DC Comics Rebirth has reinvigorated their comics line, and so far no character has benefitted more from this new status quo than Superman. Today’s Rebirth panel at Comic-Con took a brief look at where the last son of Krypton stands now and offered a few teases of what’s to come.
Before diving into the main Superman books, the panel introduced writer Gene Yang (he had to leave early due to a booking mishap) to take a look at the New Super-Man. Kenan Kong, whom Yang described as “kind of a jerk”, took up the mantle of China’s Super-man a few weeks ago, and its clear this book will work hard to carve out its own little niche in the DC Universe. Yang explained how reluctant he was at first to take on the character:
“This was not my idea. [Geoff Johns and Jim Lee] came to me with it and I was like ‘No way!’ But during meetings the character started to talk to me, so then I had to do it.”
The concept of a Chinese Superman brings with it plenty of political and cultural implications, which Yang is very well aware of:
“Superman’s supposed to be about truth, justice, and the American way. Well what does that mean in China?”
We then saw the cover of next month’s New Super-man #2, which features The Justice League of China. Yang was particularly excited about having the chance to write “a chubby Batman!”
Next up was Action Comics, with writer Dan Jurgens and artist Tyler Kirkham on hand to discuss the current storyline featuring Doomsday, the pre-Flashpoint Superman, Lex Luthor, and a mysterious Clark Kent. Kirkham revealed he took a lot of inspiration from Jurgens work on the iconic Death of Superman storyline when it came to his art. He revealed that Doomsday will continue to evolve over the course of this story arc, which has featured flashbacks to Superman’s first legendary battle with the monster.
We were then shown the cover art for issue #961 by Clay Mann, which shows Doomsday getting perilously close to Lois and Superman’s son, Jon. Jurgens explained:
“Doomsday is particularly honed in on Kryptonians, so when he senses another one he goes after it. This obviously complicates the fight for Superman.”
Beyond the fight with Doomsday, the creative team revealed that Action Comics #964 will delve in to the mystery surrounding the new Clark Kent.
Finally, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason discussed their work on Superman, which has featured a struggle between Superman and the ancient Kryptonian artifact known as The Eradicator. Like Doomsday, The Eradicator has a particular interest in young Jon. Gleason expressed a desire to take the Superman character back to his roots, while also keeping things fresh.
“It was really about putting that familiar aspect of Superman out there along with the new twist of Lois and Jon.”
The conflict with The Eradicator aside, this book will delve into the relationship between Superman and his son. Given their tremendous work on Batman Robin, there aren’t really two writers better suited to explore this dynamic than Gleason and Tomasi.
The panel ended on a fun note as all three writers were asked if they’d ever bring back Superman’s iconic red trunks, which led to both Tomasi and Jurgens almost simultaneously answering “I’d love to.”