Comics Creators

A special Millar Marvel or DC project next year?


Yeah, not for me.


Lois and Luthor are linked massively to the idea I have, an aspect of Superman nobody has thought about in 78 years of existence. I can’t say much about what the plan is because someone will nick it before I write otherwise. But it’s incredible :slight_smile:



What I’d like is a nice high quality Superman run that focuses on Superman characters (from Mark or anyone very good).

I don’t particularly want to see how he plays against Batman or the Justice League or whatever. I mean, I do, but that’s not the business of a Superman run, to me.

Superman inhabits such a rich world, but it’s too often neglected. It’s every bit as good a city and supporting cast as the core Batman group (to my mind, Alfred, Robin, and Catwoman, his femme fatale, and the silent spectre of his parents hanging over everything). It’s time to show people why Lois, Jimmy, Perry, The Daily Planet, Metropolis, and Steel are awesome.

Because they are.


Just Superman. The JLA would be a distraction.


Why do you think that we don’t have that?

Personally I wonder if writers aren’t a bit too precious about the world of Superman and keeping everything trapped in amber, where Batman/Spider-Man/Green Lantern etc. they’re more willing to break the toys, whereas we have to have Clark Kent at the Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen as the perpetual boy photographer (I’m not forgetting the great Nick Spenser backups) etc. etc.


Some of it is no doubt down to editorial.

But I don’t think it’s down to a reticience about breaking the toys – what I’m referring to isn’t breaking the toys at all, but polishing them, maybe repainting them where they’ve grown brown from disuse.

I don’t want to kill Lois or turn her evil or anything, ditto Jimmy. I want to show you why Superman cares about them – because anyone Superman cares about THAT much has to be a prime specimen of humanity.

Any of them should be able to carry a mini series all their own. And it’s the job of a Superman title to make you want that spinoff, I think, but at least touching upon the rich internal lives they all have.

Superman looms so large as a figure, that I think everyone’s putting all their effort into showing him as some monolith. You don’t see a lot of work being done establishing his relationships with people – you don’t actually see a lot of characterization of Superman or Clark, for that matter. Rather you see a lot of people speaking of him in hushed tones, the solar diety, perfection swaddled in stretch pants and steel skin.

I should say that at times we have had glimpses of this, and it’s been really special – Jimmy Olsen has had a handful of really great stories in the modern era from Nick Spencer, James Robinson and Abhay Khosla (and little touches by Morrison). Lois had a nice one shot from Bennett, but she’s been rather unfortunate all together – in the pre-new 52 universe her marriage with Superman defanged her and a lot of the sexual tension and drama that comes from the love triangle. Post New 52 they were so dedicated to playing against expectations that there was a moratorium on their interaction, almost, and so no real relationship was established between the two, and so Lois never got much characterization.


And what can’t be discounted is that most takes on Superman have not worked. Writers are scrambling for a direction for their main character, editors too – and so you end up with a lot of runs that are prematurely aborted, or try 10 things at once and don’t stick to any of them.

Lobdell, for all his faults, was going in some interesting directions with the blog and taking a stand and all that. There was an opportunity there to do some great stuff with Clark, with reporting, with Cat Grant, maybe with Lois as well in the friction…except, he never went anywhere at all. He created a set up and did none of the build and so got none of the payoff.

You see that everywhere, down through Superman’s history for a long time. Creators are rarely given enough opportunity to establish a strong authorial voice on the character. And understandably so, because their work often fails to connect with readers, and there’s only so much slack you can give someone.


That has been the worst part of the New 52 for me. They even had her possessed by some villain for a while or something? Her character was completely absent. It reminds me of the Loeb story where Parasite replaced her, except at least Superman eventually figured that out.


Well that’s what makes the character so interesting to me, that you can always do a new interpretation as long as you don’t stray away from the core of who he is and what he represents as a hero. Which is why the recent movies didn’t work for me (and also because they didn’t quite get Pa Kent and Superman himself was barely a character) but that’s an entirely different matter.

As for the artist, my favorite choices are Evan Shaner, Cameron Stewart, Yanick Paquette or Stuart Immonen. But as Mark said, he truly has an eye for these things, so I trust him. I hope he can give Superman the story he needs in these times, one that makes everyone talk again about the character.


Sorry. That’s what I meant. They aren’t really developed as characters in the same way that say, Spider-Man’s supporting cast is. Compare what they’ve done with Perry White in recent years to J Jonah Jameson. We’ve seen him in all sorts of situations. He comes out well in some and is a bit off a buffoon in others. Perry has done what?

I completely agree.


It worked well for me in the late 80s/early 90s, but then it began to fall flat, the exception being perhaps Joe Kelly and Geoff Johns’ runs on the character. Why is it that Superman struggles so much with writers and readers?


I could not be any more excited for this!
Mark, I think you’ve mastered the art of hyping a book before it’s even announced. :smile:


The least interesting thing about Superman is the Daily Planet and supporting cast outside of Lois.The job is just his means of hearing about trouble where he can help people. My run, if I do Supes this year, will absolutely not focus on that. I love it being there, but I don’t want to see any reporting. That’s been part of the problem. I want to see Superman doing things people can’t do.



PS The reason Lois knowing Superman’s ID doesn’t work is that Maggin’s triangle is broken. Lois Loves Superman, Superman loves Clark and Clark loves Lois. He has to get her to love him as Clark. Once she knows who he is that’s gone forever, which is why the character collapsed when they broke that rule. It’s Charlie Brown kicking Lucy’s football. The stories can be about anything else.



Yeah, and again I think fleshing out the side characters is often perceived as something you do when you’ve got a good thing going with the main character. But if the perception is that Superman is broken then you end up contorting him in ways so that he breaks his status quo, which means he’s divested of that supporting cast. Off handidly, you have Grounded, you have Truth (which did some great work with Lana…Pak was not allowed to use Lois), you had Lobdell constantly trying some new thing, you had the Wonder Woman thing playing out across books. Before that you had New Krypton.

It’s standard practice to disrupt a status quo, try something new to get your character out of a rut. Eventually you steady yourself and establish a new status quo and you build your characters as you build your status quo. But no one ever gets to that point, because sales decline, fans get angry, the quality often isn’t there and so everyone sulks off to the corner. You’ve wasted a year where you did nothing with the supporting cast you had, anything you set up is scuttled and so anything you built is forgot (and, again, often it deserves to be)…

Look, part of it is editorial, and it has to be. There was talk of Landis doing a Death of Sueprman thing for the main continuity and it got scuttled. And then he goes and he does a really excellent, maybe best post-All Star Superman run on Superman, out of continuity. So there has to be some element of the company, and likely at the editorial level, coming in and stopping people from doing good, daring work with the character, and forcing directions and deformations on the people doing work on the titles.

But part of it is, I do think it’s hard for people to get on board with Superman in general. It’s harder to make that interesting; a lot of what works is subtle and easy to neglect.


No love for Jimmy?!?!

I love Jimmy so, so much.


I could write Superman for 100 issues. He’s so easy.Swamp Thing is hard :slight_smile:

I love Jimmy. He has a role. But when you’re writing about Jimmy Olsen you’re spending less time on Superman. I love that supporting cast, but they’d be in my story about as much time as they are in the first Reeve movie.



There was no love for Jimmy at all for the first 15 years. Jack Larson was amazing and their budgets were low so he got lots of screen time. He created that popularity and then the 60s writers did amazing things with him, but he seems a little out of time now and when you update him he ceases to be Jimmy. He comes from a time when all heroes had fun sidekicks whether it Robin, Etta Candy, Bucky or Doiby Dickles.



Gotcha. That’s true enough, and in a 6 issue mini series I wouldn’t want/expect it, but if you’re writing 100 issues I think it’s worth the investment to make the world feel real, dimensional, by having a bunch of characters with their own stories happening concurrently, dipping in and out of Superman and Clark’s life.


I’ve always seen him as the guy who hacked the DC Universe. He’s made this superhero-universe work for him in weird and wonderful ways; making Supes his best friend and more than occasional savior, but also being exposed to all these chemicals, gaining super-powers. Send him to Gorilla City! Turn him into a turtle! Give him elastic powers! Let him date Supergirl (if only briefly)!

He’s the ULTIMATE human resident of the DCU, to me. One who takes advantage of it’s many wonders and wondrous physical laws, who has his finger in every radioactive pie, without fully being taken over by it.