Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Here's a new teaser clip from my latest animated project, an adaptation of Mark Millar's Superman: Red Son—directed by the ultra-talented Sam Liu.  Digital release coming on February 25th, followed by the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray release on March 17th.  Enjoy!


  1. Speaking of Krypton's last son (red or not), have you read any of Supes stories since Jon Kent was born during Convergence?


  2. Nope. I don't see many current comics.

    1. Well, I have not seen a character introduced into a decades old (nigh 100 years) series and become that widely accepted. Especially by comic fans.

      As a contrast, Damian Wayne (who I know you have written for in animated films, don't deny it) hads been around for a decade and is STILL a devise character.

      I even like the character and I usually hate kids in comics.

      It might be worth checking out at some point, like if there is an option for an animated movie fro you to write.

      Jurgens and Tomasi did a really good Jon on not only creating Jon, but making Clark and Lois believable as working parents.

      Funniest of all to me, for all the times DC (and Marvel) have tried to create characters and make them a thing, but they didn't click, I don't think Jon was expected to be a hit.

      There are testimonials online of people who said they never liked Superman until Jon Kent was introduced.

      I don't know Demattteis, you always say you want something positive said about the comic industry, there is something positive.


    2. And I welcome the positivity!

      Damian Wayne is an interesting character (he was in both BATMAN VS. ROBIN and BATMAN: BAD BLOOD) and I enjoyed writing him.

    3. Well Dematteis, if you are interested here is a video that gives a (positive) opinionated look at one of the two concurrent runs that flesh out the character.

      If you are not interested, I would not recommend watching the video.

      I will say, Damian Wayne and Jon had a team up book that was pretty popular. An animated movie may be in the cards.

      Cards on the table, I don't care for Damian Wayne. In honest none of them from any quality of writing, but rather who the character is.

      A choice was made about who they wanted him to be, and was perfectly actualized that vision well. I just I don't like it... but hey, that is what makes horse races.


    4. I don't play cards and I don't race horses, but I get your point. : )

      Thanks for the link!

    5. And now you have grown to hate Jon Kent. That is unfortunate. I blame myself.

      In a roundabout way Superman is connected to hy I dislike Damian Wayne.


    6. Now, and I don;t want to break your heart here Dematteis, I don't actually know if you have an interest in Jon, dismiss the idea entirely, or completely ambivalent.

      I do have a theory as to why Jon was so well received. Yes, teh writing was well done, but how many times has good writing not saved a character people didn't want... especially one that changed so very much about the character they supported?

      People forget that back in '38, Superman took off in part because people identified with him. A secret identity that had to win the love of his life while working a straight job... that was new and different for action heroes of the time.

      As war machines raged across two oceans and began to set their eye on American shore... full of economic hardships, crime, and inequality, people needed to know that among them were heroes. People living lives like them or theory parent, who were so angered by injustice they could focus all of the gifts God gave them to stop fight for the common man.

      In the 50s, as WWII began to fade into memory, and America faced the almost godlike power of the Atomic Bomb and finally took a real push against prejudice it was a new needed.

      A nation needed to know that Truth Justice and the American Way was lurking behind every blue suit, fedora, and glasses. That we could stand against the force that ended the greatest war in world history, and that a quest for moral right was the strongest thing imaginable.

      This hero could not be flawed or reckless, and he had to pull everything he needed pull what ever powers he could to fight these threats... even if the powers never existed before, seemed illogical, and were forever forgotten later.

      More importantly, that the road to right was forged not by one man, but the actions he took with friends and family, determined to make a better world.

      The 78 Superman movies saw an unstoppable force of positivity and goodness as a way to stand against the cynicism of the decade.

      Clark Kent has always been the key to Superman. Knowing that our greatest champion could be any person you passed on the street. That he would return to ranks instead of rule us. Most importantly, that he could be so ordinary.

      But, things had changed. People wanted that, but more. Theyuneeded to know heroes could have doubts. Be contemplative. The Man of Tomorrow's mythos seemed trapped in the past.

      To fix it world's had to live. World's had to die. And nothing could ever be the same again... not even the Last Son of Krypton.


    7. After Crisis, Byrne started to make Clark more of a character, and define the man as who would want to be Superman. However, I believe it was Roger Stern who really brought this idea to full life.

      He was still Superman, no doubt. However, now he had living parents. Clark Kent did things with friends. He contemplated the best ways to do things. He was crushed when everyone couldn't be saved or when he couldn't live up to his own ideals. He didn't hold Lois Lane at arms length.

      He was every bit the moral center we knew. He was the bravest man the world had ever known. He was Just as King and compassionate... as mighty.

      However, he was also a regular Joe from Smallville with hopes, dreams, fears, and an appreciation for life's basic pleasures. He was a SuperMAN.

      It seems the more you add to Clark Kent the more people like it. A dream of being a novelist. Writer's Block. Friends. A wife.

      It grounds him. It makes us believe in Superman... in his goodness.

      A son, a need to raise him right... especially when he has such great powers... that he would die for, that he enjoys spending time with, what is more human than that.

      Stan Lee was right, and oddly John Byrne wrong, we don't want gods, we want people. That is what makes us believe in ourselves. Even if the man is the best we could ever hope to know.

      It is just another logical step for teh character, tapping into something we didn't even know we needed him to have.


      P.S. The Damian and very roundabout to Superman connection was true.

    8. Fascinating. Thanks for the insights, Jack. It's a fine balance between Clark's humanity and Superman's symbolic power...if you tip it too far in either direction he either becomes Just Another Flawed Hero or Mr. Perfection. Sounds like the current Jon-centric Superman has hit a nice balance.

    9. I always had a theory that Clark became a reporter to prove he could help people without his powers. Yellow solar rays can;t make him a good writer, develop instincts, know how to talk to people, or ask intelligible questions. It is him competing on an even plane.

      Personally, I am more of a Clark Kent fan than a Superman fan.

      I think some writers want to humanize Superman, and do so with a Superman story, when a Clark Kent story could do it all the better. A nice simple story of a man, instead of a superhuman trying to relate. And good writers have made this mistake.

      Superman #247 (I used for reference if you need one)is praised for the story of the Guardians making Supes realize he must not do too much for mankind AND IT IS A CLASSIC.

      However, I think the better story was the back up feature by Denny O'Neil. The first in the "Private Life of Clark Kent" stories.

      I don;t think anyone would be surprised that O'Neil wrote a hell of a good story of a man. That one was about Clark convincing a colleague's brother to quit a gang, but others had him losing his powers so he could compete in a bowling match.

      Anyway, hopefully I have at least peaked your interest in Jon Kent. Wait! Was that really how this conversation started?


    10. There are some folks who say that Clark Kent is just a mask that Superman wears, but I agree with you: Clark is the heart and soul of Superman. Without him, Superman is too...distant. A symbol but not a man. Clark grounds him, makes him relatable. And I love your ideas re: why Clark became a reporter!

    11. Clark Kent is the only reason there is a Superman. Going back to Superman #1 (The real one, from 1939). On the first page we see the Kents find a baby, take it to an orphanage, return because they couldn't get him put of their mind, and tell him he must use his powers to help people.

      On page two, we are shown Clark grieving at their death, and we learn that is why he becomes Superman.

      Most of this carries over to all mainstream versions of the character. A happy childhood with good morals created Earth's greatest hero.

      He only got that because two people chose to take a strange child they knew nothing about, except he wasn't from their planet, into their homes. He got to be Clark Kent because of a good deed... no, an above and beyond deed.

      The entirety of the DC Universe moral center comes from a man being grateful for two people adopting him. That is the heroic act that kicks off the Dc Universe, and comics themselves.

      It is forged by a very real world good deed.

      The golden age spelled it out. The 50s show and 90s Superman TAS (The Animated Series) wrung it true.

      I would agree that Clark's nerdiness and clumsiness, but that doesn't mean it is a total lie.

      Another great story from the Private Life of Clark Kent (and I actually don't have many pre-Crisis Superman comics) where he goes home to Smallville, to his childhood home before it is torn down.

      Pete Ross is convinced it is because he hid some treasure there as Superboy, only to realize he just wanted to see where he grew up and the last place he saw his parents before it was gone forever.

      That HAS to be a Clark Kent thing.

      There is also I comic (I actually bought yesterday) were Lois has a secret and she says Perry can never know. Superman can never know, then that Clark can never know.

      This comic came out in 2000. They were married. She prioritized Clark over Superman.

      A fried of mine who I have known since I was a teenager, who reads comics, and I were having a meal together a month ago.

      I mentioned why I don;t like comics being called a "modern mythology." Aside from the inaccuracy of the term, I believe it is something nerd use so we can justify our love. JUST LET IT BE ITS OWN THING!

      However, he pointed out that when you focus on that you don't concentrate on the story or the characters. I had not considered that, but it seems like the writers ho go in with that mindset overlook small stories and character moments.

      Seems a tad germane to the Clark Kent discussion.
      As for my reporter theory, thank you. And feel free to leverage it into a job at DC for me. I'll wait while you make the call.


    12. Yes, Clark was raised with love and compassion and that informed who he was as both Clark and Superman.

      I called DC about that job, but they didn't pick up the phone! : )

    13. Well, don't stop trying.

      In the meantime, maybe you can have a pow wow in your industry about how they write reporters.

      It is insane the issues you guys and gals have. Having been raised by two journalists, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

      Interesting thing about Clark and his role in Superman's life, Geoff Johns pretty much nailed that home recently.

      IN Doomsday CLock (which I am pretty sure had some editorial issues in the middle) turned into a love letter to the Man of Tomorrow in the back half.

      It stated that As the universe reforms, Superman is always at the center... even when he isn't the first.

      That he will always be rocketed away from Krypton, and no matter how many times the universe is put back together, he will always be found by a loving couple called the Kents.

      Sometimes they will have a son. Or daughter, but usually he will be their only child, but he will always be raised with the values of Superman.

      It is even hinted that 1938 wasn't the first time hepremiered. That Kal-EL may have been found by prehistoric Kents.

      That ultimately, he is more the "Man of Tomorrow" that that his final place is the year 3000, so he can fund The Legion himself.

      Oddly enough, we cast ourselves as Lex Luthor, unable to believe any person could be that good and powerful While also not believing they would choose to among people.

      Thus why so many comic readers hate Superman. It is almost meta contextual. Almost.

      Of course, I think the lore can distance him from readers as well. No matter how cool it is.

      IN the 2000s, they brought Krypto. Well, Krypto should always be around, so great.

      Then Supergirl came back as his cousin. Kind of defeating the Last Kryptonian thing from Crisis, but it was a well done story, so fine.

      Then Geoff Johns had him adopt a Kryptonian child that escaped from the Phantom Zone. The son of Zod. Eventually Zod broke free with a bunch of kryptonian villains.

      This opened it up more to the question of, how is he the Last son of Krypton? This wasn't a good story, it was a GREAT story. So, whatever.

      Then in a great story about... essentially about Xenophbia, but in the future with aliens on Earth, it turned out he was Superboy after all POst-Crisis. He was pals with the Legion.

      However, he had his mind wiped. A great story, with a tragic undertone. Johns does great again.

      Then, Kandor returns. A city of Kryptonians is around. They grow back to normal size.

      New Krypton forms. Supes lives there, to live among his birth people. He sees the societal flaws. Realizes Earthlings are his people.

      Most die, but a hundred or so remain.

      I ENJOYED ALL THESE STORIES, let me make that clear, but it got to the point were you had to ask, "Where is my buddy Clark?" and "AM I reading about the world's greatest hero forged by a world shattering origin, or just a Kryptonian main character."

      It is a fine line. For sure. It was just a series of events, in pretty good to great stories, but suddenly that grounded Ma and Pa forged character is lost in the lore.

      You realize, man this characters has layers if removed he's... hard to see for what he is.

      Hell, there was a point in the late 90s, where he didn't have a day job anymore. Everything else was the same, he just didn't have a day job. Some pretty good stories happened, but the balance as off.

      Let me know when the pow wow is scheduled by the way, I will want o know what is said.


    14. Every single person in the comics business gets together for lunch the third Thursday in the month. So I'll be sure to bring it up. : )