Artist Clay Mann previews the lighthearted and playful conclusion to the 'Superfriends' arc
The fallout of Batman and Catwoman’s engagement continues to ripple through the DC Universe. In the “Rules of Engagement” arc, we saw Batman break the news to his family and the mother of his child, Talia al Ghul. Now, it’s time to see how his engagement affects his relationship with his closest friend (who’s not Commissioner Gordon or Alfred), Superman.
In the fun Batman #37, which hits stands Wednesday, Tom King and artist Clay Mann take a break from the superhero action and follow Batman and Catwoman and Superman and Lois Lane as they go on a double date to a fair. Coincidentally, it’s superhero night at the fair and the only way for the gang to gain entry while also protecting their identities is for them to swap costumes. A celebration and exploration of Batman and Superman’s relationship (and Lois and Selina’s new friendship), the entire issue is playful and lighthearted.
“This issue, in particular, I didn’t feel like I was drawing Batman and Superman. They’re Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, Lois Lane, and Selina Kyle,” Mann tells EW. “It didn’t feel like a Batman comic, but I guess that could a good thing for people who want something different or a little fun interjected into something more serious.”
Check out an exclusive preview of Batman, Superman (wearing his glasses over Batman’s cowl in one of the issue’s best sight gags), Catwoman, and Lois Lane actually dressed up as each other below:
Mann was excited to draw the issue because it was set at a fair and, more importantly, gave him a chance to try his hand at Lois Lane. “When I draw Superman and Batman, I just feel like I know so much about them. I grew up watching the cartoons, and I feel like when I’m drawing them I have so much pressure to do what I’ve seen before or how I feel people perceive them,” says Mann. “With Lois Lane, the only thing I really think of really is Teri Hatcher [from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman] and not even that. I don’t really have anything in my head that’s pressuring me. So, it’s just a lot of fun to do what I want without all of that added pressure.”
Given the issue’s setting, King instructed Mann to “go wild,” so Mann did just that, filling the background with people in costume as other DC Comics heroes; from Mister Miracle (an obvious nod to King and Mitch Gerads’ excellent work on Mister Miracle) to the Wonder Twins and Beast Boy.
“I put the Wonder Twins at the beginning because Tom picks on me because I’m a twin,” explains Mann. “I drew Lobo because I thought he looked like a carny. Beast Boy, I actually have a friend who has been begging me to be in a comic forever, so I drew him [as Beast Boy].” He continued, “The rest, I just drew them for fun. I’ve never drawn the Flash, so I was like, ‘Let me draw a kid dressed up as the Flash.’ Same with Green Lantern. I drew some of the Legion [of Superheroes] in there because they’re all kids anyway.” (Keep your eyes out for another Easter egg related to King’s past work when the issue comes out).
Check out more images from the issue below.