More than almost any other of DC’s Rebirth titles, all eyes are on Action Comics. From veteran Superman writer Dan Jurgens and the art team of Patrick Zircher, Tyler Kirkham, and Stephen Segovia, the series sees the return of the pre-Flashpoint Superman to the title of…well…Superman.
For those just tuning in, DC’s reboot branded “The New 52” saw their publishing history prior to the 2011 event series Flashpoint rendered non-canon, with new #1 issues, new origins, and younger takes on all of their titles and characters — even books like Action Comics (featuring Superman) and Detective Comics (featuring Batman), which had been running since the ’30s and were at or near #900.
At the time, DC’s publishers admitted that they struggled with the decision to renumber those storied titles, but said that they felt they had to, in order for the reboot to be taken seriously.
Five years later, both Detective and Action are returning to their original numbering this week, getting new creative teams, and in the case of Action Comics, bringing back the pre-Flashpoint iteration of the character as the central focus of the DC Universe — a move presaged by giving the older, married Superman, Lois Lane, and their son Jonathan a spotlight in the recent Superman: Lois and Clark.
Jurgens joined ComicBook.com to talk to us about his run on Action Comics, which will launch on Wednesday with Action Comics #957, how it picks up threads from the critically-acclaimed Superman: Lois and Clark, and to see how little he can spoil when we ask him for specific details!
For a good supplement to this interview, check out our recent QA with Jurgens about the final issue of Superman: Lois and Clark here.
You can get Action Comics #957 at your local comic shop on Wednesday, or pre-order it on ComiXology here.
How did you guys manage to reclaim Maggie Sawyer? That’s great!
Maggie Sawyer really belongs in Metropolis. That’s where we first saw her and I think that’s still where she should be. She’s a strong character and Superman needs that type of contact with the Metropolis police.
That said, starting the book with Maggie and the Special Crimes Unit puts a fine point on something: you’ve been here before. How do you plan to keep from repeating yourself, especailly when Peter Tomasi over in Superman just did a Rebirth one-shot that overtly referenced two of your best-selling issues from 20 years ago?
I think there I have plenty of new stories left for Superman. Yes, we start with Doomsday, but the conditions around the conflict are very different. That’s a must for what we’re trying to do.
Besides, as anyone who’s read Superman: Lois and Clark knows, his life is now dramatically different , thanks to the presence of his son Jon.
As somebody who thinks Superman has one of the best and most criminally-underused supporting casts in comics, should I take opening the issue with Cat and Jimmy as a good sign?
I’d like to think so!
Yes, I hope to explore the supporting cast as the series unfolds. That also includes Lex Luthor. However, the name of the book is Action Comics, and our first issues really focus on that.
Obviously everyone who’s seen the soliciations knows that not only are we getting Doomsday, but we’re getting a version of him that looks like the pre-Flashpoint Doomsday. Is this a different Doomsday than the one with the ram-horns who’s already been around? Or did his appearance just change a bit?
No, we make it clear that as far as Superman is concerned, this is HIS Doomsday. As for how happens to be here, well, those answers are down the road.
How did the team for this title get assembled? I Look at this first issue and I think Zircher is a pitch-perfect follow-up to Lee Weeks with Clark.
Oh, yeah, Patrick is doing awesome stuff. His last page of the book is simply perfect.
I’d worked with him before on The New 52: Futures End and as we were casting the book, specifically asked for him. Add Tyler Kirkham and Stephen Segovia to the mix and you get a strong team of very distinctive and accomplished artists.
We see Clark get very aggressive with Lex very quickly in your first issue. Is it safe to assume that once Doomsday is dealt with, the two won’t be co-headlining the book like a buddy cop movie from the ’80s?
You’ll have to see how that plays out. Superman’s interest in this Luthor was mentioned in Superman: Lois and Clark. It’s clear Clark and Lois don’t trust him, but what then? What do you do if there’s no proof to back that up?
Without spoiling too much of the issue — there’s a group of villains in here that I felt like I recognized. Is that a reinvention of Loophole’s gang?!
No. Once again, that is a story that will unfold over time.
Will we see Mr. Oz and the “you aren’t what you think you are” plot point from Rebirth carry over into this book?
A character that may not be exactly who he/she thinks he/she is? Hmm…
That said…nobody likes a riddle quite like Lex. Will he be trying to figure out independently who Clark is and where he’s been this whole time?
Lex is perplexed by everyone, Superman and Doomsday included.
We’ve already had one Clark Kent impersonator recently. What should we expect from that element of the story?
This is certainly not that. We have something entirely new here. The question is, will this Clark complicate or help Superman’s life?