To kick things off, Matt Idelson, Group Editor for Superman welcomed Grant Morrison (Action Comics), Scott Lobdell (Superboy), J. Michael Straczynski (Superman: Earth One, Part 2), and Mike Johnson (Supergirl).
They followed up with a bunch of pieces of art, starting off with the cover of Action Comics #1. Morrison said that the idea with the costume was to give people what they wanted, no tights, no spandex costume, but as soon as people got what they wanted, they got angry.
He then talked about how no seventeen year old would wear a tight suit sewed by his mother. He doesn’t know much about his Kryptonian heritage. He knows he’s an alien, but that’s it. “It’s a very young, very brash Superman,” said Morrison. “It’s a guy who fights on the street for the common man.”
Superman, on the other hand, will take place “now,” five years ahead of Action Comics, and will have Superman much more isolated and lonely. There’s a back story, but it will only slowly be filled in. The Daily Planet has been bought by a new media company, with Lois in charge of the internet division, while Perry White heads up print.
Moving on to the sequel to Earth One, DC showed off the cover, which has Superman standing in a pile of burning skeletons. JMS joked – maybe – that you should, “Never piss off someone with heat vision.” It turns out this is from a fantasy sequence, where the world gets destroyed by Superman. We were then treated to a picture of a Sexxxy Lady™, Clark’s neighbor, who tried to have sexxxxy sexxx with him. Clark will also fight Parasite in the book.
JMS described a sequence where a depowered Clark is starting to get intimate with his neighbor, when his powers come back, and he can no longer have sex with her.
In Superboy, Connor has been kidnapped and reverse engineered by a group called Knowhere (or Nowhere? I dunknow), and been wiped clean. This is, however, the same character that’s existed for the past fifteen years or so. A familiar redhead showed up in pages shown off, but someone is going to have to help me figure out who it was. I’m going to guess Lady Redhead, but I think that’s wrong.
Then it was time to talk about Supergirl. They showed off the first page featuring the character in the book, which currently seems to have, er, visible crotch lines, let’s say. We’re going to guess that gets fixed later. We hope. Also? Sex.
I’ll just interrupt for the moment to ask why Supergirl has a lack of pants so pronounced, this book should be marked eighteen and over; but Superman has full on Kryptonian battle armor that runs all the way up his neck. Particularly when Supergirl is supposed to be more Kryptonian than Superman? Anyway, I’m speaking out of turn her, so I’ll shut up.
DC then opened it up to questions, so here’s the highlights:
- JMS thinks that Digital Comics should have an audio track included, so you can listen to people read the comic book to you.
- The New Gods turn up in Grant Morrison’s Multiversity, but not in Action Comics.
- Talking about the armor, Superman may be able to be hurt a bit. Morrison said that there’s a story reason for the battle armor, which is all of what his first arc on Action Comics is about.
- Morrison then talked about Supes tiny new cape, referring to it as Superman’s, “Little Linus blanket.”
- Steel is a big character in the first four issues of Action Comics, but in a different way than we’re used to.
- Supergirl will be a mystery about Krypton, how she got here, and why. Everything that’s come before still matters, according to Johnson.
- Legion of Superheroes gets referenced in Action Comics #1, though the way Superman as a boy interacted with them may be different.
- Biggish news: the super-villain for the first year of Teen Titans is going to be Superboy.
- Morrison reaffirmed that Action Comics is a thematic prequel to All-Star Superman, rather than a direct prequel. He also reaffirmed – after talking about it on his spotlight panel yesterday – that Superman can’t be brooding like Batman.
- Geoff Johns may be doing something with Metal Man? I kind of zoned out for a second on that one.
- In Action Comics, Lex Luthor is a scientist on the side of the government, and kind of a good guy.
- A fan asked how long the relaunch has been planned. The panelists said there were several months of planning, though they wouldn’t specify how long.
- Idelson said that there’s an effort not to just have the girl Superman, and the miniature Superman, but to differentiate between the different characters, and come up with a unique take.
- Jimmy is a friend of Clark in Action Comics. “They’re two geeks together,” said Morrison.
- Morrison has sixteen issues of Action Comics worked out so far, and will stay on longer if he’s continuing to enjoy the run.
- No Batman and Superman team-ups in the first few arcs of Action Comics, though you will see team-ups with some unexpected characters.
- To the question, “Are we going to see Lex Luthor with hair?" Morrison said, “Hm, no. And I don’t like hair,” to huge laughs and cheers from the audience, clearly because they’re familiar with his pet hair allergies, and for no other reason.
- While Earth One is a book for adults, Action Comics and Superman are for all ages, according to Morrison.
And that was it! We’ll be back soon with EVEN MORE PANELS.