ComicsAlliance.com caught up for a chat with “Action Comics” writer Dan Jurgens and “Superman” writer Peter J. Tomasi to talk to them about the “Superman Reborn” saga currently playing out across both titles, the plan to use Mr. Mxyzptlk, and where things are headed for the Man of Steel and his family. Here’s part of the interview…
ComicsAlliance: How was Mr. Mxyzptlk chosen as the bad guy for Superman Reborn?
Dan Jurgens: Back when we were pulling the Lois and Clark series together, I realized that part of the problem of integrating that version of Clark/Superman into the DCU was the fact that Superman’s identity (New 52 Superman’s) had been exposed. The world knew Clark and Superman were the same person.
As I moved onto Action, I knew we should deal with that right away. So, from day one, I said, “We need a second Clark Kent, and the guy who can pull that off is Mxyzptlk.”
We set it up as a longer term play, and as the story got bigger, we decided to cross the story over with Superman and make it a big event. It really worked out well.
CA: Mxy is somewhat terrifying in this story, but not so much that it’s a drastic reinvention that does a disservice to the character. Was it tough to walk the line there?
Peter J. Tomasi: In my mind, this is all part of the “Rebirth” initiative. Take a strange character like Mxy, yet still maintain his foundational DNA, and play with him a bit. Shake him up. Add some shadings and craziness.
What’s great about a character like Mxy is that he can be several things within the blink of an eye: fun, scary, childlike, psychotic, etc. Within the context of the story, Mxy has been imprisoned, everything he knows and loves was taken from him – especially the number one element that makes his life complete; the attention and focus of Superman. At our summit several months back, Pat, Dan, and I realized that without that central factor in Mxy’s life, he would become unhinged, so we took that concept and ran with it.
So in other words, no, it wasn’t tough to walk the line with Mxy’s character once we all starting exploring what it meant for him to live in a world without Superman. And in regards to Pat [Gleason] and Doug [Mahnke]’s artwork, I feel they beautifully captured a whole spectrum of emotions that only make Mxy an even more interesting character as we move forward.