Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Superman #701 [2010] J. Michael Straczynski

Superman was born out of a personal tragedy following the death of co-creator Jerry Siegel’s father Mitchell who died of a heart attack following a robbery in 1932. Superman was portrayed as a vigilante taking on corruption and other social injustices during the times of the Great Depression when he first appears in 1938 within Action Comics #1. During World War II Superman defended liberty by taking on saboteurs, spies, and criminals. Villains were created to reflect the times such as Prankster, Toyman, and Lex Luthor.
The Superman 2010 mega event War of the Supermen began with Geoff Johns and Superman director Richard Donner with Superman Last Son. After Last Son Johns took us into the future with the Legion of Super-heroes, before returning him to the present to fight off Brainiac and rescue the 100,000 Kryptonians from the bottled city of Kandor. Brainiac also captured other cities which included the cities of the founding members of the Legion of Super-heroes. This will put the Legion of Super-heroes directly into the Superman mythology.
Saving the inhabitants of Kandor came at the cost of his adoptive father Jonathan Kent. The freed Kryptonians led to the formation of New Krypton and Superman’s absence from Earth for a year before finally returning to his adopted planet with the War of the Superman.

J. Michael Straczynski observes the consequences of Superman’s absence with last month’s milestone Superman #700. Straczynski reminds us that Superman is reflective the times and plans to make him relevant to the present by having him walk across America to relate to the current issues affecting us today.

Straczynski begins with Superman traveling from Metropolis to Philadelphia and speaking and helping out everyday ordinary American citizens along the way. From helping out someone with a broken vehicle, bartering for food, dealing with drug pushers, and finally listening to someone whose life is falling apart, Straczynski brings Superman to face issues that need to be addressed.

Straczynski take on Superman fits him like a glove due to his works within a variety of media. He has television writing credits including cartoons He-Man, She-Ra, Real Ghostbusters, and his sci-fi series Babylon 5. His comic works include Rising Stars, Midnight Nation, Amazing Spider-man, Fantastic Four, and Thor.

- Revealing Peter Parker’s identity to his Aunt May
- Revealing his identity to the world in Marvel’s Civil War
- Enhancing the Spider-man Mythology and introducing the Iron Spider Armor
- Unraveling the marriage between Peter Parker and Mary Jane

- There are NO Rules or Formulas: Think without the box
- Start with everything you can say
- Cut it down to everything you want to say
- Cut down to everything you need to say
- Ending a piece of fiction when the words runs out
- Never surrender your dreams
- Turf you stand on is occupied only by you
- Trust where you stand and your viewpoint
- Straczynski hires writer for their viewpoint
- Writing is speaking in your own voice
- Finish the work then you can be judged
- If outlines don’t work then don’t use them
- Don’t worry about finding the mountain. Just put one foot in front and start climbing
Great advice and compelling first full issue of his work on Superman.