Phillip Kennedy Johnson Promises New Level of World-Building in Superman Comic Books

Superman #29 Variant Cover

In a new interview with Newsarama, “Superman” and “Action Comics” writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson talks about the differences between the two titles, whether he’ll be continuing on threads from Brian Michael Bendis’ run, and how he’ll define his run on the Superman books. Here are a few excerpts from the interview…

Q: What are the distinct differences between the two titles, and will these two titles continue to be connected in this way?

Johnson: The Superman series will feature both Clark and Jon; Action Comics will be more Clark-centric, although Jon will appear in that book too, alongside more of Superman’s cast. This March two-part crossover with Phil Hester will set up both series, but after that the two series tell two very different and independent stories.

Q: Will you be carrying over any threads from Brian Michael Bendis’ run?

Johnson: Yes. Superman’s identity as Clark Kent is still out there, and there are other threads from Brian’s run that we’ll continue with (but too spoilery to get into here).

But the biggest and most important plot thread is definitely Jon’s trajectory. Because of Jon’s role in the formation of the United Planets and his time in the future with Legion, he’s become a hugely important character in Superman lore. His power levels are also potentially even greater than Clark or Kara, so that alone makes him a very big deal going forward.

Q: What are some elements you feel helps define your new run from other Superman stories?

Johnson: If I had to sum it up in one word, I would say: worldbuilding. I think one element that put me on the Super-editors’ radar was the massive worldbuilding we did for The Last God at DC Black Label, and I’m trying to bring the same level of depth, scope, and intricacy to the Superman titles.

After all the time and energy spent recently in Metropolis, on The Daily Planet and the people who work there, I saw an opportunity to go really, really big, to tell an epic saga that spans galaxies, shows new races and cultures, and makes the DC Universe feel much older but also newer.

We’re putting together a Super-crew that you definitely will not expect, and they’re going to rock the DC Universe in a way I haven’t seen in a Superman comic since the Death and Return.

You can read the full interview at Newsarama.

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March 13, 2021 10:04 pm

“Superman’s secret identity as Clark Kent is still out there..”

Hard pass.

Last edited 2 years ago by MattComics
March 17, 2021 4:55 pm
Reply to  MattComics


March 16, 2021 7:02 am

Sounds good to me! Looking forward to these Superman stories.

March 16, 2021 10:58 pm

I can look past the secret identity thing, as long as it comes back somehow in the future… but as a father I’m still mad as hell at Bendis for aging up Jon. Superman lost 7 years of his son’s life. NO NO and Hell NO. I keep thinking about my two sons (3 & 5), and how I would never be the same if I lost seven years of theirs. Not seeing them grow up in those years, not being able to play ball with them, and all of a sudden they are young adults?. Nope. Jon needs to… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by svillar13
March 17, 2021 8:59 am
Reply to  svillar13

I miss him to. The thing with Jon would be bad enough and it was the reason I walked away from the monthly titles after Rebirth had brought me back. I was even trying to give Bendis a chance and that just made it all not worth a single cent of my money. Also as Michael Bailey has spoken on, the whole thing of being lied to. Bendis came in with promises he wasn’t going muck with what Rebirth had laid down. ..then went and did EXACTLY that! Jon as a bright eyed little kid looking up to his father… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by MattComics