"QfK" Archives

Action Comics #850 Here are Kurt Busiek's answers to questions fans put to him about "Action Comics #850" and other relevant topics:

Kurt's Answers

Jim Thomas (email address withheld by request) asks:
I guess I got lost a bit, but are Supergirl's parents now alive? And did Superman now join the Legion as Superboy and the Legion just don't remember it?

Kurt: To answer in reverse order... The Legion don't remember going and visiting Clark in the past -- but then, as of this story, Brainiac 5 hasn't invented a way to travel through time yet. But he's working on it.Who knows what might happen when and if he figures it out? As for Supergirl's parents, that glimpse of the future late in the issue certainly makes it appear as if they're alive, doesn't it?

Paul Pace ( asks:
Hi Kurt. I absolutely loved Action Comics #850. During one scene as Supergirl was looking back into the different dimensions trying to find the right Superman, one of them looked very much like the Superman of the 1990's Animated series. Then later in a scene with several Brainiacs, one was the "Superman: The Animated Series" design and his line of dialogue is very much in that version of the character's voice. Could this be a confirmation of something I would love to be true? Is the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini animated DC universe one of the 52?

Kurt: None of the Supermen seen in the early section of the book were the Dini/Timm Superman, sorry. They were tributes to the many eras of Superman that have appeared in Action Comics over the years, as part of the anniversary issue celebration.As for those many Brainiacs, that was a look at the future of the current Superman, not into other worlds. So whether the animated universe is part of the 52, I couldn't say.

Brian Oldham ( asks:
First of all, loved the issue. I just have a general questions about Supergirl. Is this really the same girl of steel as the one in her own book? I've really enjoyed her portrayal in the Legion book and Action #850, as opposed to the "crystal" death weapon that's trying to rid the world of evil phantoms! There's been no evidence in your book or Legion of crystals embedded within Supergirl. Hope you can shed some light! Thanks!

Kurt: That's the same Supergirl as in her own book, yes. And after all, there was no evidence of crystals embedded in her even in her own book, until they showed up. So it's not unreasonable that they might not show up when she appears in other books, either.

Jeffrey (email address withheld by request) asks:
This issue was credited with three writers. What was the writing process for this book like? Similar to "52", where all wrote bits and pieces of the story, or did one person do the scripting (from all the technobabble I'll hazard a guess and say Nicieza) after the three of you finished plotting it?

Kurt: Here's how it worked, Jeffrey: I had the original concept for the story, but came up with what I thought was a way to make it work during a long phone call with Fabian, and we worked out the general story plan together. Then we rang in Geoff, who had a bunch of character ideas and ideas for what moments we should include. It all wound up in a marathon three-way phone call, where we picked all the moments to show, worked out the scenes, focused the emotional arc of the story and carved out a beat-by-beat plot.
Fabian typed up a plot based on that telephone conference, I revised it here and there and Geoff kibitzed as well. We also talked to the Supergirl writer, and to Mike Marts and Mark Waid to make sure we had the Legion stuff right, I put together reference on all those damned Brainiacs, and from there it went to Renato to draw.
Once Renato finished, I wrote the first-draft script, Fabian and Geoff both got to kibitz, and we made some changes here and there. So it was a group effort all around. As for the technobabble, Fabian put some into the plot, and I used some of his and some of my own. Geoff, smart guy that he is, stayed out of the technobabble arena.

Michael Bran ( asks:
I'm a long time Superman reader and I must say that I really have enjoyed Camelot Falls and your other stories in this new continuity. In Action Comics #850, Jor-El makes a comment about the 'damned eradicators...'. Is this comment about something that we will see fleshed out further at a later time?

Kurt: Yes. [Hey, look, a short answer for once!]

Thales Gomes ( asks:
Kurt, first I would like to thank you for giving what the fans were asking, although is not a origin story, it helped us fans in the understanding of this "new" Superman of this "new" Earth. Second, all the fill in issues were great, but, I think I'm talking for everybody when I say that it's time to go back to the main story, please, we want to see the end of this arc, so when can we expect the conclusion of the storyline? Keep up the good work and I hope that your run in supes comics lasts for a really long time.

Kurt: Glad you're liking the stories, Thales. We're not delaying "Last Son" out of choice, though, but because there've been severe difficulties getting it done. I'm not working on "Last Son," so I'm not as up on what's going on with it as I am with stuff I do work on -- but as I understand it, Part 4 will be in the next issue of Action Comics, and the big finish will be in an Action Comics Annual that'll be along as soon as can be managed.
In the meantime, as of #852,Action will get back on a regular track with a three-part Countdown-connected story written by me and drawn by Brad Walker, focusing on Jimmy Olsen and featuring both the Kryptonite Man and a certain long-missing Superdog. Then Geoff Johns, Richard Donner and Eric Powell take Superman through the horrors of Bizarro World, and after that, Geoff and new regular artist Gary Frank bring you a story that directly follows up the current summer crossover going on in Justice Society and Justice League.
And as long as I'm talking up Geoff's book, sheer naked self-interest impels me to mention that Superman, in upcoming months, will showcase a "Countdown dossier" revealing the New Earth 'origin' of Jimmy Olsen, a double-sized special for #666 in which Superman goes to Hell (drawn by the legendary Walter Simonson) and the big finale to the "Camelot Falls" epic. That'll take us into the fall -- and after that, we'll bring you the mystery of The Third Kryptonian (in a story that'll spill over into this year's Superman Annual) and the debut of the all-new, all-deadly Insect Queen.
And if all that didn't sound big enough, after that things get even bigger, for both books...

Robert Willing ( asks:
Hey Kurt, this has to be one of the best single issues I've EVER read of Superman EVER! Anyway I was wondering, was it intended to be the first step in revealing the New Earth Superman's history?

Kurt: Not quite the first -- we've dropped a few bits of history in here and there, over the last year or so. But certainly, the first story where we did a lot of it in one place.

Sara Cigelske ( asks:
Not counting the possible future events, are the events of Action Comics #850 officially in-continuity for New Earth Superman, or could some of the events pertain to alternate Supermen of the now-restored multiverse?

Kurt: Aside from the homage sequence while Brainy was tuning the chronexus, yes -- it's all New Earth material.

Michel Weisnor ( asks:
Hi Kurt, is it safe to say each Earth, in the working 52 Earth Multiverse, is inhabited by a different era Superman? Better yet, is that Earth-1 Superman saving Lois from Titano?

Kurt: I'd expect that not every Earth has a Superman -- the Crime Syndicate's Earth, after all, has Ultraman instead, and if Captain Carrot's Earth is still out there somewhere, then that's another Superman-less world. If there's an Earth featuring the Charlton heroes, or a Fawcett Earth, no Superman there, either. And so on.
But that sure looks like the Earth-1 Superman, doesn't it?

Charlie ( asks:
Just curious as to what brought about the changes to Lana's family? Also, what about Lois's dad? Is he still alive in the new continuity? If so, does he like Clark now, or was his asking about kids a way to mess with him? Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, and for this issue. It's nice to finally have at least a little bit of an origin.

Kurt: DC Uberfan John Wells supplied me with a list of everyone who'd ever been established as living in Smallville, as part of my Super-research. I noticed that over a period of mostly one-off stories, Lana had been established as having three different younger brothers, an older sister and an astonishing collection of relatives -- just, usually, one at a time. I figured, what if she simply had a huge family, and there were Langs and Lang cousins all over Smallville? I liked the way it felt, to have only-child Clark and a large and boisterous Lang family playing off one another. So did Geoff, Matt and Nachie, so why not?
As for Lois's dad, he's still dead as of the present day, but he was alive during the early days of Clark and Lois's marriage. And whether he liked Lois's choice of husband or not, lots of parents want grandchildren, and he was no exception.

Thanks! Action Comics #850 was well received. Looking forward to your next issue.

Kurt: I'm just glad people are enjoying it as they learn more about New Earth and how Superman and his new history fit together. Thanks for following the books -- hope you'll like what's coming!

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