Following interviews with Dan Jurgens published over the last few days, Part One on Booster Gold and Part Two on Time Masters, I am pleased to table my last interview. 🙂
This is more of a potpourri column where we touch on several projects Dan has worked on over the years. We talk a lot about Superman as well as Green Lantern, Cyborg Superman, Thor, Solar and some other goodies peppered in.
Hope you enjoy the last of our 3-part interview with comics legend Dan Jurgens.
You worked on Superman for several years in 1980s and 1990s. You were involved in the Death of Superman mega event in the early 1990s. You also helped create Hank Henshaw and his alter ego the Cyborg Superman among other notable creations during your tenure. When you look back at this time in your career, what do you see as your biggest accomplishments professionally and for the Superman franchise?
Jurgens: I think we made the Superman franchise remarkably credible — not that it wasn’t when we got there.
When I first started and it was just two or three books, we began to build the formula for what would become a weekly comic book and worked very, very well. Long before “The Death…” we did a number good, quality stories.
“The Death…” still stands as a landmark in comics publishing that will always be part of Superman lore. In addition, to create a couple of villains like Doomsday and Cyborg Superman, who both have great resonance years later, is a real accomplishment.
Nexus: “The Death of Superman” sucks a lot of the oxygen out of the room when one talks about that era of Superman stories. You even revisited that time period in your recent Booster Gold run. There were a lot of solid stories before that event as you noted. Is there one that you are most proud when you look back in time?
Jurgens: There are several.
The “Dark Knight over Metropolis” story is near and dear to my heart. It really pushed the relationship between Batman and Superman a bit farther and dealt in a major way with Batman storing the kryptonite ring in the Batcave. It has never been reprinted, which surprises me quite a lot, because it’s a part of Batman/Superman canon.
The “Time and Time Again” storyline was great fun. It certainly allowed Superman to become more of a leader, which he should be, in the DCU. At the time, Superman was still fairly isolated from the rest of the DCU.
There are more, like the “The Day of the Krypton Man” and “Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite” in which we were really perfecting the way to do a weekly comic.
In addition, I’d add “Adventures of Superman” 474, which was a drunk driving story, and Superman #64, which was a Metropolis Mailbag story. Also never collected.
Nexus: Did you anticipate that the Hank Henshaw character having such legs that he would become one of DC’s most popular villains, as the Cyborg Superman, and actually become a key foil for Green Lantern, not Superman?
Jurgens: At first, no. But when I brought him back as one of the four Supermen, it became fairly clear that we had something that could last a long time.
While it’s great that he can be a foil for GL, it’s only because the Superman guys dropped the ball in that regard. Superman and GL should be enemies 1A and 1B for him.
Nexus: Can you elaborate on that point a bit Dan?
Jurgens: All I mean is that Cyborg Superman should function both as a Superman villain and Green Lantern villain. I think the Superman guys kind of lost him to their detriment.
Superman’s villain list has always been a bit inadequate. You don’t want to lose the assets you have.
Nexus: What can you tell us about your creative role in 1991’s Armageddon 2001 and the infamous switcheroo in issue #2 between Captain Atom and Hawk concerning who became the villainous Monarch?
Jurgens: I wasn’t the writer on the book… simply the artist. I was in on some of the general discussions about what to do and didn’t have a huge problem with it turning the way it did.
Nexus: Your Thor run is a much talked about by a colleague here at Comics Nexus. How did your Thor run come about initially and what was the deal with its
Jurgens: Marvel asked me to come in and relaunch Thor as part of the “Heroes Reborn” effort. At the time, a lot of people there didn’t think there was much of an audience for Thor. I think we managed to prove them wrong.
I had a great time writing the book and got to work with a great editor in Tom Brevoort and really great artists like John Romita Jr., Andy Kubert, Stuart Immonen, Tom Rainey and more. We built a Thor book that played on a consistent theme, godhood, and carried it to its rather logical conclusion.
Nexus: I was a big fan of your Solar run for Valiant Comics in the 1990s. What was it like to work on that character and for that company when it was burning white hot? How did your pitch for Solar come about? Did you accomplish what you set out in that run?
Jurgens: I enjoyed working on Solar but not quite sure that I could say I accomplished what I set out to. We wanted to take it quite a bit farther but shortly after I started, the entire “Birthquake” effort that Acclaim had launched started falling apart.
Nexus: And… back to your current project. 🙂 What is next for Time Masters: Vanishing Point?
Jurgens: Hmm… I’d say we have some fun surprises coming up. Stay tuned!
Nexus: More importantly, what’s next for Dan Jurgens?
Jurgens: Even more fun surprises! Once again, stay tuned. There’s good stuff coming down the road.
— FIN —
Thank you for stopping by the Comics Nexus and for your demonstrated interest in the musings and insight of Dan Jurgens.
I would also like to thank Dan Jurgens for his candid thoughts on a wide range of topics and for his creative contributions for an appreciative fandom in his continuing career.
One of the things I also look for in interviews, when I’m the reader, are nuggets of infomation I didn’t have beforehand. There were many bits in these 3 interviews, but while Dan was understandably tight-lipped on what’s next for Time Masters: Vanishing Point, I did learn that he worked on the old 1980s Sun Devils series for DC. So, it seems, I have some back issues to put on my comic convention want list. 🙂
For more on Dan check out his new website: www.danjurgens.com.
Also, stay tuned for Time Masters: Vanishing Point #2 shipping August 25th.
There are more interviews with other creators on tap by my colleagues here and myself. As well, we have the news, reviews and views that you need on comics for fans by fans. 🙂
As always, thank you for reading. Any and all feedback welcome. Cheers!
Tags: Cyborg Superman, Dan Jurgens, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Hawk and Dove, Superman, Thor, Valiant