In the months ahead, Super Sons writer Pete Tomasi is gonna put Jonathan Kent through the wringer.
Tomasi, along with co-writer Patrick Gleason and artists Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza, is participating in the upcoming "Super Sons of Tomorrow" event which finds an evil Batman from the future (aka, the Tim Drake) hunting down heroes in the present. Chief among his targets is Jon Kent, aka Superboy -- though the reasons Tim is targeting Superman and Lois Lane's son are less than clear...
Before the crossover kicks off, CBR spoke about his plans for the future of the Kent family as Rebirth progresses, and a tease of Superboy will experience when "Super Sons of Tomorrow" kicks off in December.
CBR: We’re just now coming off of an arc in Super Sons where Jon finally got to spend some time with the Teen Titans. Is that going anywhere in the future?
Pete Tomasi: Yeah! Yeah, that’s teasing out into December where we’re gonna be -- man, we had such a great time doing that crossover, we’re doing it again in December. It’s called “Super Songs of Tomorrow.” The first part is Superman, then Super Sons, then Teen Titans then the final chapter is Superman again. It’s a really cool, big story that I’ve had a lot of fun writing. Me and Pat Gleason are on this one.
What's it been like to take point in fostering Jon as a character through Rebirth? You’ve really had your hand in so much of his move to the main DC Universe.
It’s been a lot of fun. Playing with the family dynamic back in Batman & Robin like I got to do with Damian, it’s been a total reversal of that. [Laughs] obviously, Jon and Damian are two very different types of kids, and Clark and Bruce are two very different types of parents. So, it’s been a real interesting way to look at each character. So this has been a total flip of the coin. It’s been great, picking up from where Dan Jurgens brought him to life in Lois & Clark and just being able to run with him, and adding my own stuff to him, it’s been a ton of fun.
Do you have a secret method for how do you maintain such an authentic voice for such young kids?
Luckily, having a fifteen year old right now helps a lot. Back when I was writing Batman & Robin, he was around the same age as Damian, he was like 10 years old. I was stealing stuff from him all the time. Funny things would happen like -- there’s a scene in Batman & Robin where, like I remembered my son Alex picking up one of his sneakers and putting it up to his sneaker and just comparing the sizes. He just did it silently, he didn’t even see me watching him, and then I incorporated that moment in with Damian doing the same thing with Bruce’s boot. Things like that -- there’s that cliche, like, “God is in the details,” and it’s true. It just says so much about character, and it says a lot about the dynamics between the two of them.
Having a son around that age, and having his friends bopping around, listening to the lingo -- it’s easy to forget sometimes how you talk at a certain age, it’s been a huge help. It’s been great.
The art teams on your books have been complete show stoppers -- How is your process with someone like Jorge Jimenez differing from your process with your long-time collaborator Pat Gleason?
Well, it’s a lot different! [Laughs] Jorge is from a different country, he speaks a different language, so that process has been really just about me getting scripts to him. But even then, his characters are so real, they emote so well, there’s little shadings on their hair and on their eyes -- he adds so much dimensionality to the stories that, as a writer, it’s like Christmas every day when you get a page and you’re like, “Yes!” He really just manages to get so many subtleties into the page.
Now, looping back around to the characters themselves -- you’ve been tasked with sort of forming the identity of a new entry into the Superman family. If Clark stands for “hope,” what does Jon stand for?
Honestly, I think Jon stands for the same thing! He’s his father’s son. He’s learning so much from him, by osmosis, by discipline, by all that stuff. He feels like a real kid to me. It feels like -- y’know, obviously Damian’s a trained assassin. My son was not a trained assassin. So, it’s actually interesting to get to play with a “real” kid, in a way.
Do you see him eventually fitting into the Superman Family and the DCU at large if it ever comes to that for him?
In like the “team” aspect? Yeah! Definitely -- probably. [Laughs] Somewhere down the line.