This week, as the Superman and Supergirl titles begin to cross over, readers will learn more about the new story behind the destruction of Krypton, how Jor-El might have been involved, and what the Super-family is going to do about.
Written by Superman scribe Brian Michael Bendis and Supergirl writer Marc Andreyko, the crossover also involves unlikely allies General Zod and Rogol Zaar, who escaped together from the Phantom Zone.
Newsarama talked to Bendis to find out more about the crossover, what it was like to reunite with his Torso co-writer Marc Andreyko, and what readers can expect from the Super-family uniting to confront Jor-El and the destroyers of Krypton.
Newsarama: Brian, in Superman and Supergirl, there have been a lot of revelations about Rogol Zaar, Jor-El and the role the Circle played in the destruction of Krypton. How does the crossover pull all that together?
Brian Michael Bendis: The crossover is part of this grandiose “Unity Saga” that we’ve been telling. And this is a really, really big part of it.
Since the idea that the story behind what happened with Krypton wasn’t what everyone thought it was, both Supergirl and Clark have been trying to figure out the truth about what happened and what their family’s relationship to what happened is, and if there’s anything they can do to make it better.
Starting with Superman #12, all the threads from Supergirl and Superman start to blend together, and this really enormous Super-family story gets to unfold.
And every single member of the Superman family has an equal part in the fall-out, which we’re very excited about.
Nrama: Yeah, even Krypto’s in here, since he was traveling in space with Supergirl.
Bendis: Yeah. And for people who know, Marc Andreyko, a fellow Clevelander, and I have been working together since our days on Torso, and now we’re putting together a giant Superman story.
Marc’s been doing amazing work on Supergirl, unpacking all of the conspiracies. So now she’s bringing all that information back to Superman.
Nrama: I know Jor-El is part of this as well, as Superman and Superboy just traveled to his location at the end of the last issue. Does the fact that he went through that whole Mr. Oz thing come up?
Bendis: Absolutely. All of it comes up. Everything that Dan Jurgens set up for us, everything that’s going on in Doomsday Clock — all of the stuff that’s been going on is going to present itself in this storyline.
I’ve got to tell you, when I first took the job on Superman, my first thing was, I would have never brought Jor-El back to life in a million years. As a writer, it would have never occurred to me. But it’s been such a gift to the book to have him here for this storyline.
It’s something that a lot of people can relate to - a father he does not understand. He’s trying everything he can to try to relate to this person who has made him who he is, for better, for worse. And he just can’t wrap his head around who this person is and why they do what they do.
Nrama: Would you say he’s the opposite of Pa Kent?
Bendis: It’s not polar opposites, but they’re really bringing a different philosophy and a different energy to Superman’s life. And I have other friends in my life - I don’t have this - but I have other friends in my life who have more than two parents or a different kind of parent situation, not the traditional, and I’ve been using that as inspiration for his relationship with his father.
Also, Superman’s an adult, and adults don’t always have the best relationships with their parents, or the relationship they thought they were going to have with their parents, or the relationship they had when they were kids. You could be more frustrated with your parents as adults than you were as a child.
I think Superman’s going through the superhero version of that.
But what’s fun for me is that, every character at Marvel, before I could even get to them, their father had been murdered, was a villain or had betrayed them. So I never really had an opportunity to do a deep father story.
This is one of the great things about moving to DC is these different kinds of stories that are being told.
Nrama: And there’s the whole father-son dynamic with Jon and his dad as well…
Nrama: …although, my gosh, it had to really mess him up to be on the Crime Syndicate’s Earth and be tortured by his father.
Bendis: Yeah. But what I was excited about was Superboy went through this gauntlet of craziness, and he didn’t turn evil. He didn’t betray his core value.
It ended up that Superman and Lois are pretty god-damned great parents.
Sometimes you don’t find out how good a parent you are until your kid gets out in the world.
Nrama: As long as we’re talking about parents, to finish up this interview, one last question… are Ma and Pa Kent alive? Because the Conner Kent Superboy over in Young Justice talks like they are, and in Superman #11, Clark seemed to speak in the present tense about Martha Kent.
Bendis: This is a great question. Excellent job, Newsarama. I’m very excited you asked me that. I can’t answer that question until all of Doomsday Clock is revealed. Just to be fair, that train had left he station before I was even at DC. So I have full respect for making sure that story gets told the way it needs to get told.