Superman: Earth-One


KnightWing
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(There wasn't already a specific thread for this, so I figured I'd throw one up)

From Comic Book Resources:

Straczynski Launches "Superman: Earth One"

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CBR News: In what we know so far about the project, "Superman: Earth One" sounds like it's equal parts "Ultimate Superman," "All Star Superman," "Superman: Rebirth" and an Elseworlds story. How was it pitched to you...or how did you pitch it to DC?

JMS: They came to me. Basically, they said, "We want to introduce Superman more thoroughly into the world of mainstream bookstore publishing, and we want this to be the vehicle to do that. You're going to have a clear field to handle it however you want. You don't have to worry about continuity or other characters, just tell a good story."

You're working with Shane Davis on this project. What do you view as his primary strength in drawing Superman?

I was peripherally aware of [Davis' artwork], but it's been great to see him really doing some extraordinary stuff on Superman. The stuff I write is very emotion-centered, so it all needs to be there on the faces of the characters. I live or die, not so much by action scenes, but by what you can get of the character's feelings and reactions. So it's been great to have him doing this.

From what information that was released when "Superman: Earth One" was announced, it sounds like one of these OGNs is going to come out about every six months. Are you on board for multiple issues/episodes/installments, or will you be handing this series off to someone else after the launch?

I'm on for the long haul.

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Can you share any details about the story you're going to tell? Any major changes or re-imaginings from the current, in-continuity, Superman mythos?

Yeah, in terms of the Daily Planet, I want it to feel more like a real newspaper. As a former journalist, I've always been able to tell that those who wrote about the Planet and its staff had never actually been reporters. So I want that environment to feel real since it's a supporting character for the Superman mythos, but it so often gets shunted over into something he has to escape. As for Jim Olsen, as a photojournalist, he's always willing to put himself in harm's way for the right picture. That's how they roll. So that will be a big change for his character - he'll be tougher and smarter than we've seen traditionally.

The Superman part of the equation is, as noted in the other stories, really the story of Clark's coming out as Superman, and his decision to essentially enter a life of service when he could have been anyone, could have been rich as an athlete, researcher, any number of things. I'm also taking time to really think through elements of the mythos that we've accepted without maybe really sitting back and saying, "Why?"

For instance, there's a flashback scene to when Martha Kent finishes his uniform and gives it to him as a gift, hoping he'll go that way. He looks at it and says, in essence, "Shouldn't there be a mask?" She says no, that "when people see how powerful you are, all the things you can do, they're going to be terrified... unless they can see your face, and see there that you mean them no harm. The mask... is what you're going to have to wear the rest of the time."

Geoff Johns has revealed that the first villain he would be exploring in his "Earth One" Batman OGNs will be The Riddler. Can you share which Superman villain we'll be seeing in the first volume?

The Big Bad in this first volume isn't someone we've seen before. It's someone who hearkens back to the destruction of Krypton, as we ask another question: "We know that Krypton was destroyed, but do we really know why?"

Isn't it odd that a planet would so suddenly just up and blow up like that? Do planets generally just blow up one day? Or is there perhaps more to that story than we've seen before?

My understanding is that this book exists in a shared universe with Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's "Batman: Earth One." Have you had many discussions with Geoff about what he's doing in his book and how the two will dovetail?

There will be no dovetailing for about the first year or so. We're all free to do our own thing, then start bringing in the other characters when and as we feel appropriate.

Finally, can you speak a bit about the format and why this particular line is best explored in OGNs as opposed to traditional 22-page single issues?

It's about 128 pages, and the thing about moving out of the 22-page format is that you don't have to be constantly moving toward a cliffhanger every 22 pages.

You can structure the book as you would any novel: introduction, rising action, complication, climax and denouement. I want this to feel like what it is: a novel, which will be attractive both to fans and casual readers.

"Superman: Earth One," by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, is set for release on Sept. 7, 2010.

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This whole thing sounds pretty great; I've already pre-ordered it from Amazon.

That being said, though, it sounds like it's gonna be pretty different from the traditional Superman legend.

-Clark is 21 years old (not mentioned in the above interview, but confirmed in others)

-Jimmy is more of Clark's "buddy" and less of a little brother

-Clark is still finding his way in the world and figuring out who he wants to be

This sounds a lot like the later seasons of Smallville, actually. But, y'know, awesome.

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JMS: They came to me. Basically, they said, "We want to introduce Superman more thoroughly into the world of mainstream bookstore publishing, and we want this to be the vehicle to do that. You're going to have a clear field to handle it however you want. You don't have to worry about continuity or other characters, just tell a good story."

So what was Secret Origin then?

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JMS: They came to me. Basically, they said, "We want to introduce Superman more thoroughly into the world of mainstream bookstore publishing, and we want this to be the vehicle to do that. You're going to have a clear field to handle it however you want. You don't have to worry about continuity or other characters, just tell a good story."

So what was Secret Origin then?

Set up stuff to happen in war of the supermen, and stuff to be picked up later on, like Johns did with GL: Secret Origin.

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JMS: They came to me. Basically, they said, "We want to introduce Superman more thoroughly into the world of mainstream bookstore publishing, and we want this to be the vehicle to do that. You're going to have a clear field to handle it however you want. You don't have to worry about continuity or other characters, just tell a good story."

So what was Secret Origin then?

Secret Origin is basically just "this is what happened." Earth-One is a new ongoing series that doesn't have anything to do with mainstream DCU continuity. I'm pretty sure that when you put this first Earth-One book up next to Secret Origin, it'll be like night and day.

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Having been greatly angered by his handling of Superman so far, I kinda regret ordering this graphic novel.

See now, I'd agree, but that preview looks like the polar opposite of what he's doing in the main run.

Other than the whole "Not flying, I want this to take time" thing. And the whole acting like fucking Batman thing.

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