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Matt: Carey, Carey, Carey... where are your detective skills? Geoff has obviously had a big hand in modifying Superman's origin so that it doesn't include the birthing matrix, right? And I think he may have had a hand in that "Sinestro Corps" business. And if there's one thing I can say about Geoff, it's that he doesn't make continuity mistakes! And believe you me, that story from last year's Annual was merely the tiniest tip of the iceberg, especially compared to what's coming in 2009!
Matt: Generally, Darren, I'm a pretty pragmatic guy, but my hope springs eternal on this one.
Matt: I so totally understand where you're coming from, AJ. I think you can hit that reset button only so many times before not just the past stories, but the present ones lose some of their effectiveness. Having said that, part of everyone here's marching orders were to use the effects of "Infinite Crisis" and the jump ahead in time provided by "52" to clean up and simplify things for the characters we're charged with editing. In the case of Superman, one of my primary goals is to ensure that when the day comes where someone else is editing the character, we'll leave them with stories so strong that they'll have no choice but to work off what's been done and treat it as canon. But like I said, I do understand your feelings on this, AJ.
Matt: Good questions, Zac! I'll tackle the second one first since it's easier. There aren't any Superman Elseworlds stories in the works at this time.
As far as your tougher question, I'm guessing the answer is no. There's two reasons for this. One is that when you tackle an issue, any issue, you inevitably end up preaching whether you mean to or not. There are those that believe global warming is a very real and serious dillema. There are those that utterly dispute the notion. Who's right? There's no way to be certain. I have my opinion on the matter, but if we were to do a story about global warming, we'd be taking the viewpoint of one side over another: either it is a problem or it isn't. And because we have Superman (or any other character) taking their position, we're basically saying this is the truth, end of story. I'll use a somewhat recent example. In the whole "Amazons Attack" story, we were asked to include a thread about suspected female sympathizers in America being rounded up and put into internment camps, a la Guantanamo Bay in the real world. Some people (in the real world) feel that this has been a significant deterrent against terrorist strikes on the US. Others see it as a major violation of basic human rights, and that it has done nothing to stop the larger threat. Who's right? Dang if I know for certain, but by mirroring this so closely in "AA," we were essentially saying that it is wrong, when I'm personally not remotely sure whether it is or not. See where I'm coming from, man?
The other reason to shy away from such topics, at least in my opinion, is 'cause these books should be about escaping from the pressures and drudgery of real life. They're supposed to be fun, exciting, causing your pulse to race while you finish one issue and wait for the next. The last thing I want to read about is the stuff that brings me down. There's definitely a forum for discussing the important issues that the world faces, but I'm not sure comics is that place. But maybe that's just me? Let the onslaught of conflicting opinions begin!
Matt: Oh, I was afraid someone would ask me something like this, Zera. The truth of the matter is, it's hard to totally reconcile where all the stories fall, since frankly, not a lot of them came out in the sequence or schedule we had originally planned. Using ACTION #877 as a reference point, you can figure that all the prior issues occur before ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #11. As far as ACTION itself, "Bizarro World" and "Supes & The Legion" take place concurrent to COUNTDOWN, and after the ACTION ANNUAL. And in fact, the "Legion" story took place in the "here and now," with ACTION #864 tying all that stuff together. Then we continue rolling forward with the very, very cool #865, which also begins the reintroduction of a supporting character. And honestly, that's as good as I can give you. The timing with COUNTDOWN is a bit nebulous, really for all the books in the DCU, I've found. As for the "how long has Superman/Clark Kent been on the Metropolis scene?" question, the basic answer is that ACTION #858 is correct, but that's based purely on Geoff continuing to write the book while Kurt has abandoned me for Mike Carlin and TRINITY. If Kurt were still on SUPES, we'd all determine a set answer and go forward from there.
Matt: At the risk of sounding like I'm making a dark joke, their collaboration kind of was long term, Harvey. Unfortunately, Richard's schedule was such that he had to move on to other stuff at a certain point, though he was nice enough to stick with us through the finale of "Last Son." Happily, Geoff has more than enough mind-blowing things planned so that in a month or so, you'll be asking "Richard who?"! As for if the upcoming "Brainiac" arc extends from something he and Richard had planned, well, I really don't know.
Matt: Funny you should say that, Wayne... and that's all I'll say on the matter!
Matt: Wow, it seems like admitting goofs is the theme of this month's question & answer session, Richard. I guess it was a faux pas, but I can assure you that Earth-1 is the correct terminology.
Matt: Ugh. Clearly, Ryan, the theme of today's column is "Mea Culpa." Yeah, if you read "Last Son" in one sitting, there's no time for all of Chris' adventures in Kurt's SUPERMAN run to have occurred. Then again, we couldn't have not had Chris show up in SUPES while "Last Son" was not coming out and just dance around Chris' fate. Plus, we didn't want people to forget about the "Last Son" story. Soooooooo... after the last panel of Issue #846, Page 9, Clark, Lois and Chris stepped out for lunch. Several weeks passed by, during which Clark and Lois struggled with raising Chris, Chris went to school, met Robin, helped the 3rd Kryptonian, etc., and then, on an off-day from school, Chris, Clark and Lois happened to all wear the same outfits they were wearing on Page 9 of #846 (they're extremely organized, methodical people, and Chris imitated his "parents") and took another trip to mom and dad's office, wherein Zod attacked.
You're not buying this, are you?
Matt: We're thinking along the lines of the former, Steve. The level of collaboration between Geoff and James is really something. We definitely want to go with some sort of numbering device between the two books (and when appropriate, SUPERGIRL), and you'll be experiencing a much stronger sense that the three books share one city, no question.