This article from Bleeding Cool got me fired up this morning so here goes.
Did you read it? If not, it’s about DC announcing Scott Lobdell will be taking over Superman in September which leads me to the following question. Why give Superman to Scott Lobdell? Let me start by saying that I don’t necessarily think he is a bad writer. He is currently writing Red Hood and the Outlaws, Teen Titans, and Superboy. I read all three titles and I am enjoying them all to a certain extent but am also having issues with all three. These issues are not necessarily with what the writer is doing with the characters but with the crafting of the stories. At times the story elements come off as unnatural and trying to be cool instead of actually being cool. Also, it feels like the friggin’ 90’s all over again. Do you remember what happened in the 90’s in the world of comics? In case you need a refresher artists took the driver’s seat, comics stories turned to garbage and Marvel nearly went bankrupt. Out of all the eras of comic-dom why in holy hell would we want to go back to that? Lobdell seems like a guy stuck in the past so if DC just created something called…it’s on the tip of my tongue…oh yeah, the NEW 52 then they should probably hand over the title to a writer with a bit more of a modern sensibility.
Grant Morrison gets it and is doing a bang up job over at Action Comics. Geoff Johns is doing a good job on Justice League despite his less than stellar debut arc but his Superman characterization was serviceable. And who do we have on Superman? George Perez, who, by the way, is primarily an ARTIST! Hiring George Perez to write makes no sense to me since, once again, he is mainly AN ARTIST. According to his IMDB he has NEVER written a comic book before Superman. While it’s true he has written a bit for TV and video games, he’s never written a comic before. The only reason he got the job is because of his deserved notoriety as an artist. Do you know what that tells me? He should have been given the job to DRAW Superman. Not write it. If he really wanted to write a book for DC then they should have given him a lower profile book. If his writing was up to snuff, then I could see DC giving him Superman...eventually. His writing was completely inorganic and was way too “gee willikers” for my taste and frankly, I could tell it was a sophomore effort. After Perez was finished we then got Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen. WTF?!? DAN JURGENS!?! While Jurgens has contributed amazing thing to us in the past like Booster Gold (in the 80’s) “Gee willikers” comes to mind yet again as he just doesn’t have what it takes to write modern stories these days. As for Keith Giffen I’m a huge fan of his sense of humor and I’m assuming he made the latest Superman story serviceable at best. Jurgens sunk Booster Gold after everything Geoff Johns did to make the character financially viable and he would do the same thing to Superman if DC let him keep writing the book. Fortunately for Superman fans, DC is letting Scott Lobdell take over with the zero issue. Oh, wait. Did I say fortunately because I meant NOT THAT.
Give Superman over to a writer who is willing to take chances with the character and who has his or her thumb on the pulse on what modern Superman fans want to see. I’ve said earlier that I’m getting that from Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns on their titles. So DC needs to find another writer who can do that for Superman. That particular writer needs to find an identity for the Superman book.
Superman should be the soap opera of all of the Man of Steel books. They have made room for a love interest since they have gotten rid of Lois and Clarks marriage so they should take advantage of this. The book should focus on his love life in a similar way that Smallville successfully managed to do for a decade. This book would be perfect for that. Action Comics is doing a great job of exploring Clarks past so why not have Superman explore his present relationships? If they narrow it down to focus on his relationships then the book would have its own identity. This is where fans would go to see who Clark or Superman is dating or to see Clark and Jimmy hanging out or to see if Clark and Lois can really keep themselves apart from each other.
I don’t want Lois and Clark to get back together BUT I would certainly love to see flirtations every once in a while. It’s just fun to see that kind of stuff with these two. With that said I think Superman would be a great place to see new love interests for Clark AND the Man of Steel. I would think that he would have super suitors out there waiting in line to get with Superman. Would Superman even be interested in having a relationship outside of his Clark identity? Knowing Clark he would probably want to have an intimate relationship AS Clark. But life doesn’t always work that way. What if his falls for a fellow super hero as Superman? Then he would have to struggle with things like how much he could share with her. Should he tell her his secret identity? Should he take her on a romantic date to his Fortress of Solitude? Should he tell her about his weakness to kryptonite? These questions would lead to an internal struggle to have a deep and intimate relationship while keeping secrets and telling lies to cover up his secret as Clark. It would be a reverse of everything he faced with Lois when he was trying to keep his red underwear a secret.
Now, I THINK this might be where they are trying to go with the book right now. They have just had Jimmy move in with Clark because Jimmy’s apartment has bedbugs. Now, I’m not saying the two will get romantically involved, although THAT would certainly be a way to make the franchise fresh, but I hope that this becomes a way in which fans get to see the two become closer friends so that Jimmy is not only Superman’s best pal but Clarks as well. Also, I want Jimmy to finally learn that Clark is Superman. He’s been around forever and I think he deserves to finally learn Clark’s biggest secret. Jimmy is certainly someone Clark can trust so why not? It would bring something new to the Superman franchise that we’ve never seen before and would be a lot of fun to play with.
Of course, Superman shouldn’t just be about his relationships. This is still a super hero book so there should be plenty of action involved and cross-overs between Supergirl and Superboy. This could be an action packed way of further exploring the Man of Steel’s relationship with her super family. It would certainly be interesting considering that the three characters know nothing about each other or their motivations in the New 52. Superman should be treated like their older brother (and yeah, I know he’s Supergirl’s cousin and Superboy’s…um…whatever you are to your half clone.) But the important thing is that Superman, as a character, has been around longer and should want to have an active interest in the lives of these characters. I mean, they are wearing his “S” after all.
The bottom line is that I just want to be able to enjoy all of the Superman books that are being published because otherwise what is the point? Superman is one of, if not most, popular super hero on the planet and his books should reflect why that is. A good super hero deserves to be written well and Superman is one of the best. Hands down.