Superman has been the world’s most beloved and recognized super hero for 75 years, and with a major new movie on the horizon and numerous comic book titles on the shelves, that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
But why is he so beloved? What is it about the Man of Steel that makes him so popular with people over generations? And why do so many writers and artists in comics—no matter how busy they may otherwise be—find the chance to tell a Superman tale an offer that’s too good to pass up?
Today marks the debut of the sixth digital installment of Adventures of Superman, our critically acclaimed, digital first anthology series that offers readers complete, standalone Superman stories written and drawn by some of the most exciting creators in comics. We thought it might be fun to ask the first six creative teams why they wanted a chance to tell a story starring everyone’s favorite Kryptonian.
Here’s what they had to say…
“As huge an icon/myth/legend as Superman is, I have a strong sense of him as a real person, the most decent guy. I wanted to show an action-packed scenario where every move he makes is not only exciting, but reveals that quality of character. The ‘man’ part of his name is even more important than the ‘super.’”
“It’s all about friends. Jeff Parker has been a great friend since back before we worked together on a short story ages ago at Marvel. We’d been trying to find something else to work on together, but Parker really outdid himself when he suggested me for this story. Superman has always been one of my favorite characters. He's an inspiration, a super hero, sure—but for this kid who grew up reading his adventures—he’s also a friend.”
“Superman was always the center of the action for me. When I was a kid playing with my Superpowers figures, all of the epic sagas I concocted in my bedroom or backyard always starred Superman. He was, and is, quite simply, the greatest super hero ever. So I wanted to write and draw a story that captured that same sense of play and imagination Superman inspired in the 10-year-old version of me. That’s the joy of Superman; he’s so iconic he can become a symbol for so many different things. For me it was imagination and wonder.”
“Superman, to me, is about hope. The hope that everyone can be saved. The hope that there is always a better way. Superman is always looking for the happy ending, and never falters in believing that it’s possible. And I love that. I like writing dark stories, obviously, but sometimes you want to shine a light.”
“So many industry giants have put made their mark on Superman in the past 75 years. Looking at all that history and trying to bring something unique to Superman was very intimidating.”
“Superman, to me, is more than a fictional character. He’s a projection, from the collective unconscious, of the very best in us; a symbol of how powerful, how capable of changing the world in positive ways, we all are. Although his trappings are science-fiction, I see the character as more mythic and magical, with a resonance that runs deep in the human soul. My Adventures of Superman story was a chance to write to the essence of the character and to thank him—and all the writers and artists who’ve shaped the legend—for enriching my life since the first time I saw the Man of Steel fly across a comic book page.”
“Except for a few cameos in books and covers, I had never professionally drawn Superman before, so getting the chance to do something with Kal-El felt just right. I guess that every artist at some point has to measure himself with the Man of Steel, as he’s the quintessential superhero. To me, Superman mainly means adventure, and wonder, and infinite possibilities, due to the endless, rich pantheon of characters and places that have been established through the decades. Plus, the fact that I could get to do this short story with two other legends, J.M. DeMatteis and Sal Buscema, just made my day. And I could be wrong, but no other super hero looks cooler when flying!”
“Why did I want to draw Superman? Because he is f@#&^$g Superman.”
“Quite possibly the most iconic and beloved fictional character of the twentieth century! Since 1938, every generation has found a hero in the Man of Steel; be it comics, radio, serials, television, movies and back to comics again... Superman is the one super hero that every member of my family knows in intimate detail, as each one of them has grown up with one incarnation or another. And it was my honor to contribute but a single drop into the ocean of his enduring legacy!”
—Bryan J.L. Glass
“Superman may be the first super hero anyone is aware of. Even before we know what super heroes are, we know who Superman is. To be even a small part of that legacy is a great honor and a personal joy to work with. I think there is a lot to say with Superman, even after all these years. I hope to do more someday.”
—Michael Avon Oeming