If you are a diligent fan of DC Comics and specifically Superman, you have surely already read The Beat’s excellent post about what was revealed in Saturday’s Superman panel at New York Comic Con.
In that post, we detailed DC’s publishing plans for Superman in 2023, which essentially boil down to a new Superman #1 by writer Joshua Williamson and artist Jamaal Campbell (with future arcs illustrated by Nick Dragotta to maintain the monthly pace); a new six-issue miniseries titled The Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent by writer Tom Taylor and artist Clayton Henry; and the continuation of writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s Action Comics run.
That last one, Action Comics, will see the book expanding into an oversized anthology format (a la Batman Urban Legends). Johnson will be continuing the main story in that book after the excellent War World Saga, now collaborating with artist Rafa Sandoval, while there will be two additional stories happening in its pages. The first is about Power Girl, and it’s by writer Leah Williams with artist Marguerite Sauvage, and the other will be about the lost adventures of young Jon Kent, written by long-time super scribe Dan Jurgens with art by Lee Weeks.
So, that’s the quick recap, and now with this additional post, we have some new details to add straight from the creators who were on the panel, which was moderated by Alex Segura and featured Williamson, Johnson, Jurgens, and writer Mark Russell, who will conclude the three-part Mike Allred collaboration, Superman: Space Age in February of 2023.
Williamson — who is currently helming DC’s big 2022 event, Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths — revealed some additional info about his forthcoming Superman run. Williamson used the old “it’s always darkest before the dawn” saying, with Dark Crisis being the darkness and his forthcoming run on Superman being the dawn.
“I really wanted DC next year to go into a brighter future,” Williamson said, “and if I was going to work on anything after Dark Crisis, there was only one character to carry us into that brightness — Superman.”
The story in Action Comics #1050 that sets up Williamson’s run, he said, would be the first to take place chronologically following the conclusion of Dark Crisis, “and in that story Lex and Superman have it out.”
In fact, Lex does something so heinous and their fight is so severe that they have a massive fight, one that ultimately ends Lex behind bars. Lex, however, will remain prominent in Williamson’s run, with the writer saying that Lex will realize that Superman is always listening for his voice, which quickly becomes knowledge he uses to torment Superman (Lex, for example, builds a watch similar to Jimmy Olsen’s Superman watch, except his watch sounds absolutely terrible).
“Lex has actually finally come to the conclusion that the world needs Superman,” Williamson said at the panel.
He added, “One of the ways Lex deals with this is to say, ‘If the world is going to have Superman, it’s going to have my Superman.”
The first arc of Williamson’s run is titled Night of the Parasite, while the second will be So I Married A Supervillain, within which Jimmy Olsen will become romantically entangled with a supervillain (“Classic Jimmy!” yelled someone right next to me during the panel.)
Another major takeaway from Williamson’s remarks was how closely the creatives on all of the Super titles are now working together, with Williamson saying he was a big fan of what Johnson and Taylor had been writing in their books, adding, “I wanted to work with them and I felt like it was important their stories continue.”
Johnson had a lot to say about his plans for Action Comics, too. He said while the mission statement for his War World stories was “Superman as champion of the oppressed”, the next phase of his work with the character will be centered around the Super family, from Kara to Connor to Lois.
“We’re going to define what makes them all different,” Johnson said.
Also featuring prominently in Superman 2023 plans will be John and Natasha Irons, the Steel characters. The comics will explore “the Kryptonization of Metropolis,” Johnson said, with Superman’s home evolving into the true city of tomorrow. The Irons will be a big part of this.
“It’s a whole new era of Action Comics that harkens back to the Triangle Era,” Johnson said.
Finally, Jurgens also shared some details about what he has planned for the upcoming 30th anniversary Death of Superman special, as well as for his future work with young Jon Kent. Specifically, there will be a storyline in which Jon learns all about the events of Death of Superman one day when his school teacher starts talking about the most important day in the history of Metropolis. Jon has no idea his father once died and came back to life.
“His parents never bothered to tell him because how do you explain that?” Jurgens said.
And this is all just the start for Superman 2023 plans.
“It’s not just the two of our books,” Williamson said. “There’s a lot we have planned with other stuff we haven’t announced yet.”
Miss any of our other NYCC ’22 coverage? Find it all here!