Exclusive Matt Idelson Interview

[Date: March 9, 2006]

Matt Idelson is the new Superman comic book editor (taking over from Eddie Berganza).

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

Q: Can you please tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

A: I'm a senior editor here at DC Comics, handling of course SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, along with CATWOMAN, WONDER WOMAN and a slew of other books. I've been doing the comics thing since 1993, and I'm one of those lucky people who can say they honestly love what they do - except when I'm cranky, of course.

Q: When did you become a Comic Book fan?

A: I first stumbled upon comics while reading the daily Spider-Man strip in our local paper - looking at it, really, as I couldn't read yet. But something about the art by John Romita Sr. and the story (what I could make of it) by Stan Lee really hooked me in a way Apartment 3-G didn't...

Q: Who's your favorite comic book hero?

A: You know, I really don't have one anymore. When you do this for a living, you have to put yourself in a headspace where you can find the potential in every character, regardless of whether they're hugely popular like Superman or less known like Man-Bat.

Q: How did you go about becoming a comic book editor?

A: During my freshman year in College, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, and that kind of worried me. Then Marvel Age ran a small story in one issue about their internship program. My mother, God bless her, called them up, since I was way too nervous to do so, and I spent a tremendous summer working for Terry Kavanagh and Mark Powers.

Q: How did you get the job as Superman comics editor?

A: A little over a year ago, Dan DiDio approached all the editors and asked for their thoughts in writing on the different characters and books in the DCU, and what we would do with them given the chance, and I guess Dan liked what I wrote.

Q: How important do you view continuity? Do you see it as your job to maintain a stable continuity?

A: I think continuity is hugely important. It's what validates the time and money the readers have invested in the characters, and it's the history that defines the characters, too. To ignore it is just wrong. At the same time, you have to be flexible enough to allow a character to grow, even if it means altering some past bit of continuity. I think the best balance is to have a story-driven reason for the continuity, one that you can tell in a later tale if you don't have the space to explain it immediately. I've made my continuity-related mistakes over the years, lord knows, and it's something that bothers me whenever I finally realize it.

Q: Will we see the return of a supporting cast in Metropolis?

A: Right off the bat, we'll be seeing and developing the supporting cast, and even adding to it a little.

Q: Do you plan on running multi-part epics, or self-contained issues?

A: A mixture of both, really. The first story, involving ACTION and SUPERMAN, will run 8 issues, and we'll be doing shorter arcs after that, but I'm also a big fan of self-contained stories, and I want to make sure we sprinkle them in as much as possible.

Q: Are you going to continue bringing a new creative team in every 12 months, or are you going to keep them around longer?

A: Well a lot of that depends on the creators, what their plans are regarding Superman, and what other projects they have in mind to work on. I'd really like things to be stable for as long as possible for several reasons. I think it's safe to say the writers are going to be in it for the long haul.

Q: Who's going to be writing "Action Comics" this summer?

A: Nice try.

Q: What's your main approach on Superman? How do you want to present him to the reader in regards to the "reboot" after INFINITE CRISIS?

A: I really want people to see him as a fun, cool guy who takes his responsibilities seriously. He's gotten labeled as a boy scout or even dull, and I'd love to dispel that notion. Big things are always going to be happening in the Superman books, that's a given, but I'd love for people to find Superman every bit as contemporary a character as whatever the hot thing is right now.

Q: Any babies in the future for Clark and Lois, or is the marriage going to get shakier after "Crisis"?

A: Well, Clark's got that baby with Catwoman... joke. The issue of having children is something that will come up, to be certain. I don't foresee the marriage getting shaky. Frankly, the odds of them breaking up are right up there with me becoming an astronaut, and I think the readers know that (the first part, at least). Why waste their time teasing that the marriage is going to crumble when we all know it's not? We've got plenty of other fun, dramatic things to focus on instead.

Q: There are great writers and artists out there (and within the staff of the Superman Homepage) who would love to write or draw for DC Comics. What advice can you give them in regards to that dream?

A: Truthfully, I think the best advice I can give for either aspiring artists or writers is to attend conventions, get to know the editors of the various comic book companies, and try to establish a relationship so that someone will give you a chance. Since DC doesn't accept unsolicited submissions for either art or writing, getting your foot in the door at another company and then taking the same meet-and-greet approach with a DC editor at a con is probably your best bet.

Q: What do you think of the Superman Homepage?

A: I think it's pretty terrific, both as a source of news and as a resource. There's a lot of love, blood and sweat that goes into it, you can tell, but it's not slavish. It shows the regard that you folks have for Superman, without a doubt!

Thanks, and good luck editing Superman!

A: Thanks for the opportunity to connect, Steve! I always loved editor/reader interaction when I was growing up, and it's a treat to be able to provide some of my own!

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.



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

Question and Answer Interviews:


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.