"I pitched The Last Family of Krypton to DC as a character-driven story that would follow the El family over a period of thirty years.
"How the human race would react and interact with a family of super-Kryptonians living among them was fascinating to explore. As the cover for issue #1 implies, Jor-El and Lara arrive on Earth with the whole world watching, so secret identities are off the table. Once they disabuse a skittish public of its paranoiac alien invasion fears and show off their super-powers, it isnít long before the Els are the most famous family on Earth. And because of the 24/7 media buzz, guess who becomes the most recognizable, most photographed baby on the planet?
"Up until now, Superman has always been portrayed as an orphan—the lone alien living among humans who had the good fortune to be raised by the kindly Kents.
"But now that Jor-El and Lara are never far from his side, the orphan/lone alien card goes out the window. Kal-El is now a child celebrity being raised by super-powered parents who seem like gods to the rest of the human race. Thatís a monumental sea change that will upend just about every aspect of the Superman mythos. How Kal-Elís alternate life unfolds in this alternate reality should fuel the whole nature-vs.-nurture debate for years to come.
"Faced with so many new possibilities to explore at every juncture, for me it became a question of how to thread the plotlines while staying true to characters that have been so indelibly etched over the years. The Kents, for example. At first blush, one might assume theyíd be irrelevant or redundant in a world where young Kal-Elís upbringing is dominated by Jor-El and Lara, but that doesnít necessarily follow for reasons I canít reveal. Or Lex Luthor. In this reality weíll see aspects of a raw ďinner LuthorĒ that have never been exposed before.
"There will also be an iteration of Brainiac that will seem both familiar and perverse to long-time fans."And donít assume all the changes triggered by Jor-El and Laraís sojourn on earth are restricted to the immediate Superman family. Though there are no other superheroes on Earth when the Els first arrive, their continued presence will have an indelible effect on all the heroes to come. And beyond that, there will even be intergalactic ramifications.
"Superman was and is the prime template for all superhero myths. The classic imaginary tales and Elseworld stories I like best all share one underlying theme: sooner or later, Supermanís true essence always perseveres. No matter what universe or time period he ends up in, no matter who the other key people in his life turn out to be, or what hardships or burdens he has to endure, eventually the big guy always finds a way to achieve his true potential and fulfill his destiny."
— Cary Bates
The first issue of The Last Family of Krypton will be on-sale August 2010; Story by Cary Bates & art by Renato Arlem. Covers by Felipe Massafera.