The Difference Between Action Comics & Superman in Dawn Of DC

Phillip K Johnson about Dawn Of DC and writing Action Comics, but how does that differ from the other Clark Kent Superman monthly book?

Phillip K Johnson has been talking to Gregg Katzman of CBR about the upcoming Dawn Of DC publishing initiative at DC Comics, amongst many other DC Comics creators. He is writing Action Comics, but how does that differ from the other Clark Kent Superman monthly book from Josh Williamson and Jamal Campbell? Phillip K Johnson states, "Now that the other Superman title is back with Josh and Jamal, Action Comics is about keeping the focus on Metropolis, the super-family, and trying to apply a lot of world-building — the kind of world-building that people responded to so well on The Last God at Black Label and also in the "Warworld Saga." People really seem to like when the world gets bigger and older, but also newer, and when you see these corners of the DC Universe get fleshed out and blown out into this much richer thing. I mean, it's still, first and foremost, a Superman book, of course, but I'm also trying to develop the house of El a little more. We're trying to develop Metropolis a little more. I've always wanted this way before I got this gig back when I was just a kid. I've always wanted Metropolis to be as distinct in an instant, just from a glance, as Gotham was. Metropolis is supposed to be the city of tomorrow. There have been different takes on that over the years. Right now, we're bringing in technology from Krypton, from the Fortress, from Warworld,  from the United Planets. We're going to show the world what's possible in one city when we all work together with a common goal."

"Action Comics is about world-building, taking the traditional Superman cast of characters and his rogues' gallery and making each one deeper and more interesting and complex. Like Metallo — he's just an image, right? He's this guy who looks a certain way, and that's what we know about him. We're blowin' him way out and giving them a real depth and history and making him more complex in a way that I think serves the readers very well. That gives Josh and Jamal the space they need to make a proper Superman book."

"In this other book, we see his whole world get bigger around him. That's what I want to accomplish in Action. Tying it together with those other books is so rewarding, man. It's so cool to see the Lexcorp tower with the new design. If there's any change in one book, we see that change applied in the other book, too. And there'd be a little throwaway comment that pays off something that happened in the other book. As a reader, as a little nerd, I'm reading it like, "Oh, I know what he's talking about. That's so cool!" It's just so fun to tie all the books together. I'm having an amazing time. If I had to sum it up in one word, I would say world-building."

While for the Superman book, Josh Williamson states "I made Superman as accessible as I could. I tried to make it that if you haven't read Superman in the last five to ten years, you could pick it up, but if you have been reading it for the last five to 10 years, it's still acknowledged, it's still tied in. We had stuff in the first issue that immediately connected to stuff that Philip was doing an Action and that Tom Taylor was doing in Superman, but we tried to engineer and so that was very much for that type of reader. I tried to make it as accessible as possible"

And Chip Zdarsky sees that book as the  "perfect answer to your question of how do we appeal to fans who have been around for 50 years, fans were coming in for the first time to the shop to see like, a jumping on point for the entire comic community, Dawn DC. We're lucky that in DC those two fans want the same things. The classic versions of these characters are incredibly appealing to new fans. Joshua's book is a great example. If you're a brand-new fan, and you want to read Superman, you should see a Superman that has Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor,  see that dynamic. You want to see the romance, big twists, big evil — but if you've been a fan for 50 years, that's also what you want."

Superman. This Is What You Want. This Is What You Get. Here are the two orbiting Superman comic books for the next few months.

(W) Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Jamal Campbell
NIGHT OF THE PARASITE! Superman is overwhelmed as Parasite's new powers are unleashed! Can Superman stop all of Metropolis from being consumed by the power-hungry Parasite or will he need Lex Luthor's help to save the day? Introducing a new antihero—Marilyn Moonlight, the Spirit of Metropolis—who only operates at night! Is she friend or foe to the Man of Steel?! And how does she connect to Metropolis's secret past?
Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 3/21/2023

(W) Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Dan Jurgens, Leah Williams (A) Rafael Sandoval, Lee Weeks, Marguerite Sauvage (CA) Steve Beach
"No livin' thing's supposed to have power like this. No matter how blue your eyes are or how pretty your face is, you're just as much a monster as me." War rages on between Metropolis's two men of steel, Superman and Metallo! As Metallo's new body continues to evolve in unexpected and nightmarish ways, the voice of his "operating system" has been changing too, testing the limits of his sanity. Finally, when his alien tech takes on a life of its own and infects the most violent members of the Blue Earth movement, the resultant abominations target Superman's greatest strength and greatest weakness: his family! Introducing the first appearance of the Necrohive! Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 3/28/2023

(W) Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Jamal Campbell
SUPERMAN'S LOVED ONES ARE TRANSFORMED INTO RAVENOUS PARASITES! If Superman wants to find Parasite-Zero before its influence spreads to the whole world, he must take Lex up on his offer to work together! Even if it means using another of Superman's enemies as bait!
Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 4/18/2023

(W) Various (A) Various (CA) Steve Beach
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Dan Jurgens, and Dorado Quick Art by Rafa Sandoval, Dan Jurgens, and Yasmin Flores Montanez As Superman and Natasha Irons race to save Steel from the newly transformed Metallo, the Super-Twins are lost–and alone–against the nightmarish threat of the Necrohive! How will Lois and the House of El find them? Plus, learn the shocking identity of the mysterious ghost in the machine behind Metallo's transformation as he and Superman face each other in an epic rematch for the ages! Plus: A new era for John Henry Irons begins in Steel Forged part 1! And Dan Jurgens explores the not-too-distant-past world of Lois and Clark 2 in a bold new interlude!
Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 4/25/2023

(W) Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Jamal Campbell
INTRODUCING THE KRYPTONITE KLAW! Superman is vulnerable to Kryptonite, but what happens when other dangerous superhumans are exposed to it? If Superman wants to stop Metropolis's newest enemies, he must uncover Lex Luthor's secret past!
Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 5/16/2023

(W) Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Dan Jurgens, Dorado Quick(A) Rafa Sandoval, Lee Weeks, and Yasmin Flores Montanez(CA) Sebastian Fiumara
Superman's true enemy has been revealed: the Cyborg Superman, Hank Henshaw! Everything the Super-Family has built stands on a knife's edge, and Superman and Metallo become the unlikeliest of allies as they hunt for Metallo's missing sister. Can they prevent the inevitable devolution of Metallo's mind and body long enough to save his sister from Henshaw's monstrous plans?
Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 5/23/2023

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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