Time and Time Again: a super conversation with Dan Jurgens

Perhaps it is kismet. A moment when concept, character, and writer, all align perfectly to compose an epic of modern mythology.  Readers of Actions Comics are gleefully experiencing one such moment with the inclusion of Dan Jurgens as its scribe. Longtime readers of Superman undoubtedly are familiar with Jurgens’s prose. He shares joint responsibility for one of the most seminal works in the annals of Superman lore, which is The Death of Superman. Mr. Jurgens’ run on Superman, during the ’90s, would last eight years and almost one hundred issues. Now with DC’s Rebirth, Jurgens is also experiencing a renaissance with the character that he was so integral in molding for almost a decade, within the pages of Action Comics.

First, it important to offer a brief summary in the recent events surrounding the character of Superman. The Superman that most fans know (Post-Crisis), disappeared, along with all the Post-Crisis DC Universe following the events of Flashpoint. A new version of Superman was created to occupy the New 52 universe. The Post-Crisis Superman reappeared in the New 52 universe due to the events during Convergence. The New 52 Superman would (seemingly?) die and the Post-Crisis Superman would retake the mantle during DC’s Rebirth line. Got it? It is during this transition that Dan Jurgens has taken over the reins of Superman’s exploits in Action Comics.

Read Gary’s remembrance of Phil Seuling

I asked Jurgens what it was like to again write for a character that was both familiar to audiences, but also very different, due to his new and evolving status in the New 52/Rebirth Universe. He replied, “Some of what we’re trying to do here is re-present Superman as he’s obviously different from the New 52 version. So I think that required taking a bit of a fresh approach–of treating him more ‘new’ than I did before.  Plus, the addition of Jon has altered the status quo quite a bit.”

Who is Jon? Jon is Jonathan Kent, and the son of Post-Crisis Superman and Post-Crisis Lois Lane. Superman is now a father and like any father knows, parenthood… changes… everything.

Superman is not the only character who has experienced his share of changes since the advent of the New 52, but Lex Luthor as well. For readers not familiar with the recent events in the life of Lex Luthor, Luthor had recently become a member of the Justice League and received amazing powers during the Darkseid War. He has even worn Superman’s S on his armor. But can one of DC’s most notorious villains ever be a true superhero?

“Lex’s intentions are as genuine as he’s capable of. That sounds a bit evasive and I don’t mean it to. But Lex is not Superman and, because of his past, the level of heroism he can attain is forever compromised.”

Translation: Our capacity for good is compromised by the devils that reside within us.

But Jurgens is not limiting the stories of Action Comics strictly to Superman’s established cast of characters, but is boldly introducing new characters, and threats, as well. Two such characters that have recently been introduced are Zade and Godslayer. Who these characters are will remain a mystery or. as Jurgens told me, “Sorry, but now I will have to be evasive. We have a lot of Godslayer material coming in future issues and you’ll be able to learn a lot as the story unfolds”.

So what will unfold and what do readers have to look forward to in future issues? “The story of Godslayer, Zade, Lex and Superman will unfold even as the mystery of the other Clark Kent deepens. We have a lot going on!”. And how about the fans of the big picture? Are the events of Action Comics tied closely to the major industry-wide event that is the talk of every DC fan? Dan Jurgens answers with an emphatic “Quite a lot! Stay tuned!”

The opportunity to revisit a character, that Mr. Jurgens has proven very successful in writing, has enabled a fresh and nuance perspective to Superman’s stories. Similarly, to how the Post-Crisis Superman negotiates a world that is at once familiar and new, so too does the audience get to experience the tales told from the point of view of a writer who is both familiar and new to writing this version of Superman in Action Comics.


UPDATE: An earlier version of this article was misattributed to the editor, a result of the system default. This is Jeff Haas’s first article for BoroughCon.com, and an editorial error of omission did not allow him to be credited as an author. The mistake, for which we apologize, has been corrected.



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