Twenty Years On – Dan Jurgens Talks About Electric Superman

On March 12, 1997 we saw the release of “Superman #123”, the comic book that introduced the world to “Electric Superman”. Twenty years on, Dan Jurgens chats with ComicBook.com about the “Superman: Reborn!” era, (a story title that has interestingly come around again in the current comic books) and how the idea for a costume change and a new set of powers came about.

“We were always looking for big stories to do with Superman and those usually involved the idea of changing up the status quo in some way,” Jurgens said of the concept’s genesis. “We had discussed the general idea of a costume change even back when we brought him back from the dead, of course. That was part of the inspiration for the all black costume. So we kind of revived some of that here and also went with a change in powers, which we’d also talked about previously.”

The idea for the 1997 costume and power change came out of the desire to riff on a Silver Age story, “Superman Red/Superman Blue,” in which the Man of Steel was separated into two separate beings, each of whom had Superman’s powers but a costume that was more monochromatic (except the “S” shield).

“Over the years, we talked several times about doing ‘Superman Red/Superman Blue’ somehow,” Jurgens said. “Our colorist, Glenn Whitmore, had always been nudging us to do so! In this case, we finally had a story where it would actually fit.”

Source: ComicBook.com

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MattComics
Member
With all due respect to Jurgens IMO one of the biggest problems in modern comic storytelling is constantly monkeying with the premise, the powers, or the costume or who’s wearing it and having that be the story instead of telling good stories with what’s there. The era that lead up to Superman fighting Doomsday had a lot going for it but turning Superman into Electro Smurf was a definite sign to me that the main priority had become reverse engineering the success of Death and Return. Also I the original Silver Age comic the red/blue thing is something that happens… Read more »
Randarch
Member

“one of the biggest problems in modern comic storytelling is constantly monkeying with the premise, the powers, or the costume or who’s wearing it and having that be the story instead of telling good stories with what’s there.”

Hit the nail on the head!

manofsteel
Member

The electric Superman interested me back in the day, but I NEVER wanted it replacing the iconic red and blue costume full time.

liheibao
Member

I’m in the minority; I liked it!

Kal L
Member

I agree. I liked the premise behind it, and it was well written to boot!

manofsteel
Member

I agree it was quite an interesting plotline while it lasted and it mixed things up. I did like how it reversed some typical Superman tropes. Eg. Bullets going through him and not bouncing off him.

Jpx98
Member

I have to side with liheibao, and Kal L, I liked it too, I even drew a poster sized animated version for my art class when I was in college and modeled a super-villain character I came up with, after the Electric Blue Superman look, in my writing class. And enjoyed the story remembering and wondering how Superman was going to get back normal.

Kal-Ed
Member

For a while there it really grew on me and I liked the direction where they were going with it. I was just concerned how in the world they will change him back into the original again. The coupla action figures were cool but in all honesty Superman could not be operating with electric powers that has a quasi on/off switch while changing identities. I wouldn’t mind a costume change but new powers for a character as old as 60 years was quite a daredevil feat. I thought it was time to bring the old Superman back.

manofsteel
Member

I know what you mean. As a youngster I literally thought Superman had been updated for a new generation and was never going to change back.

Hollywood
Member

The whole “Transformed” thing seems to be Superman’s version of the “Clone Saga.” Overall, it’s kind of reviled and frowned upon, but people still remember it and talk about it with a sort of whimsical reverence.

And then there are those like liheibao and myself who kinda like it.

macca38
Member

Hi folks, ordered 2 back issues of Superman Rebirth (1&2). Is Son of Superman a further issue connected to issue 1? I find it all a little confusing. Also a good place to ship comics to my UK address, any links or good retailers?

Thanks in advance Superfriends!

NeoRanger
Member
You know, I never got around to reading this Superman; I grew up with very limited comic book availability. I remember this costume popping up in a “feature” at the back of a comic book during the Reign of the Supermen storyline. I was extremely excited, as a kid, to see this on the page. At the time I thought that as soon as Superman returned from the dead, the circumstances of his resurrection would turn him “electric”. Theeen, the local publisher went belly-up and the series was discontinued. I have yet to catch up with those issues. Anyway, I… Read more »
Jpx98
Member
I think whole point was #1 Superman comes back from the dead, and how could he not be affect in some way, he came back from the dead! How can that not affect you in some way? And #2 even back then, like they do today, they wanted to pay Tribute to that story, 1 issue or not. And also give it an updated feel, explore more of the Superman Blue,Superman Red story idea for more than just an issue, unlike original did. Plus tie into the on going story that coming back to life changed him some how down… Read more »
manofsteel
Member

I’d love it if they re released the whole saga again in collected editions.

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