SOULE, DANIEL: SUPERMAN / WONDER WOMAN To Mix 'Epic' With Personal
CREDIT: DC Comics
Follow the lives of any young couple, and you'll find a mix of playful questioning, conversational humor — and even a few differences of opinion.
But the new Superman/Wonder Woman comic from DC, the couple also shares massive intergalactic battles, constant life-threatening challenges, and world-changing decisions.
Launching in October, Superman/Wonder Woman unites up-and-coming writer Charles Soule with DC veteran artist Tony Daniel. The comic, announced earlier this week by DC, further expands DC's line focus on some of their most iconic characters, similar to this month's launch of Batman/Superman and Superman Unchained.
But this time around, the central story in the comic is a budding love relationship, since Wonder Woman is currently "involved" with Superman, according to stories in both Superman and Justice League.
It's been insinuated that the relationship causes trouble that is tied to this summer's Trinity War, but it looks like Clark and Diana are still together come October.
Newsarama talked to Daniel and Soule about what readers can expect when these two heroes get together in their own comic this fall.
Newsarama: Charles, what's your take on Superman and Wonder Woman together in a comic? Is it about contrasting them, similar to what we've seen over the years in other team-up comics like World's Finest or Superman/Batman? Are they that different?
Charles Soule: I think they're very similar in a lot of ways, which is partly why they were attracted to each other in the first place, but I also think Superman and Wonder are extremely different.
You know, one grew up in a sort of cloistered society on Paradise Island, where she was trained to be a warrior, and had the gods running around and so-on, so-forth, whereas Superman grew up in Kansas and had to grow into his powers not really knowing who he was and where he came from.
So culturally, I think they're extraordinarily different people. And the way they approach their own powers and their own identity and their role in the world is very different.
At the same time, I think in the entire DCU, maybe you've got a hundred people who actually can fly, and Superman and Wonder Woman happen to be two of them. So there are things that only the two of them can talk about. So it's great to be able to write those conversations and have them do the things that only the two of them can do, while also learning all the things that are different about each other.
Nrama: Tony, you've obviously drawn these characters quite a bit in other comics. What's unique about the approach of this comic and the visuals you're designing around it? And why does it appeal to you as an artist?
Tony Daniel: To be honest, I'm a pretty happy camper with this book, because it fits all my interests and tells a good story. All the things I'll be drawing and the story we're telling here is really almost tailor-made for me. I'm just really excited to get the chance to do these characters and all the different types of moments I'm going to be able to do, and each character's development, and the drama between the characters. I love that kind of stuff. I love to read it. And now I get to draw that, as well as the big action set pieces, and these gigantic battles we have with shared villains and new villains.
It's just a really big, intergalactic Christmas kind of thing. I can just go to town and have a blast with it.
Nrama: It's interesting you mentioned shared villains and new villains. Charles, what kind of rogues are you going to throw at these two characters? Are they shared, or are you finding villains from one hero's rogues’ gallery that make sense with the other, or are these mostly going to be new threats?
Soule: It's going to be all three: Villains for Superman, Wonder Woman, the DC Universe at large and even new characters.
Part of the challenge of this is it's hard enough to find a legitimate challenge for Superman and Wonder Woman alone, but you put them both together, and the challenge is obviously at least doubled.
So what we're going to try to do is create challenges for them that reflect in some way, or comment in some way about the relationship they're having — not in a way that's sort of slavish and a little too on the nose. That's what the best villains accomplish. They comment on the heroes. So the challenges and situations that I'll put them in are going to be things that are relevant to, or reflected in some way in what's going on in their relationship at the time, which is a fun way to write, and I think it'll be a fun way to read.
Nrama: When you hear that it's a "relationship" comic, it doesn't sound very exciting until Tony starts talking about villains and "big action set pieces" and "gigantic battles." I assume this isn't just the two of them getting to know each other at a restaurant, talking, right?
Soule: No, it's not the next Before Midnight movie.
The book is, at its heart, a huge, epic, action-filled story. I mean, you have to have that with these characters, with the things these people can do, what these characters are outfittedly capable of, and then the types of guys that come gunning for them. It's going to be huge.
I wouldn't necessarily want to write or read a book that was them sitting in the back of a taxi having an argument or something like that.
The stories will be written on a scale that befits these characters.
But at the same time, I personally think it's fascinating to think about what they would say to each other, what they talk about, the way they have different approaches to solving the world's problems. I think that's grounds that have been sometimes explored here and there — I mean, there are books that have walked down this sort of path — but I think there's a lot more that can be said. And that's one of the things that really interested me about the project in the first place. And I look forward to exploring it.
Nrama: Does the comic have a supporting cast, or do they go off to space adventures and not deal with Lois and the gods or any of the other characters we see in the Wonder Woman, Superman or Justice League title? Do they interact with any of those people?
Soule: They're going to interact with each book's supporting cast, when it's organic. I mean, I'm not going to put characters in just because they've traditionally been a part of either one of their supporting casts. If there's a reason for somebody to show up, then they certainly show up.
Some of that's already planned. I would guess Batman would pop in from time to time, because he knows about their relationship and he's, obviously, close friends with Clark, as we're seeing explored in the Batman/Superman book.
So "yes," basically, is the answer. I'm planning to use characters that have already been established as part of their mythology.
But I'm also planning on adding some [characters] to both sides, because I think it's fun to do that. I like writing new characters, I like writing old characters, but I also like putting my little additions to the universe where I can. So I think it's going to be pretty cool.
Nrama: Tony, I was thinking about how we had talked when you left your role as a writer on Batman and Detective Comics — how you wanted to back away from writing for awhile and just draw. And I felt kind of sorry for you, because I know in Action Comics, you had to step in and write for awhile. How does it feel to get back to just drawing? And are you getting a little extra time on this comic to really develop what you want to do with it?
Daniel: Yeah. I mean, when I had to take over for Andy [Diggle] on Action, they weren't my ideal circumstances to get back into writing. I really wanted to take a long break from writing comics. I enjoy both, but to be honest, I'm known primarily as an artist.
I also have a lot more fun drawing, especially when a deadline is approaching — you know, I can still have fun and I can still try to make something decent out of it, whereas if I'm on a deadline writing, it's a little harder to make something special happen in those circumstances when the clock is ticking.
As far as having more time on this book: Yeah, we're starting this thing now and we have plenty of time for me to get the stories and draw them and not be rushed and do my best artwork, which is a luxury I haven't had in awhile.
I'm really excited that I can put the responsibility for the writing in capable hands with Charles, and I know I'm going to get a great story out of it. And I can concentrate 100 percent on the art. I think when people see the first few pages and the cover that I'm going for issue #1, people are going to see a little bit of a difference with my work. So I'm excited about that.
Nrama: OK, then to finish up, is there anything else you want fans to know about the comic? Anything about what their expectations should be for the comic overall? Or any fears you want to alleviate?
Daniel: I'll keep it simple and say, fear not. And expect the unexpected.
Soule: What I'll say is slightly more verbose, but just as heartfelt. I love both of these characters very much, and I love both of their mythologies very much — everything that has been done in the past, I have much respect for it.
At the same time, I think it's really, really fun to be able to explore something that's a little bit new, that isn't necessarily the same story that's been told over and over again. And just because this story is happening doesn't mean any of the other stories that have been told in the past haven't happened. And it doesn't mean any of the other stories that people might want to happen in the future won't happen either.
So take this for what it is. Have a great time with it. It's going to be a really, really fun ride.