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A special Millar Marvel or DC project next year?


#244

Who said Superman hates Clark?

We said…

“Clark Loves Lois
Lois loves Superman
Superman loves Clark”

It’s quite the opposite :slight_smile:

Also, it’s 100% correct. Maggin is never wrong!

MM


#245

Miqque’s just applying his particular brand of psychoanalysis to come up with a Miqque answer :smiley:

I was thinking about the Lois knowing Superman’s ID stuff – do you really think it’s imperative that she not find out? I think there are ways it could work while keeping the Maggin triangle in tact.


#246

Lois finding out is Charlie Brown successfully kicking the football. It’s just something very long and very hardcore readers need to see because they’ve read all the permutations before and desperate for something a little different. I get why it happened and it creates some interesting stories, but your leads falling in love and/ or getting married is like when Maddie and David got together on Moonlighting.

As Alan Moore once pointed out, heroes get married at the end of their stories. That’s when they settle down and we get a big THE END and everybody feels great. But the adventure’s over, which isn’t what you want with an ongoing periodical that’s already in eighth decade of publication. Imagine Batman getting married. Yes, it’s very interesting story, but the long-term consequences would be disastrous in terms of the fundamental dynamics of what makes a story work.

The Flash and GL could be married (even to each other!!) because they’re legacy characters. The power is the star whereas it’s the character with the primary DC characters like Supes, Bats and WW. A married GL would be interesting and then when he isn’t working you replace him with a successor. Characters who are primary like Spidey too just don’t work married as their stories suddenly seem very finite.

MM


#247

I do agree with that. But I find myself in the odd position of having grown up with comics where the heroes are married or in long-term relationships. I’m finding it difficult to reconcile the two.


#248

Same here. I also that two of the biggest marriages in comics, Spider-Man’s and Superman’s, were only done because another media form of the characters was marrying them. Marketing and sales overrode story and when the marriages were ended, it was done very poorly.

Lois never knowing Clark and Superman were one and the same never sat well with me. Lois is supposed to be this brilliant investigative reporter and she could never figure this out? It always made her look incompetent at best. I always imagined that Lois secretly figured it out a long time ago but out of respect for Clark and Superman, she never let on.

Or maybe Superman just kissed her a lot:


#249

I understand how that works from a storytelling perspective but what does it say about marriage? Is it the end of our stories and adventure to get married? My adventures just started when I married Sheena. Likewise, the idea of that being the end and everything is smooth sailing afterwards has been to the detriment of a lot of marriages I know. I don’t think every superhero should be married. However, I think Superman represents the joy of responsibility which makes him the perfect superhero to exhibit a healthy marriage.


#250

It can come off as incredibly irresponsible if you’re a family man but you run off on adventures or risk your life to save others. Very quickly you can become an absentee husband or father - you’re not there to raise your child. Fictionally you need to have a hero who never really puts himself in harms way (he has something to lose whereas the single guys have nothing to lose), or in most cases the father-hero type character defends his family from attack first and foremost.

The other element at play is that demographically these characters have generally been aimed at young men who want characters who are just like them (I think most folks have a favorite fictional character who is an idealized projection of themselves). Married mostly means kids, kids mostly means you don’t have time or the inclination for fiction like you used to.

I do believe there’s a place for a married hero, and for a father hero (which Mark has sort of done in Empress). But for an archtype like Superman it doesn’t really work. He’s sort of held still in time at this point, changing him would be like taking Batman out of Gotham. And if you think about it, hardly any fictional heroes are married or have kids. It’s for a reason.


#251

That’s fair. I think that young men especially need characters that show them what it’s like to be a responsible husband, father, person, etc. and how enjoyable that life can be. Instead, we generally get representations of how that responsibility drags on their other life or risks it.

There are real life heroes like firemen, police and soldiers who risk their lives and make sacrifices for bigger causes everyday. I don’t think they are irresponsible or absentee. I know it has to be a struggle for some dads to go to work in the morning because that is time they are not spending with their kids.

I understand we’re talking about fiction but if fiction isn’t informed by life, what good is it?


#252

Firemen and soldiers are mostly 9-5 guys and the risks are small. That doesn’t work in the superhero space. We have hundreds of cop shows, but the majority of lead characters are single. It’s actually pretty hard to think of a father hero character. Which is amazing given the number of fictional properties there are, but I think that speaks to how hard it is to create that type of character.

If you look at Reed Richards when his kids are around they’re either being shunted off to a babysitter, or the story ends up being about the kids themselves.

Soldiers that are fathers tend to have tragic stories - kids going off the rails or marriages breaking up. It’s incredibly hard to have a family and be away for long periods of time.


#253

In superhero stories the obligation to the community trumps the obligation to family. It’s a higher calling and there are sacrifices.

Family is best handled in metaphor, such as Batman and Robin.


#254

Definitely. It works for Incredibles, but very very hard to do that ongoing where the kids are knowingly placed in danger every issue. what kind of parent would do that?

MM


#255

This is a great discussion. All the Superman talk is very cool.
Did I miss if you said what the marvel character(s) your debating working on.


#256

I think it’s why we need good role models in this space. Ones that know how to properly balance their responsibility to their family with their responsibility to the world.

My closest experience with these issues is actually friends who were pastor’s kids or pastors themselves. It’s difficult to find the balance between family and church. Many fall into the hole of thinking that serving the church is serving God. One of my good friends who is a pastor has just had his first child. We’ve had several conversations on that balance. I’ve tried to reassure him that it is OK to choose his son over church and still have a 100% clear conscious before God.

The rest of us don’t commit 100% of our lives to our job or our charity work and neither should/can superheroes. For every time Superman chooses to be Clark or spend time with someone he cares about, someone else dies. That’s just statistics. He has to realize that sometimes connecting with humanity is just as important as pulling someone from a burning building in saving humanity.


#257

I don’t think that would work commercially. If you look for action movie Dad’s you have Brendan Frasier in the Mummy 2, Liam Neeson in Taken, Arnie in Commando, Die Hard 4, Harrison Ford Jack Ryan and that’s all I can think of. All getting into the aciton to save their kids. In TV you have mostly screwed up fathers (Walter White, Tony Soprano). Should there be more? Yes. But either the kids become the lead stars, or the parents look incredibly irresponsible. Either way it’s impossible for ongoing narrative books.

Millar created a great father in Big Daddy. But he knew he had to die to let Hit Girl become her own thing, otherwise she’s stuck being Robin. In Jupiters Legacy Hutch is another Dad fighting to help his son. And we have Dane in Empress acting like a father, but the main villain is also a father. Mark explores this space more than most creators, but it’s a hard area to navigate.

I think if you marry a character everyone immediately expects a child. That’s just society. And if there’s a child the story is no longer about the parents.


#258

Jupiter’s Circle 2 #6 has Mark, in his own way, giving an interesting view on a Superman/Lois Lane marriage.


#259

I wouldn’t mind a character in the space of married with no children too though I admit it would be a selfish. Fuck everyone else’s expectations. :wink:


#260

Imagine being a creator and being asked when are they going to have a baby in every single interview for years on end.

Having a long term girlfriend might be a happy compromise, but not for Superman.


#261

You mean like being married and being asked when you’re going to have a baby every single week for years on end? :wink:

You just finally have to give an answer that makes the questioner uncomfortable enough (on purpose or otherwise) to not ask the question again. :wink:

I should add that I’m not selfish enough to expect Superman to be this way. It just wouldn’t hurt my feelings if someone tried it. :slight_smile:


#262

Interestingly, I’ve heard this same analysis applied to why Aquaman doesn’t work (by Kurt Busiek). As the King of Atlantis, he’s already won the game. He’s already accomplished the goal. King Arthur’s best stories were as a boy, finding the sword, taking his proper title.

I’ve always disagreed with that, but I understand the point. I’m not saying interesting things can’t be doen with Lois knowing, or with them married, but I think you’re killing more story engines than your’e creating.


#263

I honestly read that sentence and wondered “Why would a creator bring a baby into every single interview? I can understand one or two, if you have problems getting childcare…But ever interview, that’s just excessive”. :smile: