Superman In A Different Light

Posted: October 10, 2013 by Ian Gaudreau in Comicology - Comic Books, DC Comics
Tags: , , , , , ,
The Man of Steel

The Man of Steel

What if I told you that Superman was not actually a disappointing superhero based on his intentions?  During Boston Comic Con 2013, a DC Comics panel, hosted by a few big artists and writers, sparked some interesting notes about the intentions of Superman.  Scott Snyder, who currently writes a Superman comic entitled Superman Unchained made a bold statement basically saying that Superman may not be the hero Earth needed after all.

I am sure most of us are aware of Superman’s origin, but just in case, here is a brief synopsis.  As an infant, living on a planet called Krypton, his parents sent him in a spacecraft to Earth as their planet was on the brink of destruction.  Upon arrival to Earth, Kal-El (Superman’s Kryptonian name) is taken in by the Kent family, who bestow  upon him the name Clark Kent.  As Clark grows up, he realizes he is different than the other children his age.  Since Earth’s atmosphere is weaker than that of Krypton, Clark exhibits super-human strength and begins to discover all of his other powers.  Upon discovering his true identity as an alien sent to Earth, he takes the mantle of Superman and begins saving Earth from whatever is plaguing it.

Now, sitting in the DC Comics panel at Boston Comic Con, Scott Snyder went on a really interesting dialogue explaining his thoughts on Superman in the world of his current Superman Unchained.  He went on to talk about what he considers to be a hero and posed the idea to the audience that Superman is not the ‘world’s greatest superhero’ that we have all believed to be true for so long.  Snyder’s reasoning?  He responded with ‘Superman only does what he does for one thing :*clap*, *clap*, *clap*.

There is no denying that Superman does heroic things, but Snyder posed the idea that Superman only saves people in order to get the recognition and acknowledgement from the human population.  The praise for rescuing a worker stuck in broken scaffolding is greater than doing heroic things that nobody may see.  Why does Superman not go in the middle of the night and kill terrorist leaders or mafia bosses?  Would that create a better world and be more heroic?  When a new alien in Superman Unchained comes to Earth, Snyder says the immediate reaction by humans is disappointment because Superman has been nothing but a disappointment.  Sure, he has done good things, but has Superman really reached his true potential on Earth?

Just some food for thought.  If you have a comment, question, or opinion, please leave in the comments below!

  1. wwayne says:

    At present the best comic book featuring Superman is Superman/Wonder Woman, in my opinion. It has some things I deeply adore and rarely find in superhero comics.
    First of all, it’s full of slice – of – life moments. Also, those “ordinary life” scenes involve not only Clark and Diana, but also the supporting characters: for example, in the first issue there is Clark simply enjoying a coffee with a journalist, and Diana having a nice chat with a friend of her in the gym.
    Secondly, it has a large and intriguing supporting cast. Usually superhero comics are entirely focused on their leading characters: in this series, on the contrary, Clark and Diana are often upstaged by supporting characters like their friends, their relatives and so on.
    Thirdly, the plot is very rich. Usually the whole point of a superhero comic book is the fight between its leading character and a villain: in this series, on the contrary, the villain appears only in one page or two, and all the other pages are focused on subplots like Clark and Diana’s relationship, Clark getting to know Diana’s family and so on.

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