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Author Topic: Mark Millar on Superman  (Read 10578 times)
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NotSuper
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« on: November 30, 2004, 05:48:26 AM »

Recently, Mark Millar has been posting about what he'd do with the Superman character if given the chance. It all started in here at Millarworld. Here are some highlights that I took from Fanboy Rampage:

Quote
On his connection to Batman: "[Superman and Batman are] both orphans. They absolutely understand each other and know that there's nobody else they can count on as much as they other. PS I know Superman isn't an orphan in this dreadful period he's been under seige (from 1986 until Hitchy and I fix him again), but the true understanding of the character is, like Bambi, he loses his Mum and Dad again. All the iconic heroes do whether it's Superman, Bambi or Batman."

On why Bryan Hitch is his ideal Superman collaborator: "Hitchy's even worse than me. Although he looks much older and has trouble sleeping through the night without a piss, Hitchy is only three weeks younger than me. Thus, we grew up on the same Cary Bates Superman comics aged 6-14. Exactly the same comics. We were also 8 years old when we saw Superman and Hitch, like me, can repeat the entire movie line for line. You should hear our daily phone chats. They're a hymn to Superman. Fixing this mess has been our destiny. It'll happen. Not for a while, but it'll happen."

On Clark Kent: "Clark is a pair of glasses. Superman doesn't need glasses. He puts on the glasses for no practical reason; just to dress up and pretend to be this mid-westwern guy he's not as a means of rubbing shoulders with the people on this planet. Superman would have thought he was human until puberty. Until maybe 12. The easiest way to understand it is to think of Jesus in the temple and the moment where his mother has to tell him the truth. He always knew he was different and alone. This is when it was all explained to him. He could still love his parents, but Clark is him trying to understand what humans are all about. As Elliot Maggin puts it, Clark Kent is a living, breathing work of art."

On Lois Lane: "Superman doesn't love Lois. Clark loves Lois and Superman tries HARD to love Lois, but he can't because she's the wrong species. But he tries. Again, Maggin sums it up beautifully. It doesn't have to be complicated... Clark loves Lois, Lois loves Superman, Superman loves Clark [...] Perfect. This is also one of the reasons Superman shouldn't be married to Lois. It's just stupid. It makes no sense and destroys the whole dynamic. Superman is God, Jor-El is the Holy Spirit and Clark Kent is Jesus. The Kents are Mary and Joseph and Lois is Mary Magdelene. She's the NYC girl who's fucked her way around the city and found nobody who measures up. She's just had it with men and is focusing on her career... then Superman shows up. This is why Margot Kidder was perfect for the role and why Lois should be played by someone around 30 even if Supes is being played by a 25 year old. You'll see what I mean when we fix it."

On the current version of the character: "[Kingdom Come] is close to perfect. Waid gets it. None of the other American writers do, though Loeb comes close. His only weakness is getting caught up in the whole farmboy thing. The farm is where he grew up and knew he was NOTHING LIKE THESE PEOPLE. He affects it for the Clark persona, but that's it. He's as Kryptonian as Jesus is divine. Did Jesus shag Mary Mag? I don't think so. Superman should never shag Lois. It's insane and what happens when artists start touching tyoewriters. Jimmy is the reader-identification figure and the comedy relief. PS I'm saving everything else for the launch. No other ideas from me here, I'm afraid, in case some c**t nicks em."

On mixing metaphors: "No brimstone for Superman. He's interesting enough without it. He sees Earth the way immigrants saw America 100 years ago. He sees a chance for hope and a new life after losing his homeland as a kid. He loves people because he recognizes their great potential and, like Krypton, he wants to encourage them towards the Utopia his father sent him from. Forget Byrne. Read the Bible."

On the previous pitch Millar had made with Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and Tom Peyer: "The pitch we did was very late 90s and all the things I WOULDN'T do if Superman was being revamped now. It was nice, but it was the whole retro 60s thing that Grant's into as opposed to what I'd want to do myself. This thing was pretty good, but would be absolutely wrong for now. It still had Superman married to Lois and all that spit. There was another draft Mark Waid added with Earth getting a mind-wipe to forget that stuff and it had some nice touches, but I'd just start from scratch."

On how close Superman is to humanity: "Humans were apes less than 50 million years ago. Kryptonians are what we'd be like in 20 billion years. I have this all worked out as part of the proposal. In the last two years, I've filled two entire ring-binders with the plan. There's some AMAZING stuff in here. Hitch has also been doing little design doodles for the last five years. It's fate that we met."

And when some people disagree with Millar's idea of the perfect Superman: "Anyway, you're all wrong and I'm right Wink It'll make much more sense once Hitch and I deprogram you from 18 years of John Byrne and Mike Carlin."


I have to say, many of the stuff Millar is proposing sounds great. What does everyone else think?
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2004, 03:19:20 PM »

The arrogant bàstard...I love it. Cheesy Though I don't wholly agree with everything, and it's weird 'cause we JUST had a reboot, but I think it'll be cool.
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The Starchild
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2004, 05:47:54 PM »

I absolutely agree with everything that Mark Millar says above.  But I wonder where he's getting his information about Maggin.  He writes:
Quote from: "Mark Millar"
On Lois Lane: "Superman doesn't love Lois. Clark loves Lois and Superman tries HARD to love Lois, but he can't because she's the wrong species. But he tries. Again, Maggin sums it up beautifully. It doesn't have to be complicated... Clark loves Lois, Lois loves Superman, Superman loves Clark [...] Perfect.

Yet in Last Son of Krypton, Maggin actually writes:
Quote from: "Elliot S! Maggin"
Superman loved Lois Lane.
Lois Lane loved Clark Kent and ached in vain to believe he was Superman.
Clark Kent loved Superman.
No one understood this.

This is not what Millar said that Maggin said.  It's the opposite.  While I generally think that Maggin is the bee's knees, I'd have to agree with Millar's POV on this one.
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NotSuper
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2004, 06:00:12 PM »

I have to admire Millar's guts for saying what he believes without sugarcoating it. I know that some post-Crisis Superman fans have strongly criticized what he said, but I for one couldn't be more thrilled with his ideas. It's kind of become a heated issue among some fans (which might actually be a good thing).
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2004, 01:49:37 AM »

it will also never happen... yet again.

BTW, please be more careful about what you quote since Mr.Millar used a british slang that is a very nasty cuss word here in the US. Remeber no cussing is allowed on this site. It's Superman and I want everyone to be able to enjoy this site young and old. Thanks.
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NotSuper
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2004, 03:36:34 AM »

Quote from: "Super Monkey"
BTW, please be more careful about what you quote since Mr.Millar used a british slang that is a very nasty cuss word here in the US. Remeber no cussing is allowed on this site. It's Superman and I want everyone to be able to enjoy this site young and old. Thanks.

Sorry about that. I must have overlooked it.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2004, 05:44:07 AM »

Maybe they'll give him an Elseworlds or Bizarro graphic novel or mini-series, or a cartoon show, but most of DC seems not to understand what is fundamentally fun and interesting about Superman enough to get behind such a "retro" idea to the tune of half a dozen monthly comics.
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2004, 02:40:41 PM »

I can't say I agree with all of what he says, either.  But at least he understands more than the Byrne-Jurgens-Carlin crowd.

Interesting that he got the same image of Margot Kidder's Lois Lane that I did, and it's perhaps even more interesting to see that he liked it where I hated it.  Yes, Kidder does play Lois as a rough-edge broad, a tough, almost mannish chain-smoking newshound who, without coming right out and saying it, gives the distinct impression that she's been around the block a few times.  Thus her relationship with Superman becomes at best a last-ditch effort to "feminize" herself via the only male figure awesome enough to out-man her, and at worst a case of a worn-out old barfly trying to seduce the last pure-hearted virgin in the city.  Millar may like this take, but it's pretty ugly to me.  

He's dead on about the Kents, though.  Superman, like any archetypal hero, needs to overcome his subservience to a father figure before he can be taken seriously as an adult.  What we have seen post-Crisis is one writer after another proving this point (intentionally or not)  as Superman runs home to Mom and Dad for constant advice on what is right and wrong, and of course the collosal failure in judgement the one time they are not around to give advice (when he kills the Phantom Zone villains).  This post-Crisis "Clark is the real person" approach has left us with a character who has enormous powers but not the sense of direction or purpose, nor the moral center, to use them with confidence or effectiveness.

As for the "Clark loves Lois loves Superman" thing, I side with Maggin.  On the face of it, Millar is right about how the triangle has played out on TV, radio, and many comics...Clark loves Lois, Lois loves Superman and Superman loves Clark (and wants Clark to get Lois).  But I like Maggin's read, because it suggests that Lois' constant efforts to prove Clark is Superman come from her need to make Clark something bigger than he is so she can let herself love him.  Another way to look at it is that Lois wants to make Superman into Clark.  She may swoon over his powers and abilities, but what she wants is a guy who will settle down to domesticated bliss with her. If she ever got Superman, she would in essence destroy him.
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