As writer K. Perkins takes over DC's ongoing Superwoman when #9 hits shelves on April 19, readers will learn the new status of the character after the continuity-changing events of "Superman Reborn."
Starring Lana Lang in the lead role, Superwoman launched in summer 2016 with an origin story that was directly related the deaths of New 52 Superman and New 52 Lois Lane. But in "Superman Reborn," those characters' deaths have now been changed, as their "essence" and history was merged with the post-Crisis Superman and Lois.
According to Perkins, readers will start "getting answers on how and why Superwoman got her powers" — a journey that will include "trips to the past with some familiar faces." The comic will also follow up on the events of the previous eight issues by departing writer Phil Jimenez.
Next week, Perkins debuts her new storyline "Super Women" in Superwoman #9, working with artists Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert. Newsarama talked to Perkins to find out more about her plans for Superwoman.
Newsarama: As you take over Superwoman, what's the status of the main character? In the previous storyline, she was about to die and spent time in some sort of coma as she's trying to heal. Has that all changed now?
K. Perkins: I'm picking up from where the awesome Phil Jimenez left off, where Lana has been put in a suit of Kryptonian armor in an attempt to save her life. Page one of my first issue (#9) is when Lana comes to, trying to figure out what happened to her.
Nrama: How would you describe Lana?
Perkins: More than any other superhero I've written, Lana takes the most humanity with her as she moves through each experience and challenge. She's intelligent, curious, emotive, daring, and yet she's sometimes too quick to act, fallible, and anxious. I love the juxtaposition. She's very fun to write and I'm honored to help build out her complexity.
Nrama: What traits, strengths or personal challenges are you hoping to highlight?
Perkins: Lana likes to operate within science-driven, fact-based information, but she also tries to make sense of how her emotions come into play, even though they aren't as clean-cut and clearly defined. Her anxiety is one of these balancing acts and she tries to find a way to make it work for her rather than against her. Sometimes she succeeds and sometimes she doesn't! But that's humanity, right?
Nrama: Your first issue comes right after the "Superman Reborn" crossover combined the pasts of two different Supermen. How does that affect Lana's background as you kick off your first story?
Perkins: Yes, this Superwoman storyline spins out of "Superman Reborn." Even though we get some guest-starring from Supes and some storyline weaving here and there, this arc is very much centric to how Lana is carrying the Superwoman mantle as her personal life gets a lot more complicated.
Nrama: Superwoman #9 is teased as a "reunion" between Lana and Lois. Are you going to establish their "new" background in the first issue?
Perkins: Lois does make an appearance in #9, but as for their "new" background, you'll have to read beyond!
Nrama: How did Lana get her powers, if not from the New 52 Superman's death?
Perkins: I wish I could say right now! That’s a bigger story arc we’ll be delving into more in the coming months.
Nrama: It's been a lot of fun to see Lana Lang paired up with John Henry Irons. Will these two continue to be an item?
Perkins: I agree! And I love them together, too. I think Lana and John Henry are great foils for one another, so I wanted that relationship to keep going.
Nrama: How much of a role will Steel and his family play in the series?
Perkins: Steel and Natasha Irons are a big part of Lana's life, as well as this arc. The love for one's family and what one does for them is an ongoing theme in these next few issues. And, just like in every family, there are some tense times when not everyone sees eye to eye, despite the immense amount of love they have for each other.
Nrama: What is the biggest threat to Superwoman in the first few issues? And why did this threat make sense to you as a writer to begin exploring these characters?
Perkins: After Lana comes out of the Kryptonian armor, she's faced with some information that puts her at a crossroads. The path she ultimately chooses is not an easy one, and doubt and anxiety will follow her. So, after having made this choice, failure is Lana's biggest threat. If she doesn't succeed as Superwoman, what happens then?
Failure isn't unique to anybody. (Superheroes included!) We all experience it in a variety of ways on differing scales. And though it usually appears as this big, scary thing to us, it's actually one of the greatest learning tools we have in our arsenal. By failing, we develop skills and draft new ideas so that we do better next time. Being privy to these characters' lives as they put this into practice has really made me think differently about failure and how I react to it.
Also, externally, there are some cool baddies that rise within the next few issues. Maybe even one within the Irons family?
Nrama: What's it been like developing the approach to this comic book with the art team of Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert? How would you describe the visual approach?
Perkins: I've been so lucky to have Stephen and Art on this book. Their work is so beautiful and powerful and I'm stoked for everyone to see it.
There are a lot of non-comic-readers who ask me what I do in comics and I've told them I'm just one piece of this highly collaborative process. I write what I see and hear in my head story-wise, but it's artists like Stephen and Art that make the stories come alive.
And, truthfully, they create way cooler imagery than I ever could anyway, so it's a joy when I get to write, "These are fight panels, have at it!" and they go to town on a sequence.
Nrama: What can readers expect from the series as it continues this summer?
Perkins: I think readers can always expect character-driven storylines that build out more and more of Superwoman's world. Specifically, here are some things to look out for coming down the line: Lana always kicking some major ass (naturally), getting answers on how and why she got her powers (which maybe includes trips to the past with some familiar faces), resurfacing of old friends and foes, and perhaps even a shakeup... Time will tell!
Nrama: Anything else you want to tell fans about Superwoman?
Perkins: I'm having a blast writing this book and I hope everyone digs what we've been cooking up. I wanted to write a relatable character who thinks, feels, acts just like we do, but yet she's in an extraordinary position to inspire hope and bring justice because of her heroism. Lana Lang is just as awesome as Superwoman, and I'm excited for people to see both sides of her