My problem with Superman


Is that he is a boring character, at least he is in my opinion.  Yes he is a Super human and could be argued that he is the ideal that we could all aspire to (I know he is not real but bear with me).

However to me, he is over powered and can only be hurt by Magic or Kryptonite.  Now if you do not have either in a Superman story, then you remove the sense of danger that superhero stories thrive on.  You are left with the supporting cast and I do not think much of Supermans circle.

However if a good story is written about anyone, it can transcend the character it is written about.  In Supermans case, I have only found these stories in Scottish Writers stories.

Superman : Red Son by Mark Millar, is a case in point.  What if Superman had landed in the Soviet Union instead of America.  He would have grown up a communist icon.  The same trappings from decades of Superman stories are there but melded into this new idea.  It is a really good read and one of the few Superman books I own.

All Star Superman by Grant Morrison is another recommendation.  Again the basic themes are there but they are handled with such love and care that they turn the story into a memorable and lasting one.

Now some would say Alan Moore’s “Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow?” but there are only bits of that story I liked.  You may think different.

Superman fans could point to any number of stories that they recommend but those two are the only ones that I own and am happy to point out.  They are full of interesting ideas and concepts, some that work, some that don’t.  However the overall lasting impression is one of two writers with great love for the character and that comes over to the reader.

Grant Morrison recently finished an 18 issue run on Action Comics (which is a Superman comic in all but name) and I bought every single issue.  It is 18 issues of high concept, fractured storytelling that comes together to form a rip roaring ride that left me with wonderful memories and concepts.  This is what comics should be like, though sadly few are.

Issue 19 was written by Andy Diggle.  A very good writer and I have enjoyed much of his work.  However the issue is just an average superhero comic.  Nothing to do with the writing and everything to do with the character.

That’s the difference for me. 

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