Brooding with Superman

He’s still super, but he’s not happy about it. DC Comics’ new Superman is a sullen, brooding and angst-ridden 20-year-old who prefers a hoodie to a cape. Also his eyes glow. A new 130-page graphic novel restarts the Superman story as the Youth of Steel graduates from Smallville Junior College and heads to a Metropolis to look for a job.

“(W)e needed to make him hip, moody and sexy in order to really appeal to who are really wanting to read novels with our characters,” (DC Comics co-publisher Dan) DiDio told the Associated Press.

The new “Dark Knight” Batman is the obvious model with an assist from the romantic vampires of the Twilight series.

The old motto — “Truth, Justice and the American Way” — is out.  The new Superman refuses to become “an instrument of politics or policy” of the United States, saying, “if I do what I can do just for the U.S., it’s going to destabilize the whole world. It could even lead to war.”

Don’t we have enough moody post-adolescents without creating more? Even the comic pal, Jimmy Olsen, is now a daredevil photographer known as Jim Olsen.

About Joanne


  1. Joanne– you forgot to mention a key point. It’s written by J. Michael Stracczynski, creator of Babylon 5, and author of a really good Spiderman reboot a few years back.

    Basically, the only way I would want to read this MORE is if it was written by Joss Whedon or Neil Gaiman!

    For Sci/Fi Comic fans, this looks interesting, not scandalous…. though I wouldn’t give this superman to my 6 year old to read……

  2. I don’t mind a brooding Superman but I’m not happy with the America-bashing. Patriotism shouldn’t be a partisan thing- I don’t get why so many liberals are ashamed of that virtue. I don’t agree with everything the U.S. government does (especially in the current administration) but the U.S. is still the greatest country in the world. And my staunch Democratic parents feel the exact same way.

  3. That should read “staunchly”, darn typo!

  4. Although I don’t doubt that J. Michael will do a good job writing the series, I do have some doubts.

    First off, the whole recreate-a-wholesome-hero-into-something-edgier concept is no longer unique but cliche. Batman was ok to redo because his character has always been dark (with the exception of the Adam West series).

    Secondly, I mourn the death of idyllic heroes in our society. Whether it is but a symptom or one more of many causes, the tearing down of these paragons of our culture is sad and makes me wonder what good heroes our children will aspire to be.

    Finally, there is a fine line between adjusting a character to fit the desired audience and succumbing to the audience’s mentality. I doubt J. Michael will fall prey to encouraging mindless teenage tripe, but can’t rule it out.

  5. J. D. Salinger says:

    Attributing the non-dark Batman to the TV series with Adam West, is mistaken. Batman had that campy personna even before the TV series, from most of the 50’s through the 60’s. I’m not sure when he became the dark knight, but the campy Batman with the funky drawings by Bill Finger is the genre I like.

    But new readerships and competition with the likes of the Twilight series are resulting in what we see in Superman: an super-emo hero. Now if they give Clark Kent his own identify that is not tied to Superman, I’ll abandon the old Superman–though still with some reluctance.

  6. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Re: When did Batman become the Dark Knight?

    It’s debatable and it’s unlikely that there’s a single answer to that question, but the best answer is probably 1986, with the Frank Miller mini-series, the various post-Crisis reboots, etc.

  7. Is this the guy we’ve been waiting for?

  8. I like JMS. But I’m annoyed by the misinterpretation of “the American way.” That was never about doing what’s best for America only, but fighting for the value of the individual, rights, freedom, etc.

  9. dangermom-
    You’re being nostalgic about the days when the Constitution actually meant something to the government and people. Citizens value reality TV more now.