|"Action Comics" #855 on sale now|
Talking Superman with Geoff Johns is like asking Bizarro for his thoughts on the Man of the Steel.
Him hate he!
Discussing the highly anticipated Bizarro arc launching this week in DC Comics' "Action Comics" #855, Johns told CBR News, "I love 'Action Comics.' It's the original book. It's really fun."
Boosting his job satisfaction is the fact Johns writes the series with his mentor, "Superman: The Movie" director Richard Donner. "I grew up on his Superman movies and I worked with Dick for so long, for me it's kind of coming full circle," said Johns.
The superstar writer says landing Eisner award-winner Eric Powell ("The Goon") to draw #855-857 of "Action Comics" was not only a coup, but a match made in heaven -- or hell, if you come from a planet that just so happens to be cubed in shape.
"The book is beautiful," Johns declared. "Eric Powell is so talented and he has such a unique vision and voice in comics today. The fact that Bizarro World gets to be defined by him is awesome. I think the characters themselves, if they could talk, would thank him. He has 'The Goon' and he has plenty of things that he could be doing and he chose to spend a little time with Superman and Bizarro with us and I am eternally grateful that he said yes to the project.
|"Action Comics" #855, page 1|
Johns said the solicited cover for "Action Comics" #857, which appears to lampoon the teaser image of "Final Crisis," was a pure fluke. "I wish I could say we were geniuses but we didn't even see that cover," Johns confessed. "Eric did our cover months ago but it's pretty crazy."
|"Action Comics" #855, page 2|
With Grant Morrison currently writing "Batman" and Mark Millar moving over to "Fantastic Four" in January, Johns says it's great to see the top-talent in comics gravitating to the classic superhero books in an attempt to re-invigorate the titles. "I think, at the end of the day, [creators] just want to be on quality books," Johns remarked. "You can see that trend. It comes and goes, the focus will go on miniseries and events, but it always returns to the monthly books."
|"Action Comics" #855, page 3|
"I can't wait for it. [Frank's] stuff is awesome," said Johns. "He is just starting the third issue. It's just phenomenal for me. I have wanted to do something with the Legion for a long time and I also wanted to work with Gary even longer. He's someone that I really connect with as a penciller; as a creative partner. and there is just something about his vision that I really respond to and it inspires me.
|"Action Comics" #856|
Johns, who says the Legion arc will be five or six issues, explained, "The story picks up off of 'Lightning Saga,' but really, the idea is to introduce the Legion to people who have never heard of the Legion, through the eyes of Superman. We explore their relationship with Superman and where they have been for the past 20 years."
According to Johns, re-introducing Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl to new readers is important to the DCU because the team played such an important role in the development of young Kal-El. "I think the real intriguing part of it and the reason I wanted to tell the story so badly is that when Superman was a kid, there were no people who could fly," Johns explained. "These were his friends. These were other kids, like him, who are aliens who appear human who have come to Earth and can fly with those flight rings. And he certainly wasn't alone anymore. It wasn't like he had one person to relate to, he had an entire team, an entire group of kids. You have to look at it like Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, they are exactly like Superman. They are human-looking aliens who came to Earth.
|"Action Comics" #857|
Johns says the Legion story begins with Clark Kent wanting to know why he hasn't seen his childhood friends in so long, but catches up pretty quickly once they return. "[Superman reconnects with the team in] the first issue, man," confirmed Johns. "We get the story going pretty quick. The story isn't 'is he going to find them?' The story is what happens when he does; what has gone on in the future and how can he help them?"
Help them from what, you ask? Why, super-villains, of course. "The villains are everything that is wrong with Superman, which I really like," Johns remarked. "I didn't want to use the Fatal Five again or Universo or any of the typical Legion villains. I didn't want to use Braniac or Lex Luthor or any of those Superman villains. I wanted to create something new using something old. And so the villain group in there is actually made up of characters from the Legion's history, who have grown and changed but will be recognizable to a lot of people."
|"Action Comics" #858 begins a new arc focussing on Superman and the original Legion of Super-Heroes|
Johns also revealed there will be more Legion stories coming next year but could not discuss any of the details.
As for the successful "Justice League of America"/"Justice Society of America" crossover he penned with Brad Meltzer, Johns says he hopes to do it again with new "JLA" scribe Dwayne McDuffie. "Dwayne and I briefly were asked the question on a panel in San Diego and I told him I'm game whenever he is," said Johns. "I would love to do it. I love Dwayne's writing and I really like him, personally. So it would be great. I'd love to do it. I'd like to see what Dwayne is going to do with the Justice League. He has stories to tell and he has to establish his take on the League and everything else. But whenever he is ready, I am ready."
|"Action Comics" #859|
Johns is keeping busy with four monthly books and his various other projects, which include a "Metal Men" movie, so jumping in as the writer of "Justice League of America" when Meltzer left just didn't fit his schedule. "Not right now [anyways]," said Johns. "I am very happy where I am. I am happy with 'JSA' and 'Green Lantern' and 'Action' and 'Booster Gold.' And I have two other projects coming up next year and I am pretty content with that."
Johns admitted he doesn't know how long he and Richard Donner will stay on "Action Comics," but told us he sure is enjoying the ride. "I don't know how long we will stay on 'Action Comics' but we have plenty of stories to tell so we will have to see how long the run is."
One story Johns has to tell involves a certain imp from the Fifth Dimension. "I have a big Mister Mxyzptlk arc that I really, really want to do at some point," teased Johns. "I think it would be pretty hysterical. I don't want to talk about the story but it's a really good one."
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