With Man of Steel coming out this month, it seemed appropriate to re-visit the graphic novel Superior by the inimitable Mark Millar.
This is a nice send up of Superman, more specifically how superheroes and Superman in particular have shaped American culture and identity. Superior, like Superman represents the idealized American: he stops crime, he saves people, he fixes all of the world’s problems, and he does it without killing people. This is particularly poignant given the 21st Century backdrop–would Americans be satisfied with Al Queda being captured by a superhero and sent to maximum security prisons? While Superman and (presumably) Superior are Americans, they’re adopted Eathlings, they represent the best of humanity (at least from a Western perspective).
This begs the question: what are we to expect from the Christopher Nolan/Zack Snyder Man of Steel? They’re clearly trying to re-invent Superman for a modern audience while trying to stay true to his core principles: Truth, Justice, the American Way.
After seeing the new trailer for Man of Steel for the umpteenth time, I am convinced that next year will be a banner year for the Man of Steel. A little background: I am a major Supes fan. I know it’s not as cool as Batman. I know that Superman is a boring boy scout. I still don’t care. The first comic book superhero movie I ever saw was Superman: The Movie. Christopher Reeve and director Richard Donner made me believe that a man could fly. It still does. It’s still my favorite superhero movie even with all those Avengers, Batman’s, and that Peter Parker guy, running around in movies these days.
In the last few years it has been a ridiculous tragedy that Warner Bros. cannot figure out how to make these DC superheroes as great as they are on the page. Except for Batman, they just can’t seem to pull it together. Well I certainly hope that this is it. Because I want kids today to experience what I did when I first saw Christopher Reeve catch that helicopter.
Here’s the trailer if you haven’t already seen it. Enjoy.
Superman Action Comics #775 is considered by many to be the best Superman single issue ever.
A little video from Ifanboy explaining why can be found here.
I bring up this comic because it is the source material for the newest DC animated flick titled “Superman vs. The Elite.” Here’s a trailer.
This was a fun adaptation by original comic writer Joe Kelley. It’s right up there with the best of DC animation and really makes you think about what makes Superman cool.
You can check it out at the SLCPL here.
Also you can find the original comic issue in the collection Justice League Elite vol. 1 which is available for checkout here.