Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Joshua Hale Fialkov

[Date: July 15, 2011]

By Steve Younis

Joshua Hale Fialkov is the comic book writer currently taking on the writing duties for a 3-issue story arc on "Superman/Batman" titled "The Secret". Part 1 took place in issue #85, with the final two parts of the story both set to see publication ahead of the relaunch of the DC Universe.

The Superman Homepage would like to thank Josh for agreeing to do this interview, and for fitting it into his busy schedule.



Superman/Batman #85 Q: Everyone seems to be talking about DC's big relaunch and the New 52 in September. While you are involved in that, you still have the final two issues of your 3-part story "The Secret" to be told in SUPERMAN/BATMAN #86 and #87. What can you tell us about this story and what can we expect from the final two issues of your run?

A:I think if you liked part 1, you'll like the rest, I'll say that. The idea for me was, rather than giving Batman a challenge that he needs Superman to solve, to give Superman a challenge that only Batman could solve, except, Batman IS the mystery. The idea of duality of both of these guys really gets inside my head. Y'know, you have Batman who (as we learn in #85) has essentially been defrauding his own company and stockholders, but, is doing it for a very good reason, and you have Clark who's going to expose Batman's corruption, for what's a much less compelling reason. Because it's the truth. But, when you stand for Truth and Justice in the tights, shouldn't you be standing for it out of them? Especially if you're a reporter. That conundrum, plus, the idea that Superman himself is lying. Every time he puts his name on a story that Lois wrote or that he only got because he's Superman, he's lying. And yet, he's the symbol of truth across planet Earth.

Q: So many readers were extremely impressed with the first part of "The Secret" (as seen in issue #85), including our own Michael Bailey who reviewed the comic and gave it a rare 5 out of 5 rating. Many put it down to the fact that you break away from the mold of having Batman be this infallible genius, and instead hinge your story on the fact that he can indeed make mistakes. Is this something you were conscious of going in to the story?

A:Oh sure. And, honestly, it was something I had to wrestle with. Batman as Master of All is the character we all know. But, just like an infallible Superman can become boring, an infallible Batman can, too. I think when you look at the past twenty or thirty years of stories about both of those characters, what stands out is the stories about their mistakes. Their mistakes and how they deal with them are what make them actually amazing. Their flaws are the things that reflect their strengths, and in fact, make them stronger.

Superman/Batman #86 Q: Adriana Melo was your artist on part 1, with Tomas Giorello taking over for parts 2 and 3. Why the change of artist? And how closely did you get to work with each of them?

A:I think it was just a scheduling thing. Adriana was only available for part 1 and Tomas was only available for parts 2 and 3. Tomas and I got to talk a bit, and he and I really get along great. Unfortunately, due to the speed of the schedule, I didn't get to talk much with Adriana, who did an amazing job.

Q: Speaking of the up-coming relaunch, when did you find out about it, and did it have any impact on the story you were writing? Did you have to bring it to a conclusion earlier than you'd planned or was it always scheduled to conclude in time for the September relaunch?

A:I knew about the relaunch before I was hired for these issues. And as far as I know, there was always going to be a three issue arc that wrapped up in time for the relaunch. For me, though, I just wanted to focus on telling the story, and not worry about what was going on around me. That's part of the great thing about anthology or out of continuity books, you just get to tell the best stories you know how without having to sweat the small stuff.

Q: If not for the relaunch, would you have liked to have continued writing stories about the World's Finest superheroes?

Superman/Batman #87 A: Oh, yeah, I definitely would have LOVED to. I think that these two characters, while amazing on their own, when put together say so much about not just superheroes but about us as a species. You look at how these two things created within months of each other, with a similar purpose, can be so iconic and so different, and, how no matter what happens in the world or to comics, these two icons will always stand, even if it's as flip sides of a coin.

As much as I love the other characters in the DCU and the Marvel Universe, these two characters are the ones that really set up everything else. Without them, we wouldn't have the vibrant industry we have today. To get to pay that forward a bit and take our boys for a ride was just a terrific gift.

Q: How do you feel about that fact that this book has been cancelled? Do you think DC will ever revisit the idea of a Superman/Batman book again?

A:Oh, I'm sure whether it's a World's Finest or another Superman/Batman that this is far from the last time.

Q: How do you respond to people who claim that your current SUPERMAN/BATMAN story "doesn't matter" now that the DC Universe and its continuity is being relaunched?

A:Well, I wish they'd give not only my books a try but also some of the spectacular work being done in the DCU that will not be negated in any way by slapping a new number one on a bunch of books. I mean, if you're not reading what Chris Roberson is doing in Superman, Paul Cornell is doing in Action, and Scott Snyder is doing in Detective right now then you're missing out on some AMAZING comics, and for no good reason at all.

In other words, I can still read and enjoy every story ever published despite three Crises and a complete trashing of the old continuity back in the late 50s.

I, Vampire Q: I mentioned earlier that even though SUPERMAN/BATMAN is concluding, you're still involved at DC Comics and will indeed be writing the new "I, Vampire" series. What can you tell us about this new series, and what's with the hint that you may be turning Superman into a vampire?

A:I, Vampire was originally in the House of Mystery anthology in the early 80s, which, by the by, was one of the five or six comics I was in love with as a kid. It's about a man named Andrew Bennett who was turned into a vampire half a millenia ago, who turned his own true love into a Vampire, too. Unfortunately, he remained more or less as himself while she became the Queen of the Vampires, essentially. And now, he's got to stop her before she commits the genocide she's been attempting for all of those five hundred years. It's a gothic romance that's heavy on the horror, and it's been an amazingly great time to write.

As for Superman... well, you're just going to have to read and show up. We do have lots of other DC heroes showing up over the first year of the book, though, guaranteed.

Q: Are there any other projects (Superman related or otherwise) that you have coming out that you'd like fans to know about?

A:Well, the big ones are my graphic novel ECHOES from Top Cow/Image Comics, which will be premiering at San Diego Comic Con and then in stores right after that in mid August. That's a story about a guy who finds out that his dad was a prolific serial killer, and, after his father dies, the murders start up again, and our hero thinks that he may be following in his dad's footsteps. It's a horror noir, so, if you like that part of Superman/Batman, then, you should definitely check it out. On the heels of that in October, I'm launching a new ongoing series over at Image Comics called THE LAST OF THE GREATS which is about the last of the superheroes on Earth who is all we have left to defend the world, and, he absolutely hates our guts. It's dark, mean fun, and I really hope you guys give it a try! More info on that stuff and all my other books over at TheFialkov.com.

Q: On behalf of the Superman Homepage, thanks for answering our questions and we look forward to the final two issues of SUPERMAN/BATMAN.

A:My absolute pleasure! Thanks for reading and spreading the word!



This interview is Copyright © 2011 by Steven Younis. It is not to be reproduced in part or as a whole without the express permission of the author.


Interviews

Introduction

The Superman Homepage has had the pleasure of interviewing various Superman Comic Book creative people about their work.

Question and Answer Interviews:

Interviews/Articles:

Krypton Club Interviews:

Lois 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.

Check the Television section of this website for some “Lois & Clark” Interviews conducted by The Krypton Club.