How KEVIN MAGUIRE Reconnected with BRIAN BENDIS on MAN OF STEEL

Man of Steel #4
Credit: Kevin Maguire/Alex Sinclair/Josh Reed (DC Comics)
Credit: Ivan Reis/Joe Prado/Alex Sinclair/Josh Reed (DC Comics)

With every issue of Brian Michael Bendis' Man of Steel title featuring a different well-known comic book artist or two, readers are getting to see various artistic interpretations of Superman over the course of the weekly's six-issue story.

This week, Man of Steel #4 will feature art by Kevin Maguire, an artist who's probably best known by DC fans for his drama-mixed-with-humor work on Justice League and Justice League International.

Maguire has worked with Bendis before, his talent for facial expressions working well with the wry humor often implied in the writer's dialogue.

But for Man of Steel, Maguire was also tasked to bring on the action, with both Superman and Supergirl taking on Rogol Zaar. Newsarama talked to the artist about his approach to Superman, why he was asked to draw this issue in particular, and what it's been like working with Bendis.

Credit: Kevin Maguire/Alex Sinclair/Josh Reed (DC Comics)

Newsarama: Kevin, when you're approaching a comic book that stars Superman as the central character, does it change at all your approach?

Kevin Maguire: No, not really. Since I tend to do superhero storytelling, the process remains pretty much the same.

Nrama: How would you describe your Superman? Are there any influences you can point toward?

Maguire: I guess I'd describe him as 1960’s TV leading man Clint Walker-esque. I wasn't basing him on Mr. Walker, but when I draw him, that's how it comes out. But I'm sure there's also subconscious influences rummaging around in there from the great Fleischer cartoons to the iconic Christopher Reeve.

Nrama: Yeah, I suppose we're exposed to different types of Superman images throughout our lives.

Maguire: When I was drawing the book, I found myself humming the incidental music from the '60s Superman cartoons I grew up on. That's how deep into my childhood psyche this project touched.

Nrama: Let's talk about this issue in particular. Why do you think, out of all the issues of Man of Steel that various artists are working on, you are working on issue #4?

Credit: Kevin Maguire/Alex Sinclair/Josh Reed (DC Comics)

Maguire: When Brian asked me to do the issue (on Thanksgiving evening!), he asked me what I wanted to do and I told him," I want to do an epic, kick-ass action sequence!"

Credit: Kevin Maguire/Alex Sinclair/Josh Reed (DC Comics)

I love staging action sequences. Focusing on the choreography and the geography of a sequence to get the most impact. That's where I have the most fun.

There are some dramatic conversation scenes, there's a lot going on here, but not a lot of banter in this one. This is a serious stretch of the story.

Nrama: This villain character Rogol Zaar plays a part. Anything you can tell readers about your approach to him?

Credit: Kevin Maguire/Alex Sinclair/Josh Reed (DC Comics)

Maguire: When DC hosted the Man Of Steel team for dinner at Emerald City Comic Con, I asked Brian who he would cast as a motion capture Rogol Zaar and he immediately answered "Ian McShane." So, that's who's voice I heard when I was drawing Rogol.

Nrama: Now we'll all hear that voice. It sounds like you and Brian have a great working relationship?

Maguire: Well, this is our third time working together and I think our storytelling sensibilities mesh well.

I think we're both character driven in our approaches with heavy doses of humor.

So, with that and the fact that he and his wife are two of the most genuinely generous and welcoming human beings I know, it's kind of a breeze.

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