"Ask Matt" Fan Forum Archives

Ask Matt Fan Forum Here are Matt Idelson's answers to questions fans put to him in June/July 2011:

Matt's Answers

Roberto (Email address withheld by request) asks:
The DC Universe is such a busy place these days, with many major events happening all at once, that it feels like the New Krypton saga kind of got lost in the fold, and what should have been a major event in both the DCU and in Superman's life doesnt seem to have made a big impression on the characters. Was there any thought into delaying this story or others to give them a chance to shine alone?

Matt: We had definitely hoped to have this thread through other titles, Roberto, but obviously things didn't work out that way. I think with the New 52, you'll see less major events going on in the short term, and better coordination through the titles.

Carey S Thompson Jr ( asks:
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions Matt... I was wondering if you have been following the "From Crisis to Crisis" podcast done by Michael Bailey and Jeffrey Taylor? If so, what are your thoughts on our fan campaign to get "Dark Knight Over Metropolis" collected into a trade? That story seems to still fit into continuity and would be a great way to introduce new readers to the beginning of the Superman/Batman dynamic.

Matt: Well I haven't taken much time out of my schedule lately, Carey, but thanks. I have to confess, I haven't followed that podcast, though it sounds really fascinating. I'll definitely pass along the collection suggestion to the Collected Editions folks, but I think our goal right now as a company is to introduce readers to that dynamic as we show it anew, perhaps with some fun twists to what you know along the way.

Tim Murphy (Email address withheld by request) asks:
Hi, Matt. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Mine is regarding heat vision. In the Silver Age, Superman melted things with the heat generated by his X-ray vision. In modern times, X-ray and Heat visions have generally been listed as separate abilities. Are they related anymore? Is Superman's heat vision just super-concentrated X-ray vision? Thanks again!

Matt: Funny you should ask, as that's one of many things we've been taking a look at as we reintroduce Superman to the world this fall, Tim. I personally like the idea of the two being related, which is a cleaner (and logical) explanation, but comics are collaborative, and it's not my decision alone to make.

Tom Foss ( asks:
Given some of the excellent science in recent books under your watch, your recent answer regarding Superman's X-ray vision was a little surprising. If he's firing X-rays out of his eyes, how do his retinas receive the images produced by those rays? Isn't it more likely that he's interpreting a wide range of visual input from across the spectrum?

Matt: Let me get back to you on this one, Tom, especially since we're in the process of sort of reconsidering a great many things, still, about the character. And a belated apology for shocking you with my non-science!

Nicholas Geoghegan ( asks:
It's been stated numerous times that Kryptonian and human DNA are not compatible. This prevents Clark and Lois from having a child of their own. However, there is a direct contradiction within Superman's own family. Superboy, Kon-El, was created using the DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor. Essentially, this makes Conner Kent the son of these two individuals, not a clone. It also proves that Kryptonian and human DNA are indeed compatible. I was wondering if this could be cleared up in any way.

Matt: Well they're compatible if you use science to sort of "shotgun marry" the two very disparate D.N.A. types, Nicholas, but if nature's left to take its course, it would work about as as well as a pony mating with a Doberman. From an evolutionary standpoint, Kon-El should not exist.

Tom Meaney (Email address withheld by request) asks:
DC has put out the four Superman Showcase volumes, you know the ones with the B&W reprint stories. They did #4 over 2 years ago and they have even reprinted Vol. 1. My question is whether or not DC will release a volume #5, or whyit hasn't come out already?

Matt: A fifth volume is definitely something DC wants to do, Tom, but it's not something you'll be seeing until down the road a bit, I'm afraid.

Kelly Lowe (Email address withheld by request) asks:
Superman renounced his American citizenship in a story seen in ACTION COMICS #900, and this has been picked up and written about across various news and media outlets across the country. Were you aware this story would have such a huge impact? What were your personal feelings on the story?

Matt: We had no idea the story would create such a firestorm, Kelly, especially since it was one of several short stories celebrating the 900th issue of ACTION, not the main piece of the book. Had I done a better job of making clear to the readers that the stories in the back may or may not fit into continuity, and are simply a celebration of the character from a diverse set of writers and artists, perhaps things wouldn't have been so loud. I understood why people objected to the story, particularly in this day and age, and my personal preference is to stay away from politics in the books - I think people want to be entertained, not reminded of how unpleasant the world can be or educated on what's going on. Having said that, I really love David Goyer's work, and after inviting him to say something about Superman, I thought it would be wrong not to let him say it.

Carey Lester ( asks:
Why has DC decided to change Superman's costume design? The costume is perfect the way it is.

Matt: I think as time passes, things change, Carey. It's one of the curses and blessings and immutable facts of life. If you look at the Star Trek movie reboot from a couple of years ago, they, too, changed things up while holding onto the essence of the characters and overall concept. The same holds true here.

John Michaels (Email address withheld by request) asks:
Matt, with the relaunch of the Superman books, I'm kind of concerned at the fact that Superman is said to require the armor because he can be hurt. Doesn't this go against everything the character has ever stood for? Why did you guys feel the need to remove his invulnerability?

Matt: Well, there's long been the argument that if you make him physically invulnerable, the stories get boring because, well, he can never really be harmed. And when the only two things that can hurt him are Kryptonite and magic, you start to run the danger that stories will get repetitive. It's not his invulnerability, I don't think, that defines Superman, John. It's what he stands for, helping those who need it, and taking down those who cause harm. Having said that, I think the degree to which his power has been scaled down has probably been exaggerated a bit out there in the real world.

Patty O'Hanlon (Email address withheld by request) asks:
While I'm kind of excited for the new #1s, I don't understand why DC Comics would decide to renumber "Action Comics" back to no. 1 when it was so close to hitting 1000 issues. It and "Detective Comics" were the only books to have never been renumbered. Will DC still celebrate the 1000th issue even though it'll be #96 or something?

Matt: Well we've certainly discussed that, Patty, but with 96 issue until we get to that point, we have plenty of time to make a decision. As for why the renumbering was done: to show, with true conviction, that we're truly relaunching the line, not making exceptions for a couple of books. I know where you're coming from, but hopefully you'll find the new runs of the respective books so good that you'll forget about the issue number.

Gail Chapin (Email address withheld by request) asks:
As an owner of an iPad, I'm seriously considering buying my comic books digitally from September onwards, but I'm concerned about storage. Do I need a lot of disk space for my collection? Do I have to keep backups or does the Comixology system keep track of which comics I've bought? If my iPad or computer is stolen/breaks down, will I still be able to access the books I've bought?

Matt: Those are some GREAT questions, Gail! I spoke with our Senior VP of Digital, Hank Kanalz, and he was a big help in providing me with information. He said you don't need a large amount of storage space, and added that "you only need to store those comics you want to read on your device. There are memory usage settings to tailor your storage needs." As far as backing up your comics, no need! You just need to log into your DC Account, as the system keeps track of what you've purchased. And if the unthinkable happens and your device is stolen or dies an untimely death, you'll still be able to access the titles you bought. So have at, Gail! Hope this helps.

Steve asks:
Matt will you be returning to the tradition of awarding Baldy Awards in the letter pages of the Superman comic books?

Matt: You know, that's something I haven't even thought about, Steve! It's a great question, and hopefully in a few weeks time, I can give you a great answer (or at least an answer).

Steve: Thanks Matt. I'm sure things are somewhat crazy with the relaunch and everything. Hopefully we can relaunch the "Ask Matt" Fan Forum in a similar fashion, with no late issues. ;)

Matt: I will take that challenge, Steve! And my apologies to those who might have actually missed this feature of the site, and again, apologies to you for my long absence. It's good to be back.

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