Through the Mail Slot

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A few questions from a reader named Davide Giurlando…
Approximately 10 days ago I registered at your Forum under the nickname “Myskin.” Since then, I didn’t receive any permission to start a topic or reply in the forums. I thought that I would be allowed to do it in a couple of days after the registration, but perhaps I made some mistake. Could you clarify my problem? In alternative, I report here some questions which I wanted to pose in a topic: I’d be happy if you could give me some answer even in this form.
We’re working on adding “Captcha” software to the site to fully-automate registration, but in the meantime, part of the process is (as covered at the Forum):
“Once you’ve signed up through the site here, to COMPLETE your registration:
1. SEND AN E-MAIL to webmaster-at-comicworldnews-dot-com with the username you have chosen.
2. Check your e-mail for a registration message, and click the link in there to confirm your address.
We manually verify all registrations, so you will not be able to post or reply to topics until we have activated your account, which is usually within 24 hours.”
Hopefully, things will be simpler soon, but in the meantime that’s the only way to do it to keep the auto-spammers out. Still, as long as we’re both here, the rest of your questions…

1-About your recent Superman run. I reread some pages recently, and I think that the beginning is an extremely interesting start, but it’s intuitable that along way not everything went as planned. Some of the most recent Superman works (by Johns, Robinson or Rucka) apparently depart from the plans you had for the title. I remember that at a certain point you had some project for a Luthor mini with Guedes. More or less at the same time, in the pages of Countdown appeared this “Lex Luthor origin” which is completely different from the one Geoff Johns is dealing with in Superman Secret Origins.
Could I suppose that this “never realized origin” is the one you were proposing then?
I don’t know which one you mean by “never realized origin,” but that Countdown origin feature was one Geoff and I consulted on, to make sure it didn’t conflict with our plans. So what would have happened in Lex Luthor: Strange Visitor would have matched up to the Countdown origin, though there was considerably more that would have gone on in that story that wasn’t even hinted at in the Countdown feature.
As to how it matches or doesn’t match what Geoff and Gary are doing in Secret Origins, I can’t say—I’m way behind in my reading and I get my comics later than most readers anyway (I get a big box from DC every month that’s generally a few months behind whatever’s in the stores, and mail-order the other comics I buy, mostly), so I think I only have Secret Origin #1 so far, and haven’t gotten to reading it yet.

2-The Toyman. In Up, Up and Away, you and Johns created the mechanical Toyman (similar to the one from the Superman Animated Series). My impression was that you wanted to establish this Robot as the one, final Toyman, heir to the classic Toyman, Schott, who was possibly dead. Am I right?
I liked the new guy, though I considered him mostly Geoff’s character, as the new take on the Prankster as “distraction for hire” was mine. I don’t know what his final role would have been—we’d talked about doing a “Toy War,” as all three extant Toymen fought it out for the title, with Metropolis as the deadly playing field, but hadn’t gotten around to working out details before I headed off to Trinity-land.
Winslow Schott wasn’t dead, though—in that story, we established that Luthor was delivering Schott to the new Toyman as payment for his work on Luthor’s behalf. Looks like the delivery went awry, though.

3-Why did you give Riot a cartoony face instead of the old skeletal one?
I’m not sure I remember fully. A minor part of it, I think, was that we had Silver Banshee in the same story, and we didn’t want to have two skull-faces around for clarity’s sake, but the major part was to set up Riot for a new approach. He seemed less like a scary skeletal guy and more like a scary crazy guy, so the cartoony face, meant to resemble a demented child’s crayon drawings, that could shift to show his mercurial moods, would help visualize the new approach. I think.
4-Final one. Which were your original plans for “the big Brainiac story” which in the end was realized by Johns?
I almost never answer “what would you have done” questions, for one simple reason: If I didn’t tell the story I set out to tell, well, the ideas for it might turn out to be useful in the future. My original plans for a Brainiac story are actually a story I’d like to tell someday, in some form. So I’ll hang onto them for future use. Sorry.
And while I’m answering mail, let me toss in this, from Scott Edelman, writer of that Captain Marvel issue I praised in my George Tuska write-up—and, for that matter, the writer of the very first page of original art I ever bought, an Al Milgrom/Terry Austin Captain Marvel page where Mordecai P. Boggs shows Rick Jones a concert photo trading on Rick’s relationship with the Avengers, and Rick tears it up. Someday, I’d like to commission Al and Terry to do a full-size piece of art of just that poster. Great stuff.
But anyway, Scott writes:

Nice Tuska piece. Thought you might be interested in this one.
At that link, Scott goes into the untold story of why that issue has one page in it drawn by Dave Cockrum, and shows off the original last page of the story, as penciled by Tuska. So it’s more secrets behind the comics revealed, and a look at some cool unpublished George Tuska art. Go check it out.
And thanks, Scott!

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