Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang on DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
(The cover for DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #1 by Ryan Sook)
DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS is a new series that shines a spotlight on some of the DC Universe’s most exciting superheroes. Beginning with a five-issue arc around Deadman, the series debuts this September from writer Paul Jenkins and artist Bernard Chang. We caught up with the duo to give us more details about the book:
THE SOURCE: What about DC's new 52 titles excites you the most?
BERNARD CHANG: Well, DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS, of course! Haha. But I’m excited to pick up some of the other books as well. Jim Lee and Geoff Johns on JUSTICE LEAGUE?! Cliff Chiang and Brian Azzarello on WONDER WOMAN?! Francis Manapul writing and drawing THE FLASH?! Philip Tan and Tony Daniel on HAWKMAN?! I haven't been this excited since I was a kid waking up Saturday mornings to watch Superfriends on television!
PAUL JENKINS: It's about time we all recognized that comics are a viable and important medium that must reach a larger audience. I have all the respect in the world for the retailers but I think they need a boost, and the digital sales ought to help. I look forward to reaching the digital audience as it grows, and kudos to DC for aiming in that direction!
How and why are you shaking up the series' status quo?
PJ: DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS is a new series, obviously. We're doing Deadman first. Such a great character. I guess it's a typical Jenkins approach: drill into the character and see what really makes him tick.
What new characters will debut in the series?
PJ: Deadman inhabits a cast of thousands!
What's the first line of dialogue in the first issue?
PJ: "I'm gonna do it! I'm goin' for it!"
What's the biggest surprise you've had working on this character/book?
BC: This is my first time working with Paul Jenkins and I’m really excited by the story concepts he has planned, as well as Deadman himself having his artistic legacy tied to two of the greatest comic book artists ever -- Neal Adams and Carmine Infantino. Paul's script is wrapped around character exploration and emotions, and that has been something I've always had a particular focus on when I draw each book. The ability to make the reader sad, happy, excited, and loved, all through mere still images and words is a powerful thing and I hope we can both carry that through in our final work.
PJ: Not really a surprise, I suppose... but another reinforcement of the idea that ALL characters are great and have potential. Deadman has such great stories to tell - I cannot wait to see the reaction.
What secret has been the hardest to keep?
BC: That Wil Moss, our editor, can out bench both Paul and me... combined!
PJ: Can't tell you. Jim Lee would have me killed.
What’s the unofficial tagline for this series, in your own words?
PJ: "Some journeys take a lifetime. Yours is simply a journey that takes more than one."