Comics Creators

A special Millar Marvel or DC project next year?


No. Possible. Way.

Superman - Kal-El - has a very specialized set of skills. So does Batman - Bruce Wayne. (Originals only here!) Both have trauma. It can be argued that Kal-El must be basically unaware that he lost his whole planet. That had to be a concept learned later, did it not?

Personal history, I was born Caesarean (due to the level of medical “knowledge” at the time - now we would have just waited a couple days). Had some slightly underdeveloped lungs (ergo the “wait a couple days”) and was popped into a plastic incubator. Guess what? I got (at least partially) trained as a psychoanalyst, and such traumas create very specific and permanent “psychological” responses. Mine suss out to be a feeling of being a bit different, unattached at times (or certain circumstances, guess that’s why I could do trauma nursing), having very specific opinions based on what I observe of human behavior (what with being a bit detached), not particularly approving of such behavior, being realistic about what could be done (even with a full rack of super-powers) and the main feeling of if everybody else gets triaged and basically taken care of then maybe - just maybe - there might be time to deal with taking care of me, ‘cause I’m dyin’ here. This is what I always related to with Kal-El. Does not matter if the world continues merrily to Hell in a hand-basket, one strives. One does what they can. Most of the time it works. Sometimes it does not, and we have to deal with that and carry the baggage. Anybody who feels a bit “different” or “isolated” or “doesn’t get why the other kids pick on me” has been there. And here’s Superman, flying with great power and moving mountains, and he’s the same as I am when the lights go out and the night creeps in.

Luthor and Brainiac have a fatal flaw: narcissism. They think they are right, but it is only “right” for them. This is why every plan, no matter how grand, falls apart. Picking historical figures for comparison, Luthor is Donald Trump and Brainiac is Karl Marx. They make big noises, some fall in line, but in the end it comes down to ego and hate and fear. The worst you can do to Superman is kill him, and that don’t stick.

Are morals relative or absolute?


I’d say Swamp Thing and Superman Adv are up there with his very best. Swamp Thing in particular is AMAZING. What an incredible run.


Agree so much with this. Swamp Thing is indeed amazing. One of my all-time favourites. Absolutely wonderful.


Oh man I want to read his swamp thing NOW. Maybe the kids could go without diapers for a couple weeks. And the cats could go without litter. It’s really depressing how much we spend one things going pee and poo.


Obviously. Superman’s brain works faster than any computer on Earth and has unlimited memory and he has alien DNA. Batman can do 500 sit-ups and travelled the world learning philosophy and karate.

I love Batman. He’s my second-fave character. But Superman is Superman.



Thank you. :grin: It’s crazy the amount of people that don’t agree.

Now please, go ahead and write the best Superman story ever. I’ll buy multiple copies to educate all of these people. :wink:


People think because Batman sells more books he can beat Superman.

Batman does karate, yes. Superman can move at the speed of light :slight_smile:

I love both characters and they’re both geniuses, but Superman is the best at everything, his vulnerability to be used against him being his good heart and self-sacrifice. That’s how you beat Superman, by using this against him. He would give up his life to save a beetle so he’s tremendously vulnerable when you think about it. He’s the most fascinating character in comics, but 99% of the time just written by people who didn’t grow up understanding what makes him work. Mark Waid is the only writer of the last 30 years who has written him 100% correctly, though there have been a few other good stories.



So you agree that he’s a vegetarian as well? Because after I read that by Waid, it was a eureka moment. Of course Superman is vegetarian! Right?


Absolutely. Superman can hear every abattoir on the planet. There’s no way he’d eat meat.

I’d keep Clark Kent’s favourite meal Beef Bourguignon however. Superman and Clark should be two different people, Clark being a beautifully put together work of art with his own fave meals, TV shows, etc, all distinct from Superman and his entry point to hanging out with the human race Superman loves to relax and chat among in ways he can’t. So many writers get this completely wrong. Elliot Maggin nailed it so beautifully with his Superman love triangle in Last Son of Krypton.

“Clark loves Lois
Lois loves Superman
Superman loves Clark
No-one understands this”

It’s the perfect summation of the character and what makes him unique.



And yet people insist that you can’t write a good Superman story and that there are no interesting Superman stories to be told. It seems to me that the possibilities are endless.


Hearing you talk about this stuff is fascinating, I have to say.

So because Superman loves Clark, is that the reason why he isn’t Superman saving people 24/7?


I do love it when Mark Waid gets defensive and says the reason Batman does better is because he’s inherently a far less complex character and therefore much easier to write. :smile:


I think it’s clear Batman is easier to write, there are loads of great Batman stories during the period Mark mentions. That’s why it should be the ultimate challenge to write a great Superman story, the best can do it.


Elliot S! Maggin had this to say about writing a Superman story

Superman stories are about moral and ethical choices. They’re not about kicking ass — I put [an action scene] in there, but everything else was about a moral decision. What [Schwartz] told me before I wrote the first one was, ‘Are you ready for a Superman story? You know that’s the hardest character to write.’ And for years, I believed him…The problem is not that he’s too powerful, the problem is that he has to think and he has to make the readers think. And that’s what separates Superman from everything else. So if you’ve got a Superman story that could be an Iron Man story, it’s the wrong story


Exactly. Superman stories are never punch-ups and when they are it should really mean something. Superman’s interesting because he’s the most powerful man on the planet, but he usually outwits his opponents.

PS Superman loves Clark because Clark is his access point to the human race. His own race is gone and he loves mankind, but he can’t really hang out with them as Superman and be accepted in the same way he can when he puts on the pretend glasses. The most ridiculous take on Superman is that he’s Clark first and Superman second. Not only is he ‘disguised as a mild-mannered reporter…’ he also doesn’t need glasses. Thus, Clark is fictitious :slight_smile:


Hahaha! That’s about 20 years of mediocre Superman stories put in their place. :laughing:


I like the whole 3 faces take.


That doesn’t work for me at all. There’s no difference between Superman and that kid on the farm who could hear ants talking. That’s the same person. Clark was created so he could interact with his parents and make friends at school, passing for normal, Superman just that kid who found out who he really was and wearing the big red cape, honouring his Kryptonian heritage and making people feel good. But he should have been doing all this remarkable stuff I think all through his childhood. The Kryptonian revelation I think just crystallises who that Superman guy is.

When he’s with the Kents he can relax and be Superman in a way he couldn’t with anybody else. But the Kents should be dead like the parents of all heroes from Batman to Bambi. Hence the Fortress of Solitude and where he hangs out and thinks alone. Dressing up as Clark is thus more essential. This was all worked out beautifully until they started tinkering.



I think there are interesting Superman stories to be told. What I question is the size of the potential audience, and what mass audiences are looking for from a Superman story. I have my theories on both, but the track record is not great.


That’s an interesting point. But I think quality finds an audience eventually. You just have to do the best possible job. EVERYBODY tried to talk me out of doing The Avengers for the Ultimate line, wanting a Wolvie book as it would sell better. But it’s all about the take.