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Mark Verheiden is a writer for DC Comics, and at the time of this interview is set to take on the reigns of the monthly comic book "Superman/Batman" as of issue #27, having already written the monthly "Superman" title for 9 issues, and 6 issues of the "Smallville" comic book.
The Superman Homepage would like to thank Mark for agreeing to do this interview, and for fitting it into his busy schedule.
A: We're starting with a one-off story, illustrated by Kevin McGuire, that involves the Ultra-Humanite, Earth-2's Batman and Superman, talking gorillas, Power Girl and Huntress. It all spins out of upcoming One Year Later stuff, but it's basically a stand alone story and certainly one of the crazier stories I've done... crazy in a good way, of course!
Then the big stuff is going to hit, in a six issue arc illustrated by Ethan Van Sciver. Superman and Batman find themselves challenged by a whole panoply of villains from their past as they try to unravel an enormous mystery AND, you know, save Earth and stuff. Ethan and I are having a blast going through the DCU rolodex and reviving/reinventing some wild characters, including Titano, Dr. Phosphorus, the Parasite (the "dead" one), and some REAL surprises. Ethan is doing the best art of his career on this puppy, so Van Sciver fans can start their drooling now. It's that good.
And after that, I'm already working on a three-issue story arc that will launch after the six-issue Ethan run (though nobody's precluding more Mark/Ethan stories, especially not me!!), a three issue Superman/Batman/Metal Men series that's being illustrated by Pat Lee. That's right, Doc Magnus and the crew are coming back for more...
Q: Why start off your run on a book called Superman/Batman with a story about Power Girl and the Huntress rather than Superman and Batman?
A: Ahh, but is it REALLY a story about Power Girl and Huntress? Trust me, the big guys are seriously involved.
Q: Is your take on Superman in this book the same as your take on him during your run on the "Superman" monthly?
A: The same in terms of "he's still Superman", but different in the sense that these are going to be huge, "disaster movie" size stories with less introspection and more balls-out action. He's going to be seriously challenged in the course of the story, but Superman fans should rest assured, the big guy is going to be doing some serious heroics in this series.
A: I think on some level Batman sees Superman as a "friend", but just as people have different levels of friendship, so do super folks. Being the suspicious-minded fellow that he is, Batman can't help but wonder about Superman's motives, and worry about what might happen if such a powerful guy flew off the handle. It probably doesn't help that Superman's maddeningly oblivious to Batman's concerns, because, well, he's Superman. Mr. Truth, Justice and the American Way. He's inherently good and decent, and deep-down KNOWS he's not going to rip the Earth in half anytime soon. On a basic level, I think Superman is a better friend to Batman than visa versa, mainly because Batman has a lot of trust issues, and Superman is more the sunny optimist.
Q: Is your run on "Superman/Batman" taking place in continuity "one year later"?
A: It won't be ignoring the continuity of OYL, but it won't be slavishly tied into those plot lines, either. In other words, if a story involves a character who has "changed" in the wake of OYL, we'll incorporate those changes into our stories, but we're not (at this point) doing actual, discreet crossovers.
Q: Do you have any plans for Lex Luthor and the Joker (separately or together)?
A: Not at the moment. I just did some stories with Lex in SUPERMAN, and there's plenty of Joker in the DCU at the moment.
Q: Issue 27 is your first issue - how can the new "team's" debut feature a guest artist?
A: If you mean the Verheiden/Van Sciver team, it's simple -- that arc starts with #28. My first issue is #27 and it's a lot of fun, but it was always meant as a one-off and not the kick-off of the first "big story". Besides -- 22 pages of Kevin McGuire on Powergirl and Huntress. C'mon. Who can pass THAT up?
A: My involvement was always going to be exactly what my friend Jeph Loeb wanted it to be, and I wound up dialoguing a page of Sam's story (drawn by Mike Kunkel). It's an honor to be involved in the book and I hope it sells a gazillion copies, if only because I know Sam would have laughed his head off at the idea of some battalion of comics superstars laboring over his wacky plot. All proceeds from the book go to a special charitable fund set up in Sam's name, so it's a good cause and a great story!
Q: Thanks for answering our questions!
A: You're very welcome!
When Lois & Clark started production in 1993, there was an obvious relationship between the comic book people and the Hollywood people.
A trade paperback Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, was published, with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher on the cover. It included reprints of comic book stories that were the inspiration for Lois & Clark, helping to define the characters. Comic's included are: The Story of the Century (Man of Steel miniseries #2), Tears for Titano (Superman Annual #1), Metropolis - 900 mi (in SUP #9), The Name Game (SUP #11), Lois Lane (in ACT #600), Headhunter (AOS #445), Homeless for the Holidays (AOS #462), The Limits of Power (AOS #466), and Survival (ACT #665).
A number of comic book writers and artists had roles as extras in the episode I'm Looking Through You (Season one, episode 4). Their presence was immortilized in the Sky Trading Card #34.
Craig Byrne, president of the online Lois & Clark fanclub The Krypton Club, carried out a series of interviews with comic book writers. The interviews are reprinted with permission of the Krypton Club.