GoodReads.com caught up with author Matt de la Peña to ask him all about his new novel “Superman: Dawnbreaker”.
Q: “Superman: Dawnbreaker” tells the story of a much younger Clark Kent. What are some of the biggest challenges he’s facing?
A: I tried to tell a story where the contextual world of Smallville (acting as a conduit for America) sort of mirrored the internal struggles of Clark Kent. This is a common approach to storytelling, of course, but for me it was heightened because of the current political discourse around the topic of immigration.
This is a hot-button issue, as we all know. But the job of the writer is not to provide answers but merely ask important and/or interesting questions. So the two biggest challenges for Clark in the novel are what’s happening politically in Smallville and his increasing awareness of his own “outside” status.
Q: You’ve described Superman as “the ultimate immigrant.” Can you elaborate on this?
A: In a time when we are feverishly trying to define who does and doesn’t belong in this country, we should also force ourselves to look more closely at our greatest American icons. Superman is literally an alien. (Some prefer the term refugee instead of immigrant.)
It was fascinating to explore this territory in the book. So, in addition to the requisite action and world-saving stakes expected in a superhero story, I’m hoping readers will also consider what it means to “belong” in a rapidly changing America.