DC Nation spoke with Taylor about how it feels to launch a new Superman series for a new era, how both of Jonathan’s parents play an equal role in shaping him as a hero, what it’s like collaborating with Timms, and how—despite age changes and evolving roles within the DC Universe—Jon and Damian Wayne remain the World’s Finest friends.
One thing I found notable about the Superman: Son of Kal-El #1 cover, beyond the homage to the original Superman #1, are these words: “The 21st Century Superman.” In what ways do you see Jonathan as a distinctly contemporary character? How can he represent this current moment better, or at least differently, than his father can?
That’s a really big question. Not just for me, but for Clark and for Jon. When Superman leapt his first tall buildings in 1938, he was a hero needed for his time. He wasn’t fighting aliens and robots, he was fighting domestic violence and corrupt politicians.
It’s the question that will hang over the series. If you’re one of the most powerful people on the planet, how far do you take that? What do you accept before stepping in? I’ve explored one side of this question in Injustice, but that’s a story I never believed in because, for me, Superman is incorruptible. He has to be. I’ve written the story of absolute power corrupting absolutely and a world held together by a fist of steel. Now I get to write something better, someone with the power to change the world with a heart full of hope.
But still, that question of how to be a hero today will be there. It’s easy enough to punch a giant, rampaging gorilla. It’s harder to punch social inequity and the climate crisis.
You can read the complete interview at DCComics.com.
“Superman: Son of Kal-El #1” by Tom Taylor, John Timms, Gabe Eltaeb and Dave Sharpe is on sale July 27 in print and as a digital comic book.