The pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois Lane are not only alive and well in the "New 52," but writer Dan Jurgens has indicated they'll be part of DC's upcoming "Rebirth" event.
Jurgens is writing the previous version of Clark Kent and his wife Lois Lane in the new series Superman: Lois and Clark, which features art by Lee Weeks. Spinning out of DC's Convergence event, the series shows how pre-Flashpoint Superman has been in the "New 52" universe for years, working behind the scenes to fight crime (while also checking up on some of his more notorious villains).
Pre-Flashpoint Lois has similarly been writing and exposing wrongs under the pen name Author X. And these versions of Clark and Lois have a son named Jon Kent, who doesn't know about their secret history — yet — nor has he figured out that his dad has superpowers.
With the Superman: Lois and Clark hitting its fourth issue this week, Newsarama talked with Jurgens to find out more about the future of these three characters, how the plight of "New 52" Superman is affecting them, and how plans for the pre-Flashpoint characters tie into DC's recently teased event "Rebirth."
Newsarama: Dan, now that you're a few issues into Superman: Lois & Clark, what's it been like to bring these characters from the pre-Flashpoint universe into the current day DCU?
Dan Jurgens: I’ve had a great deal of fun bringing Clark and Lois into the current DCU. They’ve progressed in their lives and that’s what makes it interesting to me. This world is new to them, of course, and writing their reactions to it is really a strong part of what this series is about. Plus, if you add Jon, that’s an entirely new wrinkle that will add a lot to their lives, as well as the DCU.
Nrama: In this week's issue, Clark and Lois were noticing the differences between the former universe and their own — particularly the Metropolis in those two worlds. How would you describe the main differences in the two universes, particularly through Lois and Clark's eyes?
Jurgens: I always try to describe it this way:
Let’s say you lived in an apartment for a long time. You grew accustomed to the layout, furniture, pictures on the walls, etc.
You leave and come back to find someone else has lived there for ten years. The layout is the same but the walls have been painted a different color. The carpeting is different, as is all the furniture. The pictures hanging on the walls are vastly different. In other words, it’s kind of the same, but the differences are really apparent. Those differences are so unsettling that you simply don’t feel comfortable there.
That’s what it’s like for Lois and Clark to go to this new version of Metropolis.
The buildings are similar and street names might be the same, but it’s also quite different. That’s why, as part of the script, I had them discuss the idea of trying not to place so much importance on the differences, but instead embrace the similarities. Human nature is such that I think we all see the differences first and then need to learn to get past that.
Nrama: You've also been emphasizing how healthy Clark and Lois' relationship is. Why was it important to have them be happy in this new world?
Jurgens: They see it in kind of an “Us against the World” sort of way. Not in an antagonistic way, but more out of the sense that they really see themselves as being alone. They’re united in that state of existence, especially as they try to protect Jon.
It also gets to the point of who they are as individuals. They complement each other so well that they’re stronger together than apart. We’re talking about two very well balanced people here, of course, who have a great world view.
Nrama: Yet Superman still struggles with how to handle villains. What's this Superman's thinking regarding the villains he's encountering (or even hunting down) as he secretly fights crime in this world?
Jurgens: Because of past experience on his own Earth, Superman feels he has insight as to who and what might be a threat here.
However, there are enough differences that he isn’t always going to be right about that, which is why Luthor is something of a dilemma for him.
On top of that, since he’s operating in secret, he has a problem of what to do with the bad guys once he’s caught them. It’s tough for him to simply turn them over to law enforcement, for obvious reasons.
This forces Superman to be more self-reliant and self-sufficient than he ever was.
Nrama: We saw Jon pick up a newspaper that had "New 52" Clark Kent on the cover, exposed as Superman. Surely this event is a big deal for this version of Clark and Lois, who are still trying to hide from the world. How is your story (and how are the characters) affected by "New 52" Clark Kent's exposure as Superman?
Jurgens: That’s something you’ll see more of in the book as it unfolds. We deal with it head on in Superman: Lois & Clark #6. For them, this is a very distressing development. It’s even more unthinkable because that world’s Lois is the one who outed Clark as Superman.
Nrama: Let's talk about Lois. One of the more refreshing things you've been featuring is Lois Lane's expertise as a writer. She's also a tough cookie, as evidenced by her readiness to defend herself in this week's issue. How would you describe Lois, and will we see more of her resourcefulness and other strengths in the story?
Jurgens: Let’s start with the premise that Lois is an incredibly accomplished journalist.
But to maintain a secret life, she can’t ever work in a high profile role like she had with the Daily Planet. She’s taken a job with a small local paper reporting on fairly irrelevant things in order to generate some income.
Lois is the type of woman who’d always want to utilize her full skill set though, so she’s writing important books as an anonymous author. As the story shows, that can have some unintended consequences.
Nrama: Yes! She's being hunted by Intergang. And at the same time, Superman is having trouble with the villains of this new world. It's been difficult to see the result of Superman and Lois just trying to help. Do you think they wish they would have just stayed uninvolved?
Jurgens: Clark and Lois could never stay on the sidelines. That’s not who they are.
True heroism often demands sacrifice, and theirs is the risk they run of being exposed.
Nrama: Let's talk about Jon. How would you describe the character, and what's his curiosity going to do to him down the line?
Jurgens: Jon is terribly special to me. He has attributes of both his parents. I’ve always described him as looking like a young Clark while having Lois’ personality.
Nrama: The investigative journalist.
Jurgens: Yeah, we all know Lois is plenty curious, so it only stands to reason that aspect of his personality will take Jon down a pretty interesting path.
Nrama: Will we ever find out if he inherited any of his father's powers?
Jurgens: Yeah, we’ll have to deal with that at some point.
Nrama: You've juggling several threats, and some are building faster than others. Are some of these threads going to continue for a while?
Jurgens: I think it’s safe to say that some of these threads might get resolved while others become more of a state of existence as things go forward.
Nrama: Can you describe what's coming up in the comic over the next few issues?
Jurgens: We’re on a trajectory where things are building to quite a head. Lois and Jon’s entanglement with Intergang is a perfect example. Add Hank Henshaw, Blanque and our mystery woman at the end of the issue and things are pretty well set to explode.
Nrama: What about further into 2016? Big plans? Anything you can tease?
Jurgens: One word. Rebirth.