Changes in Store for Supernatural Origins?

Previously on Supernatural: (Insert cool rock anthem here)

Peter Johnson, author of the Supernatural Origins comics, agreed to answer questions from the MediaVillage readers. He did and they responded and it wasn’t all “lollipops and candy canes”. So he responded to the responses and a meeting of the minds came about.

Hold on to your hats, Supernatural fans, Peter Johnson has an announcement to make:

From Peter:

Well, what can I say – here’s my latest response.

My biggest regret is that, clearly, our editing process and quality control with regard to specific details was, alas, not perfect. A couple things slipped by, and they shouldn’t have. You all should have been saved the irksome aggravation of mistakes while, in one sense ‘typos’ but in another sense quite critical to the consistency of the series and the subject matter of our show.

I’ve given a huge amount of thought to the Impala issue and have arrived at a conclusion.

As you may know from previous posts, I felt early on that there would be creative and character-driven value to seeing John get the Impala during his journey in the aftermath of Mary’s death. It was a decision, and Kripke and I talked about it. However, I’m in violent agreement with many of your comments that the car is the third character in the show, and that it represents a sanctuary for this family following the death of Mary. I like it as the constant that remains after her death – as Mousitsa (Anna) puts it: ‘baby’ was there to support her three men after the fire.

These comments have made profound impact, and I agree wholeheartedly with the thematics they represent for the SN universe – for both TV and comics. So, despite the fact that #1 and #2 have both been published, I am going to propose making adjustments to revert to John already having the Impala from the get-go when the issues are collected into the trade paperback. I would like to restore this notion to the comics.

I believe in my heart and gut that it would be the correct version, not just to match the shot of John and the boys of the hood of the Impala in the pilot teaser, but much more importantly, for what the car represents in the continuity of the family — before and after Mary’s death. I’ll be talking to DC about this on Monday.

Of course, the collection will take care of the typo mistakes as well (e.g. Jo). I’ll reiterate here my apologies for these slips (though I’m going to stop short of characterizing myself as moronic and suicidal!).

The one critique that I must say I disagree with is 13 year-old Dean deciding to run away in #3. The wrap-around scene, for me, was designed to dramatize a very brief, reckless impulse on Dean’s part, and he snaps to his senses quickly. 13 year-olds do such things, I certainly did. And for me, it never negated the deep love and sense of responsibility I had for my own younger brother, or my parents for that matter. But a flash of heightened emotion at that age can result in momentary lapses. Part of the purpose of the comic is to convey that more went on between these three than has ever been set up or eluded to in the show. Anyway, that’s just my opinion of that brief emotional thread in #3.

Otherwise, as I said, I’m going to look into giving John his Impala back starting with #1 — if at all possible, and it should be — in the collected story. I think this is right, and I really appreciate the passionate opinions and debate that have led to this realization. And thus concludes my olive branch. Any thoughts?
Cynthia adds: Thanks to all the fans who took up the discussion here and on Live Journal and other forums. We all appreciate the passion (I’m a huge fan, in case you couldn’t tell) and the manner in which you expressed your thoughts. I heard that Jared Padalecki once won a huge debating championship in Washington DC. Sounds like a few of you would have given him a run for his money.

Peter Johnson Responds to Your Comments

When Peter Johnson, the author of the Supernatural Origins comics, answered your questions, we got quite a big response. Many people wrote in to say how much they liked the comics but others had concerns over what they saw as a break from canon and a lack of understanding of the show and its characters.

Peter wanted a chance to respond and we’re happy to have him back.

Here is Peter’s written response:

As for the broader Impala concerns, it’s basically this: Our story point in this comic series was a deliberate creative choice, not something we stumbled into. I simply thought the origin of the car in the context of John’s journey after Mary’s death would be more interesting than having the car already in his possession.

We discussed the shot of John and the boys on the hood of the car at the end of the pilot teaser and felt — right or wrong — that the shot was ambiguous enough to support a different approach to introducing the car in this “Origins” series. It was not meant with disrespect or disregard to what has been established on the show. I intended its introduction in the comic series as one element of an on-going transformation in his character. Which isn’t to say that he had none of these attributes prior to Mary’s death; we all know John was an ex-Marine and certainly knows his way around weaponry. But I felt his somewhat quieter, settled-down suburban life as a husband and father was far different than a guy who blasts heavy metal from town to dusty town and who brandishes a wide variety of badass weapons as a Hunter of all things supernatural. That was the intention of my comments about his transformation in character; it was not to suggest he didn’t know his way around a gun.

Lastly, please know that I am a genre fanatic and have been reading and collecting comics for 25+ years now and have nothing but respect for what fans feel and have to say about these kinds of issues, being a complete hardcore fanboy myself. It is with this kind of history and fervent love of this genre, and this show in particular, that I am approaching this comic series. It means the creative choices are being made with thought, thorough discussion and, occasionally, my gut. Which is never right all the time, but it’s all I got.

Anyway, thanks for all the questions and debate. Your input is extremely valuable.

– PJ


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