At Comic-Con@Home 2021, DC editor-in-chief Marie Javins led a talk with writers Tom Taylor (Superman: Son of Kal-El), Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Action Comics), and Grant Morrison with artist Mikel Janin (Superman and the Authority). Together these creators discussed their bold new visions for the classic superhero.
Superman: Son of Kal-El follows Superman’s son Jon Kent on his journey to become to become the Superman of the next generation. Taylor discussed being inspired by Superman’s 1938 run an how he was, initially, a provocative character tackling societal ills. As a fan of the early, brasher incarnation of Superman, it is the perfect time to revisit this aspect of the icon. Superman is usually played as being 100% good or corrupted by evil– perhaps Jon Kent will provide more of a middleground.
Action Comics seeks to pit Superman against the challenges of War World. Johnson expressed a desire to put Superman on a more galactic stage. Superman is often criticized for being so powerful that no obstacle can pose a threat to him. In the vast expanse of the universe, however, Superman is simply one more alien in a cosmic frontier ruled by aliens.
Superman and the Authority throws readers into the deep end with a near future in which Superman’s powers are in decline and he must form a team of anti-heroes to supplement the powers he lost. After multiple character-defining stories like All Star Superman and the New 52’s Action Comics, one might think that Morrison would be done with the character. Yet, the first issue of Superman and the Authority hooked me in and, by the end, I felt like this could easily run for ten issues.