Rucka & Robinson on Superman: World of New Krypton

Rucka & Robinson on New Krypton

Superman: World of New Krypton #3

At the DC’s Superman Panel at New York Comic Con, the writers of the coming 12-part Superman: World of New Krypton, Greg Rucka and James Robinson, gave some tantalizing hints about the story that will pull Superman from earth to New Krypton, but left many points such as the whys and wherefores of his move a little cloudy.

The new planet, for those who may have missed the “New Krypton” storyline which ran through DC’s Superman titles, was created using Brainiac technology, and is the home of the now enlarged Kandor, a city that was stolen from Krypton by Brainiac years before Superman was rocketed to earth as an infant. The city is the home to roughly 100,000 Kryptonians, many of whom demonstrated a clear distrust (with good reason) of earth and its inhabitants, and New Krypton now orbits our sun, albeit on the opposite side of it than the earth.

Initially, the series was to be written by Andrew (Green Arrow/Black canary) Kreisberg, but when he had to withdraw from the gig due to scheduling conflicts, Rucka and Robinson stepped in.

We spoke with the writers for more on the coming series.

Newsarama: First off, how did you two end up as the writing team on World of New Krypton? Andrew was announced as the original writer, but that changed in the solicitations, and then with an update from DC which named the two of you as the writing team from #1 on. What happened?

Greg Rucka: Andrew had to drop out due to time constraints, and James and I were in on that call, and said, “We’ll do it.”

World of New Krypton #1, page 2-3

James Robinson: And it was a case where I think both of us realized that we couldn’t take on another book by ourselves, but between us, we could. And besides, a scramble to bring someone in at the last minute just would have been a disaster, and we were already familiar with what’s going on in the larger picture, and what this book is supposed to be about.

NRAMA: You’d said before that there’s a synergy between all the writers handling the Superman books [Rucka is writing Action Comics, Robinson is writing Superman], and, even before Andrew left, you knew what was going to be going on with New Krypton…

JR: Yes- it’s a very tight-knit group. We try to have a conference call every week just to make sure we’re all on the same path.

GR: Yeah, the communication is really good. I’m late to this party – James and Geoff [Johns] have been working on this for quite a while, so for World of New Krypton, it was very much something that I could do with James, rather than something I could go off and do on my own. And I honestly think, his workload notwithstanding, James doesn’t need me there, because he has a very clear understanding of what’s going on and what needs to happen in this series.

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JR: Well, thanks for that. At one point, just because we didn’t know who would be taking over, I put forward that I could do the Action book. Had I done that, it wouldn’t have been as good as what Greg is doing – it would have been a whole different thing. Greg has brought a singular creative dynamic to the book and it’s exciting to see what he’s doing. But I think the different creative energies that we have is giving World of New Krypton a unique voice.

GR: Yeah – I think we really compliment each other. We really play to each other’s strengths. James never forgets grandeur, and I always forget grandeur [laughs]. I tend to be on the street.

JR: And we’re starting to find that there are different characters and aspects of the book that we enjoy more than others. Greg’s really into Zod, and I’m more into Krypton itself.

GR: And we’ve got a character that’s going to be introduced named Tyr-Van. That was an idea that when James put him on the page, you could tell that he had been toying with him for a while, and he’s going to be really cool.

NRAMA: We’ve seen a little bit of where Superman’s mind is at the end of “New Krypton,” where he reaffirms his pledge to Pa to help as many people as he can, but what’s the real kick to get him to decide to split his time between two worlds?

JR: Well, we don’t want to give stuff away, but there are, what we believe, compelling reasons why he’s forced to become a Kryptonian – there are reasons for that that make sense.

GR: Well, to be fair, there are 100,000 compelling reasons why he feels the need to move. I can name one that’s chief among them – Zod. But now, there are 99,999 who can do pretty much what Zod can do, which is what Superman can do.

NRAMA: Are you saying that New Krypton is a planet of 100,000 Zods?

Superman: World of New Krypton #1

GR: See, this is something that’s always bugs me – people say about Superman that anyone who had those powers isn’t going to be that good. Maybe that’s true if you want to try and be realistic about your comics where a guy from Krypton can fly, but there is legitimacy in saying that Superman is a product of his environment, and his environment was Ma and Pa and Smallville. To expect that everyone who was in Kandor, which is amalgamated with Argo, which all just came back…these people don’t just have post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Brainiac, they’ve also got survivor’s guilt like nobody’s business. They’re all that’s left of their culture and their way of life. It’s gone. They survived being horribly uprooted, mutilated, and laboratory animal-ed, and you know what? I think it’s perfectly within the realm of believability for Superman to look at that and say, “You know what? This could go really, really badly. Maybe I should keep a close eye on it.”

NRAMA: When Superman does get to New Krypton – Superman knows that Zod is out and free on the planet. What’s their first meeting like? Instant fisticuffs, or is Superman more attuned at that point to what Greg just said, that he has great concern and compassion for the Kryptonians?

JR: Well, there’s more to it. Through one reason or another, Zod is able to exist in Krypton, much to Kal’s chagrin…

GR: And he’s not a criminal to them – he’s the man who did everything he could to save them, but couldn’t.

NRAMA: He was their General MacArthur in a way…

GR: Right. It killed him - killed him to not be able to save them. So you’ve got Kal telling Alura, “Council – killed council!” And Alura answering back, “No, no – troops, leader – desperately trying to save us.”

JR: He’s their hero.

GR: And Alura also can counter anything Kal can say with, “Excuse me, but my husband just died. Those people scare me more than you who’ve never been to this planet can tell me about this man that you’ve never really met and only know from one side of the story.” She knew Zod, she trusts Zod. And there will be some trouble because of that.

And in case you missed it:

Superman: World of New Krypton #1 (with art by Pete Woods) is due in comic shops on March 4th

Newsarama Note: We originally reported the new Kryptonian chraacter's name as "Tyt-Van." That's not quite right - not to mention awkwardly unpronouncable in polite company. It's actually Tyr-Van.

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