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AICN COMICS Q&@: Matt Adler talks with SUPERGIRL Writers Mike Johnson & Mike Green! Plus a preview of this week’s SUPERGIRL #4!!!

@@@ What the &#$% is AICN COMICS Q&@? @@@

Q’s by Matt Adler!

@’s by SUPERGIRL Writers
Mike Johnson & Mike Green!!!

Hey folks, Matt Adler here. Comics fans know the writing team of Michael Green and Mike Johnson from their 2008-2009 run on SUPERMAN/BATMAN, and the wider world knows them from their work on such television shows as SMALLVILLE, HEROES, KINGS, and TRANSFORMERS: PRIME. As part of DC’s New 52 relaunch, they’ve reunited to this time take on the Maid of Might, AKA Supergirl. The cousin of Superman escaped the destruction of their home planet of Krypton under very different circumstances, and the relaunch has given Green and Johnson the opportunity to tell Supergirl’s story their way. I had the opportunity to speak with the duo recently, and they were ready to share with us their thoughts about working with such an iconic character and how it might be just a bit different this time around. Enjoy!

MATT ADLER (MA): How did you guys come to write this series?

MICHAEL GREEN (MG): We had a ball on our run on the SUPERMAN/BATMAN when our editor on Supes/Bats, Eddie Berganza, invited us to pitch a take on SUPERGIRL...we jumped!

MIKE JOHNSON (MJ): We didn’t know anything about the New 52 at that point. When they liked our pitch we got the full scoop and the anxiety dreams about screwing up the re-launch of a beloved character started.

MA: How long have you been interested in Supergirl? What about her appeals to you?

MJ: She first made an impact on both of us thanks to the cover to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #7. Luckily that wasn’t her last story. She’s a blast to write because she’s got the power of Superman without having been raised by the best parents ever on a Kansas farm. Supergirl doesn’t have Supes’ attachment to Earth. Her home planet just blew up and now she’s supposed to protect a planet full of people who seem more interested in slaughtering than saving each other.

MA: How does this version of Supergirl differ from her pre-New 52 incarnation?

MJ: Since the series starts with her just arriving on Earth, she’s not a superhero in the traditional sense yet. She’s a smart, vulnerable, brave, kind, headstrong, terrified teenager who just discovered that she can juggle aircraft carriers. It would mess with anyone’s head.

MG: We’re playing up that while she could pass by you on the street and you wouldn’t notice, she’s truly is an alien from outer space that could throw you into the sun if she was in the mood. She’s learning how to control her powers – she’s learning she HAS powers, and that there is plenty of collateral damage when you use them, which makes for fun comics.

MA: Do you communicate with the other Superman family writers at all to coordinate?

MJ: We do, thanks to epic email chains and conference calls. We’ve got a great roster of talent on the Super-family of books, and our editor Wil Moss does a great job making sure our book stays in sync with what’s going on in the others. She’ll be guest-starring in SUPERMAN and SUPERBOY coming up.

MA: What do you think will appeal about this series to new and old readers, respectively?

MG: She’s as new to the New 52 as we all are. If you’ve never read her before, you don’t need to know anything about her backstory to follow along. And if you’ve read every Supergirl story in every incarnation that comes before, we hope you’ll enjoy seeing a new take that still honors what we all love about character.

MA: Your artist is Mahmud Asrar; what's it like working with him?

MG: He’s our MVP. He’s a gift. Most comic teams are arranged marriages, and we got the prettiest girl in town. Who happens to be a grown man in Ankara, Turkey. He’s one of the rare ones who’s as good at drawing giant mechs being shredded as he is at drawing the look on a girl’s face when she’s just been told that everyone she has ever loved is dead.

MJ: One of the best things about writing comics is that you regularly wake up in the morning to find beautiful original art in your inbox. We send Mahmud monosyllabic descriptions, he sends back Sistine Chapels. Best of all he’s a great collaborator who makes it as fun as creating comics should be. And his English is better than our Turkish.

MA: Any teases about what's coming up in the book?

MG: At the end of issue #4, Kara makes a decision that leads her back to explore her home city of Argo in issue #5. We dig into the mystery of how Argo survived and drop hints about who sent her to Earth, which is part of her ongoing mystery. And we introduce a new villain with ties to Krypton. Issues #6 and #7 introduce the Worldkillers, who were first mentioned by Superman in ominous tones back in issue #2.

MJ: In issue #8, Mahmud gets a well-earned break to play with his brand-new baby boy. When we went looking for an artist who could pinch-hit in Mahmud’s absence, we needed someone who could do justice to the look of the book Mahmud’s created. So we found an up-and-coming artist named George Perez who will step in to draw #8. We’ve seen some of his samples. He’s got a lot of promise. He drew something called CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #7.

Issue #8 also introduces the first important member of Supergirl’s new supporting cast, Siobhan Smythe, an Irish teenager who – like Kara – is a recent immigrant. She’s the first real friend Kara makes. Which sucks, because Siobhan’s alter ego is a big scary demon called Silver Banshee. Sterling Gates did a great job in the previous SUPERGIRL run establishing Banshee as an arch-foe for Kara. In our book we’ll see Siobhan’s first steps down a very dark road.

MA: Any other projects you're working on these days?

MJ: I’m writing an ongoing STAR TREK series for IDW Publishing set in the new timeline established by the 2009 movie. We’re showing what happens between that movie and the upcoming sequel, and the comic will dovetail into the sequel story in the same way that the “Countdown” comic did in ’09.

MG: I’m working on a new show for ABC called “The River”. It premieres February 7. It’s a big genre horror/thriller show – and it’s been way more fun than working in TV should be. Please watch it so networks will support more risky fun genre shows instead of making you eat more cops and lawyers!

MA: Look for the latest issue of SUPERGIRL, #4 to be exact, available this Wednesday from DC Comics!

Matt Adler is a writer/journalist, currently writing for AICN among other outlets. He’s been reading comics for 20 years, writing about them for 7, and spends way, way, too much time thinking about them, which means he really has no choice but to figure out how to make a living out of them. He welcomes all feedback.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 20, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Okay, I admit I'm sexist but put a skirt back on her!

    by mdk

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST

    That Turkish dude's a good artist, though

    by mdk

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Has_Snyder... - Count me in

    by The StarWolf

    The other ensemble was definitely more fun.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Am I the only one ...

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    Who noticed the oddly phallic "sunstone" that the dude whipped out of concealment in his clothing and wagged at Supergirl?

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 11:28 a.m. CST

    That Supergirl Costume Sucks!

    by Jake Pantlin

    It looks like he his giving her action figure "joints" in the arms and torso. She literally looks like an action figure. I have no issue with them ditching the skirt, but at least give her red undies like Superman, and not that weird look pussy guard.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 11:35 a.m. CST

    re: bicycle sharer

    by Jake Pantlin

    Yeah, I saw the red Kryptonite dildo too.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Having bought the first couple of issues

    by Snookeroo

    I like the new take on Supergirl. It's nice to see her visualized from a new perspective. And - I like the new outfit. I also appreciate that Asrars artwork is not completely caught up in endless detail to the point of sacrificing visual story-telling. Unfortunately, comics are just too expensive to buy all the titles I'd like, so I won't be following this one going forward. Sigh.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 1:04 p.m. CST

    If you like Mahmud Asrar's art...

    by MattAdler

    Check out this concept art for the Silver Banshee (Green and Johnson mentioned she is coming up soon):

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Hmm, let's see if I can post it

    by MattAdler

    <img src="">

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Guess not

    by MattAdler

    Anyway, I think it looks pretty cool.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    comic book movie fans some of them dislike movies

    by emeraldboy

    with female superheroes in them. but I wonder will they make a new supergirl film ever. one thats nothing to do with that atrocity made in 1984. 25 years does a long time.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Okay, so, now that me and Atheron saw it ...

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    Anybody wanna place bets on how Supergirl gets rid of it? I say she squeezes it between her legs real hard, gets this odd look on her face, just before she crushes the thing. Then she smiles, exhausted, but relieved.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by 3774

    I like what's going on so far. Just two desires I have to throw in: 1.) Maintain a verisimilitude behind the destructive powers. The 'fun' comment makes me nervous that they might go for yuck yucks. 2.) Please, more meaningful internal monologue as to what she's thinking and feeling. Something about issue 3 felt like it drifted from that. I see no phallic symbol. Apparently some men have penises on their brain.

  • Dude, seriously? You don't see some suggestive imagery in those three panels? Christ, even the word bubbleafter she says the red stone is dirty... "Father must have put it in my pod!" ;)

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Yeah, 'dude'. Seriously.

    by 3774

    But art is about each person seeing what they want to see. If you see penises and incest, that's your prerogative, not mine. There's a Witchblade article further up from this one. Let me guess. You're a fan.

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Apparently some men have penises on their brain.

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    And some have 'em in their mouths and asses. I know where I'd rather.

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Pink Apocalypse -- really? THAT'S your fucking name?

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    And you want to talk about "some men blah blah blah!" LMAO! I showed my wife the two pages. Just showed 'em. But never SAID anything. And then I asked her, "Does anything stand out on these two pages?" And she said, "Besides the fact that the red thing looks like a dick?" Hey, Pink Apocalypse, show your boyfriend those last two pages and see what he says.

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Brush up your Turkish and go ask the prettiest girl in town.

    by 3774

    Pink Apocalypse = Apocalyptic Pink, the name of a collectible ink I found in Fable 2, which made me laugh myself silly about an hour before I created my aintitcool account. I love pink, and I love apocalyptic scenarios. Especially Fallout. And two comments? Really? Spoiling for a fight *that* much?

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Pink Apocalypse

    by MattAdler

    Trust me, if anyone could have cheesecaked the hell out of this book it was me. This is what made working with Ron such a rewarding experience, besides him being a very likeable fella. He understands, and I mean truly understands, the fact that a character has to earn his or her sexy moment; otherwise it loses all of its impact, but when that moment comes we get to treat it properly. Obvious from a few scenes in WITCHBLADE, but I think even more from Angelus. It is a matter of proper buildup that made characters beyond just hot people running around all bouncy and jiggly. It was about the story first.

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    The above was a comment from artist Stjepan Sejic in the Witchblade interview. I read #150 to prepare for the interview, and all I can say is, it's definitely not T&A, so perhaps they are getting a bad rap for what went on with other writers and artists earlier in the series.

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    @ Matt.

    by 3774

    I'll concede that they may have turned it into something special, and I'm just ignorant of that. I've just never been a fan of the 90's 'scene' with comics, Image, Jim Lee, and that Top Cow cheesecake look (all unrelated but related at the same time for me). It was the 'era' that drove me away from comics, but I'm back now. Not out of morbid curiosity, but genuine interest. I'll try to give anything an open-minded look once.