Gene Luen Yang to Write DC Comics’ Superman

DC Entertainment has just announced that it’s doubling its output of comic book series, adding 24 new series (starting at #1) without pausing its 25 existing series. This new direction for the DC Universe is intended to bring greater diversity to the books and present classic characters in a more contemporary light—by bringing onboard writers including Brendan Fletcher, Garth Ennis, and Gene Luen Yang making his DC Comics debut.

DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee explained the momentum behind this new initiative—namely, for diversity and to acknowledge the multimedia platforms on which their stories play out and the various narrative threads that they create. Lee said:

More than ever before, DC Comics fans are being exposed to our rich portfolio of characters through multiple sources, including an unprecedented number of highly successful TV shows, video games and upcoming major motion pictures. We are looking to extend that experience within publishing to ensure there is a comic book for everyone. For example, fans of the Arrow television show may want more stories about Black Canary. Now they can find modern, fresh takes on the character in the pages of her standalone series both in stores and digitally.

DiDio added:

This heralds in a new era for the DC Universe which will allow us to publish something for everyone, be more expansive and modern in our approach and tell stories that better reflect the society around us.

Yang will be teaming up with artist John Romita Jr. to continue the adventures of Superman. Last we saw the Man of Steel (written by Geoff Johns, with Romita), he had just tapped into an entirely new power.

Yang is no stranger to superheroes: His and Sonny Lieuw’s graphic novel The Shadow Hero traces the origins of the Green Turtle, arguably the first Asian-American superhero. In his intro to the book, he draws a parallel between superheroes and immigrants:

And maybe that’s why I loved superheroes so much when I was a kid. My parents are immigrants. Like Superman, I had two names, one American and the other foreign. I, too, lived in between two cultures. When he travelled from America to the bottle city of Kandor, one of the few remnants of his home culture, I felt a kinship with him. It was a bit like the shift from public school to Chinese language school that I had to go through every Saturday.

Fans will get a first look at Yang and Romita’s Superman on Free Comic Book Day (May 2), when the DC Comics: Divergence preview issue will be available free in local comic book stores. The new series will kick off beginning June 3.

Art: John Romita, Jr./DC Comics

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