The congratulations came fast and furious on Twitter as Greg Pak was revealed to be the writer of new ongoing comic book series BATMAN/SUPERMAN. Making his DC Comics debut with two of the most iconic superheroes ever, BATMAN/SUPERMAN is the latest title to be announced under the New 52 reboot that began in late 2011.
Set in the early years of their superhero career, it aims to showcase the first meeting of these two DC stalwarts in the New 52 continuity, complementing the stories already told in the initial arcs of Justice League and Action Comics, among others.
If that wasn’t already a major announcement, it was also revealed that Pak’s collaborator on this dream job was none other than superstar artist Jae Lee, whose evocative and haunting artwork on Marvel’s The Inhumans, The Sentry and most recently, DC’s Before Watchmen: Ozymandias have truly set him apart. Getting someone of Lee’s calibre to illustrate these iconic characters is nothing short of a windfall.
Speaking to USA Today, Pak shared that,
“The idea of Jae Lee drawing Batman is sort of a no-brainer. That makes total sense. (But) he’s doing some cool new stuff and when you put these two characters together, they’ve got different palettes and environments.”
Formerly a Marvel exclusive best known for masterminding the Planet Hulk/World War Hulk storyline that gave a cosmic and familial dimension to everyone’s favourite Hulk, Pak was also responsible for injecting new life into the lesser-known Hercules, and for introducing characters like Amadeus Cho and Skaar, Son of Hulk. In fact, World War Hulk has been suggested by Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige to be the basis of the next “Hulk” movie and potentially “Avengers 3″. That’s a pretty big endorsement of a storyline that dared to give Hulk a sense of vengeful purpose against the superheroes of Earth.
So how writing something as iconic as BATMAN/SUPERMAN compare to writing Hulk? Pak says,
“It is a real thrill, and it’s particularly a thrill because we’re being given some real leeway to do some really important storytelling with these characters. It really defines some great things and to depict some really key moments for them.”
The first arc of BATMAN/SUPERMAN will see the two young, inexperienced superheroes encountering one another for the first time. Naturally, they did not start off already having the mutual care and respect we’ve come to expect from them.
“Neither one of them has ever heard of the other guy.
“What would your reaction be if you saw a guy running around in a bat costume in the dead of night attacking people for the first time? And what would your reaction be if you met an alien who could crush steel in his bare hands for the first time?
“There’s an element of danger to the book that I think is very real and very exciting.”
BATMAN/SUPERMAN will launch in June. In the meantime, check out Pak’s work on the X-Termination crossover from Marvel, featuring the final issues of his X-Treme X-Men series.