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Superman’s Old Foes Return in New Stories

August 1, 2008

By Matthew Price, The Oklahoman

Aug. 1–SAN DIEGO — Upgrades of old villains, revivals of past heroes, and an overall focus on character are key parts of the vision for upcoming Superman stories.

Writers Geoff Johns (“Action Comics”), James Robinson (“Superman”) and Tulsa’s Sterling Gates (“Supergirl”) took part in the “Superman: Man of Tomorrow” panel at Comic-Con International. They were joined by “Supergirl” artist Jamal Igle, “Superman” artist Renato Guedes, and “Action Comics” fill-in artist Joe Prado. Editor Matt Idelson moderated.

As part of October’s “New Krypton” crossover, 10,000 Kryptonians find themselves on Earth, which they believe should be New Krypton. Superman disagrees.

The story is about Superman remaining special, even with thousands of Kryptonians now on Earth, Johns said.

“It’s not about changing stuff so much as it is about explaining character,” he said.

And New Krypton is “just the tip of the iceberg” of what this Superman team has planned, Johns said.

Johns, Gates and Robinson have stories planned into 2010.

Villains who may soon return to vex the Man of Steel? Doomsday, who killed Superman in the 1994 best-selling comic “Superman” No. 75, is returning soon, Johns said.

Robinson has revived the Jack Kirby character Atlas in “Superman.” And while not much was given besides a tease, Johns said to be on the lookout for Superwoman.

Gates’ “Supergirl” will feature villains Reactron and Silver Banshee.

Cat Grant, a gossip/celebrity reporter at the Daily Planet, will become a J. Jonah Jameson-like foil to Supergirl.

But it won’t all be bad news for Supergirl — she gains a confidant in Lana Lang, Gates said.

While they’re using plenty of old characters, Johns said they’re meant to be readable by anyone with a passing familiarity with the Man of Steel.

“Our goal is to make these books extremely accessible,” he said.

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