JMS AT RASTB5M SAID:
SP is open-ended it doesn't have a "finish" planned at this time. It
could well go on for years.
[T]he sales on Supreme Power #1, which hit stores yesterday, the 6th,
have gone over 100,000 which not only puts it in the top five books, but it's the first time
(according to Joe Quesada, who knows these things) that a Max book or other imprint mainly
aimed at adults has broken 100,000.
And the reviews to this point have been great. It's really hit home in a big way, which is
what I was hoping would happen with this one. Several have commented on the sense that they
haven't really read a story like this before (including the one at bureau42.com), which was
just what I was hoping for.
JMS AT NEWSARAMA SAID:
There are certain characters that are, as you say, archetypes. The
stranger in a strange land, to quote Moses, who was himself abandoned as an infant, lost
among the bulrushes, as was, I believe, Apollo; Mercury and other very-fast characters, the
Amazon who showed up in Xena and Greek mythology as Athena, the magician with the latest
version of the sorcerer's stone...these are all familiar tropes through thousands of years of
We keep coming back to them because there is something ancient in them that resonates with
us, something of the tribal myth-maker re-telling old mysteries wrapped in new cloth...new
lamps for old, as the cry goes in Aladdin. Contemporary super-heroes are our version of the
gods of old, and that has great power.
In many comics, you get a great deal of breadth but not much depth,
there isn't time to drop anchor into a character because you're chasing the plot and the
exposition. In Supreme Power, we drop anchor as far and as deeply as we can...so it goes
deeper than the norm.
The only costume I'm still not 100% sold on is Hyperion's, because it
still feels too conventional, but there's always time for more focus groups in our fictional
My goal is to revive Mark's characters and play with them in the
current world, not to look to anybody else on the outside. I also want to keep the cast of
characters fairly limited. The one problem with the original Squadron Supreme is that it grew
to so many characters that you almost lost track of them after a while. For me, the central
character of the book is Hyperion, with the other characters orbiting around him, and I'd
like to keep that number down to less than a dozen.
[For the full article, visit Newsarama.]
JMS AT RASTB5M SAID:
I genuinely think that Surpeme Power may be one of the best things
I've done in the comics field, maybe the best to date, and I just want to put out the word to
any Babylon 5 folks out there who don't normally read comics, and encourage them to check
this one out. This is a great book for people who don't generally go for comics, a strong
character story from end to end.
JMS AT WIZARD SAID:
More than anything else, the first three issues are character studies of who Mark (who grows
to become Hyperion) is. How he finds himself very much alone as the only one of his kind on
the planet with these kinds of abilities, how others react to him, and how others begin to
carve out his future for him -- in ways he may not necessarily agree with. He's turning into
a very interesting character, he turns brave and smart, but also somewhat tragic. The way
[artist] Gary Frank is drawing him, there's a certain sadness in his eyes, a sense of being
older than he is. That's just moving as hell. For those who like action and conspiracies,
there's plenty of that, but there's also buckets of strong character stuff. The thing about
writing for Gary is that I know he can bring out every scrap of characterization that's in
the script, and he's done that here in spades.
Why re-title the book Supreme Power instead of using Squadron
I want this to be a platform to explore politics, religion, society, responsibility and
ultimately, the question of power: what it means, what it does and what it costs. Which is
why I want the book itself to be titled Supreme Power. The group will be known and referred
to as the Squadron Supreme (once it reaches that point), but I wanted Supreme Power for the
title because it echoes the adage, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
So that being the case, how much more prey to corruption is Supreme Power?
You created your own universe with Top Cow's Rising Stars, is
this Marvel's version of Earth-JMS?
I don't think it's Earth-JMS because it would be a place nobody would want to live; everyone
would have thinning hair, a goofy face and would never leave the house because they were
writing all the time. What it is, is a clean slate: there have never been individuals like
this before. It really is Earth-Real more than anything else. One of the things I've been
very strict on is establishing the characters and situations in terms of "how would this work
in the real world?" It's sometimes easy to bend the rules a bit, and cast the government or
other powers into starker tones in order to expedite conflict, but I deliberately chose to go
for the reality line, the truth line, at every turn. "Would they really do this or are we
suggesting this just because it'd be cool?."
When [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Joe Quesada said take it to the wall,
that meant putting it under the MAX line because, well, that's kind of where the wall is. If
this is the real world, ithas all the elements thereof: language, sensuality, content,
violence, you name it. I.m writing this as if it were a series for HBO or Showtime, using
thatkind of freedom as a point of story liberation but not as a means forgratuitous...well,
gratuitous anything, really, I don't believe in that kind of arbitrariness. I just wanted to
be able to take the kid gloves off and go for it.
The problem is that Mark did a great job of introducing and creating
these characters, and if I can.t make something more interesting or colorful, I really don't
want to screw it up by changing it just 'cause I feel like it. It should build upon what came
before and elaborate upon it, without peeing in the pond.
[For the full article, visit Wizard
JMS AT RASTB5M SAID:
I know that I personally, having bought every issue of every book
you have written thus far, feel RELUCTANT (to say the least) to jump into a new and *unknown*
entity like Supreme Power (as opposed to say, Dr. Strange) without Rising Stars being
concluded (due to their similarities).
Except, of course, that they're not similar in any way, manner, shape or form. This is an
extension of the world that Mark Gruenwald created long ago, predating RS. Yes, it's a world
that has not previously seen super heroes, but that's just about any fictional universe
before, say, Kal-El lands. The two stories do not touch each other at any two contiguous
Just an FYI for those who've been keeping an eye on this one...on
August 6, Supreme Power will hit the stands, with pre-orders being taken now at comics stores.
Up until now, I'd always felt that Midnight Nation was the best thing I'd ever managed to
pull off in comics. (I enjoy the heck out of writing Spidey, but there's just something about
Midnight Nation that won't let me go.)
Supreme Power may, I finally think, supplant that one.
There's something going in in Supreme Power, a strong emotional core, that pulls me in every
time I sit down to write it. It's got an edge, it's profoundly sad in places, and weirdly
funny in other places. Some elements are bound to be a bit controversial, but that's part and
parcel of telling this particular story. Emotions are, for me, the whole point of telling a
story, and those who've read and reviewed Midnight Nation as it slowly revealed itself know
what I'm talking about.
Not coincidentally, Gary Frank is doing the art, who also did the art on Midnight Nation. So
that may also be a part of it. The art is just stunning, especially the way he captures the
emotion of the characters in their eyes.
Given the reactions of some folks who've seen the black and whites proofs of the first issue,
I think this is going to move out pretty fast, and Marvel for the most part doesn't reprint
issues, so if it ain't ordered in advance, it might not be available until the gather it
together for the trade.
Anyway...I don't want to belabor the point. I don't generally come on to promote something
unless I feel strongly about it, and this one I *definitely* feel strongly about.
I'm inestimably proud of this book, and I hope you'll check it out.
I'm about to turn in the script for issue 4, and I have to say this is
turning into something quite extraordinary. It couldn't be more different from Spidey, and
to be honest, everything else I've done. The "voice" is completely different, and it's just
a freaking dense book, just layers on top of layers of subtext, and I feel like I'm finally
using the medium right for maybe the first time, in terms of using the visuals to comment
on/counterpoint the dialogue, and vice-versa.
As much as I enjoy Spidey, and I enjoy it a *lot*, this is the one that I have to tear myself
away from when I'm writing, because I get so caught up in it that I can't wait to get back to
it again. As I said, we're four scripts in already and this thing doesn't even come out
until mid-July. We should have 7-8 banked by the time this thing hits the stands, so it can
come out like clockwork.
As I'd noted before, we're keeping a fairly low profile on this until it's ready to go, but
everybody at Marvel is extremely excited about this one, especially Joe Quesada. They think
this is going to be the one to beat.
This is a very serious story, one of the most mature things
I've written, oddly enough, given the medium. My scripts have turned into these huge, 50 page
(for a 22 page book) Alan Moore-ish tomes that are designed to be visually dense. It's a
rethinking of a number of superhero conventions that, so far, has turned out very well, I
think. For various reasons we've kept a fairly low profile on this, until we could get a
number of issues ready to go, and to avoid word getting out prematurely on what we have in
mind, 'cause over the long haul it will prove to be kind of controversial. Once it hits
stores, I suspect it'll move out pretty fast unless folks have dibs on copies.
Supreme Power is an updating of the Squadron Supreme book done quite a
while back by Mark Gruenwald. It was one of the first books, possibly the first book, to
really examine the role of the superhero in society, and as such is generally considered to
have paved the way for such later works as Watchmen, Dark Knight, Marvels, Kingdom Come and
Marvel said, basically, if you could take those characters, who were used at a time when
comics were still quite a bit more restrictive than now, due to the comics code and other
influences, and update them, recast them, free to do whatever you want...what would you do?
Hence, Supreme Power. While it has its moments of dark humor, it's a very intense, serious
book. And because it's being done for the Marvel Max line -- which is aimed at mature readers
-- there are very few limitations in terms of imagery and language. Marvel has said it wants
me to take this book to the wall, and that's pretty much where I intend to go.
Interestingly, unlike the aforemtentioned titles, this isn't a limited series...it's intended
to be an ongoing series, while trying to sustain the kind of intensity you get in that kind
of limited edition. It's a massive writing challenge, though one of my main goals is to do
right by Mark's original creation.