NYCC 2012 Interview: Scott Snyder And Jim Lee Take Flight With Superman in 2013

Yesterday, we chatted with writer Scott Snyder about bringing The Joker back to Batman, but the bigger news was saved for the first official day of New York Comic Con: as just announced, Snyder, along with artist Jim Lee will be launching a new Superman title in 2013. Yup, the guy best know for American Vampires, Black Mirrors, and a Joker with his face hanging off is taking on the symbol of truth, justice, and the American Way.

Though Snyder couldn’t tell us a lot of details yet, we were able to find out what his take is on the only superhero who can give Batman a run for his money in the “iconic” department. Oh, and tune in later this weekend for one more surprise from Snyder, here on MTV Geek:

MTV Geek: So Scott, this is a pretty big change of pace for you... How long has it been in the works, and what’s your take on Supes?

Scott Snyder: About nine months ago, or almost a little more than that, I was having lunch with Dan Didio. We were talking about other stories that maybe I could do outside of Batman, and in addition to doing Batman - because I want to stay on Batman for the duration of all these big stories Greg Capullo and I have planned through at least the end of 2013. I told him I had a Superman idea that maybe I would try after I was done with Batman. He told me there was the opening to do a big story right around the time the movie came out, and would I be interested. I told him, “Only if you guys really like the story.”

I told him what the story was... It’s this big, self standing over-sized, epic Superman story that’s at once an epic look at the character, but also very big and bombastic challenge to him. It deals a lot with American history, and it deals - at it’s heart - it’s my story about Superman, if I only ever got one chance to write him... I try and approach the characters that way, half because I keep thinking I’m going to get kicked off at the end, and there’s no chance I’m ever going to get to write this characters again. But also half because it’s the only way to approach these iconic characters, to try and do your fan-fiction story, or your story if you only ever got one chance to do it.

The scope of this one, I want to make clear. It’s not me doing a run on the Superman book with Jim. This is my personal big exploration of the character and what he means to me. So it’s going to have features, and back-ups, I’m writing those. And intimate portraits of characters that are important supporting characters in Superman, and it’s going to have big, Earth-shaking action as well that will have a lasting impact on Superman’s continuity too. It is happening in continuity, and working in tandem with the other Superman books even though it is going to be something that stands pretty independently as well.

Geek: In most of your work, even if there’s a supernatural element, you’ve really kept things on the ground so to speak. This almost seems the exact opposite... Not to get cute, but is it nice to move from the dark into the light for a little while?

SS: Well in the opening issue, Superman cuts off his face, and then ties it on with his belt. [Laughs] It is really interesting, but at the end of the day the reason I wanted to try him is because I love the character. One of the things I love about the character is that he has failings. One of the incorrect perceptions about Superman sometimes is that he’s so perfect. But there’s things he’s afraid of about himself, and his own capabilities, and also about his role globally that are key aspects of his character that make him heroic, and also make him human, that are failings.

When I realized what I love about him, and what I love about Batman, similarly, is that blend of things that make them both heroic and flawed. When I zeroed in on the things I loved about Superman, I realized I could write a story addressing those in a way that wasn’t necessarily the dark we do in Batman, in Gotham... But it’s going to be dark and challenging in terms of what he’s up against emotionally and psychologically. So it will be bright, and Metropolis, and cosmic. And there will be larger than life action, and the beautiful set pieces you’d expect in Superman.

But at it’s heart, my favorite Superman stories... All-Star Superman, and Red Son, and Birthright, and Superman For All Seasons... They’re very deeply about his worries, and the things he’s afraid might happen if he goes too far in different ways. In that way, it is something I think you’ll recognize, right off the bat as my take on him, and my voice. At the same time I want it to be classic Superman. So far it’s been pretty smooth sailing in that regard. I hope that it’s something that functions that way, where you read it, and you see, “Oh Scott’s addressing the type of stuff that excites him as a writer,” but it also addresses the Superman mythos.

Geek: Can you tell us anything about the villains in the book?

SS: You’ll see some villains you recognize, definitely, but I think part of the fun of taking on a character like Superman or Batman for the first time is to try and develop challenges for him that are you own. So I don’t want to give anything away about the villain, or what the villain might be, but it’s something I hope might be fresh for people, but also speak to the things they love seeing Superman have to face about himself. Something new, but it fits into the classic mythology as well.

Snyder & Lee's currently untitled Superman book will hit comic book stores in 2013 from DC Comics!