In this exclusive interview with Voices From Krypton, Kevin J. Anderson continues his preview of the followup to The Last Days of Krypton, First Encounter, which chronicles the first meeting between Superman and Batman. You'll find the audio file after the excerpt below.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: These days it seems that Superman is a little more comfortable with being a part of humanity, but in the book it feels like there’s still a pretty large gap as far as he’s concerned.
KEVIN J. ANDERSON: That’s a lot of the internal struggle of Clark/Kal-El in that he is trying to relate and at one point he throws up his hands to his mom and says, “I don’t understand these people. I don’t understand their problems. “ Martha says, “Do you think we understand them, Clark?” She tries to make him see that the things he doesn’t understand about humanity is a perfectly normal part of being human. It’s very poignant, because he’s Superman and when he’s sitting there in her kitchen eating apple pie and drinking milk, he says, “What right do I have pretending to be Clark Kent and living a life of my own? People need saving 24 hours a day. If I’m having coffee with Lois Lane for that hour, how many people die in car accidents or plane crashes? Shouldn’t I be Superman 24/7? And Martha Kent is insisting he deserves his own life and has to be among human to understand humans. This isn’t just a book of chapter after chapter of Superman stopping bank robberies, saving crashing airplanes and beating up bad guys. I think that’s the difference with the novel; you can really get into the reality of everything. On a comic book page, you can’t have pages of the character’s face as he ruminates. In a novel you can at least do it a little more in depth.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: How do you view the relationship between Superman and Batman?
KEVIN J. ANDERSON: The structure of the novel, and I don’t know if I should say this, is that it’s almost like a classic romance. First they get together, they hate each other, they’re at odds, then they gain an understanding and they come together. There’s a lot of friction because Superman does not agree with Batman’s tactics, and Bruce is having a lot of problems with Luthorcorp. He also figures out that the only other company that can create these things – the bullet proof suit, the ability to fly -- is Luthorcorp, so Superman has to be working for Luthor. Who else could have made someone like him? So there’s an immediate at odds and the situation worsens. They also look at their duty in a completely opposite way. Batman kind of wants to stop the little criminals – the muggers in the alleys, the rapists, the thugs – whereas Superman wants to promote world peace and stop wars and keep the governments from killing each other. So it’s a big picture or little picture thing. Obviously something happens where they have to work together to do both.
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