Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Geoff Johns on reintroducing Mon-El

I missed this last week on WizardUniverse. Geoff Johns was interviewed about the Action Comics Annual, including the Mon-El story. Some highlights:

..The book’s mission statement is to dig deep into DC history and hit pathos paydirt—especially when it comes to the reintroduction of Legion of Super-Heroes mainstay Mon-El.

“That’s why we really focused on Mon-El in this annual. We tried to get that emotion,” explains Johns of how he, his film director mentor and artist Eric Wight (Justice League of America #0) pulled their inspiration from Mon-El’s first appearance in 1961’s Superboy #89 rather than more recent retcons which took the character out of Superman’s past. “The original story is obviously a little bit more campy, and it doesn’t hit the emotions as directly as we attempted to, but it’s a wonderful story and certainly our story is very inspired by that.”
And while this is the second time in as many months that Johns has pulled inspiration from classic Silver Age tales (the first being Justice Society of America recruit Starman quoting lines from a classic Legion of Super-Heroes story), the writer explains that the intent for using classic stories as building blocks is to help push the characters into the modern age of superhero comics. And many of the stories in this new annual sync up with recent tweaks to DC continuity implemented over the past few years. “At the same time, the reason to go back to that original Mon-El story is that we knew Mark [Waid] was reintroducing Mon-El as the original in the updated Legion series, and so we wanted to update the original meeting between Mon-El and Clark,” says Johns.
And as for Superman’s “big brother”? Don’t think he’ll be out of the picture and into future issues of Legion of Super-Heroes just yet. “Mon-El is going to be in one of the upcoming Action issues for our General Zod story, so we wanted to remind readers who Mon-El was and set Mon-El up for that,” explains Johns. “He’s essentially the only good guy in the Phantom Zone, which is kind of a cool concept. In a weird way, he’s the guardian of the Phantom Zone, and he’ll be a wealth of information in the current arc when we finally see him.”

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