EXCLUSIVE: SUPERMAN/BATMAN Interview with Writer Greg Pak
Voices From Krypton is going to be featuring a weekly look at the Superman/Batman dynamic from over the years. Some of these pieces will be retrospective in nature, others presented as videos, and many will be in the form of exclusive interviews. It is with the latter that we kick things off, speaking to writer Greg Pak. A Texas native, Pak's long list of comics credits include Warlock, Phoenix: Endsong, Iron Man, The Hulk, Battlestar Galactica and War Machine. In June of last year he began writing for DC with Batman/Superman and, in November, he assumed writing duties on Action, both part of the New 52.
Insofar as DC fans are concerned, the main event of 2015 will be the sequel to Man of Steel bringing together Superman and Batman. What follows is an excerpt from an exclusive interview with writer Greg Pak about the Superman/Batman dynamic.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: Looking at the dynamic between Batman and Superman, what are the contrasts between the two characters?
GREG PAK: The two of them are totally focused on helping other people. In particular helping the weak; basically sticking up for the underdog. I think that's the greatest similarity between them. Exactly how they go about doing that is very different. They've got very different methodologies and different worldviews. So even though they may have the same goal, they go about achieving it in very, very different ways, which makes putting them together in the same room a very fun proposition for me as a writer. The closer you are to somebody, the more interesting the conflicts can be and we get that in spades with these guys.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: What are the gaps they fill in each other?
GREG PAK: They may or may not actually fill in gaps with each other, but they may just point out the problems. Particularly in the New 52, it remains to be seen how they're going to push each other. The outcome may not always be good. These guys are young, they're dangerous, they're passionate. The first story I did with them was set five years ago when they were meeting each other for the very first time. They were very young and very cocky - each guy knows exactly what he thinks he should be doing and knows that the other guy is basically the most dangerous guy on the planet. So you've got huge conflicts there. Even now, in the present day DC universe, they're young. This isn't "Uncle Batman and Uncle Superman." They haven't been around forever, each guy is ridiculously confident in what he does, but they're still raw, still figuring out exactly how to do what they do and are facing certain kinds of challenges for the first time. When they have conflicts, it's not always guaranteed that it's going to be a Super Friends ending where everybody is going to be shaking hands and smiling.
Each guy is always going to do what he knows in his gut is the right thing to do. Maybe the other guy is going to push him in a certain direction, because the other guy thinks he knows exactly what has to be done which could be different from the first guy. They make each other better, but they also push each other in ways that may not be right. I love that dynamic, because it's not a safe place. We know in their hearts that these guys are straight-up heroes; they are always fighting and are willing to sacrifice to do the right thing. And they're going to do the right thing. But they're also human, capable of making mistakes and they're young. There are also high-stakes physical consequences to all of these battle they're encountering. For each of them, their identities are challenges every day and exactly who they're going to become remains to be seen. I think it's really a rich place to be. I'm really excited to be working in this place as a writer; it's the best kind of storytelling you can do when the lives of your characters are on the line. And they're being tested as thoroughly as they can be. It just provides you with great drama.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: What appeals to me about the New 52 is kind of what appeals to me about JJ Abrams' reboot of Star Trek. Those guys may be Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, but they may not necessarily become exactly the same Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock that we know. I think the same can be said for Batman and Superman in the New 52.
GREG PAK: I think that's a fair comparison. I'm a huge sucker for depictions of Superman and Batman over all of the different ages. I'm endlessly amused by the, frankly, homicidal Batman you see at the very beginning when he's really killing criminals, which is just crazy. And I'm a huge sucker for the Adam West very self-consciously Batman. And I love Christopher Reeve's Superman beyond all reason, the Dark Knight Returns Superman and Batman, which was a very dark imagining. These characters are so flexible they can be used in so many different ways and you can tell so many different kinds of stories. And I'm a sucker for all those kinds of stories. What we've been given a chance to do here is something pretty special, because it's a chance to treat these characters like human beings. They're not perfect icons. They are three-dimensional, humans, young men who are struggling to figure out what the best thing to do is in each new circumstance. It's a moving target, which is like life itself. It's a lot of fun.
For the rest of this interview, please click HERE.
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