Superman’s looming 2013 pop moment is getting super-sized. DC Entertainment announced today that it will launch a new comic book series next year devoted to the superhero icon from the superstar creative team of Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing) and Jim Lee (Justice League). Many details are still TBD, including title, release date and if the comic will launch before or after the June 14, 2013 bow of Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Superman movie franchise starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams.
In an interview with EW, Scott Snyder said he’s been developing the Superman story he wants to tell in the new series for over a year. “I knew it would have an epic scope and look at him in a different way, even though it will have a classic element to it, too,” says the scribe, who grew up a Superman fan, and claims to have embarrassing childhood photos of him dressed as the Man of Steel to prove it. (“I rocked the costume poorly,” he says.) Lee — who also serves as DC Comics’ co-publisher — believes Snyder can do for Superman what he’s been doing on Batman, which is currently one of the industry’s top selling titles, moving over 100,000 copies a month. “I was blown away by the way he has effortlessly added to the mythology of Batman,” says Lee. “I think one of the hardest things to do with characters as established as Batman and Superman is to inject new ideas that feel like they belong, that don’t feel like they’re contrived or tacked on. … From a co-publisher point of view, we were looking at 2013, which is the 75th anniversary of Superman, and we wanted to celebrate that, plus do things around Man of Steel and expand the number of [Superman] titles. But we were looking for the right story, the right take. When Scott laid out [his story] for me, I was instantly hooked.”
Snyder says that fans can expect Superman to battle familiar villains like Lex Luthor, but adds that he and Lee also plan to pit him against a major new nemesis that will test him physically and emotionally. “The way I approach iconic characters is to figure out what is most fascinating about their heroism,” says Snyder. ”With Superman, it’s this notion that he’s more powerful than anyone else one Earth — he can move mountains, he can travel through space — yet he is also a character who, at his core, is one of the most human and altruistic. That combination is really inspirational, but it’s also a vulnerability, in a way that we’re really going to go after in this story.”
Lee says he wants to render Snyder’s perspective on Superman with a visual approach that’s different from what readers might expect from him. “I tend to draw in a way that comes in close on the characters, so when you see Superman in action, you feel like you’re standing right next to him,” says the artist. “When Scott and I started talking, we talked about double-page spreads, where we would demonstrate the power of Superman by putting the camera further back, so we can see the collateral damage that a character like Superman would create if he was fighting a character equally as powerful.”
Snyder won’t be giving up his duties on Batman to make room for Superman, but his workload might be alleviated in other ways. (He declined to elaborate; announcements to come, it appears.) Lee recently finished a blockbuster 12-issue stint on Justice League and ceded the pencils to Ivan Reis. The announcement of the Snyder/Lee Superman book comes at an interesting time for DC’s Superman line. The character’s flagship book, Action Comics, is one of the publisher’s best-selling titles, but the company is about to bid adieu to superstar writer, Grant Morrison. A new creative team – writer Andy Diggle and artist Tony Daniel – will take over in March, and will be putting the last son of Krypton in a new costume. (Click here for a preview.)