Thursday, April 18, 2013

Superman is 75!

Superman is 75 years old! At least, this is the 75th anniversary of him appearing in comics. Any creative guy or gal knows that there's a long lead time between creation and publication. Heck, Toaster Guy had been in my head (and in my sketchbooks) for 20 years before his first comic book.

Can you imagine? Being a teenager, and coming up with Superman? Before there were pulp heroes, and Flash Gordon and characters like that. These two guys, out of thin air, created a genre. All the tropes of the super hero start here. Even non-archetypal superheroes are defined by how they differ from Superman.

Nowadays, writers don't seem to know what to do with him. I think it's because after 75 years of telling stories about a super-powered guy, it's hard to come up with something he hasn't done before (that numerous other superhero stories haven't already covered). I think with Superman - and Batman and other long-running popular superheroes - it makes more sense to write shorter stories, designed to be told in miniseries or trade paperbacks. Don't try so hard to connect them in some long continuity. Keep a status quo, because if there's no status quo to deviate from then nothing you do with the characters will have any weight. Tell relatively short, interesting stories.

I think instead of the "New 52" junk, DC should have sunset all their characters and titles. Bring them back in short form stories, or one ongoing title per character.

But all that is a different conversation, and maybe I'm not the best guy to start it since I'm far from a writer.

ANYWAY - Happy Birthday, Superman!

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