"Ask Matt" Fan Forum Archives

Ask Matt Fan Forum Here are Matt Idelson's answers to questions fans put to him from March-April 2007:

Matt's Answers

Scot ( asks:
Hi Matt. I know this might come off as a bit hostile, and I am a big fan of Byrne's MOS and the continuity that came from it, but I'm sincerely curious about this. From what I've gathered, after the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, the continuity was rebooted because the stories that DC was publishing needed to be in one universe to be more concrete and coherent to readers. It was a necessity for the then-modern method of storytelling. So what was the need to have another Crisis and redo Superman's mythos? As far as I can tell, the continuity did not require such a retooling as it did back in 86/87, so I'm honestly curious as to why the people at DC decided that Superman's post-COIE history needed to be redone? If it was simply because the writers wanted to incorporate more Silver Age elements, couldn't they have found a way to bring them in without messing with what's already been established in Superman's life in the post-COIE DC Universe?

Matt: Hey, Scot. No hostility taken, man. I can't really speak to the motivation behind having another continuity-altering event, but I can tell you that the stated desire/marching orders coming out of Infinite Crisis were to change some things up and show how elements of the various characters' pasts had changed as a result of that miniseries. We've tried to be judicious about what has changed, rather than just changing stuff for the sake of it - I hate when people do that. We just saw it as an opportunity to do some fun things without going hog-wild on the past works of Superman. I'm sure that if Infinite Crisis hadn't taken place, we might have wanted to introduce some new or revised concepts anyway, and yeah, we could have done so without that story setting up the opportunity for us. Really, though, changing continuity wasn't the motivation behind IC, just one of the little byproducts.

John ( asks:
Hello, I've been trying to find an answer to this question for some time and I was hoping you could answer it. What happens to Superman's powers under a higher intensity sun, like a blue star? Has this ever happened in the comics?

Matt: Great question, John! And you know why it's a great question? 'Cause it's topical! We'll be finding out what happens when Superman finds himself shined upon by a blue sun come ACTION COMICS #856, which'll be out in August! Oh, and Bizarro happens to figure into that story as well!

Vinnie Civitillo ( asks:
Hi Matt! Now that we've been re-introduced to General Zod through the "Last Son" story-arc I was wondering if this is the same Zod referred to as Dru Zod in "Up, Up and Away"? Are Dru Zod and General Zod the same character or is Dru Zod actually a relative?

Matt: Good memory, Vinnie! Dru Zod is an ancestor of the General's, from the era before the Kryptonians restricted themselves from traveling through space to other planets.

Tim Gordon ( asks:
Hey Matt. Thanks for continuing to be a part this great forum and thanks for being a crash-test dummy for everyone's frustrations at times. My question is in regards to the issue of SUPERMAN that was to deal with Krypto. According to Kurt Busiek, that book was "in the can" and ready to ship, yet it was pulled. I was just wondering if you could explain what happened here... why would a book that is complete get pulled at a time when so many books are already running late?

Matt: Hey, Tim - no problem serving as the crash-test dummy, pal. After all, who but the editor should take the hits, right? The Krypto issue that Kurt spoke of is indeed finished, and it's really a terrific issue in my opinion. I really can't go into specifics for legal reasons, so I'll just say that there are certain elements in the story that have to be agreed upon in a legal forum, and until that happens, we can't print the issue. It kills me because it looks great and reads really, really well, but such are the realities of the world we currently live in. I'm guardedly hopeful that we can release the issue someday, hopefully before I'm 50, and you can all see what the fuss was about.

Tom Potter ( asks:
I understand that in the New Earth continuity, Clark was using his powers to help people long before he became Superman. But in the recent Action Comics Annual, he was wearing glasses and acting like the old nerdy teenage Clark from pre-Crisis Superboy stories. If he was acting in secret, why would he need that "disguise"? And where does this retcon leave his high school romance with Lana Lang? Were they ever a couple? And was she still the first outsider to learn his secret?

Matt: You know, for once, I have some clear answers to give, Tom. Thanks for helping me not look bad and evasive for a change! The reason Clark starting wearing the glasses at a young age was to further enhance the idea that he was weak and not at all athletic, to further ensure that no one would ever associate the super-powered person popping up with him. And if you take another look at the Clark/Lana scene in SUPERMAN #655 and read between the lines, I think you'll see that their high school romance still happened.

Mick (email address withheld) asks:
Howdy Matt! Is there a Birthing Matrix Post-Infinte Crisis? It always made more sense for Superman to be brought to Earth [from an advanced culture] that way as opposed to the baby in a ship. But the current ship dosent look like it holds the matrix. If it has been changed Post-IC is there a reason?

Matt: Mark May 30th on your calendar, Mick! That's the day we'll be answering that particular question from Superman's now-changed past. As to why we've made the changes we've made (or will make in May and beyond), this is, after all, New Earth (thank you, Infinite Crisis), where many a thing has been altered from the past that you know. And that means everything in the past, including the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths portion of our show.

Will Courtney ( asks:
Dear Matt; First of all, thanks for being so helpful as to answer all our fanboy questions - it's easy to tell that you have a real love for the characters of the Superman legend. My question involves the nature of Superman's powers - specifically, his resistance to harm. My confusion stems from the following: In the current "Action Comics" storyline, Christopher Kent's clothes are shredded when a bus falls on him yet Superman's costume is undamaged after an extended battle with Bizarro. yet in the current "Superman/Batman" storyline, Superman's costume is torn apart during his battles. So, my question: After "Infinite Crisis", does his invulnerability still stem from a bioelectric aura that is generated by his cells and extends a few millimeters out from his skin (as per the Byrne post-COIE explanation), or does his invincibility mean his individual cells are hardened thorugh some other means which does not extend beyond his body (as per the Silver Age)? If the latter, does this mean Superman's costume is made of a material as indestructible as him?

Matt: You know, Will, that's another one of the many things we've discussed among our selves as we've journeyed through this new timeline of sorts coming out of Infinite Crisis. We have an answer of sorts, we're not going to reveal it yet, but it's definitely something we've thought about. Now I'm not saying we'll be doing some mega-important six-part story about this topic, but we will be addressing it one of these days.

Scott Treadwell (email address withheld) asks:
If I understand things correctly, while the DC Universe Post-IC might look like a continuation of the Post-Crisis era, it's not. It's a totally new continuity where things look similar but are different. If that's the case, I think DC needs to make this clearer to its readers, because it appears as though everyone is trying to work out how Post-IC Superman comics fit in with Post-Crisis Superman comics, when Post-IC Superman comics are actually set in a totally different continuity having been totally re-set by the events of "Infinite Crisis". I think readers are confused because back in the 1980s John Byrne did NOT state that anything pre-Crisis was in continuity. This "New Earth" era DOES draw from the previous era, with certain events assumed to have still happened (if somewhat differently). I think that's where the confusion lies. DC Comics has not stated clearly enough that this is a totally new continuity, with a totally different history (if somewhat familiar). I guess what's frustrating long-time readers is that we know you're not going to go back and explain how those older events are different in this new continuity. Are we being asked to simply accept it and move on?

Matt: I guess that would be the gist of it, Scott, though I would personally phrase it in kinder terms. As for why we never stated that this is a new Earth to begin with... I sort of thought we did. Between the climax of Infinite Crisis, and then all the changes that were revealed in 52, I figured it was pretty much a given that we were in a different place (if you will) than before. But I suppose when you get closely involved with something the way I obviously do with the comics I work on, it's easy to miss if something isn't being stated clearly enough. Sorry about that.

Jason Knoche ( asks:
In Action comics Superman has a S on his belt. But in the other comics he does not have it on his belt what is up with that?

Matt: That would be an excellent example of what I call "Matt screwed up by missing this." And you thought my mistakes were limited to just answering questions here, huh, Jason? No, we've been moving fast and furious the last six months or so, trying to juggle the crazy delays on SUPES and ACTION, and the belt gaffe is something I pooched entirely. I'd offer you a no-prize, but you didn't offer a clever explanation (unlike myself), and I don't work for that company anymore, so I'll just keep that prize.

Thomas ( asks:
Matt, since we don't have a proper background story for Superman anymore since INFINITE CRISIS, will you guys tells us if the Eradicator is still in continuity and what his new origin is and also reveal the new origin for Hank Heshaw (Super-Cyborg)?

Matt: Keep a sharp eye out while reading ACTION #850, Thomas, and you'll get the first hint as to how the Eradicator fits into the continuity now. And if you don't like what you find, blame Nachie!

Andres Garcia ( asks:
Since the Pocket Universe Zod no longer exists, is it safe to assume that the Superman we are reading about now has not killed anyone?

Matt: I don't think you can assume anything, Andres, one way or the other. I realize I've beaten this to death by now, but we're in the continuity of a new Earth, with a new past leading up to now. This is a question that has popped up a few times, though, so we'll certainly have to address it (and risk getting our houses egged).

Thanks Matt! We appreciate you answering the tough questions.

Matt: I'd say better I answer the tough queries than give you all radio silence, but I've kind of traveled both roads, so I'll just thank Kurt and Geoff for their input on some of my answers, and otherwise keep my mouth shut.

As an added bonus, here's a question I put to Mark Waid...

Mark, can you shed any light on why you guys didn't show an origin story for Superman within the pages of "52" as you did for other characters?

Mark Waid: One of several I wrote that ended up not being used. Don't know why.DC's call.

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