“To answer Dan DiDio’s question: There are many, many very talented women working in the industry who could infuse something very valuable into DC Comics, at a time when they probably need it the most. As a female fan, I desperately wish he would consider their aesthetics and contributions to the industry as viable options for the superhero books I want to read so badly but feel so chronically alienated by, something that honestly breaks my heart on a regular basis. And regardless of where that question is coming from — whether he genuinely doesn’t know who they are or genuinely couldn’t figure out a way to fit them into the DC Universe — I couldn’t help but find the fact that he had to ask it very sad.”—
“The big break for me was I got tired of looking at stuff like The Dark Knight and Watchmen, which are wonderful and beautiful works, but for me the idea of taking our problems into the superhero world is ultimately a dead-end. When I was 25 or 26 it occurred to me that trying to make superheroes seem real was insane. They were not real in that way, but what really hit me was, “Well, in what way are they real?” They’re absolutely real in the form of paper, and so I wanted to go beyond that spurious realism of here’s what would happen if Batman got a run in his tights, or, “How does he go to the bathroom?” “Where does he keep his change?” Which I think are very dumb questions. In the book, [Supergods] one of the things I say is that people always believe kids don’t understand the difference between fact and fiction. But they do! A child can watch The Little Mermaid and they know the singing crabs on TV are very different from the real crabs on the beach. You give an adult a piece of fiction, and the adult cannot handle it. The adult begins to ask, “How can Batman afford to run a business and be Batman at night?” “How do the lasers come out of Superman’s eyes?” “Why does he wear those clothes?” And all you want to say is, “Because it’s not real!” It’s made up, and only in the made-up world can these things happen. I find that, in the last 10 years particularly, there’s this idea of grounding Superman, which just seems insane to me. And that’s what you always get from studio executives, is, “How do we ground this? And obviously rules eventually arise, but it comes from the narrative. And it doesn’t have to be this world’s rules. Adults need to get a grasp of this. These things aren’t real and we can make anything happen. And that’s exactly what’s so wonderful about it.”—Grant Morrison
…Clark Kent isn’t what Superman really IS, Clark is what Superman WAS—until he reached his teenage years and began to realize what all those years of soaking up the Kansas sun had done to his alien cells. Superman’s story here is seen as the tale of a Midwest farmer’s son who BECAME AN ALIEN shortly after puberty. Suddenly young Clark doesn’t just know his Ma and Pa through sight, touch, sound—he knows the exact timbre of their pulse rates, he can look at their DNA and recognize their distinctive electrical fields and hear the neural crackle and release of chemicals which tell him they’ve changed their minds about something.
And he can do all this, he can scan the entire environment in an INSTANT, with levels of perception we can only imagine.
That’s gonna turn anyone’s head around a little.
This is someone who by any stretch of the imagination is no longer just human—except for the part of him, the ethical, humanitarian base nurtured by the Kents, which forms the unshakable foundation for everything Superman is BUT WHO IS WHAT SUPERMAN CAN NO LONGER BE. Or, in other words not our own, “…who, DISGUISED as Clark Kent, fights a never-ending battle…”
As originally conceived by Siegel and Shuster, Clark becomes a cherished, poignant masquerade: mild-mannered, thoughtful, humane Clark. When Superman is being human, Clark is his template but this is a being no longer confined by gravity or pain or mortality and his experiences as Superman are experiences on a level of existence we can only hope to imagine.
[Mark Millar and J.G. Jones’s] Wanted articulated a new myth for the hordes of suddenly cool under-achievers who’d been lionized by the rise of “nerd culture.” Big business, media and fashion were, it seemed, so starved of inspiration, they’d reached down to the very bottom of the social barrel in an attempt to commodify even the most stubborn nonparticipants, the suicide Goths and fiercely antiestablishment nerds. The geeks were in the spotlight now, proudly accepting a derogatory label that directly compared them to degraded freak-show acts. Bullied young men with asthma and shy, bitter virgins with adult-onset diabetes could now gang up like the playground toughs they secretly wanted to be and anonymously abuse and threaten professional writers and actors with family commitments and bills to pay.
Soon film studios were afraid to move without the approval of the raging Internet masses. They represented only the most miniscule fraction of a percentage of the popular audience that gave a shit, but they were very remarkably, superhumanly angry, like the great head of Oz, and so very persistent that they could easily appear in the imagination as an all-conquering army of mean-spirited, judgmental fogies.
In the shadow of The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell’s immensely influential book on social networks and marketing, nobody wanted to risk bad word of mouth, little realizing that they were reacting, in many cases, to the opinions of a few troublemakers who knew nothing but contempt for the universe and all its contents and could hardly be relied upon to put a positive spin on anything that wasn’t the misery and misfortune of others. Too many businesspeople who should have known better began to take seriously the ravings of misinformed, often barely literate malcontents who took revenge on the cruel world by dismissing everything that came their way with the same jaded, geriatric “Meh.”