Geoff Johns Taking Over Superman
Story confirmed by DC All Access 2/4/2014
Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool speculates (well-sourced) this morning that Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment, will soon take over writing chores on Superman from current writer Scott Lobdell.
Geoff Johns had been asked by DC Entertainment chief Diane Nelson to curtail his comics writing to no more than two books a month, as he has many other duties shepherding DC properties across the various media. Indeed, his counterpart over at Marvel, Joe Quesada, despite being a brilliant artist, rarely commits to a monthly book at all.
But back to this as a possibility -- it's interesting and ties in with another rumor I'd picked up over the weekend, that Geoff Johns has replaced Christopher Nolan as Producer on Superman Vs. Batman and into Justice League. Writing the book while producing the movie? That's synergy.
Snark aside, it's also a good choice. Johns has written several excellent Superman stories in the past, beginning from his younger hungrier days when he redesigned the Royal Flush Gang as a credible problem in Metropolis in the early aughts.
When he teamed with his professional mentor, film director Richard Donner, Johns managed to pull Zod back into the fold as an understandable, complicated foe for Superman, while also giving us a "Son of Superman" that for a few months anyway, was a great plotline. (The character aged up and is, of course, rendered moot by the New 52.)
Let's face it: Scott Lobdell is a good writer, but his run on Superman, for whatever reason -- editorial fiat, not enough time to get in the groove -- has been less than inspiring. For the entire run of The New 52, Superman has been a problem title, first in the shadow of Grant Morrison's run on Action Comics and then just never quite catching up.
However, if it's also true that John Romita, Jr. will be the artist on Superman, we could be in for another classic run. Or infuriating. Either way, people will be talking about Superman, the kind of challenge Johns takes up best. The New 52 Superman needs a defining storyline now, not a redo of his origin -- and I think Geoff Johns can do that.
Consider that over in Forever Evil, Johns has been believably recasting Lex Luthor toward reluctant hero (though perhaps one could argue Lex has always seen himself that way). Now put Superman in Johns' hands and let the implications of a Justice League led by Lex Luthor resonate. It could be great, and like the recent casting of Jesse Eisenberg as the cinematic Lex, could show us something new in the relationship without it seeming like a stunt. (I'm pro-Eisenberg on this one.)
Maybe, too, as producer on Superman Vs. Batman, Johns can find a way to push his friend David S. Goyer into something closer to the inspirational Superman most fans want. Perhaps. Perhaps not. Many hands go into film production, but this is Johns turn to prove that he can, indeed, control the vision.
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