By Greg Pak
A bunch of nice folks have interviewed me about the new “Batman/Superman” book I’m writing. Here are a few excerpts:
CBN: You are working with two iconic characters and at the historic moment of their first meeting. What will this first encounter have over other versions told in the past?
Greg Pak: The great thing about telling this story at this specific point in time is that we’re dealing with the Batman and Superman of the New 52 at a very early stage in their careers. They’re young and raw and cocky and, frankly, dangerous. We’ve seen great writers in the past depict their relationship as wary and guarded — that great Byrne story in which Batman makes a kind of crazy bomb threat is a prime example. But these young heroes are even more unpredictable. In particular, the young New 52 Superman is much cockier and more rash than any other Superman I can recall. Throw him together with Batman and sparks are absolutely going to fly.
—Byron Brewer, Cosmic Book News
CA: What does influence your take on those characters? Who influences your take on them as a team?
GP: Definitely, the Morrison Action series is key for me. That’s the series that has defined the young Clark and the young Superman in the New 52, so that’s a very important touchstone. One of my big early jobs in comics was Phoenix: Endsong, which really relied a lot on the Joss Whedon run, but also the Morrison run, so I have a lot of respect for Grant Morrison. It’s always fun working on a project when I get to read a lot of Morrison books for reference.
But that’s a very interesting version of Superman, because he’s young and he is figuring things out, and he’s brash in a very interesting way. He’s the young idealist, but he’s got a bit of swag, which is interesting. It’s distinct from the older, more mature Superman, who’s got a little more gravitas. He’s a little more considerate of others. The young Superman has a little more attitude, which is fun, and totally makes sense, and it’s appropriate for this character. I think that’s a very interesting character to use as a foil for Batman.
For Batman, I think Batman: Year One is a big influence, probably on everyone who’s written Batman ever since. But definitely because I’m looking at Batman in his early years, that’s not just one of the best Batman comics ever, but one of the best comics I’ve ever read in my life. It’s certainly a book I look at a lot. The Scott Snyder books are amazing, and he’s been a dream to talk with. He’s a great guy, and it’s been a lot of fun talking about these characters with him.
— Chris Sims, Comics Alliance
Pak feels that Superman’s appeal as a cultural mainstay since 1938 is the same as what’s behind the popularity of Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the X-Men.
“They’re all about outsiders,” the writer says. “As you grow up, you try to find your place in the world and you don’t belong and you struggle, and that’s the story of our lives, at least our adolescence.
“When you combine that with somebody who chooses to help, that becomes very powerful.”
That he always sticks up for the underdog is another attractive quality to Pak.
“We want to be that strong and do the right thing and rise to the occasion. Superman gives us that kind of hope,” he says. “And then also he can smash whatever he wants to smash and he can set things on fire with his eyes. That’s pretty cool.”
— Brian Truitt, USA Today