I have never liked the big red S. I have read comics my entire life and have never once bought a Superman title. His character was always too boring. Too whitebread. Too invincible. There was no way I could relate to Clark Kent, Kal-El, or Superman on any level.
When I was a kid, I loved it whenever Superman/Superboy got his ass handed to him. I remember one issue where Hal Jordan made a giant ball of green kryptonite in order to take out Superman. Another favorite of mine is when Mon-El laid a serious beat down on Superboy. I always like the underdog and Superman was always the clear favorite. There was nothing he could not do and he made all the other heroes seem unnecessary.
So, now I find myself doing what I never thought I would…..I’m going to start reading Superman and Action Comics. Why? Two reasons. Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek. I am a huge fan of both writers. It is a rare day that I don’t enjoy a title that they pen. So, once they take over the reins of Superman and Action Comics in March I will start buying both titles. I’m not too sure if this will be the one time that I don’t enjoy a title that Johns writes. I think he has done an excellent job on the Titans, JSA, Green Lantern, and Flash. So, I have to think that if anyone can make me like reading Superman it would be Johns.
I have also thought about starting to collect Aquaman since Busiek is taking control over that title. I’m not too sure since I find water-based heroes to be too limited in what they can do and what kind of interaction they can have with the rest of the characters in their comic universe.
But back to Superman. I think that DC has an opportunity to update and freshen up this character. I understand that Superman is THE icon of all comics. However, when was the last time that his character was relevant, interesting, and actually sold a lot of comics? Like Johns appropriately said via Batman. The last time Superman inspired anyone was when he was dead. Truer words were never spoken. It will be interesting if DC can make their icon a character that people care about. It would be huge for DC if Johns and Busiek could pull those two titles up into the top 20 or top 10.
I’m not too sure what needs to be done to make Superman more interesting and relevant. I’m not even sure if it is possible. But, if anyone can do it then it would be Johns and Busiek.