While growing up as Clark Kent’s best friend did come with its perks, Lana Lang has recently had her eyes opened to a brave new world in the pages of “Superwoman.”
K. Perkins has joined the ongoing series as the new writer, replacing the outgoing Phil Jimenez. Having co-written “Superman” and “Supergirl” with frequent writing partner Mike Johnson over the past few years, Perkins’ run on the series, which officially began with the just-released “Superwoman” #9, is her first solo effort for DC Comics.
In an in-depth interview with CBR, Perkins shared that Lana Lang will indeed further her relationships with John Henry/Steel and Natasha Irons, as well as Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman.
Perkins also teased that breakout character Atomic Skull will continue his transformation from D-list supervillain to C-list superhero during her run.
CBR: We know from Alfred Lord Tennyson that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Does the same go for superpowers? Because it seems like Lana is going to struggle with her new status quo.
K. Perkins: Ha, maybe so! After her last flare, Lana was on a fast track to death. Her time in the Kryptonian armor was supposed to have saved her, but what comes out of it is not what anyone was hoping for. [Pauses] Or was it? Lana is definitely going to have to spend time figuring out her new limitations, as well as get into the right mindset to be able to utilize her rediscovered powers.
So you’re saying there is a chance that we see Lana again with superpowers during your run because I like Lana supercharged. And if so, is that the ‘rediscovery’ the story arc is named for?
I think there’s an excellent chance of that, yes. I love Lana supercharged, too! But how is she supercharged now that she’s on the upswing of the pendulum? How does she rediscover/renew/reclaim that power and use it to inspire hope and enact justice? And yes, regarding the title — [Laughs] — you saw right through me, there!
I guess there is also the problem that Lana’s powers were killing her… so maybe this is a good thing?
Yes! And this gets a lot more complicated for Lana, too.
While everyone knows Lois Lane, both new and non-comic book readers, unless they watched “Smallville,” they may be a little less familiar with Lana Lang, Clark’s childhood friend. I’m not saying that all female characters are Lois Lane or not Lois Lane, but what are some major differences between the two primary female characters in Superman’s 75-plus year history?
I love Lois Lane and Lana Lang, both as characters with their own agencies and as the other halves of their relationships with Clark/Superman. The difference between Lana and Lois is that Clark grew up with Lana, and you always look at people you grew up with a little differently. It’s a different kind of bond. Lois and Clark have a slightly more complicated romantic relationship, and that’s a saga in and of itself.
Will Lana and Lois continue to have a bond during your run? I really like them as collected Superwomen…
In this arc, Lana looks to John Henry and Natasha Irons, his niece, and less to Lois because of specific collective experience between them. But that’s definitely not to say that Lois won’t be back.
And while John Henry is her rock, when push comes to shove, Steel calls Superman to help Lana see the light. Will you be exploring Lana’s relationship with Clark during your run?
Yes! In the throes of Lana’s struggle, Steel does remain as her steadfast partner, but he has his own stuff to deal with as well. Sometimes we can get too deep in our heads when we’re hurting and we end up taking our frustration out on the wrong people, usually the people closest to us. I’ve been there and done that.
Lana’s human, so she’s susceptible to those peaks and valleys, too. Having that voice outside of the relationship – the best friend, like Clark – is very helpful in gaining perspective and realizing that we’re behaving a little insensitively. My best friend is a genius at this.
Speaking of genius, I love Atomic Skull in “Superwoman.” He provides great comic relief, but I’m also enjoying his journey to becoming a superhero too. Will he continue to fight along Maggie Sawyer in Metropolis?
Ditto, ditto, ditto. Atomic Skull has been very fun to write. He so badly wants to do well and be successful in his work release with the MSCU, but his methods are kind of still that of a villain. We’ll see if he and Maggie Sawyer actually get the job done!
What do Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert bring to the table because your first issue looks great?
Aren’t they amazing? I’ve been so impressed with the exciting action and drama they’ve built in the imagery. They’re so creative and talented that I’ve literally written pages of script that say, “X, Y, Z needs to happen in this fight sequence and I know you can do a better job laying it out than I can.” It’s true. I have no doubt that they’ll continue to help me build fun and gravitas in this run.
Is there anything else you can share about your plans – big or small – for the future of “Superwoman”?
I’m excited for the book to be out and to see the response. There’s a lot to explore with Lana and her Superwoman mantle, so there will be some greater exploration of why/how her powers came to be, and maybe even see some familiar faces along that journey. Stay tuned!
“Superwoman” #9, written by K. Perkins and illustrated by Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert, is available now.