Summer Vacation in an Infinite City; Kennedy talks "Superman: Infinite City"

Mon, March 21st, 2005 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Dave Richards, Staff Writer

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Metropolis keeps its chief defender, Superman, quite busy. However, The Man of Steel will long for the relative quiet of his hometown after he visits "Infinite City" a massive interdimensional municipality in the hard cover graphic novel, "Superman: Infinite City" by Mike Kennedey and artist Carlos Meglia, coming this June from DC Comics. CBR News spoke to Kennedy for the rundown on Superman's trip to "Infinite City'

Carlos Meglia, who previously collaborated with Kennedy on the mini-series "Star Wars: Underworld" for Dark Horse Comics, got him involved with "Superman: Infinite City." Kennedy said, "When Eddie Berganza approached Carlos about doing a Superman graphic novel, he asked which writer he'd like to work with, and it just seemed like a perfect opportunity for us to team up again."

Writing Superman was a little intimidating for Kennedy at first but working with other big name beloved pop culture icons on "Star Wars: Underworld" had taught Kennedy to relax, have fun and try to remain true to the core of the characters. "Superman is such a timeless icon representing so many things, not just Truth, Justice, and

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The American Way, but every reasonable, universal moral ideal on the list," Kennedy explained. "He is The Good Guy, pure and simple, but he also has this amazing humanity that allows him to recognize his own role and situation from the perspective of a curious, humble outsider. He's not above self-doubt or uncertainty, but the strength of his fiber always leads him to do what's right. His upbringing in simple -- small-town America sheltered him from many of the bad influences that can so often corrupt a person into a less-sensitive, self-centered individual. He's the citizen everyone around the world should strive to be, regardless of nationality."

Superman won't be going to Infinite City alone. His wife Lois Lane will accompany him. Kennedy believes that the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane makes Superman a better hero. "Lois is the spunky, confident go-getter that we all admire. She has the strength to pursue the truth, even when there are massive obstacles standing in the way. She has a more worldly perspective than Clark, not just from her years as a reporter, but as a female as well. She's a great compliment to his innate goodness, and a great councilor when he's struck with uncertainty or doubt. And their love for each other is so wonderfully never-ending."

Superman's journey to Infinite City begins with Clark Kent and Lois Lane pursuing a story for the Daily Planet. "The wedded reporters set out into the California desert to investigate the source of a devastating weapon recently unleashed on Metropolis, but what they discover is a doorway to a strange world where the laws of physics are vastly different from our own," Kennedy explained. "There, amazing things are common place, from magic and monsters to ray-guns and robots. Unfortunately, the stability of this dimension is extremely delicate, and uncontrolled passage in and out of the City could cause this entire reality to pop like a soap bubble. It's a dire situation that necessitates very strict laws of traffic, but there are conspiring forces that wish to visit Earth no matter what the risk. It's a madcap romp through a fascinating visual universe, as Lois is kidnapped, Superman deals with strangely altered powers, and a link to Krypton's final days is discovered. It's filled with colorful, dynamic characters, some of who might have a lot more in common with the Man of Steel than just a heroic posture… Without giving too much away, it might be safe to say that this book could offer one of DC's most bizarre family reunions."

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Two of the prominent citizens of Infinite City that Superman encounters are the city's chief defender and its head official. "At the center of the action is Infinite City's guardian hero, The Warden, who was given that name because of his role policing traffic through the delicate dimensional gateways," Kennedy said. "He's got an interesting history that explains a lot of his behavior in this book, which isn't always as heroic as one might expect. We will also meet The Mayor, Infinite City's robotic governing figurehead. His connection to Infinite City stretches back to its origin, and its historical connection to the planet Krypton."

Kennedy reluctantly uses the term villain to describe the man who is at the heart of Infinite City's problems. "The 'villain' in this book - and I use that term hesitantly - is Jesden Tyme, the CEO of Infinite City Industries, a megalithic corporation with large-scale, cross-dimensional business plans and little concern for the inherent dangers such traffic might introduce," Kennedy said. "He's one of those 'grey' bad guys -- his schemes seem nefarious on the surface, but his arguments are very hard to debate… If The Warden is Infinite City's version of Superman, Jesden Tyme is its Lex Luthor."

The tone of "Superman: Infinite City" will be similar to the type of movies that coincide with the book's June release date. "This book could be described as an 'animated summer blockbuster,' not unlike 'The Incredibles' or 'Robots,' only on paper instead of (digital) celluloid," Kennedy explained. "Carlos' artwork is so incredibly dynamic, you can almost see the characters moving on the page, as if each panel is just a well-chosen frame from an animated feature. It is absolutely stunning. The story is fun and lighthearted, with dramatic moments sprinkled between scenes of high-flying, wisecracking action. Hopefully it will be a satisfying read for fans of high adventure, animation, and/or Superman himself."

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Kennedy and Meglia tried to incorporate as many fun, fantastic, and bizarre elements that they could think of into the book. "We strove for that anything-can-happen science-fantasy aspect of the old Flash Gordon serials, where pseudo-magic intermingled with bizarre technology and strange alien species," Kennedy said. 'We took a more classic approach to the narrative, but beyond that, just about anything goes - if we could imagine it, it went in the book. It was the perfect playground for wild concepts and visuals. But as disparate and eclectic as the elements are, the fun part was fitting them together in a story and style that is both consistent and understandable."

Kennedy is currently working on two sci-fi based projects for Dark Horse: "Aliens Vs. Predator: Civilized Beasts" and an "Aeon Flux" mini-series that will serve as a prequel to the film starring Charlize Theron which opens this fall. The writer said he loved working with DC and hopes to do so again in the future. "Working with [Editor Eddie Berganza] and DC has been awesome. They've been very open to ideas, very creative with their suggestions, and very supportive with their feedback," he said. "It really was a fun project to work on, in every aspect."

 
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