Moore Takes Superman & Jimmy Back to the Beginning

With "Hawaiian Dick" #1 selling out and "'76" receiving lots of pre-release buzz, 2008 is shaping up to be the year fans see even more from writer B. Clay Moore. The fan-favorite recently spoke with CBR News about yet another major project scheduled for the New Year, a three-issue run on DC Comics' "Superman Confidential."

Solicited to begin February 20 as an origin tale of the Man of Steel's relationship with Jimmy Olsen, Moore told CBR News how his story unfolds. "Basically, Superman hasn't been in Metropolis long, but is already growing a bit weary of hauling Jimmy's ass out of trouble every time he turns around," quipped Moore. "For his part, Jimmy, with his aspirations to become the world's greatest investigative journalist, looks upon Superman's arrival as a godsend; an escape hatch for when he really puts his foot in it. While Superman's trying to figure out how to keep better tabs on Jimmy without shadowing him, giant toys attack downtown Metropolis. That leads to Jimmy confronting danger on his own once again, but it becomes a bit harder for Superman to assist him that it has been."

With the arc playing out in a Smallvillian manner, Moore is quite enjoying his time with young Superman and Jimmy. "There have been so many takes on the Superman/Jimmy relationship over the years, but not a ton of time spent looking back on the early years," explained Moore. "I think that it's fun to examine a period when both guys would have been working to find their footing in Metropolis."

There's a lot to love about the icon and his pal, but Moore conceded both have had their Kryptonian moments. "It's hard not to be a Superman fan on some level,"said Moore. "I mean, he was the original, right? I'm a fan of certain eras, and certain takes on the character. I love the goofy '60s Mort Weisinger era. I love Grant Morrison's 'All-Star Superman' approach. I enjoyed John Byrne's revamp. Alan Moore's Supreme may have been the best Superman ever. And I think the current Superman guys (Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek) are making a concerted effort to rediscover what's made the character most entertaining over the years."

And what about Jimmy Olsen?

"Jimmy Olsen's had his ups and downs," laughed Moore. "His '60s-era stories are insanely goofy and really entertaining, right up until Jack Kirby took over the character and peppered his stories with so many of the elements still in play today.

"I pitched the story before I realized what a huge role he was going to play in 'Countdown,'" Moore continued, "but there's no way around the fact that Jimmy's a vital element of Superman's mythos."

Moore teased that both Lois Lane and Perry White will be players in his story, as will an old Superman villain, who will be "slightly tweaked."

When looking to secure an art team for the project, Moore was dealt a royal flush in the dynamic duo of penciller Phil Hester and inker Ande Parks. "Phil's Superman is just iconic," Moore declared.

"I was actually playing poker with Ande one night when I mentioned we were kicking around artists for this story arc, and I saw his ears perk up," explained Moore. "Luckily, he and Phil had a window between the just-canceled 'The Irredeemable Ant-Man' and their next project together. I was on the phone with my editor Mike Siglain the next day, and things fell into place from there. I've known Phil and Ande for a long time, and admired their ability to tackle any genre, and just how solid everything they touch turns out. So, yeah, I'm very jazzed to have them on this one."

Moore says if the opportunity arose, he'd love to play in the DCU's regular continuity, as "Superman Confidential" lives outside that realm, and the writer his sights specifically set on one project in particular. "The only real dream project I have is to one day handle the Blackhawks," he said, referring to Will Eisner's team of World War II era fighter pilots for hire, whose multiple titles enjoyed varying levels of popularity between the 1940s and 1980s

"I think DC's been working hard to get a handle on their continuity, and I'd like to think there's a place for me in there as they shake things out," said Moore, who is big fan of the Justice Society of America. "I wrote a three-part Wildcat arc for 'JSA Classified,' also debuting in February, with art by an amazing talent named Ramon Perez. I love the JSA, and think Wildcat's a character who's never quite received his due. So that was fun."

Asked if either Jimmy or Superman could be compared to his own creation, the Hawaiian Dick named Byrd, Moore responded with a big, "Wow! I guess there might have been a point in Byrd's career when he attacked things with the enthusiasm of young Jimmy Olsen, but by the time we catch up with him in 'Hawaiian Dick,' he's been beaten down a bit, and has to work his way up to 'barely interested, much less 'enthusiastic.'

"As for Supes, only in the sense that, at heart, Byrd's really trying to do the right thing. It's just a lot harder without the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound."

Beyond "Hawaiian Dick" and "JSA Classified," Moore has more projects in the works. "I've got a new Wildstorm project that should debut this Spring, and a new creator-owned project with Tony Harris that's just being hammered into place," he said. "More stuff from Image, Oni, and hopefully DC coming up, too. Oh, and a short story in an upcoming issue of 'Marvel Comics Presents,' sometime next year, I guess. Busy days."

"Superman Confidential" #12, the first issue of B. Clay Moore's three-part story, is set to ship February 20, 2008 to comics stores everywhere.


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