Nearly 20 years ago, a massive monster of a supervillain tore through the DC Universe on his way to a showdown with the Man of Steel that would stop Superman cold and temporarily kill the beast known as Doomsday. This year, the publisher revives not just the villain but his path of destruction with a few familiar guest stars standing in the way.
Beginning with last month’s “Steel” one-shot, DC Comics’ “Reign of Doomsday” event sees a newly powered Doomsday working his way through the four Supermen who briefly replaced the Last Son of Krypton in the ’90s. While the hammer-swinging John Henry Irons fell first, whether or not he survived his encounter with the behemoth remains unknown. In the meantime, the story continues in March and April as Doomsday targets the Eradicator in “Outsiders” #37, Cyborg Superman in “Justice League of America” #55 and “Superman/Batman” Annual #5, Superboy in “Superboy” #6 and finally the real steel deal himself as Superman enters the fray in “Action Comics” #900. To prepare for the coming path of destruction, CBR News is checking in with some of the creative minds behind the event in REIGN OF THE DOOMSAYERS. After our last talk with Dan Didio, we continue today with part two of our talk with DC Executive Editor Eddie Berganza (and don’t miss the first installment!).
For years, the editor has been behind some of the biggest series and events at DC including “The Sinestro Corps War” and “Justice League of America,” and now as the Executive Editor of the DC Universe, Berganza has been charged with making the multiple titles starring everyone from Batman to Green Lantern flow smoothly from one to the other. Below, Berganza unveils the heart of the story in April 6’s “Superman/Batman” Annual #5 by James Robinson and Miguel Sepulveda where the legacy heroes of the Justice League spend an evening trapped in their own headquarters with the deadly Cyborg Superman. Plus, the Executive Editor drops hints about the bigger plans for Superman in the DCU this year and shares an exclusive first look at Sepulveda’s interior art!
CBR News: Eddie, last time we covered the core of the story as it appears in “Justice League of America” #55, but what was it about James Robinson’s role in this event that moved his story into the “Superman/Batman” Annual #5 as well?
Eddie Berganza: Well, the nice thing was that we looked at the story and went, “We don’t have enough pages to contain this in ‘Justice League.'” As we changed our format, we knew the story would be bigger than one issue, so we looked at the story and how it evolved, and it became apparent that a focus was on both Batman and Kara, which is who gets involved with Doomsday. Thinking of it that way, it was really easy to evolve that into a “Superman/Batman” Annual. Because the symbols are on the cover there, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Superman and Batman. It can just as easily be Supergirl and Batman.
And then from there, this pretty much became a “Die Hard” movie where they’re trapped inside the Justice League headquarters as Cyborg takes it over and Doomsday is trying to break into it.
Newcomer Miguel Sepulveda is handling art duties on the Annual. What’s his contribution to this bigger story been like?
The guy’s amazing. He hails from Spain and is a new find for us. He’s really impressive. It’s like if you mixed Mike McKone with George Perez and a little bit of Phil Jimenez and just went cosmic with it.
Aside from the character work, what other skills are required for a book with a story in a claustrophobic environment like the JLA satellite? I assume environment plays a big role in this story.
Yeah, to get the environment and the architecture right and give it that weight is needed. And this feels huge and important. Like I said, the task when we started is that this is Doomsday, and you can’t just bring him out to fight one of our guys. He takes on big teams and causes major repercussions.
You’ve recently took on the role of Executive Editor, and now that everyone has kind of settled into their new roles in DC Editorial, it feels like you’re ramping up a few different events for each of the core franchises between this and things like “War of the Green Lanterns” and “Flashpoint.” How do all these events work off each other or work together to make the DCU take shape this year?
I feel that we’re playing with one universe. These are not things taking place off in their own corner. One thing is going to dovetail into another and you’ll see dominoes toppling. You’ll see “Brightest Day” influence a lot of things as well close that, and a lot of that will carry over into “Flashpoint.” A lot of pieces are in play, and this is just another part of it where Superman’s finishes his walk and heads into “Action” #900.
In that sense, what is Superman’s role at DC in 2011 once he’s back full time? We see things from “Flashpoint” with Cyborg taking his place. Can the Man of Steel fit back into the big plans?
Well, that’s the big tease, isn’t it? Don’t worry. There’ll be a point for it all to come together. We’re not getting rid of the Kryptonians in “Flashpoint.” And for Superman, when he comes back he’s not a happy guy. Think of it this way: all your friends have been taken down and the guy that killed you is back. We’re not making it easy on him moving forward.
You’re helping put these books together after the story was kicked to you from “Steel” and “Outsiders” and next it’ll go over to “Superboy” and finally “Action.” Where along that relay can we expect to learn more about what Doomsday’s plan is and who’s behind these attacks?
In a way, it all comes together in “Action” #900 where you’re going to have to ask yourself whether Superman will survive. But this is all just beginning. I talked to Dan Jurgens when he was doing the variant cover for me, and he pointed out how Doomsday started out battling the Justice League, not in the Superman titles. He had Booster and Beetle and all those guys face Doomsday before Superman did, and we’re playing with that idea here too.
Check back with CBR soon for the next installment of REIGN OF THE DOOMSAYERS featuring Superboy’s Jeff Lemire!