Remember last week’s column when I said that change is a constant in the Doctor Who universe? Well, fortunately for us, change is also taking place in the Superman universe!

As reported here at, two big talents in the comics industry are going to take their shot at Superman, hopefully making that title sparkle as it should!

Apparently, it’s not big news when Geoff Johns writes a new title any longer. Well, that’s especially true when compared to John Romita Jr. providing the art.

JRJR, as he’s referred to, has drawn for Marvel for the last 30 years or so. He’s played with the notion of working for DC in the past, but it never really happened. This time, he said in an interview, it’s for real.

And let’s face it – the Man of Steel is a classic character that would be great to see JRJR draw a lot. At least, for a while. I’m concerned because of something he said in the interview: “I’m still going to have a chance to work on my creator-owned properties at some point during this and after this.” Is there already an end in sight? We’ll see.


When DC launched the New 52, one of the things I was most excited about was to see Superman get an upgrade. (That was after reading Mr. Snyder and Mr. Capullo on Batman, of course.)

But nothing seemed to click. Creative team after creative team came and went on many of the Superman family of books, and I was getting really worried. Even Grant Morrison, who I thought would be a great fit for the Man of Steel, floundered on Action Comics. What’s a fan to do?

Recently, I was encouraged that the aforementioned Mr. Snyder was working with Jim Lee to create Superman Unchained. It’s been a terrific ride, but I was sorry to hear that the title was wrapping up soon as well.

Nuts, to put it mildly!


Batman, Superman, Geoff Johns, JRJR, John Romita Jr., Marvel, DC Comics, Man of Steel, Then the news of Mr. Johns and JRJR picking up Superman came last week. I’m optimistic about this for several reasons.

First, in my opinion, Johns has written some of the best Superman stories published in the last several years. His take on the Man of Steel’s origin is already a classic, for example. I’ve also enjoyed the way he’s handled Superman in Justice League, so I was very happy to hear this news. And Johns usually does attract some significant sales numbers!

Johns usually gets the spotlight when he’s on a title, especially one with the history of Superman. But, based on the media’s response to JRJR’s providing the art, it’s an event that matches even the death of Steve Rogers, which got a LOT of coverage.

I’ve seen a great many news outlets talk about this happening, and that’s good news for the Man of Steel as well as the new creative team.

JRJR is an artist known for his work on many of the Marvel heroes, and to see him take on Superman on a regular basis, well, that’s news, and I understand the reaction!


I know I’ve wretched about this kind of thing before, but I’ve noticed in the past that when Marvel creators move over to DC, the naysayers hit the Internet in droves.

“His art isn’t nearly as good as when he drew for Marvel,” I remember being one reaction to one artist signing an exclusive with DC. “He needs to get back to Marvel so it will improve.”

Well, same guy, same art style. I never understood that one.

“This is only temporary. When he finds out how DC sucks, he’ll go back where he belongs – at Marvel,” said another.

I find all this interesting because there are very rarely any exclusive contracts these days. JRJR has already said he’s going to be working on his creator-owned materials as well. I always like to ask the people who say this, “So whatever he does anywhere else, it won’t be as good?”

The response usually is, “It might be better somewhere else, but not at DC.”

Yeah, right. This reminds me of the current trend of proclaiming any DC movie casting as a disaster while every hiring Marvel does is inspired.

In fact, I’ve already seen some of this type of posting on the Internet, before we’ve seen a single page!


Now, JRJR has drawn Superman a time or two in the past. A drawing of the Man of Steel can be found on the cover to DC/Marvel Crossover Classics No. 2.Putting him with Johns is a great choice!

During the interview I mentioned previously, Johns said, “For me, as far as the story goes, my tagline for the story is ‘Putting the Man of Tomorrow back in the Man of Tomorrow.’ It’s really looking at Superman and getting back to the core values and attributes and strengths of Superman. Really, the Man of Tomorrow is the theme, for me, that we’re going to tackle in this first storyline.”

JRJR responded, “To me, it’s a little bit more of the Man of the Unknown, because there are some things about Superman that are unknown officially, now, that we will discover. So that part I’m really excited about.”

I’ve long held that there are no bad characters, only less-than-inspired treatments of them. With these two on Superman, I’m already seriously looking forward to this!

I want to see Superman flying high again (pardon the pun), much like Batman is. Giving him some of the best talent in the comics business is a wise idea, I believe, so I’ll be there with bated breath when the first issue comes out! I hope you will be, too!


About Author

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

1 Comment

  1. I’d like to see what Johns does with Superman outside of the Secret Origins context. I liked some aspects of that comic and disliked others. The chapters where Superman is an adult looked like an attempt to recreate the Christopher Reeve films. I was never a fan of the Silver Age concept of Clark Kent, such as the games he played with Lois and Jimmy to hide his secret identity. Johns brought back the Clark who seeks to make people underestimate him, as Lois observes in the story although she doesn’t know the agenda behind it. I prefer Clark confident and likeable, like after the John Byrne reboot. The Lois of Secret Origins catches a glimpse of Clark’s real personality, and I was disappointed that Johns didn’t expand on this to bring the two characters closer together.

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