Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Speed Dating Superman

Tell any basketball coach, that they can start a new team with any player they want and most will pic Michael Jordan. Ask a football coach what clutch Quarterback they'd want leading their team down the field on a Super Bowl winning drive and 9 times out of 10 you'll hear the name Tom Brady. So which Superhero would most of today's four color wordsmiths resoundingly choose to steer themselves toward the fame and notoriety of comic book royalty?

Easy, it's gotta be Superman. I mean, he's the cream of the crop, the gold standard of modern American mythology...he's...HE'S FREAKING SUPERMAN!


Well, not exactly...

Since the dawn of the New52 it seems that comics most talented penmen have been merely speed dating Cleveland's greatest export since, well, EVER. How can this be? It's Superman! The entire genre, not just DC Comics has at one time or another owed a debt of gratitude to one Clark Kent. If Superman never hits new stands 75 years ago, Marvel never becomes big enough to the point where the largest entertainment company this world has ever seen, Disney, purchases it for over 4 BILLIONS dollars. That's billion with a B! Supes simply broke all barriers and misconceptions so that everyone else's figments of their imaginations could suddenly be realized in the form of billion dollar properties. Superman was first.

Take a look at this list:

George Perez
Grant Morrison
Keith Giffen
Dan Jurgens
Andy Diggle
Tony Daniel

No, that's not a list of who would make the Comic Book writers all-star team, that is a list of people who have walked out on the Man of Tomorrow in under 2 years time.

Some of these writers have just finished up long standing arcs. Some have left because of editorial differences of which I have no inside information or knowledge about so I will not half-assedly expound upon them. The others I would assume were called to fill in due to the untimely departures of certain talent and have done a fine job, but shouldn't your Universe's center piece have consistency?

Look at Batman (whom some would argue has overtaken DC's mantle as top dog, but maybe that will be another entry some time down the road). Scott Snyder has been a rock for the lead title of Bat books, Batman. He just finished up two long standing arcs and is about to release another year long title reign that has us all waiting with baited breath! Why do we yearn for Snyder's next 12 month epic crusade? Consistency in his previous work. We know what he brings to the table and we will gladly shill out our bucks for more.

It seems that DC editorial has given Snyder the keys to the Porsche and trusts that he won't leave it a twisted heap of metal and steel. Like I said earlier I don't know the reasons for some of Superman's recent breakups, but the creative direction behind both Action Comics and Superman needs to become more of a marathon and much less of a sprint.

Maybe Scott Lobdell, who will shortly be writing both Action and Superman is just what Dr. Mensa (a Lois & Clark reference) ordered. Perhaps DC has thrown Mr. Lobdell the keys to the Bentley and have simply told him to, "bring it back in one piece". Only time will tell, but I for one am rooting for him.

1 comment:

  1. I, for one, wish that Grant Morrison wrote a simpler Superman story a la Superman For All Seasons. I think that Superman shines best when treated as an uncomplicated icon, not as a time-traveling braggart. Superman deviated from a solid formula some time ago and it never really recovered in my eyes.