The Superman titles may have just survived "H'El on Earth," but now they'll experience H'El on Krytpon.
In a crossover this fall, the Super-books will be immersed in a storyline titled "Krypton Returns." The story, guided by Superman and Action Comics writer Scott Lobdell, follows up on the disaster teased after the villainous character known as H'El disappeared from Earth.
The last we saw H'El, he had traveled back in time to Krypton. Now the Superman-related characters of the DCU will find out that H'El has been up to no good, and he's effectively caused the return of Krypton.
The Super-book writers have been laying the groundwork for "Krypton Returns" for months now, not only in the "H'El On Earth" story earlier this year, but even in the #0 issues in September 2012. In those issues, it was revealed that Superman, Superboy and Supergirl all time-traveled for some reason to the time period of Krypton's explosion. Now it's implied that the time travel will be associated with the heroes' effort to stop H'El from changing Krypton's past.
The "Krypton Returns" story will also build from the revelations in September's Superman #23.3: H'El, one of DC's Villains Month issues (see our interview with Lobdell to find out more about that H'El story).
"Krypton Returns" will start in Action Comics Annual #2 in October, then cross through the November issues Superboy #25, Supergirl #25 and Superman #25.
Newsarama readers will also remember Lobdell recently told Newsarama readers to look for the "clues scattered throughout Action, Superman and the Annual this year, as well as the issues #25 for all four Super-books." He promised that it will all lead toward plans he has to write the "Most Ambitious Superman Story Ever."
"They will gasp at the sheer audacity of it all," he said.
Newsarama talked to Lobdell about the "Krypton Returns" story, and whether rumors of a permanent return of Krypton might be this ambitious story he's talking about.
Newsarama: Scott, in the first part of our interview, when we were discussing Teen Titans, you said Superboy fights Jon Lane Kent at some point during the Teen Titans storyline coming up, and that he's traveling through time. But you've also got "Krypton Returns" going on in the Super-books. Do these two events relate at all?
Scott Lobdell: I'll just say this: the Teen Titans Annual and the story involving Superboy in the Action Annual and the Super-books in November are inextricably linked.
Nrama: Interesting. It seems like the premise of "Krypton Returns" is pretty well spelled out in…
Lobdell: In the title? [Laughs.]
Nrama: Well, yeah! But I was going to say, the ending of "H'El on Earth." When that storyline finished, H'El had traveled back in time to Krypton, before it was destroyed, giving him the opportunity to manipulate and change the planet's history.
Nrama: And now, somebody has to stop him, right?
Lobdell: Yes, somebodies, if you will. Some Super-bodies, if you will.
Nrama: And in the #0 issues from September 2012, we saw Superboy, Supergirl and Superman on Krypton before it was destroyed. So it would follow that they're the ones going back to right history. Am I on the right track? Or is there more to it than that?
Lobdell: Yeah, unfortunately, when H'El learns his true origin [in Superman: #23.3: H'El], all his previous motivation, as far as wanting to bring back Krypton and make it better, goes flying out the window in the face of his horror in understanding, at last, who he really is and how he came to be.
So rather than a continuation of the story, there's an escalation of the threat of H'El and Krypton. And rather than his original more altruistic leanings, we discover he's more inclined to use the return of Krypton as a bludgeon with which to express his rage.
Nrama: Besides writing Action Comics Annual #2 and Superman #25, you're listed as co-writer on the other two Super-books in November. Is this giving you the chance to work with the other Super-writers, or are you playing lead on this one?
Lobdell: Well, I'm playing lead, but I'm also working closely with both Mike [Alan Nelson] and Justin [Jordan] in terms of their scripting on their respective titles.
Nrama: This storyline concludes at the end of November, right?
Lobdell: While the event itself ends on the final page of Superman #25, the ramifications are going to ripple through the Super-verse for months to come.
And, as of this moment, it appears that no one gets away unscathed from this encounter.
Nrama: Last time we talked, you gave us some pretty good teases about what's coming up in Superman. Yet there's still a lot of speculation about the ending of "Krypton Returns." Despite the fact we know there's time travel involved, the title indicates there's a threat of Krypton sticking around and not having exploded, maybe even being around even after this storyline ends. To finish up our interview, can you address that at all?
Lobdell: While I think it would be fair for people to presume that this story concludes with the return of Krypton, the truth is — without spoiling anything — Krypton has returned in the first few pages of this story. But whether this is the Krypton we remember, or whether it's a Krypton whose reality has been reshaped and directed by H'El (whom we know was in the past, as you pointed out earlier), is something we'll discover together.