Geoff Johns: On Returns and Rebirths

Geoff Johns: On Returns and Rebirths

Adventure Comics

[Spoilers for Legion of 3 Worlds #4 ahead]

When Geoff Johns said Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds would affect more than just the future, he wasn't kidding.

In the first four issues of the mini-series by Johns and George Perez, both Bart Allen as Kid Flash and Conner Kent as Superboy have returned from the dead. As if the Legion held some kind of special comic book magic, both the super-aging of Bart and the legal problems with the "Superboy" name have now been apparently eliminated.

After returning in Legion of 3 Worlds #3, Bart Allen returns to the present as Kid Flash and looks to be right back where many fans would say he belongs within the pages of Flash: Rebirth. Now that Superboy has returned in issue #4, he'll star in his own ongoing series beginning this August – Adventure Comics by Johns and Francis Manapul, which will co-star the Legion of Super-Heroes.

And Johns told Newsarama that both Superboy and Kid Flash will be part of this summer's Blackest Night event, as well as being "front and center" in the DCU over the next year.

As the events of the mini-series spill over into the rest of the DCU, we talked to Johns about what comes next in Legion of 3 Worlds – and found out how one of the writers from The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon will help out with Adventure Comics.

Newsarama: How long have you guys been planning to bring back Superboy? Has that been planned for awhile?

Geoff Johns: A long time. I wrote the outline for Legion of 3 Worlds at least a year and a half ago.

NRAMA: Weren't there legal problems with using the name Superboy?

GJ: I don't know much about the legality of it. I probably know a little more than what’s online from hearing things here and there, but not too much else. All I know is what the story is. I don’t worry about the legality unless someone tells me I’m limited.

NRAMA: Knowing that Superboy is one of your favorite characters, how did it feel to bring him back?

GJ: When Perez drew that double-page spread – he drew it early; it was one of the first things he drew for the issue – I was overjoyed. I love the character. And seeing Francis [Manapul] doing Superboy pages for Adventure Comics is fantastic. A whole new chapter for him.

NRAMA: So will Superboy appear on an ongoing basis in Adventure Comics?

GJ: He's the star of Adventure Comics, which will co-feature the Legion of Super-Heroes.

NRAMA: Is there anything more you can tell us about Adventure Comics now that we've read the first four issues of Legion of 3 Worlds?

GJ: About Adventure? Just that I've been working with Francis, he’s turning in some unbelievable pages and enthusiasm, and that the book is in the same vein as Gary Frank’s and my Action Comics run. Accessible, bright, dangerous and open. When dealing with “super” characters, I’ve been trying to bring a very stand-alone but part-of-a-bigger-story feel to the books. With Action Comics, between “Last Son” and “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes” and “Brainiac,” you could read those by themselves or together. I’m bringing that same sense of storytelling to Adventure Comics.

Oh, the one thing I am taking with me from Justice Society of America is Starman. Starman will play a role in Adventure Comics. And the first co-feature is Legion of Super-Heroes: Starman.

NRAMA: Are you writing the co-features in Adventure Comics?

GJ: Yeah, I'll be writing or co-writing. The Starman one I'm doing myself, but the next one focuses on Lightning Lad, which I’ve co-written with a “new” writer named Mike Shoemaker, who worked on Saturday Night Live and works on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon. He’s a massive Legion of Super-Heroes fan and there’s really a focus on character here with the shorter format, rather than spectacle. You’ll also see stories focused on Sun Boy and Polar Boy, Wildfire and Dawnstar and plenty more that have been in the spotlight in Legion of 3 Worlds.

NRAMA: Brainiac also brought back Bart Allen in this comic, and you're using him in Flash: Rebirth. What role does Bart Allen play in the DCU now that he's back as Kid Flash?

GJ: Well, you'll see that in Flash: Rebirth and beyond that. Kid Flash and Superboy both play pretty big roles in the DCU coming up. They're both in Blackest Night. They're going to be front and center in the DCU over the next year. As will the Legion.

NRAMA: Beyond Adventure Comics?

GJ: There are plans for the Legion beyond Adventure Comics too. You should be reading James Robinson’s Superman.

NRAMA: Let's talk about the story in Legion of 3 Worlds for a minute. Superboy Prime was revealed to also be the Time Trapper in Legion of 3 Worlds #4, so is the idea of redemption gone? Is he definitely going to become the Time Trapper?

GJ: You'll have to keep reading. Why would I spoil it?

NRAMA: Well, then can we ask about how Superboy Prime was suddenly vulnerable to Kryptonite when Element Lad created it? Is that something we should notice?

GJ: Sure…

NRAMA: OK. Since this mini-series is one issue away from its conclusion, instead of asking questions you can't answer, how about you tell us what you can about Legion of 3 Worlds #5?

GJ: There's a big finale, and you'll see where the Legions (all of them) are going to go from here. There's one big change for one of the main Legionnaires in this. And you'll also see the fate of Superboy Prime.

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