Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Palmiotti and Gray on Superman/Supergirl:Maelstrom



Sorry it has taken me a week to get to this story. Over on Newsarama, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray were interviewed about their upcoming Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom mini-series which is coming out in November. Here is the link:
http://www.newsarama.com/comics/090805-SUperman-Supergirl.html

Now I have to say that I was excited about this mini-series as soon as it was announced, but most of that excitement was secondary to my absolute love of Phil Noto's art.

Some may recall that I had some trepidation about how Palmiotti/Gray would handle Kara given her disinterested rave girl personality they gave her in Supergirl #12. I have to say that a lot of that worry has dissipated after reading this brief interview. I recommend reading the whole thing, but here are the bits that stuck out to me.

NRAMA: Thanks for talking to us, guys. Let's talk about Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom – how did the idea for this come about?

JP: We were looking for something interesting to do with the two characters that hasn’t been hit on yet and this series was originally going to be a Superman Confidential story until we all agreed it was too important, and too big for that series and even more that we were going to be featuring Supergirl more than we would have the right to in a Superman book, we all figured it would work better as a stand alone mini series or a hardcover.
JG: The heart of the story looks at the relationship between Superman and Supergirl.

There is a lot to like about this response. First off, the powers that be felt that the story was too important and too big to be 'condemned' to Superman:Confidential. Let's face it, this story will probably sell more and be noticed more as a mini-series. But it was even considered for a hard-cover release. That speaks pretty loudly that this is going to be a good story.

But I also like the fact that the heart of the story is Kal and Kara's relationship. Let's face it, that is relatively uncharted waters. In Superman/Batman she spent some time in the fortress, but most of her time on Paradise Island. In Supergirl, she avoided Superman either to 'find her way' or to not listen to some embedded suggestion that she needed to kill him. And while Kelley Puckett clearly showed that they have a working relationship, we have never really seen them interact as family for any length of time. So I am intrigued by this.

Throw that exploration into the ingenious and original overlying plot of an Apokoliptian woman trying to woo Darkseid by killing Superman ... well that sounds very interesting!

NRAMA: And how specifically does it tie into Final Crisis?

JP: This does not tie into Final Crisis at all and we see that as a good thing.

I am actually happy about this. I like that this is going to be a 'stand-alone' story. After the cross-pollination and confusion of the New Gods in Countdown, Death of the New Gods, and Final Crisis, it will be almost refreshing to read about those characters in a more classic portrayal. Heck, for all we know Darkseid might be dead again in Final Crisis by the time this mini-series ends.

My guess is that this story will be in 'quasi-continuity'. Maelstrom will probably be seen again. Who knows exactly when this story takes place? But in the end, if it is a good story, who cares? We can mentally squeeze it into any convenient pre-Final Crisis moment we want.


NRAMA: This isn't a two person operation – you've got frequent collaborator Phil Noto turning your words into pictures. This is a big gig for him, being one of his first superhero works and doing it with Superman and Supergirl. How's he doing?

JP: Look at the work...the guy has the storytelling down pat, the action is brutal and the art is beautiful. He really has stepped up to the plate on this one and personally, having worked with Phil for years, this is his best and most passionate work to date.
JG: The style is much more open and cinematic rather than the intimate claustrophobia we wanted in his Jonah Hex stories. As usual Phil comes in and kicks all kinds of ass like a pencil wielding pencil arts master!

So as I have said often, I love Noto's art and can't wait to see a Kara-centric book illustrated by him. Noto is one of those professionals who's name alone will get me to buy an issue. Now I have not seen any outrageous super-hero interiors drawn by him.


But he has done plenty of spectacular covers on super-hero titles.

And I have certainly seen him do more street-level action before. I loved his issues of Jonah Hex which had the usual face-offs and gun-fights.


He also draws stunning women! I would post my Supergirl commission from him again, but I have already posted it twice before. And as shown in Scarlett: Declassified, he can draw beautiful women in tense action scenes without missing a beat. His web-site ( http://www.notoart.com/ ) is stuffed with more of his work so brew a cup, plop down in front of the PC, and just browse.

Overall, Mr. Palmiotti and Mr. Gray have piqued my interest for the title and make me feel that Kara will be treated seriously and portrayed appropriately. And Mr. Noto is doing the art! I am really looking forward to this book.

7 comments:

Heath Edwards said...

love me some noto... and, i do enjoy the grey/palmiotti minis that come out from time to time...
that being said, i do wonder how the use of the new gods and darkseid will interfere with what morrison has been turning them into in 'final crisis'. can't say i'm too thrilled about multiple versions of characters running around the dcu...
this will be picked up, though. its true, the relationship between kara and kal-el is something i'm interested in reading. its too bad they can't put out superman comics with them just sitting around and talking...

Mike said...

"it's too bad they can't put out superman comics with them just sitting around and talking..."

I don't know, it worked in Sandman #9. You couldn't do it all the time, of course.

Anj said...

love me some noto... and, i do enjoy the grey/palmiotti minis that come out from time to time...

Thanks for the post. I enjoyed the Uncle Sam minis and love Jonah Hex.

that being said, i do wonder how the use of the new gods and darkseid will interfere with what morrison has been turning them into in 'final crisis'. can't say i'm too thrilled about multiple versions of characters running around the dcu...

I am also a little Darkseid'ed out right now, but this looks like a bit more straightforward story so should be fun. Also, I think will exist in a nebulous continuity like the Confidential or Classified titles.

this will be picked up, though. its true, the relationship between kara and kal-el is something i'm interested in reading. its too bad they can't put out superman comics with them just sitting around and talking...

This is the part I am most interested in.

Anj said...

"it's too bad they can't put out superman comics with them just sitting around and talking..."

I don't know, it worked in Sandman #9. You couldn't do it all the time, of course.


Thanks for the post.

Good point ... but not everyone is Gaiman.

I do hope that there will be some significant dialogue betwen the two that explains their relationship amidst all the action. And I hope that occurs in the super-titles as well as this mini.

TalOs said...

So apparently this originally was intended for the Superman Confidential title itself but now that that's gone the way of the do-do DC have decided to make this a whole new thing all together including opting to have this specific now mini be OUT of regular continuity itself even? Hmmmm, ballsy. What with 'em doing this while we're learning only now the fate of Darkseid and his cronies with in the current pages of Final Crisis and all if you ask me.

TalOs said...

However, in having said all of that count me as yet another definitely on for this here ride! :D

Anj said...

Hmmmm, ballsy. What with 'em doing this while we're learning only now the fate of Darkseid and his cronies with in the current pages of Final Crisis and all if you ask me.

I agree that the New Gods have been a bit overplayed recently. I just plan to think that this story takes place in continuity somewhere pre-Countdown.