After helping out on issues of Superboy for a few months, writer Tom DeFalco made himself so invaluable to the title that DC ended up giving him control of the whole thing.
Originally launched by Scott Lobdell last year, Superboy has been telling the story of a superpowered teen with an unknown past who's being developed by a mysterious organization as a weapon.
Now that DC has announced Lobdell as the new writer on Superman beginning in September, the publisher has also confirmed to Newsarama that DeFalco is officially the regular writer on Superboy.
The title, which has been juggling several mysteries since its launch, recently crossed over with DeFalco's other DC title, Legion Lost. Readers learned that a villain known as Harvest is apparently behind Superboy's development, and that his genetic make-up was created using not only the DNA of Lex Luthor and Superman, but a third donor.
Upcoming issues of Superboy appear to be revealing more about these secrets, particularly September's Superboy #0. And De Falco has made it clear that the Zero issue and the following Superboy #13 will be important to the upcoming developments in the title. Newsarama talked to DeFalco to find out more.Newsarama: Tom, DC has confirmed that you'll be continuing as the regular writer on this title. But you've been showing up on the credits for a lot of this series' issues anyway.
Tom DeFalco: I've scripted a number of issues. I was originally brought in because Scott Lobdell was juggling so many different assignments that he needed a little assistance in order to catch up.
And then I stuck around! I guess I never know when to leave a party.
Nrama: What is it about this Superboy that intrigues you as a writer?
DeFalco: I think Scott and [artist] R.B. [Silva] have crafted a very unique kind of character. Superboy is not your traditional comic book character. He may be the protagonist of the series, but we're still not sure whether he's the good guy or the bad guy. Just because he has the "S" on his chest doesn't mean anything. He did not choose that "S."
Nrama: With Superboy #0, you get the chance to reveal a few mysteries. What can you tell us about what readers are going to see?
DeFalco: In Superboy, we've never actually witnessed his origin, from issue #1 on. Scott Lobdell and R.B. did a terrific job just getting us right into Superboy's mind and Superboy's world right away.
Since then, we've discovered that there was a mastermind behind all of this construction, the character we've come to know as Harvest. Some of the things we've seen, there was a subtext to it that we were unaware of, because Harvest is always scheming within schemes.
So we're going to find out some of the subtext and some of Harvest's plans for Superboy in issue #0, because up until now, we haven't known the details.
Up until now, we knew that Superboy was created to be a living weapon, but we didn't know what the weapon was for.
We're also going to, in the course of this, discover a story of ancient Krypton and how that relates to Superboy, and relates to something a character told him in one of his early issues, which up until now we haven't understood. Now we're going to find out what that character was talking about.Nrama: Can you say what character it is?
DeFalco: No, and I didn't say the name of the character for a reason, because all of this is going to come back and play havoc in Superboy's life going forward.
Nrama: So does Superboy #0 affect upcoming stories for Superboy?
DeFalco: It does. All of this is going to come back and play havoc in Superboy's life going forward.
The #0 issue, on the one hand, will be a done-in-one that will be great for people who've never read an issue of Superboy before, and even for people who haven't read a DC comic before. You'll still be able to read Superboy #0 and understand what's happening.
If you haven't read Superboy before, it will give you greater insights into the character.
If you continue reading Superboy after the #0, you're going to see how this is actually the start of a major epic.
Nrama: Harvest obviously plays a role in that major epic. Or is this possibly the end of his influence and there's something else on the horizon?
DeFalco: One never knows what's going to happen.
Let's just say that Harvest has a specific reason for building an army. We're going to discover a lot of that in possibly Superboy and possibly another title. But I don't want to say too much about what that is.
Nrama: With Superboy #12, was your intent to tell a more personal story for Superboy?
DeFalco: Yeah, because we've not yet seen Superboy interact with "normal" people. This is going to be his first opportunity to interact with normal humans. They're normal humans of a certain type, by they're normal humans compared to him.
The interaction goes with varying degrees of success.
Nrama: There's also a tease about a "monster" who shows up in that issue who is called a "she."
DeFalco: Yes, we're going to introduce a new character who will be haunting Superboy for awhile.
Nrama: That issue takes place in New York. Is that Superboy's new base of operations?
DeFalco: At least through issue #12.Nrama: This series has teased that there's a third donor of DNA for Superboy. Are we going to find out more about that soon?
DeFalco: Yes, we'll get some more information in the #0 issue.
Nrama: Is it an important clue that he's not solar-powered?
DeFalco: How do we know he isn't solar powered?
Nrama: It was implied in a recent issue.
DeFalco: It might have been. But that implication might have been wrong. Keep reading.
Nrama: You talked about there being an ancient story from Krypton in Superboy #0. Is there a concerted effort to make sure this jibes with what they're doing in the other Super-books?
DeFalco: They're being united as a family. I've had a good time working in conjunction with what's being done in Supergirl, Superman and Action Comics.
But the thing to keep in mind is, you've already got two heroes with an "S." The question is, do we really need a third one?
That's what we're going to work to answer in this comic, and what Superboy will be deciding.