by Craig Byrne

Roger Stern has been an important part of the comic book industry for nearly 20 years. His early days as a comics writer were spent at Marvel Comics, where he wrote the comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and THE AVENGERS for many years. Many may agree that his best work, however, was on the Superman comics he has done.

Roger Stern began writing Superman comics in 1988, with ACTION COMICS #600. From there he wrote the book until issue #700 (July 1994). He was there when Clark revealed his true identity to Lois Lane. He was there for Superman's battle with Doomsday. He was there for Superman's funeral. And, most importantly, he was there for Superman's return. In between writing all of those issues of ACTION COMICS, Roger Stern co-created the 1980's "Starman" character for DC Comics, and he wrote the book "The Death and Life of Superman." (a great book for anyone who's interested in the Superman character--it's very descriptive and it reads like a movie). In 1994, he took a much-deserved break, before returning to comics by writing the new quarterly Superman title, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF TOMORROW. He also wrote the 1995 SUPERMAN ANNUAL and will be writing the upcoming Justice League story in the SUPERMAN/BATMAN MAGAZINE.

Mr. Stern was nice enough to do an interview for the Krypton Club newsletter. He was asked several questions, which he was kind enough to respond to. =^)

CB: Who is your favorite Superman-related character?

RS: Asking me to pick my favorite Superman-related character is a little like asking parents to pick their favorite children. Lois and Lex and Jimmy and Ma and Pa and Inspector Henderson are faves. (I assume that you mean characters besides Clark himself.) And, of course, there's Bibbo...'ey, isn't he ever'body's fav'rit?!

CB: Did you enjoy writing the novelization of "The Death and Life of Superman?" Approximately how many copies did it sell?

RS: Did I enjoy writing the novel? Well, yes...more so once it was done, though. I had an impossible deadline, and there are two months which are a blur to me now. The hardcover sold well over 200,000 copies...I don't yet know the sales on the paperback.

CB: Was it a goal for you to do ACTION COMICS for 100 issues?

RS: I never set out to write 100 issues of ACTION...and I don't think I actually did. There were at least three issues written by people other than myself...and I wrote but only two pages an issue during most of the book's weekly run.

CB: What did you think initially when the plan was made to kill Superman?

RS: What did I think about killing Superman initially? I thought, "We better not screw this up!"

CB: Have you ever been tempted to work with the character "The Eradicator" (from "Reign of the Supermen") ever again?

RS: I really have no feeling for the Eradicator. I wanted him to die at the end of "Reign of the Superman" -- and, in fact, the original Kryptonian Eradicator did die then -- but an "Eradicator" of some sort had already been promised to the Outsiders office, so I cobbled together the David Connor character. I've been asked to write Eradicator stories -- both for SHOWCASE '95 and for a miniseries -- but I just have no interest in him.

CB: Do you watch "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman?"

RS: I watch "Lois & Clark" occasionally, but not often. I'm a big Simpsons fan.

CB: What do you think of it?

RS: As far as television goes, it's not a bad show. The cast is good...the writing could always be better. And, of course, it's hard to employ great special effects on a TV budget....also, the action sequences could be faster paced.

CB: Besides Superman, do you have a "dream project" in comics? Anything really cool coming up?

RS: Yes, I have a number of characters I've created for which I'd like to find a publisher -- a publisher who'd let me keep ownership -- but that will probably have to wait until the market improves.

CB: What is the best part of working on comics, and, more specifically, the Superman character?

RS: The best part about working on Superman is that you tell people what you do, they know what you're talking about.

CB: Do you think Superman should have long hair, like in the comics, or short hair, like in the TV show?

RS: I think Superman should have whatever length of hair he wants.

CB: Is the owner of the "Daily Planet," Franklin W. Stern, named after you, or is it just a coincidence that he has the same last name?

RS: Yes, Franklin Stern was named for the rest of the super-teamsters. I worry that it's too obvious a self-reference.

CB: Did you request that Tom Grummett drew MAN OF TOMORROW, or did things just happen to go that way?

RS: I'd hoped that I'd get a chance to work with Tom Grummett again, and I lucked out.

CB: What can we look forward to in upcoming issues of SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF TOMORROW?

RS: In upcoming issues of MAN OF TOMORROW...the Alpha Centurion, more of the Contessa, more revelations about Lex Luthor, some very nasty demonic types, a Big Red Cheese, and lots of explosions!

CB: Do you have anything in particular you'd like to say to your fans?

RS: I'd just like to say that it's an honor to work on Superman. I feel that it's an opportunity for me to take some small part of the enjoyment that I got from the character and pass it on to another generation of readers. I hope you all enjoy my efforts.

And there you have it. Be sure to pick up SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF TOMORROW, $1.95 from DC Comics! It should still be on your local newsstand, unless it's already sold out!

(this interview was originally published in The Krypton Club Newsletter #15 on June 5, 1995)



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.