Wednesday, March 10, 2010
J. Michael Straczynski To Write Superman And Wonder Woman
Well, the big news this week from DC was that J Michael Straczynski is taking over the writing on both Superman and Wonder Woman. Talk about being a corner stone writer within the DCU. JMS is taking on 2 of the 3 Trinity members.
There are a couple of posts about the announcement on the DC Source blog which make me pretty excited to read his take on the characters. As always, reading the whole posts is definitely worth it, but I picked a few key passages.
First off, the DC announcement post:
Starting in July with SUPERMAN #701 and WONDER WOMAN #601, superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski — a man who’s created layered and compelling characters and worlds on the big screen, on television and across the comic book spectrum — dives head-first into the DC Universe by taking the ongoing writing reins for two-thirds of the fabled DCU trinity.
But before we get there, let’s touch base with JMS about this news. Take it away, sir:
“For as long as I’ve been doing conventions ... there has always been the same question from folks in the audience: “Is there any one character who is your dream character to write for?” The answer has always been the same: Superman. When I first came over to DC, that dream was realized in part by Dan DiDio’s gracious invitation to write the first of potentially many Superman original graphic novels. Now the dream has come fully true with the opportunity to write for the mainstream title, in a story that returns Superman to his roots in a way that will have the whole country talking about him in ways that we haven’t seen in a long time.
It sounds as though writing Superman has always been a dream of his and he clearly has a love of the character, so that makes me happy.
"Returning Superman to his roots" is also intriguing. I hope it doesn't mean that he can only leap an 1/8 of a mile and that a bursting shell can harm him. But if you read the earliest Siegel/Shuster stories, Superman was very much the social activist. His first adventures included dealing with unsafe working conditions in mines, a man who physically abused his wife, and straight talking with two warring generals. There was no Metallo, Brainiac, or Bizarro. Superman was talking on everyday issues.
I think it would be interesting to revisit that but I don't know the shelf life of such an arc. How long could you keep that going and maintain fan interest.
And then the next post, an essay from JMS:
As a kid growing up in the mean streets of New Jersey, Superman was an icon for me. It was a tough life: we moved about 21 times in my first 17 years, we didn’t have much money, and every day was a struggle. When I told grown-ups that I was going to be a writer someday, nobody listened, nobody thought I had a chance, because as far as teachers were concerned, kids like me who came from nowhere and nothing were dead-enders, destined to end up working at the gas station at best or in jail at worst. Writers were supposesd to be Ivory Tower guys with leather patches on the elbows of their smoking jackets, who went to the right schools and came from the right families. I lived in the world of No, a place populated by bullies and street fights and tenements, with no possibility of escape.
And the secret is this:
The Superman symbol is Kryptonian for No Limits.
And whether or not you speak Kryptonian (or Kryptonese), you know that…you know that deep inside, where even the cynicism of the world cannot reach.
I can remember thinking the same thing about Superman. That he was a sort of role model of what was right and wrong. That he was someone you could aspire to be like, at least in some small way. And I can remember when heroes acted like heroes and did the right thing. So this also made me pretty pumped to read JMS' take on Kal.
While I didn't post it, there is a great anecdote of Straczynski stopping a crook because that is what Superman would do. Too fantastic.
In looking over my collection, I don't have much that has been written by him, probably because I am such a DC fan. I do have to say that I absolutely LOVED Supreme Power and Squadron Supreme, by Straczynski and Gary Frank. If his take on Superman is any where near as compelling as Hyperion (Superman through a mirror darkly), his run should be fantastic.
Lastly, I have to add that overall I really enjoyed Gail Simone's run on Wonder Woman. I will be sad to see her leave because I think she understood the core of that character. While I am sad to see her leave, it looks as though Diana will be left in capable hands.