Comics Creators

A special Millar Marvel or DC project next year?


Oh, def. Supporting cast would be used for multi-year run, but this would be grander. Brief use of Lois, lots of Luthor and Brainiac for what I have in mind. Taking Superman somewhere he’s never been.



These characters, like Jimmy, are reader interfaces. Robin is very exciting to a kid as he’s the entry point into Batman’s world. Jimmy is us being Superman’s best friend, just a push of a button on your secret watch away. These characters exist for grounding and wish fulfilment, but that doesn’t work in a grand short run like I have in mind. He and Perry should be there a couple of pages at most.



And yeah, Swamp Thing IS hard. That’s what amazes me about your run! It’s very hard to do that character and do anything novel with Alan Moore’s set up, as has been demonstrated over and over again by subsequent work.


The absolute best Superman stories of the last two decades or so all have been out of continuity stories (don’t forget the digital-first Adventures of Superman). That should mean something.

DC should allow more creators do out of continuity work with Superman. He works better as this sort of mythical character. He’s too big to be confined by strict ongoing continuity.


Superman stories should be about Superman being super. Most folks want to make it about other people being around Superman, but that’s just not as good a take. It doesn’t really work for any fictional character if you think about it. We want to see them doing what they do. All the supporting cast should be there to advance the plot or spur the character, but nothing more than that. It’s got to be about Superman.

I agree completely on Mark’s take and the triangle. Superman is the real character, able to do anything. He’s a caretaker for Earth but he can never fit in. He can’t really be best buddies with Batman, he shouldn’t have other heroes in the same league as him. Others should be able to one thing he can do (like the Flash can race him) but he would blow them away in any other skill. Clark is Superman wearing a fake beard, pretending to fit in, but Clark doesn’t really exist.

I’ve always felt Batman rose as a character on the back of Superman falling. So few people recognized that Superman threw their fight in Dark Knight, instead they saw it as Batman (the billionaire) fighting against the all power Man (the poor farm kid). It’s funny, I think fans respond better to heroes who ‘earned’ their powers rather than admire those born with gifts. It’s an interesting fictional dynamic.

Lois should be more driven, committed and lonely than any other character. She’s sacrificed everything to get where she is, and Superman sees that. He sees her strength in being alone and admires her in choosing it. He can’t love her, but in his pretend role as Clark he can. He’s as good a person he can be for her, but she can’t really be with him, so he’s content in her not loving him back. Their relationship is really beautiful, and one of the things the Reeve movies got right.

Luthor should be the greatest leader of humanity, the smartest guy who would lead the planet to a golden age. Except he can’t stand that Superman is there instead, and it’s corrupted his mind.


I’ve been reading or re-reading old Marvel lately and it’s weird how often Rick Jones shows up. What you describe is exactly what he is, and it’s completely unnecessary.


But Mark said that, contrary to the Post-Crisis version, Batman and Superman have everything in common. I think that means they are the best of friends. The only people Superman can really fit in with is the Justice League.


Dear Mark, what about Zod/Jax-Ur/The evil kryptonian trope?


It’s cool. We’ve seen it a lot, of course, but I love krypton and my idea would be a new, very different spin on that for a section of the story. The trick to be faithful to what’s come before but at the same time not do a greatest hits album.



I knew there was a flaw there. Superman hates Clark. In adulthood, Superman cannot save everybody. There have been stories about how Superman abandons Clark and turns full-time into rescuer and savior. This is a delicate split. Clark is human, he does not have to nor is he expected to save anybody. Clark becomes (did not start out that way) a “safe harbor”. Kal-El can forgive himself as Clark. As Superman, he has survivor’s guilt and a whole lot of issues that make him more the guy Zack Snyder portrayed. Clark, the first couple of years of the public Superman, is a relief. Kal-El can be his best human self. The moment the cape goes on, so does the guilt. Clark being snubbed by Lois can’t help. Superman being hero-worshiped by Lois can’t help. I have no clue as to why Superman would affiliate with Jimmy Olsen (any version but Jack Larson’s - that seemed to work, but then again it was the Fifties). I suspect Superman would drop Perry White off a roof.


Conficted Superman is cool, as long as you let the guy have some fun and not be angry or sad all the time.

Sorry, I’m really traumatised by the last movie :frowning:


That’s a great question and it’s difficult to answer.

I think there’s even less top justice league stories than there is superman, so for that reason I’m going to say justice league.

It’s a book that has struggled since the fun days of Giffen and DeMatteus and other than the exceptional Morrison run, Johns is the only other run that I can think of that I’m overly fond of.

Justice League should always have a big name writer on it.


Yeah, I never even finished volume 1, and put the 2nd volume onto eBay without even opening it.

I like JMS but I just couldn’t get thru that book at all. Or at least i did like JMS, I’ve not enjoyed anything he’s done since The Twelve and his Amazing Spider-Man run.


I think Justice League works better as a cartoon than a comic. There’s too many A-listers and alpha dogs to keep a comic properly centered I think—Giffen/DeMatties worked because it was all B-listers, which traditionally makes for the best team books (JLI, Guardians, Claremont’s X-Men).

Although admittedly I’m not a big fan of team books.


You didn’t like his Thor? I loved his Thor.

That’s a good point you say about Justice League though. I know that Mark could tell the huge stories that those characters need, but I’d still prefer him to put the House of El in order, so to speak.


Yeah, I like his Thor a lot.

That was a while ago though wasn’t it?


Yeah, it was the last thing he did before Superman Earth One. But it was after his Spidey had finished, was my point. Not that it matters. It’s still what? 6 years ago, maybe?


I always find it interesting that the consensus seems to be that you have to give the minor characters their arcs in the team books, because the A-listers have that stuff going on in their own books.
I wonder if that’s why The Ultimates did so well, because there weren’t loads of books for the individuals.


Exactly. It always made me laugh, like Superman and Batman were real people who were unavailable :slight_smile:



I don’t know that the idea of Superman hating Clark Kent really tracks. At a certain point in a child’s development, certain things from their upbringing solidify who they’re going to become. That’s why the Kent family was always so important to Superman’s story. This is why he hates not being able to help everyone, because of the values he learned. If he were simply a guy flying around trying to fix everything he finds wrong in the world, he would quickly become the nuisance Lex Luthor imagines him to be. But he isn’t. That’s why he’s Superman and Lex Luthor isn’t. Not because of what he can do, but because of what he doesn’t, and why.

Because he’s still Clark Kent, and retains the identity of Clark Kent. It keeps him feeling human. It keeps him humble. It helps him cope. He doesn’t need the Daily Planet to know when something’s happening. That’s his super-hearing, that’s multimedia. He’s that good guy Mark likes, who doesn’t antagonize other creators (see another thread), for instance, who wouldn’t let the Internet drag him down to its level. That doesn’t mean he stays away from the Internet. It means, to use Mark Waid’s term, incorruptible. Waid envisioned a landscape where a Superman became irredeemable, and a Lex Luthor became incorruptible. If anything, Clark Kent learned about his powers by causing mischief, like Peter Parker. But unlike Spider-Man, he doesn’t need a lesson in morals. Because he had one growing up. He just had to remember, that Clark Kent exists.

Basically, take Clark Kent away from the equation, and you no longer have Superman. To me, it’s that simple. But everyone has their own perspective.