Interview: Dan Jurgens Talks Action Comics #1000, The Red Trunks, Superboy, And More

Last weekend at WonderCon, I got the chance to talk to Dan Jurgens about his story in the upcoming Action Comics #1000. Jurgens has been writing and drawing Superman stories for years, and it makes perfect sense for him to be part of the grand celebration.

What is Dan’s story about? How do the red shorts return? Check out what information I was able to pull out of him.

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GManFromHeck: Do you remember the first time you wrote Superman? 

Dan Jurgens: The first time I wrote Superman? Yeah, I wouldn’t know the issue number right offhand, but I know about when it was. Yeah.

Did you ever imagine Action Comics #1000 or envision that day would come?

No way. No, and I couldn’t imagine writing as many stories as I did. I couldn’t imagine having a 25-plus year involvement with the character. None of that would have been imaginable. It just … As a creator you don’t think that way. It’s sort of like, “All right, I have to do a story and I’ll see if I can get it done and then worry about the next story-kind-of-thing.” You can’t ever look down the road and see everything that could have happened.

What can you tease about your contribution to Action #1000?

In Action #1000, it’s a story that’s loaded with a little bit of subtext in that the basic setup is Superman has done so much for Metropolis, how does Metropolis say thank you to Superman? What I always say is, “They aren’t going to be able to buy him a trip and give a vacation. They can’t buy him a car. What do they do? How does that go down? Who gets involved with that? What’s the real story in something like that?” I think in a way, it touches on a little bit about what I think of Superman in a sneaky background way. It’s me saying thank you, both as a professional, and on behalf of readers and fans. I think that’s all a part of it.

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Who gets to introduce or reintroduce the shorts? The trunks?

I think you just have to wait for Action #1000. I will just say that I’m glad they’re back.

Okay, me too.

I had been hoping for a long time that they’d be back because I think just from a visual standpoint, it adds an important element to Superman and the element it adds is the yellow belt because that yellow helps balance the yellow in the shield, it helps balance the entire uniform, and it breaks up that sea of blue that’s there. I just like the way it looks better and I think Superman has looked good for 80 years. Let’s just go back to that approach. I was glad to be able to get to draw them in my story for 1000.

So there will be a reason? It’s not like all of a sudden he shows up wearing the shorts again?

You’ll have to wait and see what they say in Action #1000.

Okay, okay. Let’s talk about Lois and Jon. How does it feel being able to bring them back and incorporate them into the modern New 52/Rebirth DC Universe?

It’s been great. When we go back to the story we did a few years ago, where Lois gives birth, one of the things I remember telling Dan DiDio at the time is, this child, this infant, can be the future somehow and can represent a future for DC. There’s so many different things we can do. The fact that we got to the point where we decided to make him grounded with Lois and Clark, to make him a part of the current DCU and everything, I think has added so much to Superman and Lois as characters. I think it’s added to the DCU as a whole, and I think it has opened up future possibilities with the story of the Superman and the Superman family. I think it’s been great all the way around.

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Now, do you feel Jonathan’s being a little careless with his identity because …

Yes.

Maybe Superboy should wear a mask or something. He’s wearing the glasses as Jonathan, but it seems like he’s not being that careful.

No, and that’s something we had a lot of conversations about, and I’ve always said we have to be so careful with this. I don’t think, for example, he should ever be identified as Superman’s son. I think as much as anything, if anyone sees him, like if Luthor sees him, it really should be, “Who are you?” And just thinking it’s some kids pretending to be a Superboy because the minute everyone says, “Yes, this is Superman’s son,” the bullseye on his back is just like the size of the pacific ocean. I think it should always be played slyly. I’ve even played around with the idea that, in a way, the last thing he would call himself is Superboy. It’s like all dressed in black kind of thing, and call himself Invulnerable Kid or something like that. I think anything with Superboy should always play out very slowly that way.

Anything else you want to talk about, like what’s happening with you after 1000?

In the immediate sense, we also have an Action special coming out with a story called “The Last Will and Testament of Lex Luthor.” When I came back to Action Comics with issue 457, my first story, in almost the first couple of pages, involved Lex Luthor acting as Superman. That ends up being a little bit of a bookend to my first story on Action. It answers some things there. I always so loved writing Lex, so we get into that, and I think that becomes quite a fun story too. As for what I’m doing after that, we’re going to be ready to announce that, I think, in a couple of weeks.

Okay. We’ll be looking forward to that.

Very good.

All right. Great talking to you.

Likewise, always is. Always fun.

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Action Comics #1000 is on sale April 18, 2018.

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