Classic Scifi Makes A Comeback In DC's Superman Next Year

Wondering why the Superman comics seem to be very superhero-ish, for an alien rocketed to Earth from a dying planet? DC's creators apparently agree with you, and they're promising some more sci-fi for the character's world in the next year.

The next year of DC's Superman family of comics will call back to some classic science fiction, according to the creators at Friday's Superman New Horizons panel. Talking about what's coming up in the second half of the World of New Krypton mini-series, co-author James Robinson said that "One of the things we're trying to acknowledge that there is a new planet in our solar system." To that end, co-author Greg Rucka explained, we can expect to see the Kryptonian survivors now living on the new planet of New Krypton stealing one of Jupiter's moons because they decide that their planet needs one.

Robinson continued,

At the end of #8, [obscure 1980s character] J'Emm Son of Saturn is going to appear... He's going to turn up saying 'Look, you've got to stop moving planets around the solar system.'

The cover for that issue may be somewhat familiar to classic fantasy fans, Rucka said:

Gary Frank's cover takes a classic Frank Frazetta trope and turns it into a classic science-fiction trope.

World of New Krypton isn't the only series to take inspiration from old favorites; Robinson described Geoff Johns' new Adventure Comics series as appealing to fans of classic sci-fi: "It reminds me of those great Ray Bradbury books set in the midwest." Series artist Francis Manipul added,

t's more of a charming book... It's a book that will cover a lot of age ranges. It's a lot more from the heart, it's a real change of pace from the other event books that're going on right now.

(Fans who miss Johns' Teen Titans should pick the series up; when asked who to expect in the book, he said "Superboy, Wonder Girl, Tim Drake, Bart Allen... The good Teen Titans.")

In the core titles of the franchise, September sees a crossover between Superman, Action Comics, Supergirl and World Of New Krypton called "Codename Patriot." Editor Matt Idleson explained,

As we've built up the Kryptonian side of what's going on with the storyline through the end of next year, so this builds up the Earth side.

The story will center around Lois's dad, General Lane, and his plan to save the planet from what he sees as the threat of thousands of Supermen running around. James Robinson promised that General Lane has "layers and layers of plans that build up to a big event in 2010.... Pieces will come together until we have our exciting event that you will all love, I promise... Every single character is affected in some way, no-one comes out unscathed."
Neither does real estate, according to Greg Rucka, who says that Superman and his Action Comics will cause trouble for Superman's home city in months to come:

James and I are planning the damage that we're going to do to Metropolis again. Wait. You guys don't know about the damage we're doing in the first place. Ixnay that part.

One thing you shouldn't expect, however, is an appearance from zombie children. When asked about the possibility that DC's linewide Blackest Night will turn supporting character Cat Grant's dead son into a murdering zombie, the panel reacted with nervous laughter before Geoff Johns finally said, "No plans right now."