised that Zod will show up in the title fairly soon. â€œWe can show things about Zod that havenâ€™t been talked about…heâ€™s a creepy, creepy guy,â€? Soule added with a laugh.
Daniel added that he was having a â€œblastâ€? drawing the characters and their allies, especially Wonder Womanâ€™s family — the Greek gods and goddesses.
Comparing Superman meeting Dianaâ€™s family to â€œMeet The Parentsâ€? with â€œmore fighting,â€? Soule said the relationship helped deepen what would otherwise be a straight superhero story. â€œIt feels a little different than your average superhero fight,â€? Soule added.
Pak then asked who in the crowd was reading â€œBatman/Superman,â€? telling the whistling crowd, â€œI love you!â€? as most of the audience raised their hands. Pak told the room he was thrilled to be able to tell the story of how Superman and Batman first met and setting them up as rivals. â€œThey bring out elements of each other that each didnâ€™t know they had…in a strange way theyâ€™re teaching each other how to be heroes,â€? Pak said.
Leading a round of applause for DC editor Eddie Berganza, Pak stated that it was Berganzaâ€™s idea to bring the heroes to Earth 2, calling it â€œBrilliant.â€? Adding that in issue #4, â€œEverything comes to a head…the chaos shard we have seen we will see itâ€™s full powers unleashed,â€? Pak said, showing a page of an emaciated Batman and Batman punching Superman. Pak also praised Snyder for his help in talking over the story points.
â€œIts just Batman winning,â€? Snyder joked as Pak laughed.
Pak also said that artist Brett Booth will be coming on to give artist Jae Lee a rest, starting with issue #5.
Turning to the â€œKrypton Returnsâ€? event crossing over in â€œAction Comics,â€? â€œSupergirl,â€? â€œSuperboy,â€? and â€œSuperman issues #25, Lobdell told the room that the Super family were going back in time to try and prevent the destruction of Krypton. Explaining that Superman will have an acrimonious meeting with his mother and Kara will see both her younger self and Heâ€™l, Lobdell also added that Superboy will die at the end of the event, calling it, â€œThe ultimate sacrifice, giving his life in order to stop the universe from falling apart,â€? and from issue #26 onwards in â€œSuperboyâ€? the story will be about John Lane Kent, the original son of Clark and Lois. Lobdell also said that Supergirl, â€œWill be leaving the Superman family forever for another whole set of books in the DC Universe,â€? asking Soule, â€œIs there anything to add?â€?
â€œNowâ€™s not the time!â€? Soule laughed, Lobdell telling the audience that they should be able to piece together where Supergirl will be showing up next.
Lobdell also promised Parasite will show up in â€œAction Comics,â€? who then attacks Lois Lane — though according to the writer, Superman decides to let Parasite act as a leech on Lois Lane, adding that he was more interested in â€œflawedâ€? heroes than a Superman who always does the right thing.
â€œI would tell you the last three pages of Gregâ€™s story if I could,â€? Lobdell added as the panelists and audience laughed.
â€œThereâ€™s some amazing things coming up,â€? Soule said. Pak also took the time to plug his and Kuderâ€™s upcoming â€œAction Comicsâ€? run.
â€œItâ€™s Superman, heâ€™s the superhero of superhero, and I get to draw his mainstay book, itâ€™s amazing,â€? Kuder said. With their first issue tying into â€œZero Year,â€? Pak told the room readers will see the very young, jeans and t-shirt Superman. â€œDuring the course of this story heâ€™s going to become aware of whatâ€™s going on in Gotham and he thinks he can take care of everything. Weâ€™re going to see if he can,â€? Pak said, adding thematically they were exploring the limits and responsibilities of power.
â€œThis story also features the return of a classic supporting character,â€? Pak added, stating that issue â€œAction Comicsâ€? #26 will jump into the present day New 52 DC Universe.
Cunningham then threw the floor open for a truncated fan QA, the first fan to the microphone was an older fan celebrating 50 years of being an avid Superman reader and praised the panelists for their work. He then asked about how the panelists approached writing modern Superman.
â€œI think weâ€™re at a point where we like to use what metaphors we can…it used to be villain of the month but now weâ€™re telling Supermanâ€™s place in the world,â€? Lobdell said.
â€œGiving him emotional and moral challenges is huge,â€? Pak said. Soule agreed, adding that Superman is the, â€œIdeal that we all aspire to.â€?
A â€œSwamp Thingâ€? fan asked Soule how he writes Superman in the fringes of the DC Universe versus writing from his point of view. â€œHe casts a very large shadow over the DC Universe and thatâ€™s what I did in â€˜Swamp Thing,â€™â€? Soule said, adding that he found it fun to write how other characters see the Man Of Steel.
The next fan to the microphone told the panelists he didnâ€™t enjoy hoe Superman in the New 52 â€œkicked and punched first,â€? and asked if their Superman would ever become a killer. â€œOnce youâ€™re in his head you see he has no idea what to do sometimes…watching that struggle, in â€˜Unchainedâ€™ thatâ€™s an issue being pushed towards him by Wraith and Lane…thatâ€™s the last thing he wants to do, thatâ€™s the absolute blackest choice,â€? Snyder told the fan.
â€œItâ€™s the last thing I would ever consider doing…for me itâ€™s off the table,â€? Soule said.
â€œThereâ€™s another aspect to that question, which is can Superman make a mistake that leads to that question,â€? Pak added as Lobdell stated that, â€œI think Superman has a responsibility to save the world and…if that involves killing someone I think he would.â€?
The next audience member to the microphone asked Pak and Soule about writing Superman teamed up with the other members of the Trinity. â€œThereâ€™s a roadmap, we know what weâ€™re doing with them,â€? Soule said, citing a Wednesday meeting with Lobdell and the other Superman book writers about the plans for the line for the next year or so.
The next audience member asked why Lee and Snyder ended up writing another Superman title rather than take over â€œAction Comics.â€? Snyder said they had talked about it but they wanted to do another book and werenâ€™t sure how long the title would go on, so they would rather do their own thing in their own title.
The last question came from a fan who wanted to know what the panelists thought of the movie â€œMan Of Steelâ€? as aSuperman story. The room cracked up as the panelists all hesitated and looked at each other before Lobdell told the fan, â€œThe first half hour of the movie I was riveted to their version of Krypton.â€?
â€œI love seeing versions that challenge my own version…there are things I wouldnâ€™t necessarily agree with writing it in my own book but I enjoyed a lot of it,â€? Snyder said, adding that he loved the idea of following Lois as she tracked down the legend of Superman before he becomes Superman. â€œHaving it be polarizing isnâ€™t a bad thing,â€? Snyder added.
â€œKevin Costner made me weep like a baby,â€? Pak said as the room laughed.
â€œThe best answer to that question is â€˜best Superman movie ever,â€™â€? Cunningham joked as the room cracked up again, ending the panel to applause and cheers from the now cape-wearing audience.
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