Exclusive Interview with Mark Verheiden[Date: April 24, 2006]
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.
Q: What can you tell us about your run on Superman/Batman?
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!
This interview is Copyright © 2006 by Steven Younis. It is not to be reproduced in part or as a whole without the express permission of the author.
IntroductionThe Superman Homepage has had the pleasure of interviewing various Superman Comic Book creative people about their work.
Question and Answer Interviews:
- Interview with Sterling Gates about the 'Adventures of Supergirl' digital-first comic book series (January 2016)
- Interview with J. Michael Straczynski about Superman: Earth One - Vol. 3 - Writer J. Michael Straczynski talks to us about the third volume in the Superman: Earth One graphic novel series (February 2015)
- Interview with Jim Krueger - Writer Jim Krueger talks to us about his The Dark Lantern story in the Adventures of Superman comic book title (November 2013)
- Smallville: Season 11 Interview with Bryan Q. Miller - Writer Bryan Q. Miller talks to us about his work on the Smallville: Season 11 comic book title (October 2012)
- Supergirl Interview with Mahmud Asrar - Artist Mahmud Asrar talks to us about his work on the monthly Supergirl comic book title (July 2012)
- Superman/Batman Interview with Joshua Hale Fialkov - Joshua Hale Fialkov answers our questions about The Secret 3-part story in Superman/Batman #85-87 (July 2011)
- Supergirl Interview with Sterling Gates - Sterling Gates answers our questions about where Supergirl is headed post War of the Supermen (June 2010)
- Supergirl Interview with Sterling Gates & Jamal Igle - Adam Dechanel chats with the Supergirl comic book team about the Maid of Might (March 2010)
- Behind the Scenes of the Super Friends - Four part indepth look at the Super Friends comic book title with artists J. Bone and Stewart McKenny (February 2010)
- Interview with Landry Q Walker and Eric Jones - The writer and artist discuss Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade (May 2009)
- Interview with Elliot S! Maggin - Legendary Superman writer and novelist discusses his career (January 2009)
- Interview with J. Bone - Artist discusses Super Friends comic book (November 2008)
- Interview with Mark Bagley (September 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #18 (September 2008)
- Interview with Jake Black (May 2008)
- Interview with Cary Bates (June 2008)
- Interview with Jack Briglio - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #14 (May 2008)
- Interview with Ken Pontac - Writer discusses Justice League Unlimited #44 (May 2008)
- Interview with Karl Kerschl (April 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #13 (April 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #11 (February 2008)
- Interview with Fabian Nicieza - Writer on Superman comic books (June 2007)
- Interview with Danny Fingeroth - Writer of the book Superman on the Couch (May 2007)
- Interview with Jesse McCann - Writer on the Krypto The Superdog comic books (December 2006)
- Interview with Matt Haley - Artist on the Superman Returns comic book movie adaptation (November 2006)
- Interview with Ethan Van Sciver - Artist on Superman/Batman (September 2006)
- Interview with Mark Verheiden on taking over the writing duties on Superman/Batman (April 2006)
- Interview with Matt Idelson on taking over as Superman group editor (March 2006)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb on Sam and Superman/Batman #26 (February 2006)
- Interview with Roger Stern (December 2005)
- Interview with Marv Wolfman (November 2005)
- Interview with Gail Simone (May 2005)
- Interview with Greg Rucka (April 2005)
- Interview with Brad Meltzer [Identity Crisis] (January 2005)
- Interview with Glenn Whitmore (November 2004)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb (September 2004)
- Interview with Karl Kerschl (September 2004)
- Interview with Ron Garney (September 2004)
- Interview with Greg Rucka and Matthew Clark (May 2004)
- Interview with Ed McGuinness (March 2004)
- Interview with Brad Meltzer [Identity Crisis] (March 2004)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Superman: Red Son] (March 2003)
- Interview with Min S. Ku (September 2001)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb (May 2001)
- Interview with Joe Casey (April 2001)
- Interview with Mike S. Miller (September 2000)
- Interview with Denis Rodier (August 2000)
- Interview with Grant Morrison (December 1999)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Part 2] (November 1999)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Part 1] (April 1999)
- Superman vs. Terminator - A Chat with Fight Promoter Alan Grant. (January 2000)
- Superman: The Dailies (1939-1940) Graphic Novel Review.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 1) - Superman is reborn... again.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 2) - Eddie Barganza on taking the character in a new direction.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 3) - Jeph Loeb discusses writing the Man of Steel.
- Lex Luthor For President - Forget Superman. An updated Luthor's new enemies are Gore and Bush.
- Superman: Last Son of Earth - Steve Gerbern Interview - The writer discusses flip-flopping the Man of Steel's origin. (August 2000)
Krypton Club Interviews:
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.
- Interview with Roger Stern (June 1995)
- Interview with John Byrne (June 1995)
- Interview with Mike Carlin (July 1995)