Dan Jurgens has always been there for the important moments in Superman’s life — his death (and return), his marriage and now the birth of his child.
The DC Comics event series Convergence revolves around various timelines from the company’s history coming together for the first time, and the two-issue tie-in comic book Convergence: Superman (debuting Wednesday) features a pre-Flashpoint era where a powerless Man of Steel and his wife Lois Lane are fighting the good fight in Gotham City.
“It’s like visiting old frends again and watching them evolve to the next point in their lives,” says Jurgens, a writer on the main Superman comic in 1992 when the hero died at the hands of Doomsday and four years later when he finally married Lois.
Illustrated by Lee Weeks, the Convergence crossover catches up with a pregnant Lois aiding and abetting a masked Clark Kent, who’s tapping into his inner Batman in Gotham, one of the many cities under a dome on the living planet Telos that keeps superhumans’ powers turned off.
All these locales are being pitted against each other to survive, and when the dome comes down and Superman gets super again, he’s faced with a neighboring Gotham from the alternate Flashpoint world where Bruce Wayne was killed as a little boy and it was his father, Thomas, who instead became Batman.
Superman and the Dark Knight have had a long relationship, but it becomes inverted when it’s Thomas and Clark instead of Bruce and Clark, Jurgens says. “What happens when all of that is tied around the idea of Lois having a baby when you have a Batman who’s a vigilante because he lost his son.”
Complicating the situation further is the Flashpoint Superman, a man known as Subject One. When he arrived in Earth as a baby from Krypton, instead of being taken in by the Kents, he was imprisoned and raised under lock and key by the U.S. military. He had one great friend, his world’s Lois, but she died and now he sees another version of her still alive and pregnant.
“There are certainly problems,” says Jurgens, one of the main architects of Convergence. “And it’s also a problem because he’s being told that other Gotham City and everyone in it has to die, so how does he reconcile that?”
As usual, Superman has plenty of things to worry about yet his impending fatherhood ups the stakes even more.
“He’s confronted with the notion of ‘Do I step out of the overall larger problem we have at hand — the two worlds and two cities pitted against one another — to take care of Lois?’ ” Jurgens says. “Superman finds a solution the way he always does, which is to say ‘I can do both.’ “
Jurgens adds that Lois’ role in the issues is just as important as her Husband of Steel: “She’s still very much part of an equal relationship and a very strong person in her own right.”
The story is a love letter to fans of these characters and a next step in their personal evolution, but Jurgens sees Convergence overall as a way for fans to say goodbye to particular books and versions of heroes who weren’t seen after DC relaunched its entire lineup of comics in 2011 — for example, the retooled Superman and Lois weren’t married.
“What we’re coming back with here are some really great stories,” the writer says. “On the surface, it’s fun to see these characters together again, but it’s also a chance for a little but of closure as they get to see some of these dream stories we always wanted to see.”