It’s been a big week for Superman, as last week not only saw the death of the post-Flashpoint/New 52 Superman but also some cryptic revelations about his pre-Flashpoint counterpart in DC Universe: Rebirth #1…and the conclusion of the acclaimed, eight-issue miniseries Superman: Lois and Clark.
Next up? Dan Jurgens, who worked on some of the best-selling Superman comics of the last 25 years and created characters like Doomsday and the Cyborg Superman, will transition from the end of Lois and Clark to Action Comics, where he will bring Superman, Lois, and Jonathan to Metropolis and re-establish the pre-Flashpoint Superman as just…Superman.
Jonathan, meanwhile, got a gift of enormous significance in the final issue of Lois and Clark, whiel Clark and Lois dealt with threats from Hyathis and Intergang, respectively.
Jurgens joined ComicBook.com to close out our series of commentary track-style interviews on Superman: Lois and Clark, as well as looking forward to his upcoming run on Action Comics.
The first thing, since we haven’t talked since the Rebirth announcement: When did you know that Clark was going to become THE Superman in the DCU?
Even before I sat down to write the first issue, I knew that Clark, Lois and Jon were going to stay around and move in, front and center, to Superman’s place in the DCU. In a way, we were dealing with the theme of Rebirth right from the start.
You’ve got a great ear for Jonno’s voice. Obviously, though, your own kids are much older than he is at this point. Is it challenging to bring yourself back to that age?
Oh, that isn’t challenging at all. I knew all along that one of the keys to making this work was to make Jon as real as possible. In a way, it’s all about remembering aspects of all the kids you’ve known, as well your own memories. We all have things we experienced at a very young age that we can remember with tremendous clarity—as though it just happened yesterday. We remember how those things made us feel.
The Lois-as-Author-X storyline is one that’s been really interesting to me. Can we expect to see more of that beyond the Intergang book?
Moving forward, we have some very definitive plans for Lois that will give her a key role. Some might say she’s essential to Superman’s legacy— I like to think of her as having her own legacy to live up to.
The revelation that Jon has powers is obviously a huge one for the series, and for the DCU going forward. He’s so far been a really sunny character. Do you think he can maintain that disposition while dipping his toes into the world of superheroics?
Yeah, I do. That’s his nature.
His life experiences are very, very different from Damien’s, for example. In many ways, he’s lived a life very similar to his father’s, though there are differences.
The thing I’ve always told people is that Jon may look like his father, but he has his mother’s spitfire spirit.
We talked a little bit last time about how repulsed Clark is by the idea of a supervillain reality show. In #7 we saw that up close and then in #8, he told Jon outright that this world was more cynical and dangerous than the pre-Flashpoint DCU. Is it difficult to write Clark as being aware of all that but not hugely affected by it?
I’d have to differ with you. I think Clark and Lois have been affected by this different world in a big, big way. They are truly aware that is seems a very, very different sort of place. That’s one of the major reasons they’ve lived in hiding all these years.
We marked that in our very first issue. Right after arriving here, they stated as much, and for that and other reasons, new they had to live in the shadows.
Do you have plans to continue to explore the mythology of the Oblivion Stone?
Eventually, yes. We start with something a little different in Action Comics, in order to really get things rolling.
What’s the status of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, by the way? I figured it was trashed after the battle with Blanque, but then in #8 we see him flash to it and it seems intact. We also saw it in the “Last Days of Superman” storyline, complete with Lois Clark’s trashed car and the Iron Giant head.
Yeah, and you’ll see more of it. There are obviously a few beings living there and that will play a role in Superman’s life as things unfold. With two issues a month, we have all sorts of room to explore those things.
I like the fact that you showed “the talk” with Jon. What went into the decision to make that scene take priority over, say, setting up the next step in Clark’s heroic life?
This was the story that really introduced Jon to readers. For that matter, assuming some readers hadn’t seen that version of Clark and Lois, we were introducing them as well.
The book was about the three of them as a family unit. That’s the discussion that absolutely had to take place.
On the other hand, getting that cape sets up Jon’s next step pretty clearly, doesn’t it?
Honestly, that last scene has been in places since before I ever wrote page 1. I remember telling Lee Weeks, who has been absolutely brilliant on this book, how it was going to end. I kept telling him we were going to build to a final scene in which Jon puts on his father’s cape and floats up into the air.
I think it’s rather poetic and very appropriate for what this project has been.
Is that still the cape Martha made? I mean, pre-Flashpoint, it wasn’t Kryptonian, right?
Yes, that’s how I see it.
Speaking of Ma Kent, when you started the miniseries, did you know that you were going to bookend the final issue using that scrapbook?
Pretty much, yes. Once again, before I ever wrote page 1 of issue 1, I let people know that Lois was going to be keeping a scrapbook of Clark’s adventures. I think that worked quite well and was true to who these people are.
In fact, I think the very first time Dan DiDio and I discussed the project, I said, “Lois has to have a scrapbook!”
Before, it was Ma Kent tracking her son’s exploits. This time around it was all about Lois tracking them for her son… so that he’d one day of a record of what his father had done.
Obviously at the end of this miniseries, we still have Hyathis on the loose and Henshaw with the Oblivion Stone AND knowledge of where the second one is. Is that going to come into play sometime soon?
As I said, Action Comics will be coming out twice a month. I have every intention of getting back to some of that, though it won’t happen immediately. Lots of time and room to address everything.
So…with that big slice across the “S,” what’s Clark going to do about a costume now…?
That black suit served us well. Now, however, it’s time to take on a more familiar look.
Sort of a Rebirth of Superman, if you will.