"Ask Matt" Fan Forum Archives

Ask Matt Fan Forum Here are Matt Idelson's answers to questions fans put to him in December 2007 - January 2008:

Matt's Answers

Matt: Hola, all. I just wanted to extend an apology for my irregularity in turning around answers to you all. Someday I'll perfect my invention of a 25th hour in each day, but until then, I'll try harder to be regular (insert Activia joke here).

On a separate note, I also wanted to say how sorry I am for the continued delay in the Action Annual. Suffice it to say, we're getting there, with much progress made in the last three weeks or so. I'll be sure to drop Steve a line once I'm 100% sure when the damn thing is gonna come out. Wow, two apologies already - great way to start the Year of the Rat.

Anyway, here's the info you're actually interested in...

Brian Daugherty (Email address withheld by request) asks:
In Green Lantern, Superman was among the heroes who helped the GL Corps fight the Sinestro Corps, Superman Prime and the Anti-Monitor. Of course, many people remember in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" that Superman's cousin Supergirl was killed by...the Anti-Monitor, and for the remainder of the series Kal-El wanted to avenge her death. Since it's been established that COIE as the story was published is (currently) canon, and with the newer Supergirl active in the DCU...would Superman still remember Kara's death during the first Crisis? If so, was Prime the thing preventing Superman from tearing Anti-Monitor apart (I ask because almost no one truly ever gets over the death of a loved one, especially when it came by violent means)? Thanks for taking the time to answer all the questions, Matt!

Matt: Great question, Brian, and one I've been getting a lot lately. To make the incomprehensible really simple, due to the events of INFINITE CRISIS, the world we're reading about now and its inhabitants (including Superman) aren't exactly the same as the ones that preceded the IC series, so Superman is not aware of Kara's noble sacrifice since for him it didn't really happen.

Jason Knoche ( asks:
Will there be flashbacks to Chris Kent's life before he came to Earth? Showing what his life was like with his real father?

Matt: Wow, we must think alike, Jason. I'm pretty sure we'll be doing that this year - certainly, it's something I'd like very much to see, though you'd have to admit that will make for a pretty dark story.

Mike ( asks:
Matt, I know that Kurt wrote a story focusing on a demon that survived Krypton's destruction in issue #666 but I have been wondering if either Kurt or Geoff will being writing a new storyline that will feature Blaze? Also, with the "Last Son" storyline finishing up in the Action Annual in February, when will the Trade Paperback be coming out?

Matt: As I'm sure you know by now, Mike, Kurt will be departing the Superman gig to focus on his ridiculously ambitious weekly project following issue #675. As of today (2/26), Blaze isn't someone that either Geoff or Kurt's odd looking replacement, James Robinson have talked about. As for "Last Son," the hardcover release is slated for June 25th.

batmansgirl (Email address withheld by request) asks:
Hi Matt! I'm aching to buy the JL Tornado's Path trade, but it's only available in hardcover right now, and I'd rather wait for the paperback version. Will any of these previously published hardcover books be released in paperback form soon, and will any future paperback books be available in addition to their hardcover counterparts? I would be *so happy* if both hardcover books and trade paperbacks were released at the same time. Thanks so much for answering my questions and keep up the great work!

Matt: Hey, there, batmansgirl - I think you've come to the wrong web page! That's a pretty smart question, one I can totally relate to. Truthfully, I'm not aware of what the release schedule for "Tornado's Path" or any other trades are, save Superman-related stuff. I know that like in the "real" publishing world, there's a gap between when a new hard cover comes out and when its subsequent paperback release occurs. Unlike in the "real" world, however, the gap is a lot shorter than the year one has to wait for a book with lots of words and no pictures. I'm sorry I couldn't have been more helpful with this. Doh! That's THREE apologies! Man...

charles cooney (Email address withheld by request) asks:
After the crisis, we saw some sort of electromagnetic problems with Superman's hands. What ever happened to that and will that ever make a return appearance in any form?

Matt: Those hand problems Clark had were a result of his powers being trapped in his body, with no way to get out, Charles. Once Clark got his powers back towards the end of "Up, Up and Away!," the electromagnetic issues went away.

Victor Alyxandero ( asks:
I love the character of SUPERGIRL. Whether it be Kara Zor-El, Linda Danvers. I will always follow her adventures. The modern comic Supergirl's origin is confusing me. I have been reading since issue #0 and her debut in "Superman/Batman". Now, last month we were given a brand new origin or vision of Kara's parents and last days on Krypton. My question is which is the "real" version of Zor-El and Allura? The Churchill or this new version? Thanks for your answers.

Matt: That is a more than fair question, Victor, and a lot of the fault for your confusion lies with us. We got a bit too experimental with the whole minimal dialogue thing when the current creative team came aboard, something we've rectified with March's issue. I can see why you're unclear. Basically, there had been a great deal of contradiction and confusion in Supergirl regarding her origin. When I was assigned the title, I sat down with Eddie to kind of figure things out, and what we agreed was at the end of his final arc (which concluded with issue #19), it would be made clear that the veracity of pretty much all of her pre-Earth memories, both consistent and contradictory, would be called into question, allowing us to kind of simplify things. Instead, we made them more confusing (and if THAT doesn't qualify as apology #4, I don't know what does). Believe me when I tell you that what we saw a glimpse of in issue #24 is the real deal, and something that we'll be expanding upon quite a bit this year. In fact, the more we see of it, the more we'll start to understand who Kara is, and why she's starting to make some eyebrow-raising decisions.

Captain Kal (Email address withheld by request) asks:
Hi Matt! Re: Geoff Johns on Superman. We know Geoff Johns can write powerful heroes from what he's done with GL and Flash who are both god-like in his hands. But put Superman in his hands and he can do nothing better than depower the guy with lame token expressions of how 'inspirational' Superman is even without his powers (e.g. Return to Krypton 2, Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes). If that actually worked, Siegel & Shuster had the wrong idea when they showed Superman actually doing super things like outracing and lifting cars. I think Geoff Johns either hates Superman or draws a creative blank at the least for the character. I don't buy Superman stories to see 'normal man' inspire another bunch of guys. I want to see him BE super. Even that collaboration with Donner on Bizarro's World came off lame. With all the potential for at least amping-up his regular powers and we get 'Bizarro' and 'Superman' visions? I'd like to think this can be fixed, but feel quite pessimistic about it. Maybe someone who actually loves writing the character should have a shot at it?

Matt: Hiya, Captain Kal! Kudos to you for sharing your opinion in an honest and constructive way. I'm kind of surprised at your reaction to the "Legion" story, though in hindsight I can see where you're coming from (even if I don't agree with it). The very core of the Legion concept is that they formed based on the idea of Superman, and when that has been called into question by Earth Man, the Legion more or less collapses. Clearly, though, you'd prefer your Supes stories with some true strength, and I can't blame you. Trust me when I tell you that a) Geoff is going to write a Superman that you love and stories that you love once the Legion arc is concluded, and b) I honestly don't think there is anyone better qualified to handle the character. Please stay with us, Cap - I really don't think you'll be even slightly disappointed. Though if you are, you'd better let me know!

Kevin (Email address withheld by request) asks:
Hello Matt. I am a fan of the current Superman run. I feel sad that Kurt will be leaving the book. Here is a continuity question. In SUPERMAN #662, at the start of the second half of "Camelot Falls", Superman is shown bringing the Daily Planet globe to reinstall it atop the building. And he also mentioned having stopped Bizarro recently. That wuould render "Last Son" in an interim continuity wise between ACTION COMICS #845-846 where "Camelot Falls" takes place. My problem to this idea is that near the end of SUPERMAN #662, Kal mentions that Chris was born in the Phantom Zone. But in ACTION #846 it's shown that the Daily Planet globe is atop the building and Clark's mention of the Phantom Zone would mean that the second half of "Camelot Falls" takes place after "Last Son". Then how would Clark suspect that it was Luthor that unleashed Bizarro if by Part Four of "Last Son", he sees Bizarro with Lex. Is this a discrepancy in continuity or have I got all this wrong? Thanks and continue your awesome work.

Matt: Ooph. You a forensic scientist in your working life, Kevin? Brace yourself: here comes apology #5. The last couple years on the books have been a logistical challenge, to say the least. We endeavored to try and match things in Superman and Action up, via references here and there, as best we could, but I think in this case, we created a continuity discrepancy.

David Jones (Email address withheld by request) asks:
With Kurt Busiek leaving the Superman comics, who is going to be taking his spot as writer?

Matt: Well, as you really must know by now, David, it'll be none other than James Robinson. And I can honestly say that his first script is, in a word, majestic. James has some big shoes to fill, but I think he's off to an amazing start.

Thanks Matt! What can we expect for the Man of Steel in 2008, being that it's his 70th anniversary? Will DC Comics actually be recognizing this milestone in some official capacity?

Matt: To answer your second question first, DC won't be recognizing the milestone, since it's one of those numbers that can kind of create the perception of stodginess in the character. Now if this was, say, anniversary number 75 or 100, it'd be a different story.

Having said that, we're really treating this year like an anniversary in terms of the stories and their remarkable scope. As you may or may not have seen in one of our recent house ads, a certain Superman villain with a penchant for bottling things up will be returning, which sets a number of important dominos falling. We'll be seeing the exit of an important member of our supporting cast, the realization of the very weird stuff that was hinted at in Action Comics #851, a lot more of Krytpo and a fundamental change to our solar system. Oh, yeah, and this very old fellow with a really big mouth will descend upon Metropolis with permanent residence on his mind. Is all that hint enough?

Thanks for putting up with me, Steve.

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