One of the first items I posted in the Fortress’ Death and Return of Superman coverage was an interview with Mike Carlin from Advance Comics.  If you haven’t read that yet you can head on over here to check it out.  Apparently Previews (to put it in poker terms) saw Advance Comics’ interview and raised it by interviewing not one of the creative minds behind the story but three.  These were cool to find so I thought I would scan and share them with you.

As always, enjoy.

Some thoughts on this interview (as usual):

  • Louise’s early comic book career is glossed over in the opening part of the interview.  It doesn’t mention her days at Warren Publishing or the fact that she was an editor at Marvel for years before she went freelance.  In fact, she edited the X-Men books after fellow Superman writer Roger Stern stepped away from the gig.  I realize there probably wasn’t room but the preamble felt incomplete because of it.
  • Didn’t know about the Thor thing.  That was a fun fact.
  • The comment Simonson makes when the interviewer mentions the fact that publication of the Superman titles might be suspended for a few months after the death of Superman is kind of interesting.  I am curious when the decision was made to take those two months off.  Like most everything else having to do with the Death and Return of Superman a lot of the bigger elements seemed to have been decided on the fly as a reaction to the attention the story was getting.
  • I liked her response to the question about Clark Kent.  John Byrne established that the general public doesn’t think that Superman has another identity.  Also it makes sense that Clark Kent could be considered among the missing and/or presumed dead after Doomsday’s rampage as he was a reporter and would have been in the field during the attack.
  • Louise mentions that several possible origins for Doomsday were proposed and ultimately none of them were used.  I wonder if the theories proposed by various characters in Superman: The Man of Steel #19  were the ideas that were rejected.  That would be cool to know.

Once again, bullet points about the interview.

  • This interview might have been the first time readers learned about the Super Summits.  I would LOVE to see more of the Brett Breeding home video of one of the summit that was shown in the Requiem and Rebirth: Superman Lives! 
  • Again, the fact that Superman was killed because of the cancelled wedding plans is not mentioned.  Again I think this was left out to keep a lid on the upcoming Superman series, which makes sense.
  • Jurgens mentions that he, Roger Stern and Jerry Ordway had previously talked about killing Superman. I find this cool and I have no idea why.
  • I talk about this on episode 122 of From Crisis to Crisis but I’ll go into it again here.  I am a fan of mindless destruction and seeing two (or more) people beating the hell out of each other.  It’s fun and visceral and makes for great escapist entertainment.  What will elevate a story out of being violence for the sake of violence is seeing some of the collateral damage that such violence causes.  One of the aspects of the Doomsday arc as a whole that I have come to just freaking love is the fact that the creators took the time to do just that.  Jurgens discusses why they added the Andersons to the story in this interview, but there would be other examples such as the Guardian asking if all of the destruction the fight is causing was really necessary.  If that element had been missing in Doomsday it wouldn’t have felt like a Superman story.
  • Once again a creator is told about publication being suspended and they seem to be in the dark about it.  I like Dan’s reaction to the idea.
  • It would have been hysterical if Superman #75 would have ended with the wedding.
  • I like Jurgens’ parting comments about why people should read Doomsday.  He was absolutely right; you couldn’t throw a rock in a comic shop in 1992 and not hit a book that was pretty to look at but light in terms of story.  Doomsday was the exception that proved the rule as far as that goes.

And now…more bullet points.  Because they are keen.

  • Stern seems to remember that Dan Jurgens came up with the idea to kill Superman.  I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but Carlin would “blame” the death on Jerry Ordway.  I am guessing that the truth of the matter lies somewhere in the middle.  Not that anyone is lying or anything like that.  Just an observation.
  • Roger seems to be the only one that knew about the titles going on hiatus and even drops some not-so subtle hints about what will happen beyond the funeral.
  • John Byrne dared Stern to put Lex Luthor in a wheelchair?  That makes me laugh.
  • I dug Stern’s comment that even if the Superman books sell less than other titles at least they get read.  Lord knows mine did.  Again and again and again.
  • The praise that both Stern and Jurgens heap upon Carlin seems genuine and that goes to the heart of why this era of Superman was so unique.  In talking to the creators and in re-reading the books I get the sense that this time period was just as important and special to those involved as it was to the readers.
  • The Supergirl mini-series Stern mentions would actually hit the stands in 1994 around the time of The Battle/Fall of Metropolis.
  • Roger Stern never wrote Daredevil?  Really?  He wrote every other character during his tenure at Marvel so that is surprising.

To me these interviews were a real find.  The more of this stuff that I uncover the more I appreciate the Death and Return of Superman as both an event and a story.  Hopefully I will be able to find more stuff like this if for no other reason than to have it in the collection.

Next time: What would the solicitation copy of the death of Superman look like?  Come back tomorrow and find out.

More to follow…

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  1. This is so freakin’ cool. I can’t believe you cut the binding off of the book, but I’m thankful for your sacrifice. You’re really putting out some hardcore material.

  2. Douglas says:

    I knew about the splash page format for Superman #75 (obvious to anyone who’s read it), but I didn’t catch on to the countdown panel scheme they were going for. I love finding out new things about this story, it makes it feel fresh and new again.

  3. Brian says:

    Jurgens: “Everyone should know that we won’t have anyone running around in Superman’s costume.”

    Ahem, well…

    I wonder what their original plan for the return was going to be. From reading the Carlin intro to the 10th anniversary edition of Stern’s novelization, it looks like none of the stuff in the Reign story arc was planned until the emergency Super-summit in Nov/Dec 1992. Was there already a plan in place to have a new GL after #50 in that book, or was that the result of a lot of ad hoc planning as well once the Super team came up with their ideas for Coast City?

    Thanks for posting all of this stuff. The Reign of Supermen is what got me into comics in the first place.

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