Comics Creators

How Man of Steel movie made me create HUCK - Millar essay!!!


Yes, I was so traumatised by Man of Steel that I literally created Huck to deal with it. Here’s my essay for Total Film today on the superhero and where it’s going:



It’s a nice essay, and it was lovely to hear of the inspiration from the center you volunteer at!

Just curious… why gamesradar, of all places to publish that?


That was a great read. :sunglasses: :thumbsup:


I have a feeling this might generate some discussion…



PS Gamesradar is where Total Film is hosted :slight_smile:


This essay is why Mark Millar is #1 on my wish list of people to write Superman today.

But I guess I’ll settle for Huck. For now :wink:


I’m not sure about that Jim…When has Man of Steel ever prompted discussion around here?


I’ve been saying Huck is Superman if Clark never left Smallville. You’re going to love it David.


Yeah, I have to admit that the darkness in superheroes has been a little off-putting to me as well.

At the same time, I also wonder if the Superheroes we grew up with and encountered as children was something of an exception rather than the rule when it comes down to it. I recently went back and read Grimm’s and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales and if you look at stories like THE TINDERBOX or THE BLUE LIGHT, the heroes are selfish, violent, abusive and the kids reading them are supposed to identify with that. Around the time of Dickens and Andersen, the concept of “childhood” as we think of it - basically that we were more innocent and good - was just starting to emerge. However, as anyone who knows children or deals with them is aware, they are as capable of being selfish, violent, and abusive as any adult and sometimes moreso.

Of course, if you go back and read the pulp heroes, westerns, mystery and weird stories before the comics, they express a lot of the same adolescent violence and lust that fueled many of the fairy tales and myths going back to antiquity. Even the comics, before the “comics code”, were pretty dark and violent whether they were DC or EC comics. A lot of that probably emerged from being written during a dark period in history where a lot of people were poor and angry and didn’t mind seeing a strong man beating up or even killing some rich bad guy.

The comics I grew up reading in the 70’s and 80’s (many of them actually from the 60’s, though, in reprints and old issues), were somewhat unique compared to the heroes from any period before. I remember reading a book of Greek myths that made the comparison between the Olympian heroes and comic book superheroes, but when I read the stories of Heracles, Theseus and Jason, it’s very clear these selfish, flawed and often simply murderous heroes and gods were really nothing like the Superman, Spider-Man or the X-men I was reading in the comics.

What I miss from today’s darker versions of the heroes on screen (other than Marvel which is very playful) is the enjoyment that the heroes should be feeling from what they do. Whether they are beating the hell out of some terrible person or saving people from an alien invasion, you don’t get the impression from Daredevil, Batman or Superman that they are having a good time. Superman in Man of Steel always had this look on his face like “I really would rather not be doing this.” Honestly, considering what he’s given to work with in the story, I don’t blame him.

One of the things I liked most about Superior - which isn’t mentioned enough as far as Millar’s books, I think - is not just that the hero had a good heart, but he really enjoyed being a super-hero. As much as I liked Nolan’s Batman, you never got that impression. Even Craig’s Bond, as deeply conflicted and damaged as he is, tends to enjoy actual field work - it seems like it’s the only place where he feels he belongs.


I’m just happy that Ang Lee’s Hulk got name checked.


It’s not that good :smile:



Top 10 quality at least hahaha :smile:


That was an excellent read.


Very good essay.

I was going to type a defense of Man of Steel but my laptop gave me an electric shock when I tried.


Sounds like intervention from a higher power.


Thanks for sharing that.


Good article, but I kinda disagree about MoS… Not surprisingly…

For some reason, I find MoS to be one the most uplifting SH movies that has come out, it really has a great story and great moments… However the problem might be with Snyder’s usual complexity and subtilety, which, for me is a nice feature, but apparently for a lot of people, things just gets lost within the massive visual spectacle he always offers.

Funny thing is that my favorite character in the movie is Jonathan Kent, and my favorite scenes are the ones with Clark and Jonathan’s interactions… Those are the ones that stuck in my head since the very first time I saw it. But tbh, the four main male charaters were all great and they all did a pretty good job on conveying both the nature of the story and the subtle complexities of each character and their relationship with Clark/Kal-El. If anything, I feel the shoehorning of Lois into a lot of scenes was the weakest part of the movie… that part really felt out of place and I would’ve rather had more scenes with Jor-El and Kal, for exemple.

I also think the neck-breaking scene gets unfair flack, seeing as it’s not only necessary, but kind of an integral part of the story, and while it’s certainly tragic, I wouldn’t call it “dark”… It’s a little bit more nuanced than that. I think that the movie would’ve benefited from a director’s cut with a much longer run that included a lot more of quiet and introspective scenes to flesh things out more evidently because as it stands, the movie has all the elements in there within the small details, but it kinda requires you to think about it more than people were willing to by the end of it all.


Saw the pilot for SUPERGIRL, and it along with THE FLASH are nice contrasts to Man of Steel and The Dark Knight. You have heroes excited about being heroes despite all the challenges and tragedy they’ve endured.

I also like the scenes between Jonathan and Martha and Clark most in the MOS movie.


I loved MOS very much, but even I can see that Superman murdering someone with his bare hands is dark. Snyder wanted Clark to be forced to abandon his people and Zod’s death was the ultimate rejection of Krypton, establishing Clark as an Earthling through and through. However, he could have just beaten Zod and thrown him back into the Phantom Zone again and accomplished much the same storytelling objective. In fact he’d have proven to be more than Zod in showing his mercy.

I expect Zod’s death to be one of the central points of the next movie, it’s a plot device as much as anything else. But it was a dark decision, and while I agree with the movie I also agree that there’s a need for lighter fare and superheroes in both print and on screen are taking themselves a bit too seriously.

Mark’s main point stands - these characters found a way to win without killing. It’s what separated them from regular fictional heroes, without them having to be Doctor Who. But that’s been lost, and I think it’s been lost for a long time now - since Miller on Batman which kicked the whole thing off. That was a decision that paid off, it made DC appealing and marketable and put new energy into the comics universe. But it’s time for another change.

I always think alot of the current wave of popularity is driven from Gen X. And Gen X was in their teens and 20’s when superheroes became popular starting with Blade. Gen X have got to dominate pop culture over the last 15 years or more, but now they’re having kids and reaching middle age and there will be this natural tendency to want to see more wholesome works, if wholesome is the right word. Every parent I know now debates when their kid will be old enough to watch the Batman movies, or even the Marvel movies. And when we were kids there was no debate really - you could watch the Superman movie even if you were 5 years old. Or younger for many many kids. And that’s a change, it a loss of the product to a popular demographic, but I see a shift back again and I think that’s reflected in how Mark himself is feeling with 2 young daughters.


I agree that Zod’s death was dark.
Whether it was shallow, nuanced, fumbled, or well executed is all up for debate.
I love how it’s feeding into Lex Luthor though, and this is looking to be one of the most fluid transitions for that character in the narrative.

Not that I’m not excited for Huck.
Albuquerque’s art makes him look like a big kid. It’s very adorable.