Oh, ha, I was definitely not talking you out of doing a Superman story! Just thinking out loud about the character, and his history across all media since the 80s (a few stories aside).
I think people still want to believe in a greater power and in heroes.
And even those who don’t believe, like to pretend to themselves that they do, for short periods, when reading or watching something good.
It’s a good point for sure, but I hereby swear to knock this out of the park
I do think Superman lends itself to your writing style, Mark, which I might describe as widescreen, economic, show-dont-tell, and strictly scheduling a “wow” moment every 7 pages or so.
Outside of the Silver Age, the further a writer strays from that kind of approach, the less the character seems to work, and the best stories almost all read that way.
Well, I think that’s you all out of excuses then Mark, isn’t it?
Man, everything Mark is saying about Superman is right on point here.
For me, the Clark/Superman dynamic is one of the most interesting things in comics. They way I see it, there was a Clark - the boy raised on the farm, before his powers began to kick in. But that Clark would have withered, died, evolved as soon as he began hearing bacteria whisper conspiratorially, seeing the ebb and flow of energies cascading all across the biosphere, all the tiny joys and sorrows and hopes and fears of the human raise his bedtime story each night.
It’s akin to Siddhartha’s becoming the Buddha, to me.
So then what is Clark, as we see it now? I ask you this; in the aspiration of art, men create paintings, create music, create literature. But what would a SUPERman create?
A Superman would create…a man.
Clark is Superman’s greatest achievement, his definitive statement on the human race. Clark is a work of art; a fully realized human being with his own foibles and insecurities and desires and strengths.
That, to me, is Clark.
That’s exactly what Maggin said. Clark is a brilliant construct Superman devised so he wouldn’t be lonely. As Superman he’s lonely. He helps people, but he can’t hang out with us like Clark can.
Clark on the one hand is what Tarantino said in that he’s Superman’s commentary on humanity, but I don’t see it that way. He’s just the opposite of Sueprman and thus the perfect place to hide, but at the same time enjoy the pleasure of being allowed to tripod his shoe-laces or get nervous and all the things he can’t do as Superman. Clark is an essential part of the Superman psyche because it’s where he goes to have fun and do things that aren’t monumental, much like we need to dream and sleep to function.
I also think Superman would very quickly have started doing good deeds as a boy because he could hear all these things going on around him. Much like Jason in Jupiter’s Legacy, I think he’d be sneaking off to do them too, the Kents concerned about him doing them too soon, but ultimately feeling in their simpler way he was a gift from the skies to hep people and so they’d be preparing him. They have to die though. Like Bambi’s mum. Like Musafa. They have to die so he can become a man.
Absolutely. There’s an added layer of tragedy and loneliness that comes from losing that, as well, which I think is essential to the Superman character. Part of what made Post-Crisis Superman go stale, in my opinion, was the fact that his support system became so strong. A lot of the pathos was lost. He could always go back to Ma and Pa for advice, which had the added negative of making him look stunted somehow, like he couldn’t make his own decisions.
It’s a delicate balance, all told, but I personally believe Superman has some of the greatest potential for brilliant stories, stories that are accessible and insightful for all. It takes a little work to get it right, but the result is worth it.
You can put Superman against any opponent, set these things on alien worlds or parallel universes, the ancient past or far, distant future. Anyone who can’t write Superman can’t write IMO. Superman and Batman are a BREEZE.
See I think this is the part that is a bit outdated in a larger societal/philosophical way. In previous generations, the father had to die for the son to become the man of the house. Now, a good portion of our parents are living into our own retirement. So either we find a new way to become a man or a good portion of guys don’t become one until they’re about 70. Byrne started to reset those notions but so many have returned it to the old status quo.
That isn’t a lack of faith in your ability to tell a Superman story, Chief. You on a Superman book would be a dream come true. I’m up for multiple takes on the character. I think that is one of the reasons Batman has been more resilient over the years.
Right, plot and genre wise your options are endless. But emotionally, Superman’s interested in, and concerned for, everyone. Any conflict, moral, emotional, whatever, Superman is engaged, is personally invested.
A new Superman book by MM would be something I never dared to hope for, bring it on Chief!
Looking at the current transgender movement, there are some parallels. I could see an endpoint as it were where Superman is truly integrated into an accepting society and no longer needs to be Clark Kent.
That already happened. That’s what the Legion is for. Superboy is himself in the 31st Century. It takes that long for us to come close to catching up.
Okay, @Mark_Millar, now you have me thinking in triangles. That’s fine, a simple geometric shape. I’ve run therapy groups that have several members with multiple personalities; try that sometime! (Oh, wait - you deal with movie execs - you’ve already done that.)
I’ll buy the Superman-Clark-Lois triangle for now. Also the Clark-Superman-Kal-El you got to the fringe about. But I continue to take issue with the proposed Superman-Luthor-Brainiac triangle. You flat-out stated Luthor was smarter than Superman, Brainiac smarter than Luthor. I posit this is not an issue of smarts, but of application! I stand on my statement that Luthor and Brainiac are, by nature, narcissistic beings. Kal-El is what I might classify as “traumatized altruist”. Kal-El grew to an understanding, on the farm, that all things work together but have different roles in overall existence. Learning later about Krypton and its history and his parent’s goals would only reinforce this. Thus he has developed a holistic view of life, and realizes there is nothing of more value than a human life. (He’s human too, remember.) Luthor is raging intellect with raging affiliation needs. Brainiac is an AI that became our fear of AI’s from the get-go (way back to Eando Binder and the original “I, Robot” short story). It’s Colossus: The Forbin Project in space.
In short, Luthor and Brainiac are both limited by their natures. They seek to bring the universe to their point of view and under their heel. The Universe dissents. Kal-El works with the nature of the Universe, mutual support and survival championed by those with ability.
Sounds like you’ve made your choice, so it’s time to start picking artists.
How’s about John Cassaday. Very much want to see you work with him soon.
With Hitch a DC exclusive, it seems almost sacrilege not to get the band back together.
I thought of that, but I hope Hitch can convince him to stay for a Justice League project.
Jason Fabok isn’t on a book right now, is he?
Heck, when in DC, steal Jim Lee! Can you imagine the sales?
I’d like to see Mark work with an up and comer. Mark + Superman is really name draw enough – would be cool to see someone super hungry and super great doing the work of their career on such a book.
Like, I’d love Matt Southworth (MoonKnight) or Daniel Bayliss or Dan Mora or Leila De Luca (colored by the Russ Manning nominees, no doubt).