Planned: 2000, DC Comics/Realworlds

“Exorcising Demons”

writers, Harlan Ellison and Peter David; art, Paul Ryan; editor, Andy Helfer

A “Superman” story that was to be part of what became a four book series examining DC heroes and their impact on the “Real World.” The book was mentioned by Ellison in several interviews and mentioned in preliminary press announcements of the series. But when the series was finally solicited over several months in 2000 the “Superman” book included was not the Ellison/David/Ryan book.


Update: December 15, 1998, from the Comic Book Continuum, a web service of the Detroit News.

Harlan Ellison will be writing a Superman comic with Peter David, with art by Paul Ryan, to be released at some point in 1999 from DC Comics. It will be part of a potentially three book series of comics placing DC heroes in the “Real World.” The first book in this series will be a Batman book entitled “Harsh Realities” written by Christopher Golden and Tom Sneigowski with art by J.G. Jones. The books will be edited by Andy Helfer.

Update: Summer 1999,
From the unofficial Elseworlds website and the CSNsider site.

Information on the other books in the Realworlds series has appeared in various places. J.M. DeMatties is writing a Justice League book to have art by Glenn Barr (they created the Paradox Press book “Brooklyn Dreams” which has won praise from Ellison). DeMatties describes the book as “a sort of Big Chill story about a bunch of kids who grow up fanatical about the Justice League … and what happens when they reunite, years later, in their 30s.” No further information is given about potential publication dates.

Update: September 1999,
From Wizard Magazine —
Ellison had this to say about the Superman book in his Wizard “Q&A”:

“It’s called Superman: Exorcising Demons. I hate it when someone like Erik Larsen says ‘I’m going to do with Aquaman what has never been done in the history of literature before!’ and it turns out to be two guys fighting. I don’t want to be one of those pinheads who makes that kind of pontificating statement. But as best I can tell from having read comics for 60 years, there has never been a story like this. It’s fantastic, I just love this story! It opens at the Academy Awards and my friend Robin Williams is giving out the Oscar for Best Screenplay. It travels back to Cleveland with Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, it winds up in New York so Julie Schwartz appears in it, [‘Babylon 5’ creator] Joe Straczynski is in it, they all make passing cameos. It’s a wonderful, real story.

“Who’s working on it with you?

“I’m writing it the way I would write a movie treatment, then it’ll go to Peter David. A lot of the dialogue I’ll have already written and contributed, then it’ll come back to me to fine-tune it. Peter knows the way I speak because we’re such good friends.”