Exclusive Interview: Greg Pak Talks Batman/Superman, Man of Steel & More
The New 52’s two biggest guns, Batman and Superman, are reunited – and for the first time in this new world – this spring in an ongoing monthly, titled oddly enough Batman/Superman, by Greg Pak (in his DC Comics debut) and Jae Lee.
Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer caught the world’s finest writer (that would be Pak) and discussed exclusively everything from how he got the assignment to his favorite stories of these Justice League titans.
Cosmic Book News: Congratulations, Greg, on your first DC assignment. What does it fill like working in the world of the New 52? How did this job come about?
Greg Pak: I got a call from Jim Lee a couple of months back. He said "Superman" and "Batman" and my head popped off. The whole experience has been a dream so far. Everyone at DC has been fantastic, full of great ideas and passion.
CBN: You are working with two iconic characters and at the historic moment of their first meeting. What will this first encounter have over other versions told in the past?
Greg Pak: The great thing about telling this story at this specific point in time is that we're dealing with the Batman and Superman of the New 52 at a very early stage in their careers. They're young and raw and cocky and, frankly, dangerous. We've seen great writers in the past depict their relationship as wary and guarded -- that great Byrne story in which Batman makes a kind of crazy bomb threat is a prime example. But these young heroes are even more unpredictable. In particular, the young New 52 Superman is much cockier and more rash than any other Superman I can recall. Throw him together with Batman and sparks are absolutely going to fly.
CBN: Were you a fan of the original World's Finest? Read any of those classic Bats/Supes adventures?
Greg Pak: I've been boning up! There's a great DC trade called Superman/Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told that has a bunch of the classics. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in these characters.
CBN: Supes is an upstanding pillar of truth, even in the New 52 while Batman is shrouded in shadows and even more secretive in his first days. What threat could possibly bring them together?
Greg Pak: It'll be as big and bigger than both of them. I'll say no more.
CBN: Will we see how these heroes learn/discover each other's secret identity along the way?
Greg Pak: That would be telling. I will reveal, however, that Clark and Bruce will absolutely come face to face.
CBN: Will Jimmy Olsen or one of the Robins have any time in this book?
Greg Pak: Probably not in the first story arc, but I love those characters and I'm sure we'll eventually see some or all of them. Although we're also having a blast building a fun supporting cast that's unique to this book.
CBN: Do you have any favorite Superman and/or Batman stories?
Greg Pak: Batman: Year One and Dark Knight Returns aren't just two of my favorite Batman stories -- they're two of my favorite comic books of all time.
I'm a sucker for the first Superman story I ever read -- "The Juvenile Delinquents from Space" story from Action #315 back in the day. Just hilarious. More modern stuff that's made a big impression on me includes Morrison's All Star Superman and Loeb/Sale's Superman for All Seasons.
Greg Pak: Jae's just a phenomenal artist. His dark, evocative, atmospheric style is a no-brainer for Batman, right? But he draws a phenomenal Superman and I think he's going to really go to town when he tackles the young, raw version of the character. He's also got a phenomenal design sense, and I think he's really going to shine when using composition and layouts to show the parallels and differences between these two characters.
CBN: Your book and the new Superman movie will debut around the same time. Have any thoughts on the new movie Man of Steel, Henry Cavill?
Greg Pak: [Movie] looks great; can't wait to see it!
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Greg Pak for his time and we also thank Alex Segura and Alex Nagorski of DC Comics who helped make this interview possible.